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06-20-2005, 10:59 AM
On these day's of June 19-20 1944...

The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot
19 June 1944
Don Gordon of VF-10 continues the narrative:

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Contrails fill the sky over Task Force 58 during the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, 19 June 1944.</span>

My first launch was at sunrise on a combat patrol mission above our group: Lexington, Enterprise, Princeton and San Jacinto. I recall observing the Hornet and Yorktown group to the north, and the Bunker Hill and Wasp group to the south. I do not remember seeing the Essex group to the northwest during my two flights for a total of about five hours on 19 June.

What was really impressive, on this flight and the next one, was the perfect, huge circle of ships with a lone battleship in the center to the west of Enterprise. My flight of four Hellcats were vectored over there a few times. We were under the control of Enterprise's Fighter Director, the Fighter Director for TG 58.3. The frequency assigned prevented us from eavesdropping on some of the activities taking place around us by other combat air patrols.

At 0550, the destroyers Yarnall and Stockham, west of the battle line, were attacked by five or six Zekes carrying small bombs. One Zeke was shot down by Yarnall, while a small bomb missed Stockham. These aircraft were probably from Guam, but why had they flown around a force of 110 ships covering an area 24 miles long and 15 miles deep, just to attack two small boys?

At 0600, the battle line's destroyer screen shot down a Val dive-bomber. After moving east by north from 0200, Admiral Mitscher changed course to west-southwest to close the distance to the enemy for an air strike. But the prevailing easterly wind forced the fleet to the east for every launch and recovery. In the next four hours, the fast carriers advanced toward their goal by only 45 miles.

Air Group Ten planes spotted forward of Enterprise's island, in June 1944.
Belleau Wood's combat air patrol was ordered at 0630 to Guam to investigate bogeys over the island. The combat air patrol was about 100 miles northwest of Guam at the time. On arriving over Guam at 0720, the Belleau Wood CAP reported many aircraft taking off from Orote Field and called for help. More Hellcats from Belleau Wood, Cabot, Yorktown and Hornet responded, but the planes had disappeared or landed and concealed themselves in camouflaged revetments by the time reinforcements had arrived.

Not quite an hour later, many bogeys were picked up on radar 81 miles southwest of the force, headed for Guam. These were probably the aircraft from Yap or Truk that intended to augment the forces at Guam and Rota. Three of the task groups launched 12 Hellcats each to intercept the bogeys. The 33 Hellcats shot down 33 fighters and 5 bombers, but the Japanese planes continued to land at Orote, on Guam.

The requirements for each task group to launch 12 additional Hellcats was not a burden on any individual squadron. The large carriers each had 33 to 40 Hellcats, and each of the light carriers had at least 24. A few of the fleet carriers had a detachment of night fighters. In the case of Enterprise, we had three F4U-2s with six pilots, and the other large carriers had three F6F-3Ns. So, except for the Task Group 58.4, each task group had at least 120 Hellcats and a few F4U-2's available for interceptions at any time. With only one fleet carrier - Essex - Task Group 58.4 had only 84 Hellcats.

In Enterprise, Bud Schumann had relieved Killer Kane as commanding officer of the Grim Reapers, VF- 10. Killer replaced the former Air Group Commander, Roscoe Newman, who had been promoted to the Carrier Division Five staff.

As Flight Officer, I prepared the flight schedule and ready room alert schedule. Enterprise was assigned a light flight schedule on 19 June. Only one division, four pilots, was scheduled at 2 to 2-1/2 hour intervals. However, the alert schedule was heavy with three or four divisions in the ready room, constantly briefed, and prepared to launch in 10 minutes: Condition 3. (At Condition 1 readiness, the pilots had to man their aircraft and stand by for immediate launch.)

We had 39 to 40 pilots in the squadron, but our tactical organization was maintained at nine divisions - four pilots per division - in order to have spare pilots without routinely destroying the tactical organization to provide a spare pilot at each launch. We never considered that we had a shortage of pilots. We expected that the loss of a pilot would mean the loss of the aircraft. We did not expect any illnesses as pilots were a healthy lot, especially when a combat situation was imminent.

At 0830, the Japanese van - Carrier Division 3 with three light carriers and 100 miles closer to Task Force 58 than the rest of the Mobile Fleet - launched 69 aircraft: a strike known as Raid I in American accounts. Task Force 58 radar detected flocks of bogeys 150 miles west at 0959. The fighter directors called a "Hey Rube" to fighters sent to investigate aircraft over Guam. Five minutes later, General Quarters sounded for all ships. At this time Lexington, our flagship, was 105 miles northwest of Guam.

At 1023 TF 58 turned into the wind, 22 knots east by south, and the Ready Alert pilots manned their aircraft. In the case of Enterprise, that was four divisions of four aircraft each to be led by the Commanding Officer, LCDR Bud Schumann. My division was included in this launch. In just eight minutes, the full deck load of fighters were launched and the decks were cleared of the bombers which had been loaded for possible strike against the Mobile Fleet. The bombers orbited east of the Task Force, waiting for further orders. With the decks clear and with a constant heading into the wind, the carriers could recover the Hellcats when necessary to fuel, re-arm, and change pilots.

After launch, we were directed to 15,000 feet overhead. Schumann was having radio problems and did not receive the instruction for two divisions to vector 270 degrees. I assumed the lead and acknowledged.

As we approached our battleship formation, it did not look like a healthy situation as the umbrella of anti-aircraft fire was well above our horizon. I climbed the group of fighters to 25,000 feet to avoid their AA and altered our course to the north as added precaution. The AA umbrella was up to 20,000 feet - and on the surface at least five miles beyond the screen. This force made up of six battleships, four heavy cruisers, and 14 destroyers was unique and awe inspiring. The lone battleship in the center, Indiana, added to my confidence in our power at this moment. It is my most memorable scene in World War II.

Records show that battleship South Dakota was hit by a bomb at 1049 during the 69 plane attack. With the amount of AA it was obvious that we had missed Raid I. We proceeded west and saw no enemy aircraft and returned over base by 1115. We should have been launched earlier or vectored earlier.

By 1057, the Raid I attack was complete. Forty-two of the 69 aircraft had been destroyed, 25 by fighters from Essex and other carriers. The inexperienced do not and can not realize how fast these actions occur. If you tangle with Zeros, you miss the bombers and torpedo planes. If you chase bombers you miss out on torpedo planes, and so on. At 200 to 240 knots, 10 to 15 miles can be covered rather rapidly. With the enemy closing at the same speed, you should be in a defensive position as early as possible. We were out of position.

Ozawa's Carrier Division 1 - the most southern group of three carriers - began launching 128 aircraft at 0856: Raid II. This raid took a track on their first leg over the van group, which made their distance to the target much longer than a direct route of 445 miles.

At 1107, this raid was detected at 115 miles. They had been in the air three hours before arriving over the target area, and this original group of 130 aircraft suffered some amazing early losses. One warrant officer in a Judy dove into the ocean to destroy a torpedo fired by the submarine Albacore at carrier Taiho, Admiral Ozawa's Flagship. It was a fruitless effort: one torpedo found its target at 0905 and the carrier sank at 1530. Eight aircraft had engine trouble and returned to their carriers. Also, as the group departed and flew over their own task force, friendly anti-aircraft fire shot down two planes. Another eight were so damaged that they returned to their carrier. Thus, the strike was reduced to 109 aircraft.

Raid II included two pathfinders. They were probably responsible for dropping chaff to the northeast of Task Force 58, drawing our fighters off in that direction.

As the raid neared, I was vectored 250 degrees. This time 10-15 miles southwest of the battle line, I tallyhoed four aircraft with in-line engines to our port and low. We reported them as Judys. We were probably at 15,000 feet. I ignored some Zeros to our right that appeared to carry drop tanks. I did not think they could damage anyone but me. We selected the most lethal target, the aircraft that had torpedos. As we followed the Judys, I shot down one as we approached the battle line from the south. At a lower altitude we shot down another. At this time the AA from the battle line was very intense, as before. Shrapnel was churning the water at least 5 miles from the center. I was firing at the third Judy as we flew about fifty feet over the water. Neither of us could see through the AA, I am sure, and the churned up water. Suddenly, he dropped his torpedo and turned right to avoid the AA. I got him in that turn. I doubt that the torpedo had enough endurance to reach the battle line. The fourth torpedo plane escaped.

In my research, I found out that the Zeros did carry bombs in these raids and Judys only carried bombs. So after nearly 50 years, I learned that I shot down Jills. Anyhow, these aircraft had in-line engines and carried torpedos, whether they were Judys or Jills. Furthermore, the official record gives my wingman and I credit for one Judy each. I do not know who got credit for the third! Enterprise's 16 fighters were given credit for two Judys and one Kate from Raids I and II. Again we were almost too late to make the intercept. If the fighter directors did anything wrong this day, they held the CAP over their own Task Group until the raid was too close for an effective intercept.

At 1130, Ozawa's CarDiv 1 and CarDiv 2, six carriers, completed a combined launch of 82 aircraft in Raid IV. When it was launched, Raid IV was directed to a bogus fix about 110 miles south of Task Force 58 and about 95 miles southwest of Guam. It was a fiasco. When no targets were found at that fix, 18 aircraft returned to their carrier. The other 15 aircraft from CarDiv 1 took up a heading to Rota, while 49 aircraft from CarDiv 2 proceeded toward Guam. At 1423, the small group of 15 aircraft, sighted TG 58.2. They changed course for the attack. Six aircraft came in under the CAP and attacked the cruiser Mobile, and carriers Wasp and Bunker Hill.

The larger group of 49 aircraft from CarDiv 2 continued on a heading to Guam. At 1449, they jettisoned their bombs near Guam. An hour earlier, Enterprise had launched two divisions of Hellcats and escorts for seaplanes from the cruisers and battleships. The SOCs were also escorted by the F4U night fighters. One of the Enterprise divisions was led by Lt. Rod Devine. It was his first launch of the day.

The Devine division was ordered to investigate bogeys enroute to Guam around 1510. When the remainder of Raid IV arrived at Guam, they were met by Yorktown, Cowpens, Essex, Hornet, and Enterprise fighters. Thirty of the 49 aircraft were destroyed. Nineteen aircraft that managed to land at Rota were so badly damaged that they were beyond repair. In ten minutes the Devine division destroyed 11 aircraft, while another section of Hellcats from Enterprise accounted for 4 more kills. The Devine division was in the right position at the right time and made the most of it. This brought the Grim Reapers' (VF-10) total to 18 aircraft destroyed at the loss of one Hellcat: a total that was less glamorous than some carriers, but only a few of the enemy escaped once contact was made.

One Hellcat from Enterprise was lost while escorting SOC seaplanes from Montpelier, sent to pick up two men in a raft about three miles west of Guam. Two Hellcats were escorting one SOC, while an F4U-2 from VF(N)-101 escorted the other. After landing, each SOC rescued one man, but could not take off because of the east wind condition. The SOCs started taxiing to the northwest. One of the SOCs was strafed by a Zeke. An Enterprise Hellcat came to its defense, but was shot down. We should remember that many SOC pilots risked their lives with a very defenseless aircraft.

By 1845, most of the enemy aircraft had been shot down, returned to their bases, or landed on the islands.

Japanese Raids And Losses
Raid Total Aircraft Losses
I 69 42
II 130 98
III 47 7
IV 82 73
328 220

Seaplanes 45 23
373 243
Total Remaining 130

The Japanese carriers and other ships launched 373 aircraft and only 130 returned, a loss of 243 aircraft. U.S. aircraft losses were 23 shot down, and 6 others were lost operationally. Aviation personnel casualties were 20 pilots and 7 air crewmen. U.S. carrier planes made 300 intercepts: all but 5 were by Hellcats. Three Task Force 58 ships were hit or near-missed with the loss of 4 officers and 27 enlisted men. The reported superior readiness of the U.S. pilots is hard to imagine:

US Aviators had a minimum of 2 years experience and 300 hours flight time.
Japanese CarDiv 3 Aviators had only 3 months experience.
Japanese CarDiv 2 Aviators had only 2 months experience.

Historians have studied this action for years. There is general agreement that the fighter pilots' claims were consistently thirty percent higher than the facts will bear. The US Pacific Fleet Command released a total of 402 aircraft destroyed, 366 by Hellcats, 19 by AA fire and 17 by ground fire. The Japanese carriers launched only 328 aircraft and 45 seaplanes for a total of 373. At the end of the day 130 of these remained. Aircraft from Guam, Rota and Truk were destroyed, but not enough to make up the difference between 243 and 402.

With land-based losses on the order of 60 aircraft, operational losses and 22 aircraft that sank with Taiho and Shokaku, the real losses on June 19 may have been 315 to 325. In any case, it was a big defeat for his Imperial Navy, which would appear only one more time, in the battle for the Philippines.

JUNE 19, 1944

Messages from the Captain

0430 - General Quarters.

0433 - Engineers manned and ready for General Quarters.

0435 - Navigation ditto

0436 - Air Department ditto

0437 - C & R ditto

0437 - Medical ditto

0440 - Communications ditto

0440 - All Departments reported manned and ready for General Quarters.

0447 - Bogey crossing at 045 - 38 miles.

0459 - Bogey bearing 330 - 26 miles

0500 - Bogey at 028 - 35 miles.

0502 - Bogey at 150 - 22 miles.
Bogey at 085 - 30 miles.
Bogey at 030 - 32 miles.
Bogey at 017 - 50 miles,
Bogey at 140 - 44 miles.

0504 - Bogey aircraft 265 - 38 miles.
Bogey bearing 015 - 31 miles.

0505 - Deadlock completed launching 12 fighters.

0506 - Bogey at 130 - 17 miles. Three planes bearing 130 - 15 miles crossing on course130.

0510 - Bogey at 158 - 11 1/4 miles. Bogey at 110 - 10 miles.

0512 - KITKUN BAY now launching aircraft.

0514 - Gunfire off port quarter - several miles distance.

0517 - Bogey at 160 - 36 miles.

0518 - Bogey at 350, position angle about 3 degrees. This might be friendly (Bearings were relative).

0519 - Bogey at 350, friendly.

0520 - Small group circling Timian. Several groups 40 to 60 miles.

0529 - Bogey at 259 - 14 miles.

0531 - Catapulted two TBM's.

0538 - Bogey at 265 - 21 miles.

0547 - Bogey at 266 - 26 miles.

0548 - Bogey at 264 - 20 miles.

0558 - Bogey at 23 miles crossing.

0602 - Bogey at 233 - 34 miles.

0611 - Bogey at 092 - 20 miles.

0615 - Bogey at 035 - 11 miles.

0616 - Bogey at 225 - 45 miles.

0618 - Bogey at 325 - 19 miles.

0624 - Bogey at 035 - 8 miles.

0625 - Began launching fighters.

0627 - Completed launching five fighters.

0628 - Raid #2 bearing 225 - 20 miles.
Raid #3 bearing 260 - 30 miles.

0628 - Bogey at 227 - 8 miles.

0629 - Bogey at 258 - 6 miles.

0630 - Bogey closing in at 285 - 6 miles.

0631 - Bogey at 020 - 7 miles.

0632 - Raid #2 bearing 225 - 18 miles, crossing estimated 9 planes.

0637 - Raid #1 at 035 - 14 miles.
Raid #2 at 225 - 10 miles.
Raid #3 at 260 - retiring.
Bogey at 018 - 15 miles.

0639 - Bogey at 134 - 9 miles, later reported friendly.

0640 - Raid # 1 at 005 - 15 miles.
Raid #2 at 022 - 15 miles.

0643 - Raid #1 at 340 - 17 miles closing.

0640 - Bogey at 340 - 16 miles closing.

0644 - Bogey at 345 - 15 miles.

0645 - Bogey at 340 - 13 miles, now merged plot.

0646 - Fighters from this ship mixed up with planes bearing 340 - 13 miles.

0647 - Bogey at 340 - 10 miles.

0647 - Planes coming in from Northwest, prepare to repel attack.

0648 - Bogies and friendly planes mixed at 10 miles.

0649 - Bogey at 335 - 16 miles. Bogey at 320 - 14 miles, opening.

0652 - Bogey at 350 - 16 miles.

0654 - Bogey at 005 - 18 miles, starting to close again.

0655 - Bogey at 000 - 17 miles.

0655 - Bogey at 005 - 14 miles, closing.

0658 - Attack - One plane attacking destroyer far to the port of this ship. One plane attacking, dropped two bombs which fell near port beam of this ship. One plane coming in on starboard bow was observed to drop bomb which was a near miss on starboard quarter of this ship. Three planes attacking came in high with sun behind them making observation difficult. None were shot down, no ships were hit.


0708 - (From Mustache) No bogies now indicated on screen.


Captain Goodwin on the bridge with department heads. Four (4) meatball flags are shown on the bridge indicating that the ship's gunners had shot down four (4) enemy aircraft.

Task Force 58 Strikes
20 June 1944
"Jig-Dog" Ramage resumes the narrative:

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A Bombing Ten SBD Dauntless launches from Enterprise at dusk in early 1944, much as the squadron did on the evening of June 20.</span>

As we move into the second phase of the battle, I must point out two events of great importance which were not known at that time. The first was the attack by our submarine Albacore on Ozawa's Flagship Taiho at 0909 on the 19th. She was Japan's newest carrier but succumbed to one torpedo. This fact was not known until months later. Second was the attack on Shokaku by our submarine Cavalla at 1220. Shokaku took four hits. These two ships went down with a loss of over 2900 men, and 22 aircraft.

This brings up a question. After the loss of his two big carriers on the 19th and most of his aircraft, why would Ozawa remain in the area? First, he was not aware of his heavy losses in the Turkey Shoot, and was standing by to recover the aircraft that supposedly had landed on Guam and Rota. Second, his pilots reported sinking at least four American flattops with six more covered with black smoke. They also reported huge success against the Grumman F6Fs. He intended to complete the job on Task Force 58 on the 21st.

At 1300 on 20 June, Ozawa finally got aboard the Zuikaku where he learned of his terrible aircraft losses of the previous day. He counted about 100 planes operational in the Mobile Fleet. He was again confused by Admiral Kakuta, who advised him that a number of planes had landed in Rota and Guam - not adding that most of them were not operational. Ozawa assumed that Kakuta's force had been augmented from Iwo Jima, Yap, and Truk.

Our TBM search that morning, which covered a 120 degree sector to the west out to 325 miles, was 75 miles short of the Japanese. An additional noon search by Hellcats on bearing 340 degrees to 476 miles was to the north of Ozawa's force. We in the ready rooms were still sweating it out.

A Bombing Ten SBD Dauntless launches from Enterprise at dusk in early 1944, much as the squadron did on the evening of June 20.
At 1542 on the 20th, Lt Stu Nelson of VT-10 finally reported the enemy fleet position as 135? 25' east and 15? 00' north. At 1548 Mitscher signaled "prepare to launch a deckload strike." At 1621 the force had reversed course into the east wind and commenced launching. The prevailing east wind had much to do with controlling operations that day. At 1636 the launch was completed and the task force headed back to the west to try to shorten the return trip of the airborne striking force. Barrett Tillman, the historian, says the totals involved were 98 F6Fs, 51 SB2Cs, 26 SBDs and 52 TBMs, for a total of 227 aircraft. RADM Harrill's TG 58.4 consisting of Essex, Langley, and Cowpens did not participate in this strike.

There were two SBD Dauntless squadrons remaining in TF 58 at that time: VB-16 commanded by LCDR Ralph Weymouth in Lexington and VB-l0 in Enterprise. Both squadrons were nearing the end of their combat cruise, hence were well experienced. We felt that in the SBD (Slow But Deadly) we had a much better dive bomber than the SB2C (Beast). However, we had about 50-75 miles less combat radius in the Dauntless. Hence, we were the strike-limiting aircraft in the task force. Records will show that of the 26 SBDs flying on that strike, only three Dauntlesses went in the water. Lt. Lou Bangs, my second division leader, our only loss, went in the drink after having been waved off from the Big E because of a foul deck. He was rescued.

We were well briefed for the attack. We had decided to use vice automatic lean fuel control, and to stay low enough so that we would not have to use high blower. I reluctantly went to high during the run-in because we picked up some Zeros and I didn't want to get shot down for lack of reserve power.

Prior to launch we were given the Japanese position as about 270 miles to the west: beyond our range, but it didn't seem to be a problem. It did become of great interest when, after launching, we found out that the fleet was one degree (60 miles) farther out; definitely out of range. Upon receiving this information, I felt certain that all the SBDs would take a bath. I was not worried about the TBFs and F6Fs.

We used a running rendezvous in order to save fuel and by 20 miles out I had the 12 F6Fs and 5 TBFs with my 12 bombers. We launched into a clear blue sky at about 1630 local time. We were in a gradual on-course climb indicating about 140 knots. This was not comfortable for the other aircraft types, but we had the fuel problem. We gradually climbed to about 15,000 feet. I got a whiff of smoke and said to my gunner Aviation Radioman 1/C D. J. Cawley, "Are you smoking?" He replied in the negative and said, "Skipper, I can smell it too." Then the cockpit began to fill with a heavy black smoke. "****. I think we are on fire!" Cawley waited awhile and offered the suggestion that perhaps some lube oil had been spilled and was beginning to burn off as the cylinders became heated. I hoped so. Here was our big chance and here I was with an engine fire. I said, "Cawley, you may be right. We're going on anyway." Within five minutes the smoke cleared up!

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Time Cover for June 19, 1944</span>

James Ramage of VB-10 continues:

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ships in Ozawa's Mobile Fleet turn sharply to evade US dive-bombing attacks the evening of 20 June.</span>

We continued on a westerly course. Strike groups were passing us until we were all alone in the rear of some 227 aircraft. We had our game plan. I began to even out the fuel in my wing tanks by shifting tanks about every fifteen minutes. I did not want to have an asymmetrical load in the dive. Also, we had been warned that one wanted at least some fuel in each tank. A completely empty tank was considered more likely to explode because of residual vapor.

About two hours out (300 miles) I sighted a strike group off to our port in an attack situation. Beneath them I could see four oilers and several escorts. I broke radio silence calling to Lt. Van Eason, our torpedo element leader, "85 Sniper from 41 Sniper. We will not attack. The Charlie Victors (carriers) are dead ahead." I then opened up on VHF guard channel saying, "Unknown Strike Leader from 41 Sniper. The carriers are dead ahead. What are you trying to do? Sink their merchant marine?" The other strike group continued on with the attack in spite of the information that the Japanese carriers were the prime targets. I was exasperated. I later found out that their commander stated that his SB2Cs were low on fuel! Who wasn't?

Radio discipline was not good. I could hear all sorts of completely unwarranted transmissions from over the target area. Well, at least the Japanese carriers were located.

Shortly, our strike group was picked up by the Japanese combat air patrol. Cawley informed me that there were several Zeros on our port quarter, high. Each time they would commence a run on the base element, our Air Group Commander, "Killer" Kane, would nose into them with his F6Fs. The Japanese would break off the attack. They had decided to wait until our most vulnerable time, the point of roll into the attack. At that time the bomber and torpedo formation integrity would be broken as each pilot made his dive. Bombing Squadron Ten did not dive from an echelon. Rather, during the high speed run-in, the wingman gradually drifted back until the division leader rolled in. This preserved the "V" formation for as long as possible, permitting the gunners to concentrate on an attack from the rear from either side. It was standard procedure for the low fighter cover to strafe ahead of the base element, and the high cover to strafe behind. The fighters would proceed to the rendezvous point to provide cover for the aircraft of the base element as they rejoined and formed a defensive formation.

The Japanese fleet was easy to locate; there were black AA puffs over a wide area - also some colored detonations. Soon, I could make out two carriers below and to port. It was just as we had been briefed. I took the closest carrier and Bangs' division took the second carrier in the middle task group. Eason's torpedo planes split between the two. The TBFs carried four 500-lb general purpose bombs, while the SBDs each carried one 1000-lb bomb: half general purpose and half semi armor piercing.

As I rolled in, I had a fine view of the carrier. I split my dive brakes at about 10,000 feet. Shortly thereafter I could hear Cawley's twin thirties chattering; then I looked over to the right and within five feet of me, passing below, was a Zero. The dive brakes had thrown him off aim. My dive was a good, standard 70? attack. At about 5000 feet I opened up with my two 50-caliber machine guns. The tracers were going directly into the forward elevator. The carrier was steaming into the wind. Allowing for the wind and target motion, I moved the pipper to just ahead of the bow of the carrier, and released at 1800 feet.

My First Division plus Van Eason's five TBMs dove on Ryuho. Bang's six plane division, upon sighting a third carrier, split into two sections with Bang's diving on Hiyo and Grubiss' section attacking Junyo. There is still doubt about which section hit which carrier. All three carriers in CarDiv Two were covered. None returned to battle during the war. Hiyo was sunk, and the damaged Junyo and Ryuho were broken up two years after the war in a Japanese shipyard. You will note that other U.S. squadrons registered hits on Carrier Division 2 as well.

I pulled out, easing down to about 300 feet and was immediately taken under fire by all sorts of ships - battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. Cawley yelled into his mike, "Skipper, look back. She's burning from ******* to appetite!" About that time there was so much stuff being thrown up at us that I just couldn't look back. Cawley then began telling me to climb or descend, depending on where the AA was aimed. We pulled out to the eastward. As soon as I was clear of the Japanese outer screen, I started a gentle turn to the left. It was about 1930 and beginning to get dark. I shortly had six of my birds, then three more. Several Zeros were about to make a run on us, but Kane's fighters shot down four or five. After three orbits, I knew that we'd have to start back to the task force. As I gave the hand signal indicating that we were squared away on our return course, we began to pick up all sorts of stragglers. As soon as they picked up our heading they added throttle and left us. They weren't going to get stuck with the SBD's 150-knot cruise speed.

Don Gordon of VF-10 describes the attack:

When we arrived over the enemy carriers, there were no other attacks in progress and no ships burning. I saw some Zeros to our left, but I did not see them move toward us.

As Jig Dog started his dive, my division dove with him. We were starting from at least 1000 feet above, so we had some catching up to do. As we started down, we were approaching the red line and very steep, so we did a descending barrel roll to the left to flatten out. I fired all six fifties in a strafing run on the port catwalk of the carrier.

I saw the first two SBDs drop their bombs while I was in my strafing run. They both hit right smack against the fantail of the carrier. I recovered to the east, southeast below 1500 feet, and eased down to sea level. I picked up Jig Dog immediately. The AA did not seem to be aimed at my group. When I looked back, I saw another bomb explode in the center of the flight deck just aft of the small island.

As we departed at very low altitude, heading for home, I saw a Zero heading in the opposite direction about 500 feet above us. I pulled up with my wingman for an upside down overhead. It worked. My wingman fired when I did at about 200 feet from the Zero's belly. The Zero blew apart, and we completed our loop, through the debris, to rejoin the formation for a long ride home.

We picked up searchlights about sixty miles from home plate. I knew that we were on the proper heading, since the ZB signal had been strong for some time, but it was reassuring to see the lights. I had Enterprise boresighted. We came directly over the ship. From 2000 feet I could see the recognition lights on the forward end of the starboard catwalk.

It was just after 2100. We had lots of fuel, so I orbited over the Big E until about 2215. I broke the division for landing, but the deck was foul on my approach. I extended my pattern to the left and landed on Lexington at about 2230, along with my wingman and section leader. My number four landed on Enterprise. We had been in the air for over six hours.

"Jig-Dog" Ramage resumes the narrative:

I turned on my running lights. The accompanying planes followed suit. It was quite a parade. I'm sure that this was all of the U.S. aircraft remaining in the target area. We arrived last, were the last to leave, and certainly would be the last back to our carriers. It was really quite cozy. The Wright 1820 engine was purring along through a quiet, black sky. Cawley was telling me what he had seen, because being the leader of a dive bombing attack is not a good place to observe results. He said that he was eyeball to eyeball with the Jap who had tried to shoot us down. My gunner thought that he was trying to ram us. He described the barrage of AA fire both enroute to and also following our drop. I was glad that I only saw a part of it. I ran out of gas in the auxiliary tanks so that anything I had was in the main cell. Cawley went over his ditching checkoff list and said that he was all ready, just in case. As I looked at my fuel gauges and chartboard, I felt we would make it. At least we would be close to our carrier force. I told Cawley, "Don't sweat it."

At about 2030 started the most miserable case of radio and air discipline imaginable. It would have been all right if people with genuine emergencies sounded off, but it seemed like many just transmitted in panic. Cawley picked up the discrete Enterprise radar beacon response, and I corrected course slightly to starboard. There was total silence in the Sniper flight.

Apparently several strike groups decided to make water landings together, the flight leaders taking them in as a group. I wondered - were they really that low on fuel - or were they afraid of the air traffic around the carriers, or even the night landings? Not all of the air groups had emphasized night carrier operations as our former CAG, Roscoe Newman, had insisted.

At 2100 Cawley had a good heading for the Big E: the ZB/YE signals were in the correct sector. I figured we were about 30 miles out from Task Group 58.3 and could see the loom of lights dead ahead. The panic was getting worse in the air. No small blame for the panic must go to the excessive number of lights on the ships. And some cruiser was firing starshells into the air - just what you need with a couple hundred planes in the area. Our problem wasn't finding the force, that was a piece of cake. With everything, including destroyers, lighting up it became a real mess!

By now we had received a transmission to land on any carrier available I wasn't about to lose the integrity of my formation, letting them mill around in confusion. At 2130 I brought the Sniper flight up the starboard side of Enterprise and broke the first section into the landing pattern. Cawley said, "Skipper, it looks like a crash on deck." I concurred, but knowing how fast Enterprise's flight deck crew worked, I hoped that by the time I came downwind, the deck would be clear. I could see our LSO, Hod Proulx, giving a slow wave-off signal. As we went up the port side I could see real trouble below on the flight deck, lights and a plane on its back.

At that time I called, "Sniper flight, our base has a foul deck. Pancake on any available base. This is 41 Sniper. Out."

I was flying in auto lean and did not go to high prop pitch for landing. We would need every ounce. By this time the noise had subsided, but there were still too many lights. I finally located what I believed to be a light carrier, but just as I was getting squared away on it, I looked dead ahead maybe two miles, and there was a big carrier. I was too high for a straight in, so I elected to make a normal carrier pass. Cawley advised me that we were alone in the pattern. The landing was smooth. As I taxied out of the gear, I was receiving frantic "wing fold" signals from each plane director. They didn't realize that SBD wings did not fold. I finally got into a parking spot forward of the barriers when a flight deck man jumped on my wing saying, "get the hell out of there!" It was obvious that he was afraid of a plane jumping the barrier. Cawley and I ran into the island structure. I asked, "What carrier?" "Yorktown," a crewman responded. My friend and squadron mate, LT (jg) Don "Hound Dog" Lewis, and gunner, John Mankin, met us. We hadn't seen them since the ready room six hours before. It was a long day!

No one seemed to know exactly what to do with us. In the ready room there was no debriefing. Really not much interest except great concern for their missing squadron mates. I guess I don't blame them, but hope that "visitors" on the Big E were better treated. We were finally taken down to the wardroom. I wasn't that hungry. There was no offer of medicinal spirits! It was very gloomy at 2300 in the Yorktown wardroom.

In a little while, Captain John Crommelin, Chief of Staff for RADM Ralph Davison, came in and sat down at the table. I was still pretty unhappy about the lack of radio and flight discipline, and told him so. He asked about results. I told him what my gunner had observed: one carrier burning and one apparently sinking. That was all that I could personally vouch for, and I really hadn't seen that. Crommelin said that there were reports of many more sinkings. I told him that I wasn't so sure about that. Perhaps Crommelin told someone that maybe I should be debriefed! A commander finally asked me about my flight. When I repeated what I knew, he said something about my not knowing how many hits Enterprise's group had made on the carriers. I didn't think it worthwhile to explain how you lead an attack, and how little the leader really sees. From the minute you sight the target, you are intent on getting in and setting your 18-20 planes up for a proper attack. You can't be concerned with sightseeing, nor deterred by enemy fighters or AA fire. My experience had been that once you commit the group, you get them on target and out as soon as you can. Jinking and flitting around the periphery is not conducive to a long and happy existence. Also, you screw up the dives by the rest of the attack group. I couldn't explain this to a debriefer who had not ever been shot at.

I was assigned a bunk in an empty two-man room of pilots who were missing on the raid. Sleep was impossible. I went through the sequence of the day's operation and could see no place where I had gone wrong. I was still unhappy. We should have done better.

I arose on June 21, wondering what lay ahead. I was advised that Lewis and I would be launched on a strike with the Yorktown group. Our SBDs could not keep up with the VB-1 SB2Cs, or if we did we'd run out of fuel. I wanted to go back to the Big E where I could organize my own attack. My log book shows a flight of 0.8 hours on 21 June: Yorktown to Enterprise. Upon landing I discovered that two of VF-10's F6Fs were missing, including CAG Kane (rescued), and only one of my 12 SBDs was missing (Bangs). My exec, Ira Hardman, had taken off earlier on a strike/search mission. If there was another strike, I would lead it, but the Japanese fleet was at least 400 miles away, hightailing it for home, streaming oil from the carriers still afloat. They had gotten away!

After talking with the ship's exec, Tom Hamilton, I went to the flag bridge to brief RADM "Black Jack" Reeves on the strike. I told him that I didn't think the damage claims by the various groups were valid. We had been the last ones in the area and we hadn't seen the burning hulks as claimed. It turned out later that we had done better, thanks to our submarines that sank two carriers. In addition to the two that we claimed had sunk, there were three or four more pretty badly beaten up. And, of course, most of their aircraft were gone after the "Turkey Shoot" on 19 June, plus the seventy-odd that they lost on the 20th trying to defend their force.

When I told Reeves about the strike group bombing the oilers, he really flipped his lid. He asked me who it was; I told him. Fortunately for the strike leader, he was not from TG 58.3. He would have been relieved immediately.

Lt. Lou Bangs and gunner were returned by the rescuing destroyer. His views were about the same as mine. He had run out of gas in the groove to the carrier landing. That afternoon we went up to receive CAG Kane when he was highlined over from the destroyer that picked him up. He had black eyes under black eyes. He had been shot down by our own amphibious forces on 15 June, and had barely returned to get in on the strike. I said, "Killer, what the hell happened?" He responded, "Everyone was running out of gas, but I ran out of altitude." He had flown into the water! He picked up 13 more stitches in his head.

The Consequences

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher on the bridge of his flagship Lexington CV-16 during the Marianas campaign.</span>

Japanese losses were three fleet carriers and two oilers sunk. Damaged were two heavy carriers, two light carriers and an oiler. Zuikaku, though heavily damaged, was repaired in time to be sunk along with Chiyoda (also damaged), Chitose and Zuiho on 25 October, north of the Philippines by our carrier planes. Junyo and Ryuho did not re-appear at that time, and were broken up after the war by the Japanese.

Only 35 of the original 430 aircraft remained on the carriers fleeing for the homeland. Counting land-based air, the Japanese lost 476 planes and 445 pilots. The pilot loss was critical. Heavy losses at Midway and the Guadalcanal campaign had never been replaced. The loss of the relatively untrained pilots in this battle left the few remaining carriers ineffective. We lost 36 pilots and 40 crewmen for a total of 76. The two day battle cost us 126 carrier planes.

Our aircraft losses during the attack on the Japanese fleet were heavy. We suffered only 17 combat losses, but the operational costs were high: 79. Almost all of these were due to fuel exhaustion. Although a 330 mile strike was beyond our combat radius, I have always felt that losses need not have been that great. Total losses of SB2Cs were 43 out of 51, or 84%. The venerable SBD with less range had losses of 4 out of 26, or 15%.

When our task group entered port in Eniwetok on 9 July, I was summoned by ADM Mitscher to visit him on his flagship, USS Lexington. While I had met him when he presented medals to us, I didn't know quite what to expect. As I entered his in-port cabin, he arose and came to the door to meet me. I remember those blue eyes looking at me. Right off I could feel the warmth that he had for his pilots. His first words were, "Tell your boys that they did a good job." We then proceeded to go into details about the strike. It became obvious that what he wanted was information on the relative performance of the two SBD squadrons - VB-10 and VB-16 - compared to the SB2C squadrons. He mentioned that we had more hits with far fewer losses. I mentioned that Air Group 10 was night qualified. I refrained from expressing some rather subjective views which I think were quite obvious to him. A discussion ensued about returning to the SBD as standard equipment for the bomber squadrons. I told the Admiral that so far as the pilots were concerned, there would be no difficulty. The staff pointed out the logistical problems, which were insurmountable in the forward area because of time. I left the cabin feeling that ADM Mitscher certainly knew aviation. It was a wonderful experience.

My feelings were similar to Admiral Mitscher's: "The enemy escaped. He had been hurt badly by one aggressive carrier strike at the one time he was within range. His fleet was not sunk." We were all disappointed.

This battle has been somewhat neglected by history. It was the biggest carrier battle of the war. A total of 24 carriers and 1861 aircraft were involved. Results were of greater consequence than we had thought. When the sun went down in the Philippine Sea on 20 June, it meant the end of Japanese aspirations in the Pacific. The two day battle had shorn the Japanese Navy of its most potent weapon: air power.

-HH- Beebop
06-20-2005, 05:11 PM
to borrow one of your phrases.....mint! excellent post sir! Amazing stories! Thanx and a hat tip.

20 June

On the Western Front... Lyons and Vichy are captured.

In the Norwegian Sea... The German battle cruiser Gneisenau is seriously damaged in a torpedo attack by the British submarine Clyde off Trondheim.

In France... The French delegation sets out for the armistice talks which are to be held at Compiegne in the same railroad carriage and on the same site as the negotiations which ended World War I.

In Washington... President Roosevelt strengthens his Cabinet by bringing in two prominent Republicans. Henry Stimson becomes Secretary for War and Frank Knox becomes Secretary for the Navy. Stimson is strongly against America's isolationist tradition and will be a champion of Lend-Lease.

In Tallin... Estonia meets Soviet demands for a new government and territorial adjustments.
French soldiers are lead into captivity by German guards

In the North Atlantic... A German U-boat sights the American battleship Texas
within the area that Germany has declared is the operational area for U-boats. However, after checking with the U-boat command, the Texas is not attacked.
German sub commander looks through the periscope

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Battleship TEXAS is the last surviving U.S. Navy battleship to serve in both World Wars and is the world's only remaining battleship patterned after HMS DREADNOUGHT. The most powerful weapon in the world when commissioned in 1914, TEXAS became the nation's first museum battleship when the Navy towed her to a permanent berth near Houston, Texas and transferred her to the state, in San Jacinto Day ceremonies on April 21, 1948. TEXAS has since earned designations as a National Historic Engineering Landmark (1975) and a National Historic Landmark (1977).
Construction History

The TEXAS is the last of the battleships, patterned after HMS Dreadnought, that participated in World War (WW) I and II. She was launched on May 18, 1912 from Newport News, Virginia. When the USS TEXAS was commissioned on March 12,1914, she was the most powerful weapon in the world, the most complex product of an industrial nation just beginning to become a force in global events.

In 1916, TEXAS became the first U.S. battleship to mount antiaircraft guns and the first to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers, analog forerunners of today's computers.
(for more information on the Texas's 16" guns, go here:
http://www.navweaps.com/ Weapons/WNUS_12-35_mk1.htm )

In 1919, TEXAS became the first U.S. battleship to launch an aircraft.

In 1925, the TEXAS underwent major modifications. She was converted to oil-fired boilers, tripod masts and a single stack were added to the main deck, and the 5" guns that bristled from her sides were reduced in number and moved to the main deck to minimize problems with heavy weather and high seas. Blisters were also added as protection against torpedo attack.

The TEXAS received the first commercial radar in the US Navy in 1939. New antiaircraft batteries, fire control and communication equipment allowed the ship to remain an aging but powerful unit in the US naval fleet. In 1940, Texas was designated flagship of US Atlantic Fleet. The First Marine Division was founded aboard the TEXAS early in 1941. April 21, 1948 the Texas was decommissioned.

The TEXAS holds the distinguished designation of a National Historic Landmark and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

After being commissioned the TEXAS proceeded almost immediately to Mexican waters where she joined the Special Service Squadron following the "Vera Cruz Incident." She returned to the Atlantic Fleet operations in the fall of 1914, after the Mexican crisis was resolved.

After the US entered WW I, she spent the year 1917 training gun crews for merchant ships that were often attacked by gunfire from surfaced submarines. TEXAS joined the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet early in 1918. Operating out of Scapa Flow and the Firth of Forth, TEXAS protected forces laying a North Sea mine barrage, responded to German High Seas Fleet sorties, fired at submarine periscopes observed by multiple ships and helped prevent enemy naval forces from interrupting the supply of Allied forces in Europe. Late in 1918 she escorted the German Fleet en route to its surrender anchorage and escorted President Wilson to peace talks in France.

In 1919, she served as a plane guard and navigational reference for the first transatlantic flight by the seaplane NC-4, after which she transferred to the Pacific Fleet. Among other notables, she embarked President Coolidge for a trip to Cuba in 1928.

In 1941 while on "Neutrality Patrol" in the Atlantic, TEXAS was stalked unsuccessfully by the German submarine U-203. TEXAS escorted Atlantic convoys against potential attack by German warships after America entered into WW II in December, 1941. In 1942, TEXAS transmitted General Eisenhower's first "Voice of Freedom" broadcast, asking the French not to oppose Allied landings on North Africa. The appeal went unheeded and the TEXAS provided gunfire support for the amphibious assault on Morocco, putting Walter Cronkite ashore to begin his career as a war correspondent. After further convoy duty, the TEXAS fired on Nazi defenses at Normandy on "D-Day," June 6, 1944. Shortly afterwards, she was hit twice in a duel with German coastal defense artillery near Cherbourg, suffering one fatality and 13 wounded. Quickly repaired, she shelled Nazi positions in Southern France before transferring to the Pacific where she lent gunfire support and antiaircraft fire to the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

In Finland... All reservists under the age of 45 are called up.

On the Eastern Front... Engaging in bitter street fighting with the Soviets, the Germans reach the harbor in Sevastopol.
German assault gun in Sevastopol

In North Africa... Rommel's assault on Tobruk begins. His plan is to attack in the southeast with the German 15th Panzer, 21st Panzer Divisions and the Italian Ariete Division and drive through to the harbor. General Kesselring has sent all available bomber support from the Mediterranean. The attack begins with the bombing campaign in the morning and by early evening, German forces have reached the harbor.

In the Mediterranean... British King George VI visits Malta.
British King George VI at Malta

In New Guinea... US General Krueger establishes 6th Army headquarters at Milne Bay. There is an unsuccessful Japanese attack on the 17th Australian Brigade in the Mubo area.

Over Germany... RAF bombers attack Friedrichshaven during the night (June 20-21) and fly on to air bases in Africa as part of a "shuttle-service" attack.

On the Western Front... Elements of the US 1st Army advance to about 5 miles of Cherbourg and begin to encounter heavier resistance.
American soldier in position just outside of Cherbourg

In Italy... The British 8th Army continues to advance. British 6th Armored Division captures Perugia.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of the Soviet Leningrad Front capture Viipuri.

In the Philippine Sea... The Japanese fleet withdraws to refuel, believing that their aircraft have landed safely on Guam. US Task Force 58 (Admiral Mitscher) launches an air strike on the Japanese fleet in the late afternoon. The 216 American aircraft encounter 35 defending fighters and sink the carrier Hiyo. Two other Japanese aircraft carriers are damaged as are a battleship and a cruiser. US loses amount to 20 planes shot down and 72 crashing while attempting to land on their carriers in the dark. During the night, the Japanese fleet withdraws and are not pursued.

In New Guinea... On Biak, there is fighting among the Japanese-held caves in the west of the island. The airfields and villages at Borokoe and Sorido are overrun by American forces.

In the Mariana Islands... The US 5th Amphibious Corps continues operations on Saipan. The US 27th Division clears the south of the island while the US 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions advance northward.

In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, Japanese resistance along the center of the line, held by the US 24th Corps, continues to be strong. The US 32nd Infantry Regiment (US 7th Division) reaches Height 89, near Mabuni, where the Japanese headquarters have been identified. On the flanks, the American Marines on the right and the infantry on the left advance virtually unopposed, capturing over 1000 Japanese and reaching the southern coast of the island at several points. The scale of surrenders is unprecedented for the forces of the Imperial Army.

In the Philippines... On Luzon, Filipino guerrillas advance up the Cagayan valley from Aparri and liberate the town of Tuguegarao. The American regimental task force enters Aparri while elements of the US 37th Division advances 2.5 miles north of Ilagan. Meanwhile, the US 8th Army headquarters announces that operations to recapture the islands of Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Palawan, as well as the western part of Mindanao, are completed.
Over Wake Island... US Task Group 12.4 (Admiral Jennings) with the carriers Lexington, Hancock and Cowpens conduct air raids on Japanese positions. The carriers are en route to join US Task Force 38.

In China... The Allies agree on a plan to capture Fort Bayard (now Zhanijang), on the South China Sea, by August 1st. The area is intended to serve as a base for operations against Japanese held Hong Kong and Canton.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, Australian forces land at Lutong in eastern Sarawak.

In London... The Polish government in exile denies the right of the Soviets to try the Polish ministers who had flown to Moscow and were arrested.

06-21-2005, 01:42 AM
500 posts. Wahoo!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif (501 if you count this one) And still not a sticky http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

06-21-2005, 04:49 AM
On this day of June 21 1942...

I know this is not Quite WW2 History... but since it is the first day of Summer... well at lest here in the Northern Hemisphere.
Also here is the Movie Openings for... Dam Buster's, Air Cadet, Navy Bound and Etc.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Published on June 21, 1942</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Published on August 12, 1943</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Published on July 2, 1948</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Published on July 4, 1948</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Published on June 17, 1951</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Published on June 20, 1951</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Published on June 24, 1951</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Published on August 26, 1955</span>

06-21-2005, 06:25 AM
Also on this Day of June 21 1942...


In North Africa... The garrison at Tobruk surrenders. 30,000 prisoners are taken by the Germans, but more importantly the huge storehouse of food and fuel fall into the German hands. More than 3,000,000 rations and 500,000 gallons of gasoline replenish the Afrika Korps meager supplies. Rommel requests and receives permission to continue the drive to Egypt over the objections of Kesselring who wishes to focus German forces on Malta with Operation Hercules.

From Berlin... Hitler promotes General Rommel to Field Marshall in recognition of the successes of the Afrika Korps.

In Washington... Churchill receives the news of the fall of Tobruk while meeting with US President Roosevelt. FDR immediately offers aid and 300 Sherman tanks and 100 self-propelled guns are immediately dispatched to North Africa. The better equipment will make a difference in the British performance at El Amien.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The part of the story that sometimes gets lost in the bigger saga of the Siege is the fact that Australians helped capture Tobruk in the first place. They evicted Mussolini's "famous" defenders with little trouble. This is the town's official flag, liberated from the Town Hall. </span>

War in the Desert!

01/01/1942 British forces take Bardia, along with 8,000 Axis prisoners.
06/01/1942 Rommel's battered forces reach the Tripolitanian frontier having evaded all British attempts to cut them off.
12/01/1942 British capture Sollum.
17/01/1942 The last German garrison at Halfaya in Cyrenaica surrenders, with about 5,500 prisoners taken.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The view from air on fortress of Tobruk in 1941 . </span>

19/01/1942 Two Axis transports, the Mongevino and Ankara land 45 German tanks at Benghazi as reinforcement, while axis forces evacuate the city.
20/01/1942 British troops capture Benghazi.
21/01/1942 Without consulting higher authority, Rommel launches a counter-offensive against the 8th Army. The 21st Panzer Division quickly seizes Mersa Brega, while the 15th Panzer Division advances to Wadi Faregh and swings north towards Agedabia, brushing aside the attempts by the 1st Armoured Division to stop them.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The heaviest Italian guns (called by British "Bardia Bill") which attacked convoys and the harbour of Tobruk .</span>

22/01/1942 Rommels command is redesignated as Panzer Army Afrika. German panzers capture Agedabia and trap part of the British 1st Armoured Division in the Antelat - Sannu area, destroying about 70 of its tanks.
23/01/1942 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.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Men of the 2/13 Battalion on the perimeter. Note the total absence of geographical high points. The land was very flat in most cases.</span>

25/01/1942 German troops capture Msus, which threatens the 4th Indian Divisions position at Benghazi. Lieutenant General Ritchie, orders the 4th Indian Division to withdraw to a line running from Derna to Mechili, but this order is countermanded by General Auchinleck who wanted the 8th Army to counter-attack. However, the 8th Army was to widely dispersed and Rommels forces were advancing too quickly.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Polish Light machine gun in the defence nest in Tobruk.</span>

27/01/1942 German troops launch a feint attack from Msus, towards Mechili. This successfully deceives the British in to believing that the Germans will attempt cut the coast road far to the east of Benghazi and so they begin to hurriedly evacuate the 4th Indian Division from Benghazi along the coast road.
29/01/1942 German forces capture Benghazi, along with a large quantity of supplies.
30/01/1942 The 4th Indian Division continues to withdraw along the coast road towards Derna.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">British Mk.2 Matilda tanks.</span>

02/02/1942 The commander of the British XIII Corps, Godwin-Austen, resigns as a result of Lieutenant General Ritchie bypassing him and dealing direct with his divisional commanders.
04/02/1942 The Afrika Korps recaptures Derna. Hahas Pasha forms a new Egyptian Cabinet, becomes the Military Governor and dissolves Parliament the next day.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Tobruk on the Mediterranean
One of the finest seaports on the coast and an important trade and transportation center, Tobruk was captured by the Italians in 1911 and became part of their African colonial empire.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Italian built concrete trenches in the desert.
During World War II it was captured by the Australians in January 1941 and was besieged and bombed by the Germans under Erwin Rommel, until relieved by the British in December. </span>

07/02/1942 After just over 2 weeks of frenetic action, Rommel's counter-offensive comes to a halt in front of the Gazala line, a series of self supporting fortified boxes running south from Gazala for a 100 miles to Bir Hacheim. Although not complete, it presents too much of an obstacle for the Afrika Korps who by this time are running low on fuel and reserves.
26/02/1942 Churchill exhorts General Auchinleck to launch an offensive against the German and Italian forces that are gathering in front of the Gazala line. He reminds Auchinleck that the longer he waits, the more time Rommel will have to rebuild his strength. To this General Auchinleck reply's that his intention is to first build up an armoured striking force as quickly as possible and strengthen the defenses of the Gazala line. Only then would he mount a major offensive, which he advised Churchill would be in early June.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">1st Rats of Tobruk medal </span>

06/04/1942 Axis bombers attack the port of Alexandria in Egypt.

05/05/1942 British forces land at Diego Suarez and Antsirene on Vichy French held Madagascar in an pre-emptive strike to stop the Japanese from using it as an advanced base.
07/05/1942 Vichy French resistance ends in Madagascar.
26/05/1942 The battle for the Gazala line begins (Operation Venezia), as the Afrika Korps thrusts south with 560 tanks and around the southern end of the Eighth Army's defensive positions towards Tobruk. However the Free French forces at Bir Hacheim manage hold up this advance.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Polish artilery point opposite Medauar Hill.</span>

27/05/1942 The Afrika Korps, having pushed round the British defenses, move northeast. They are engaged by elements of the British 1st and 7th Armoured Divisions. Many tank losses were taken by both sides, although as the battle went on the British armour became increasingly scattered. The Italian Ariete Armoured Division continued to meet stiff resistance from the Free French at Bir Hacheim, while the Italian Trieste Motorised Division further north, found itself grinding through minefields under heavy fire as a result of a navigation error.
28/05/1942 Heavy fighting continues at the southern end of the Gazala line, although by now Rommel's forces are beginning to run out of fuel and his tanks are becoming scattered. In order to shorten his supply lines he decides to punch a hole through the Gazala line.
30/05/1942 The Afrika Korps take up defensive positions in the 'Cauldron' in readiness for their attempt to punch through the Gazala line.
31/05/1942 The battle of the 'Cauldron' begins as Rommel attacks the fortified box in the Gazala line that is held by the 150th Brigade of the British 50th Division. The Italians attack from the west as elements of the Afrika Korps attack from the east. Meanwhile Rommel's anti-tank gunners, repulse a number of British armoured counter-attacks against his position in the 'Cauldron'. However, Lieutenant General Ritchie is hampered by his inability to concentrate his armour and so is unable to relieve the 150th Brigade.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Nigth****ch on the desert nearby Tobruk.</span>

01/06/1942 Rommel takes the fortified €˜box€ that is held by the British 150th Brigade in the Gazala defensive line and secures the 'Cauldron'. This enables him to get much needed supplies flowing. Rommel now turns the German 90th Light Division and the Italian Ariete Armoured Division against Bir Hacheim in an attempt to wipe out the Free French garrison which still holds out. He also distracts the British by sending the 21st Panzer Division northeast to operate nearer to Tobruk.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">a monument to war in the desert</span>

05/06/1942 The Eighth Army launches a counter-attack against the Afrika Korps forces that are inside the 'Cauldron. This is codenamed 'Aberdeen', but went disastrously wrong from the start, with an infantry tank brigade being destroyed in minefields and an Indian infantry brigade attacking the wrong positions. This left the remainder of the force, the 22nd Armoured Brigade to be repulsed easily by the untouched German defenses. British losses for this operation were 150 tanks, 133 guns and 6,000 troops. At this point in the battle, the British forces in the northern part of the Gazala line (1st South African and the remainder of the British 50th Division), were still in a strong position and so General Auchinleck and Lieutenant General Ritchie decide to hold the line facing south from the Knightsbridge defensive box to El Adem with the remainder of their infantry and tank forces and wait for Rommel's next move.
10/06/1942 German and Italian troops finally captures Bir Hacheim from the Free French, which had been totally cut off since the 26th May 1942.


12/06/1942 Rommel, having now brought up tank reserves, could now muster 124 tanks against the 248 British tanks. He therefore attacked the British positions between Knightsbridge and El Adem, trapping much of the British armour.
13/06/1942 German tanks and anti-tank batteries destroy 138 British tanks in and around the Knightsbridge pocket. This left the Eighth Army with only 75 armoured vehicles operational and threatened the main British supply route along the Trigh Capuzzo, which in turn threatened the 1st South African and British 50th Division which were still defending the northern part of the Gazala line. Lieutenant General Ritchie, without informing General Auchinleck, who wanted to hold west of Tobruk, ordered these two divisions to pull back towards Tobruk.
14/06/1942 Auchinleck tells Ritchie that Tobruk must be held, a fact that Churchill reiterates to him. The Eighth Army now holds a line directly in front of Tobruk, running from the coast to Acroma, then southeast to El Adem and then directly south to Bir El Gobi.
15/06/1942 Rommel launches an attack against Eighth Army's new defensive line, but is repulsed. However, General Norrie was worried that XXX Corps lacked sufficient tanks to defend this line for very long.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">gen. W"adys"aw Sikorski the commander-in-chief PSZ visited the soldiers of Carpathian Brigade in Tobruk.</span>

16/06/1942 Lieutenant General Ritchie gives General Norrie permission to withdraw XXX Corps past Tobruk and as far as Mersa Matruh to re-equip. General Gott's XIII is ordered to take up defensive positions on the Egyptian frontier. This left the city exposed to another siege, for which its defenses were inadequate, having been allowed to deteriorate during the winter.
17/06/1942 The Eighth Army's withdrawal reaches the Egyptian frontier, leaving behind the 2nd South African Division to form the basis of a 30,000 strong garrison at Tobruk.
18/06/1942 Rommel isolates Tobruk by cutting the coast road at Gambut. The cities position is made worse after the desert air force loses its forward airfields as so is unable to give much assistance to its defenders. The Eighth Army evacuates Sidi Rezegh and El Adem.
19/06/1942 Rommel launches a surprise attack from the southeast against Tobruk. This throw's the garrison into confusion which allows German troops to breach the outer defenses.
21/06/1942 Tobruk falls to the Germans, who capture 32,000 prisoners, 2,000 tons of fuel, 5,000 tons of food and 2,000 vehicles.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">This medal issued by the Rats of Tobruk Association. That makes it un-official. It is however recognised. </span>


About our most pressing problem was the shortage of water ... The trouble was that during the movement of fighting forces up and down the coastline the few water-wells, such as they were, had been well salted several times by the Germans and by our own forces, to deny the water to the enemy... Groups of men living in neighbouring fox-holes would save up what little might be left in their water bottles at the end of the day, pour the dregs into half a petrol tin kept for the purpose, and boil this over a fire made by half-filling another petrol tin with sand, soaking it with petrol and setting light to it. We could get dry tea from the cookhouse but of course there was no milk, not even condensed, nor any sugar. We got over the latter problem in a somewhat unusual way.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Rommel with 15ª Panzer Division between Tobruk and Sidi Omar </span>

About once a fortnight a NAAFI van, greatly daring, would creep up from civilisation, wherever that was, and sell sweets, cigarettes, chocolates and tins of beer. We would buy boiled sweets so that when we made the concoction called tea we could solemnly ask ourselves, "What do we sweeten it with tonight chaps? We had lemon drops last time. How about pineapple tonight?"...Another casualty of the continual heat was the bully beef, which was about all we had to eat with "hard tack", or biscuits like tiles with no taste at all. When the tin of bully beef was opened in the heat of the day it slopped out into one's mess tin like lumpy stew, and was immediately coated with a film of sand - there was always a dusty breeze blowing. Not only sand; the stuff was immediately attacked by flies, so persistent it was impossible to wave them off. The flies were a nightmare, bringing sand-fly fever and desert sores; which were ulcers made by the flies' tiny maggots eating holes in one's flesh, very painful and only cured by having a white powder called sulphanilomide poured over it by a medical orderly and covered by a dressing. I have the scars on my legs and arms to this day.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Polish "carriers" on the way from Tobruk.</span>

The only way we could approximate to an overall bath, shower or rub-down was as follows: Two chaps were involved. One stripped off and had a bar of soap and a flannel within handy reach. The other poured water very sparingly from a water bottle into the open palms of his companion, who smoothed it over his body using an occasional rub of the soap. It is truly surprising how little water is needed, used in this way, to cover oneself completely with lather and wash it off with the flannel...


After some months in these desert conditions one's shirts got dark with sweat each day. There was no hope of washing them, water was much too precious. The shirts got darker and encrusted with dust and eventually disintegrated. At this point it was usually possible to get a replacement shirt from the quartermaster.


The climate in the desert doesn't change a lot. One day is much like another. One gets used to the heat, and during the many months I spent in the desert we had no rain at all. The surface is covered with a thick layer of dust which rose in choking clouds when a vehicle went by. Occasionally a strong hot wind blows, and this can be acutely painful, as the blown sand scratches one's face, arms and knees like sandpaper, leaving these areas red and sore.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">plaque commemorating the battles near Tobruk</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Rats of TOBRUK Memorial Canberra</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Commonwealth Cemetery</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A monument to the Australian lives lost</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">building commemorating the German dead</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Polish Vet's of "The Rats of Tobruk" marching in Hobart England</span>

06-21-2005, 06:30 AM
Thank's -HH- Beebop... Great story about the USS TEXAS.
One of the Few ships left from the Hay Day's of the Battleships.

06-21-2005, 07:11 AM
-HH-Dubbo... And it's 505! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
Thank's for your Support and I'm Glad you have enjoyed Our Posting on this Tread.

-HH- Beebop
06-21-2005, 07:35 AM
I really enjoy reading the memoirs of those who were actually there. It brings history to life. I remember reading a book by British comedian and Goon Squad member Spike Mulligan about his experience in North Africa during WWII. Hellish place. Sand fly fever yecch! Thanks Woofiedog.

21 June

On the Western Front... There are Italian attacks in some of the Alpine passes which are easily beaten off despite the weakness of the French forces which are left in these areas.
French alpine trooper watching the Italian border

In Occupied France... The German armistice terms are given to the French delegation. The Germans will permit no discussion. In addition to the provisions for establishing a vestigial French state and for demobilizing the French armed forces there are stringent financial clauses. The French representatives are allowed to consult briefly with their government.

In London... RV Jones, who heads British Scientific Intelligence, gives evidence to an important investigating committee concerning a German radio navigation aid code named Knickebein. Churchill gives orders for countermeasures to be developed. Vital progress in this field is soon made and plays a large part in mitigated the effects of the German Blitz in the coming months. Henry Tizard, who, more than any other, has been responsible for organizing the British use of radar, resigns because his advice is disregarded. His resignation confirms the position of the less reliable Frederick Lindmann (Lord Cherwell) as Churchill's principal scientific advisor.

In Syria... Damascus falls to the Allied forces after the Vichy French garrison has been evacuated. Habforce begins to advance into Syria from Iraq.

In East Africa... British forces take Jimma, southwest of Addis Ababa. About 15,000 prisoners are taken. Although Jimma has been General Gazzera's main base, he escapes capture with a small part of his force. A further 4000 prisoners were taken earlier after an action at crossings of the Omo River, and many more were rounded up in smaller groups.

(To supplement Woofiedog's post on the fall of Tobruk...)
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">June 21st, 1942...Early in the morning, Maj. Gen. Klopper, CO of
2 South African Division in Tobruk, signals Egypt, "Am sending
mobile troops out tonight. Not possible to hold out tomorrow.
Mobile troops nearly nought. Enemy captured vehicles. Will resist
to last man and round."
8th Army commander Gen. Neil Ritchie signals back, "Every
day and hour of resistance materially assists our cause. I cannot
tell tactical situation and must therefore leave you to act on
your own judgment regarding capitulation."
Klopper signals, "Situation shambles. Terrible casualties
would result. Am doing the worst. Petrol destroyed."
Ritchie: "Whole of 8th Army has watched with admiration your
gallant fight. You are an example to us all and I know South
Africa will be proud of you. God bless you and may fortune favour
your efforts wherever you be."
In a last effort, gallant attempts are made to destroy
stores stockpiled in Tobruk. Troops smash petrol drums and let
fluid soak into the sand until the gasoline rots their boots and
the fumes overcome them. Men hurl armored cars over cliffs into
the sea.
At 5 a.m., Rommel drives into town. "Practically every
building of the dismal place was either flat or little more than
a heap of rubble, mostly the result of our siege of 1941. Next I
drove off along the Coast Road to the west. The staff of 32
British Army Tank Brigade offered to surrender, which brought us
30 serviceable tanks. Vehicles stood inflames on either side of
the Via Balbia. Wherever one looked there was chaos and
At 6:30 a.m., Klopper sends out parlementaires under a white
flag to offer to surrender. As a white flag goes up over 6
Brigade HQ, the South African MPs give a moan that is a
combination of anguish and misery.
At 9:40 a.m., Rommel meets Klopper, who announces the
capitulation. Rommel tells Klopper to follow him in his own car
back to Tobruk, driving past Afrika Korps vehicles and thousands
of South African and British PoWs. At the Hotel Tobruk (still
miraculously standing) the two generals work out the surrender.
Rommel tells Klopper to make himself and his officers responsible
for order among the PoWs, and organize their maintenance from
captured stores. However, as Rommel is angry at the South African
efforts to destroy the fuel, he won't let the PoWs change their
clothes until his tanks have left Tobruk.
Klopper sends out officers to tell his scattered positions
to give up. The 2/7th Gurkha Rifles and 2nd Cameron Highlanders
are among the last to surrender, doing so around dusk.
Small parties make their way to safety. Maj. Sainthill of
the Coldstream Guards leads 387 men to Allied lines. But 33,000
men face PoW cages, 19,000 Britons, 9,000 white South Africans,
the rest Indian and African native.
Rommel also captures 2,000 tons of petrol, 5,000 more of
provisions, abundant quantities of ammunition (including German
and Italian types), and almost 2,000 serviceable vehicles. He
also gains an important (if damaged) port, and a water-filtration
plant. These supplies are enough to fuel Rommel's continued drive
to Egypt.
The 8th Army has been outgeneralled, outmaneuvered, and
outfought. Its tired veterans and brash newcomers have failed to
learn tactical lessons. British tank officers still make cavalry-
style charges while German tanks concentrate and wait behind an
artillery screen until the coup de grace.
The Afrika Korps raid the British supply dumps, spurning
their "Alte Mann" -- Italian sausage, labelled A.M. -- in favor
of British beer, South African pineapples, Australian bully beef,
Irish potatoes, and American cigarettes. German troops swap out
their worn clothing with superior British khaki.
Rommel reports laconically, "Fortress Tobruk has
capitulated. All units will reassemble and prepare for further
advances." His German casualties since May 26 are 3,360, about 15
percent of the Afrika Korps' strength. Italian losses are
somewhat less. However, the Afrika Korps has lost 300 officers, a
drain on its leadership cadre.
In Germany there is jubilation over Rommel's triumph.
Swedish journalist Arvid Fredborg reports that Germans believe
they might actually win the war. Rommel's detractors in Italy and
Germany hail the victory.
Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, boss of the Luftwaffe in
the Mediterranean, flies to Rommel's headquarters to congratulate
the Afrika Korps and plan the next move. Rommel wants to maintain
the advance into Egypt, using the captured supplies at Tobruk to
fuel the drive. Kesselring points out that an advance into Egypt
cannot succeed without full Luftwaffe support. And the Luftwaffe
is committed to Operation Theseus, the invasion of Malta. If
Theseus is delayed, Malta might recover from its pounding, and
jeopardize Rommel's supply lines.
Rommel, like many German -- and some Allied -- field
commanders, is not an expert on logistics. German general staff
planning has insisted that quartermaster and ordnance officers
meet tactical, operational, and strategic requirements,
regardless of the supply situation.
Rommel disagrees with Kesselring emphatically. He admits the
Afrika Korps has taken casualties at Gazala, but the 8th Army is
in worse shape. A delay of even a few weeks could give the
British time to regroup and bring in new forces, which, like 2nd
NZ Division, are on their way. The two officers reach no
But Rommel has made up his mind irrevocably. In the evening,
he fires a message of to Rome assuring Mussolini that "the state
and morale of the troops, the present supply situation owing to
captured dumps, and the present weakness of the enemy, permit our
pursuing him into the depths of the Egyptian area." He also sends
a personal liaison officer to Hitler.
The Fuhrer studies the arguments of both Rommel and the
Italian and German naval staffs, and Kesselring. The navies and
air forces, backed by the Italian high command, want to launch
the assault on Malta. But Hitler signals to Mussolini that "it is
only once in a lifetime that the Goddess of Victory smiles" and
the Malta attack is postponed until September. Rommel is given
the green light to invade Egypt.

Winston Churchill is in Washington, when Tobruk falls. He
reads the message while talking with President Roosevelt, and
later writes, "This was one of the heaviest blows I can recall
during the war. Not only were military effects grim, but it
affected the reputation of British arms...Defeat is one thing;
disgrace is another."
After digesting the message, Churchill silently hands it to
FDR, who also reads it quietly. Finally Roosevelt says, "What can
we do to help?"

After Tobruk falls, 4 NZ Brigade arrives at Mersa Matruh.

Vichy French Minister Pierre Laval expresses hope for German
victory in a broadcast to the French people.
</span> -David H. Lippman

In the Solomon Islands... On New Georgia, the 4th Marine Raider Battalion lands at Segi Point in the south. There is no Japanese garrison there.
Marines disembarking off the coast of New Georgia

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of the Karelian Front (Meretskov) launch new attacks toward Finland, north of Lake Ladoga. The 7th Separate Army (General Krutikov) advances against the Finnish 6th Corps. Soviet forces also occupy the islands off the Karelian Isthmus.
Soviet infantry attacking in the north

In Italy... The British 8th Army advance reaches the German-held Albert Line at Chiusi, to the west of Trasimeno Lake.

In the Philippines... On Luzon, the last Japanese-held port, Aparri, falls to American forces. The American regimental task force make contact with Filipino guerrillas.
In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, the Japanese headquarters on Hill 89 is taken by the forces of the US 32nd Infantry Regiment, part of US 7th Division. The body of General Ushijima, commanding the Japanese 32nd Army is found nearby.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, in the north there is a new landing by the Australian 9th Division. Labaum Island is report to be secured.

In Moscow... Twelve of 16 Poles on trial in Moscow are found guilty of engaging in "underground activities."

-HH- Beebop
06-22-2005, 06:06 AM
22 June

In Occupied France... General Huntziger, who leads the French delegation, signs the armistice with Germany in the Compiegne railroad carriage specially taken out of its museum. It is perhaps appropriate that Huntziger, who led the 2nd Army at Sedan at the start of the campaign, should be involved in the final act. The French forces which have been driven out of the Maginot Line but are still resisting, finally surrender on Weygand's order.
Franco-German armistice being signed

In Riga... Latvia meets Soviet demands for a new government and territorial adjustments. There have been Soviet garrisons based in the Baltic states since October 1939.

On the Eastern Front... Operation Barbarossa, the German attack on the Soviet Union, begins. Despite the massive preparations spread over many months and the numerous indications Stalin receives from many sources, the Soviet forces are taken almost completely by surprise and lose very heavily in the first encounters. The Germans have assembled almost 140 of their own divisions, including 17 Panzer and 13 motorized divisions. These forces are organized in three army groups: Army Group North (Field Marshal Leeb), Army Group Center (Field Marshal Bock) and Army Group South (Field Marshal Rundstedt). Altogether, the Germans deploy over 3,000,000 men, 7100 guns, 3300 tanks, 625,000 horses and 2770 aircraft. The Red Army has 230 divisions (170 of which are in the west, 134 facing the Germans). The Soviet forces are organized into Northwest Front (Kuznetsov), West Front (Pavlov), Southwest Front (Kirpono) and South Front (Tyulenev). They include 24,000 tanks and 8000 aircraft. On the first day of the attack almost everything goes the German way. The attack begins at 0300 hours with advances on the ground and simultaneous air strikes. The Luftwaffe begins its operations very early in order to be over the Soviet bases exactly at zero hour. By noon the Soviet Air Force has lost around 1200 planes. The land battle is equally successful. The panzer spearhead Army Group North advances 40 miles during the day and Army Group Center captures most of the Bug River bridges intact. Army Group South forces based in Hungary and Romania do not attack during the day.

In Vichy France... Prime Minister Laval broadcasts a speech in which he urges Frenchmen to work hard in the German war industry and expresses the desirability of an ultimate German victory.
Vichy poster: they give their blood for you, give them your hard work

also: <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">June 22nd, 1942...In Egypt, 4 and 5 New Zealand Brigade are
allocated defense sectors of the Matruh fortress. As the Kiwis
dig in, they see the 8th Army streaming past them in retreat, not
looking demoralized. British troops have withdrawn to Matruh, 180
miles from Alexandria.

Mussolini responds to Hitler's telegram, saying that "the
historic moment has now come to conquer Egypt." Il Duce will take
personal command, and he flies to Derna on the 29th, piloting his
own aircraft.

The ferocious Soviet defense at Sevastopol forces Adolf
Hitler do something he doesn't like to do, namely delay the big

A Japanese submarine pokes its 3-inch gun on the surface and
shells a military depot at Fort Stevens, Oregon, on the estuary
of the Columbia River, only the second time a foreign power has
attacked the continental US since the War of 1812. The first time
was in February 1942, when another Japanese submarine shelled
Santa Barbara, California, damaging an oil pump. This attack does
no damage, nor is it repeated.

SS Col. Adolf Eichmann explains his plans to his
subordinates. The "Final Solution" of the Jewish question is to
be called "Operation Heydrich." To start, 40,000 Jews will be
deported from France, 40,000 from Holland, and 10,000 from
Belgium. They are to go to Auschwitz at a rate of 1,000 per day:
one train a day.</span> -David H. Lippman

In the Solomon Islands... On New Georgia, American reinforcements arrive without incident.
Reinforcements arrive in New Georgia

In Algiers... After several days of bargaining, the Committee of National Liberation decides the General Giraud will continue to command Free French forces in North Africa, but de Gaulle will be in command everywhere else. This is a victory of de Gualle and his supporters.

On the Eastern Front... During the night the Soviet summer offensive (Operation Bagration) opens with a massive artillery barrage and intensive bombing raids on rear areas of the German Army Group Center (Busch). This day marks the third anniversary of the invasion of the Soviet Union.
Red Army artillery lined up for the barrage

On the Western Front... After a preparatory air raid on Cherbourg, in which over 1000 tons of bombs are dropped, the divisions of the US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) begin assaulting the city of Cherbourg. There is heavy German resistance.

In the United States... President Roosevelt signs the "GI Bill" which introduces a range of benefits to be given to returned veterans.

In Occupied Denmark... Saboteurs damage a rifle manufacturing plant in Copenhagen.

In New Guinea... On Biak, American forces conduct a series of attacks which are believed to clear Japanese resistance in the west but experience renewed Japanese activity during the night. On the mainland, fighting continues near Aitape and Sarmi.

In the Mariana Islands... On Saipan, forces of the US 5th Amphibious Corps advance. The US 2nd Marine Division captures Mount Tipo Pole and fight for Mount Tapotchau. The US 4th Marine Division progresses east on the Kagman Peninsula.

In Burma... Elements of the British 2nd Indian Division link up with the 5th Indian Division at Milestone 107 on the Imphal-Kohima road. The siege of Imphal has been broken. Japanese forces experience heavy losses both due to combat and supply shortages.

In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, the battle ends. American forces have lost 12,500 dead and 35,500 wounded. The US navy has had 36 ships sunk and 368 damaged. In the air, the American forces have lost 763 planes. The Japanese losses include 120,000 military and 42,000 civilian dead. For the first time in the war, there are a relatively large number of Japanese prisoners: 10,755. American reports claim the Japanese have lost 7,830 planes.
some of the Japanese who surrendered on Okinawa

In China... Japanese troops evacuate Liuchow, setting it on fire before the approaching Chinese forces.

Over Japan... American B-29 Superfortress bombers drop about 3000 tons of bombs on Japanese munitions plants in Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya and Okayama.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Tarakan, off the northeast coast of Borneo, Australian forces have eliminated all Japanese resistance. On Borneo, the city of Sarawak is captured.

06-23-2005, 12:04 AM
On this day of June 22 1941...

June 22. Operation BARBAROSSA begins.
Over 3 million German soldiers and 3300 tanks cross the Russian border. The Wehrmarcht (German Army) is organized into three Army Groups .
Facing them is the world's largest army comprised of 230 divisions of 14,000 men each, with 20,000 tanks (many obsolete.) The Russian Army is organized into four Military Districts.



The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander Fuehrer Headquarters of the Armed Forces December 18, 1940

Directive No. 21

"Operation Barbarossa"

The German Armed Forces must be prepared, even before the conclusion of the war against England, to crush Soviet Russia in a rapid campaign ("Operation Barbarossa").

The Army will have to employ all available formations to this end, with the reservation that occupied territories must be insured against surprise attacks.

The Luftwaffe will have to make available for this Eastern campaign supporting forces of such strength that the Army will be able to bring land operations to a speedy conclusion and that eastern Germany will be as little damaged as possible by enemy air attack. This build-up of a focal point in the East will be limited only by the need to protect from air attack the whole combat and arsenal area which we control, and to ensure that attacks on England, and especially upon her imports, are not allowed to lapse.

The main efforts of the Navy will continue to be directed against England even during the Eastern campaign.

In certain circumstances I shall issue orders for the deployment against Soviet Russia eight weeks before the operation is timed to begin.

Preparations which require more time than this will be put in hand now, in so far as this has not already been done, and will be concluded by 15th May 1941.

It is of decisive importance that our intention to attack should not be known.

The preparations of the High Commands will be made on the following basis:

I. General Intention

The bulk of the Russian Army stationed in western Russia will be destroyed by daring operations led by deeply penetrating armored spearheads. Russian forces still capable of giving battle will be prevented from withdrawing into the depths of Russia.

The enemy will then be energetically pursued and a line will be reached from which the Russian Air Force can no longer attack German territory. The final objective of the operation is to erect a barrier against Asiatic Russia on the general line Volga-Archangel.

The last surviving industrial area of Russia in the Urals can then, if necessary, be eliminated by the Luftwaffe.

In the course of these operations the Russian Baltic Fleet will quickly lose its bases and will then no longer be capable of action.

The effective operation of the Russian Air Force is to be prevented from the beginning of the attack by powerful blows.

II. Probable Allies and their Tasks

1. On the flanks of our operations we can count on the active support of Romania and Finland in the war against Soviet Russia.

The High Command of the Armed Forces will decide and lay down in due time the manner in which the forces of these two countries will be brought under German command.

2. It will be the task of Romania to support the attack of the German southern flank, at least at the outset, with its best troops; to hold down the enemy where German forces are not engaged; and to provide auxiliary services in the rear areas.

3. Finland will cover the advance of the Northern Group of German forces moving from Norway (detachments of (Group XXI) and will operate in conjunction with them. Finland will also be responsible for eliminating Hango.

4. It is possible that Swedish railways and roads may be available for the movement of the German Northern Group, by the beginning of the operation at the latest.

III. Conduct of Operations

A. Army (in accordance with plans submitted to me)!

In the theater of operations, which is divided by the Pripet Marshes into a Southern and a Northern sector, the main weight of attack will be delivered in the Northern area. Two Army Groups will be employed here.

The more southerly of these two Army Groups (in the center of the whole front) will have the task of advancing with powerful armored and motorized formations from the area about and north of Warsaw, and routing the enemy forces in White Russia. This will make it possible for strong mobile forces to advance northwards and, in conjunction with the Northern Army Group operating out of East Prussia in the general direction of Leningrad, to destroy the enemy forces operating in the Baltic area. Only after the fulfilment of this first essential task, which must include the occupation of Leningrad and Kronstadt, will the attack be continued with the intention of occupying Moscow, an important center of communications and of the armaments industry.

Only a surprisingly rapid collapse of Russian resistance could justify the simultaneous pursuit of both objectives.

The most important task of Group XXI, even during these eastern operations, remains the protection of Norway. Any forces available after carrying out this task will be employed in the North (Mountain Corps), at first to protect the Petsamo area and its iron ore mines and the Arctic highway, then to advance with Finnish forces against the Murmansk railway and thus prevent the passage of supplies to Murmansk by land.

The question whether an operation of this kind can be carried out with stronger German forces (two or three divisions) from the Rovaniemi area and south of it will depend on the willingness of Sweden to make its railways available for troop transport.

It will be the duty of the main body of the Finnish Army, in conjunction with the advance of the German North flank, to hold down the strongest possible Russian forces by an attack to the West, or on both sides of Lake Ladoga, and to occupy Hango.

The Army Group operating South of the Pripet Marshes will also seek, in a concentric operation with strong forces on either flank, to destroy all Russian forces west of the Dnieper in the Ukraine. The main attack will be carried out from the Lublin area in the general direction of Kiev, while forces in Romania will carry out a wide enclosing movement across the lower Pruth. It will be the task of the Romanian Army to hold down Russian forces in the intervening area.

When the battles north and south of the Pripet Marshes are ended the pursuit of the enemy will have the following aims:

In the South the early capture of the Donets Basin, important for war industry.

In the North a quick advance to Moscow. The capture of this city would represent a decisive political and economic success and would also bring about the capture of the most important railway junctions.

B. Luftwaffe

It will be the duty of the Luftwaffe to paralyze and eliminate the effectiveness of the Russian Air Force as far as possible. lt will also support the main operations of the Army, i.e. those of the central Army Group and of the vital flank of the Southern Army Group. Russian railways will either be destroyed or, in accordance with operational requirements, captured at their most important points (river crossings) by the bold employment of parachute and airborne troops.

In order that we may concentrate all our strength against the enemy Air Force and for the immediate support of land operations, the Russian armaments industry will not be attacked during the main operations. Such attacks will be made only after the conclusion of mobile warfare, and they will be concentrated first on the Urals area.

C. Navy

It will be the duty of the Navy during the attack on Soviet Russia to protect our own coasts and to prevent the breakout of enemy naval units from the Baltic. As the Russian Baltic fleet will, with the capture of Leningrad, lose its last base and will then be in a hopeless position, major naval action will be avoided until this occurs.

After the elimination of the Russian fleet the duty of the Navy will be to protect the entire maritime traffic in the Baltic and the transport of supplies by sea to the Northern flank (clearing of minefields!).

IV. All steps taken by Commanders-in-Chief on the basis of this directive must be phrased on the unambiguous assumption that they are precautionary measures undertaken in case Russia should alter its present attitude towards us. The number of officers employed on preliminary preparations will be kept as small as possible and further staffs will be designated as late as possible and only to the extent required for the duties of each individual. Otherwise there is a danger that premature knowledge of our preparations, whose execution cannot yet be timed with any certainty, might entail the gravest political and military disadvantages.

V. I await submission of the plans of Commanders-in-Chief on the basis of this directive.

The preparations made by all branches of the Armed Forces, together with timetables, are to be reported to me through the High Command of the Armed Forces.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Cemetry of Russian planes destroyed in the first weeks of the operation "Barbarossa". The planes in the foreground are I-16 while the plane in the background is a I-15.</span>

Three army groups attacked Russia on June 22nd 1941. Army Group North, led by von Leeb, Army Group Centre, commanded by von Bock and Army Group South commanded by von Rundstedt.

Army Group
Consisted of?

Army Group North
XVIII Army led by von Küchler

IV Panzergruppe led by Hoepner

XVI Army led by Busch

Totalled 20 divisions and Luftflotte I

Army Group Centre
III Panzergruppe led by Hoth

IX Army led by Strauss

IV Army led by von Kluge

II Panzergruppe led by Guderian

Totalled 51 divisions and Luftflotte II

Army Group South
VI Army led by von Reichenau

I Panzergruppe led by von Kleist

XVII Army led by von Stülpnagel

Hungarian Army Corps (Carpathian Group)

III Rumanian Army led by Dmitrescu

XI Army led by von Schobert

IV Rumanian Army led by Ciuperca

40 divisions; 14 Rumanian divisions; Hungarian Army Corps and Luftflotte IV.

Russia was defended by four army units. Though Russia had a large army, the purges had wiped out a considerable part of the army€s senior commanders.

The Baltic Special Military District led by Kuznetsov faced Army Group North
8th Army led by Sobennikov

11th Army led by Morosov

27th Army led by Berzarin

Totalled 26 Divisions including 6 armoured ones.

The Western Special Military District led by Pavlov faced Army Group Centre
3rd Army led by Kuznetsov

10th Army led by Golubev

4th Army led by Korobkov

Totalled 36 divisions including 10 armoured ones.

The Kiev Special Military District led by Kirponos faced Army Group South
5th Army led by Potapov

6th Army led by Muzychenko

26th Army led by Kostenko

12th Army led by Ponedelin

Totalled 56 divisions including 16 armoured divisions

The Odessa Special Military District led by Tyulenev which faced Army Group South
9th Army led by Cherevichenko

Totalled 14 divisions including 2 armoured divisions.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">At the start of Operation "Barbarossa", a Pz. III belonging to 18. Pz.Div. crosses the Bug River. Note on the gun turret the badge of the amphibious tanks of this division (Signal, 2nd issue of August 1941).</span>

Romanian Army

The Infantry

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Infantryman in the 1941 campaign uniform</span>

At the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the Romanian Army had 19 front line infantry divisions: 1st-11th, 13th-15th, 18th-21st and the Guard Division. The 12th, 16th and 17th Infantry Division were disbanded in 1940, when the regions from where they recruited the soldiers were lost.

The Guard Division had the same structure as an infantry one, but it also had protocol duties. The selection for this elite unit was very strict. All the soldiers had to be educated, had to have a very good physical condition and were subjected to more intensive training.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">P.24E The PZL P.24E entered service in the ARR in 1939. In June 1941, they were assigned to the 6th Fighter Group, which was based on the Bucuresti-Otopeni airfield, with the mission to defend the capital and the Ploesti area. During the Soviet raids in first weeks of war they claimed 37 victories.
After the danger of the raids decreased considerably, in August, the P.24Es were sent to take part in the siege of Odessa, where they fared reasonably well against aircraft as obsolete as they were.
It became clear, after the first ARR campaign, that these Polish aircraft were not fit for battle anymore and were relegated to the role of advanced trainer.</span>

The infantry division was organized after the German model: 3 infantry regiments, one partially motorized recon group, one AT company (6 47 mm Schneider model 1936), a pioneer battalion and two artillery regiments. It had in total 17,500 men.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane Mk. I Only twelve out of 50 originally ordered were delivered. Because the war had begun, the British government received priority from Hawker. Anyway, after Romania joined the Axis the acquisition of new Hurricanes from England was out of the question.
The available Hurricanes were assigned to the 53rd Fighter Squadron, which in 1941 was included in the Dobruja Air Comand. Its main mission was to defend the Constanta harbor and Cernavoda railway bridge. It also carried out bomber escort missions
During the first day of war (22 June 1941) the Romanian Hurricanes shot down four I-16s, opening the kill list of one of the most successful fighter squadron of the 1941 campaign, during which they claimed 35 Soviet aircraft. The lack of spare parts was a very big problem for the Romanian Hurricanes and after more IAR-80s became available in late 1942 and early 1943 they were taken out of active duty.
One notable thing to mention is that the top Romanian ace, cpt. Constantin Cantacuzino, got his first four kills on this aircraft in 1941.</span>

During 1941, several reserve divisions were formed: the 25th, 27th, 30th, 31st, 32nd and 35th. Only the 35th Reserve Infantry Division actually took part in the battles for Bessarabia. They had the same organization as the normal divisions, but were formed from the recently mobilized regiments: 41st €" 81st, 111th and 112th, which were equipped with older weapons. There was also the 1st Fortification Division, created from the battalions which were guarding the A.F.N.B. defensive line.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Romanian infantry crossing the river Donetsk. One of the soldiers is carrying a ZB 30 LMG</span>

The infantry regiments (1st €" 40th, 82nd €" 96th) and the "Vanatori"(hunters) regiments (1st €" 10th), from which the active divisions were organized, had the same structure. The name was only a 19th century tradition. Each regiment consisted of 3 battalions (each battalion of 3 companies, each company of 3 platoons, each platoon of 3 sections), a heavy weapons company (a 81.4 mm Brandt mortar platoon, a 37 mm Bofors AT gun platoon and a 47 mm Schneider AT gun platoon; each one with 6 artillery pieces) and a recon company. At battalion level there was also a heavy weapons company: a machine-gun platoon (8 MGs) and one mortar platoon (6 60 mm Brandt).

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The He-112B2
In March 1939, an order of 30 He-112Bs was issued to Heinkel and by August they had already arrived and were assigned to the 5th Fighter Group (51st and 52nd Squadron).
In June 1941, the group was included into the Combat Air Grouping and saw action from the first day of operation Barbarossa. The first victories in a He-112B were among the first achieved by ARR during the war. Slt. av. Teodor Moscu claimed three I-16s over Bulgarica airfield early on 22 June 1941, but only two were confirmed. The first loss came the next day, when adj. av. Codrut Anghel was shot down in an engagement with the 249th IAP. The Heinkels were mainly used in a ground attack role and were quite successful, but due to the lack of serious armor protection, this lead to seroius losses.
In August 1941, the 52nd Squadron trasferred its remaining He-112Bs to the 51st Squadron and received IAR-80As. The 51st was assigned temporarily to home defense, but in October it was sent to take part in the siege of Odessa. After the city fell on 16 October, the squadron remained there and flew coastal defense and tactical reconaissance missions over the Black Sea, until July 1942, when the squadron was brought back to Romania. The same month, a He-112B from the 51st Fighter Squadron flew the first night interception misssion in the history of ARR against Soviet bombers that were attacking Bucharest.
In early 1943, the 51st Squadron switched to Bf-110s and the remaining Heinkels were relegated to advanced trainer role and used from in the process of training Bf-109G pilots.

The main infantry weapon was the Czech ZB (Zbrojovka Brno) model 1924 rifle. It was modified version of the German Mauser 98 K. It used the standard 7.92 mm cartridge. The reserve units received the older Mannlicher model 1895 rifle, which were modified from 8 mm to 7.92 mm. Each infantry section had a ZB model 1930 light machine-gun, Czech or Romanian built (at Copsa Mica-Cugir). The soldier that fired it also had a 9 mm Steyr model 1912 pistol. In the first months of 1941, the units started to receive the new Czech ZB-53 model 1937 machine-gun. The rest were equipped with the Austrian Schwarzlose model 1907/1912 modified for the 7.92 mm cartridge. In the first months of the war the Czech Kyser grenades were also used alongside the Romanian MAN grenades.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">IAR-80/81 A/B/C In the mid '30s, most of the airplanes of the ARR were obsolete. So, in November 1936, IAR proposed to the Ministry of the Air and Navy a new project. It was a modern all metal, low wing monoplane fighter and was named IAR-80. The designers were prof. Ion Grosu and Ion Cosereanu, eng. Gheorhe Zotta, Viziru Grosu and Ion Wallner.
The airplane was going to be fitted with the Junkers Jumo 211Da. The contract was signed, but the Germans failed to deliver the 3 engines they promised in 1937. The IAR-14K engine was the only one available and the prototype was equipped with it. It weighted less with about 200 kg, but it was an "oil drinking" machine and had a lower power output. The engines didn't arrive even in 1939, so it was decided that the first production batch (1-20) be fitted with the IAR-14K engine.
The prototype flew for the first time on 12 April 1939. The test pilot was cpt. av. Dumitru Popescu. It was presented to the public at the air show on 20 July and by the end of the year it had finished all the tests. A first order of 50 airplanes was given by the Ministry of the Air and Navy.
The IAR-80 was one of the best fighters in the world in 1939. Here is the report of the Luftwaffe major that tested it in March 1941: "Take off and landing are very good. It's 20-30 km/h slower than the Bf-109E. The climb to 5,000 meters is equivalent. In a dogfight, the turns are also equivalent, although the long nose reduces the visibility. In a dive it's outclassed by the Bf-109E, because it lacks an automated propeller pitch regulator. It's a fighter adequate to modern needs."
In February 1941, the first IAR-80s were delivered to the newly formed 8th Fighter Group. This unit was engaged in the fighting from the very first day of Barbarossa. The airplane performed very well against the modest Soviet airplanes, especially against the I-16 Rata. The first victory achieved by an IAR-80 came on 27 June. The first IAR-80 shot down was no. 23 of slt. Vasile Claru (KIA) on 12 July. On 15, the 52nd Squadron passed its remaining He-112Bs to the 51st Squadron and formed with the 42nd the 42/52nd Fighter Squadron, which received new IAR-80s. On 27 September, the 6th Fighter group gave up its P.24Es to the 4th Fighter Group and began training for the IAR-80. The first 6 IAR-81s came to the front to the 59th Squadron (8th Fighter Group). The first dive bombing mission was on 15 October, when 5 airplanes bombed Odessa harbor. During the first campaign 21 IAR-80s and As were lost. Over 100 VVS airplanes were claimed in the air and on the ground by IAR-80 pilots.
In January, the 6th Fighter Group started to convert to the IAR-81 dive bomber. In April, the 9th Fighter Group was created. It was also going to receive the IAR-80A. The 8th Fighter Group was assigned to home defense. Its first real mission was on 12 June, when the USAAF carried out its first raid in Europe, at Ploesti. The gropup claimed one victory, which wasn't confirmed however. In July, the 4th Fighter Group began training with the IAR-80A and in August it was the 3rd Fighter Group's turn.
The airplane was still comparable with the Soviet fighters, but had inferior weapons and armour. In September the 6th and 8th Fighter Groups were sent to the front at Stalingrad. They claimed 45 VVS airplanes shot down, while losing 11 airplanes in dogfights or to enemy AAA, 3 destroyed on the ground, 9 in accidents and 6 captured by the advancing Red Army forces. The two groups started their return home on 23 December.
In 1943 the IAR-80 was given the role of home defense. The 4th Fighter Group received new IAR-80Cs and transferred its IAR-80As to the 3rd Fighter Group. It had two squadrons (46th and 49th) on the Black Sea coast at Cetatea Alba and another (45th) at Targsor, near Ploesti. The 6th Fighter Group was stationed on the Pipera airfield near Bucharest. In April, the 9th Fighter Group abandoned its IAR-80As for the Bf-109Gs and the 8th Fighter Group was transformed into the 8th Assault Group (Hs-129BS). On 1 August 1943, took place the second USAAF raid over Ploesti: Operation Tidalwave. The 6th Fighter Group and the 45th Fighter Squadron had 7 confirmed and another 2 probable B-24Ds shot down, while losing one IAR-80B and having another two damaged. In October, the 7th Fighter Group came back from the front and received IAR-81Cs. Also the 1st Fighter Group, stationed on the Rosiorii de Vede airfield received IAR-80Cs. The 4th Fighter Group scored 7 confirmed and one probable kill in their convoy escort missions during 1943.
In January 1944 some of the active IAR80s, 80As and 80Bs were rearmed 20 mm cannons, thus being transformed into IAR-80Cs. The 2nd Fighter Group (IAR-80C) was located on the Ianca airfield. The 51st Squadron of the 5th Fighter Group was also equipped with IAR-81Cs. In home defense there were also the 1st, 4th, 6th and 7th Fighter Groups. On 1 April 1944 there were 302 IAr-80s on duty, out of which 227 were available. The 15th Air Force started its raids over Romania on 4 April. During the following air battles with the USAAF they fought bravely and shot down about 80 Liberators. Because of its weak engine the IAR-80 was an easy prey for the escort Mustangs at the high altitudes the dogfights were carried out. On 10 June 1944 the IAR-81C was very successful against the low-flying Lightings. It was its last glory day. All were grounded in August 1944, after suffering very heavy losses. 36 IAR-80 pilots died in those 4 months of hell. The 2nd Fighter Group was also engaged in the fighting against the Soviets on the front in Moldavia and it claimed a few victories.
In the events following 23 August 1944, some IAR-80s were used to attack retreating German columns, strongholds or transport airplanes bringing reinforcements. After things settled down a bit, in September, the 2nd and 4th Fighter Groups were united into the 2nd, which was used in the fights in Transylvania. It was soon joined by the 6th Fighter Group. They suffered heavy casualties against the modern German fighters and AAA, while claiming only a few kills. On 30 September the production of the IAR-80 ceased. The airplane was relegated to ground attack role. In December, the 6th Fighter Group returned home, in order to start training with the Bf-109G. The 2nd Fighter Group remained on the front until the end of the war. The last mission of an IAR-80 was flown on 8 May 1945.
During the entire war, the IAR-80 (in all its variants) scored 539 confirmed kills, 90 probable and 168 on the ground. About 220 were lost in combat (to fighters and AAA) and in numerous accidents.</span>


As one can observe the Romanian troops were well equipped with modern infantry weapons. The main problem was the artillery. A Romanian infantry division had only half of the firepower of a German division and was somewhat equal to a Soviet one (but the Soviet division had fewer soldiers). Another important handicap was the lack of mobility. The majority of the transports were still horse-drawn.

After the campaign of 1941, the infantry divisions in Romania and Trans-Dnestra (the 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th Infantry Divisions) were fully reequipped and reorganized during the winter. The divisions that were on the front line (1st, 2nd, 4th, 10th, 18th, 19th and 20th Infantry Divisions) were only partially reorganized and had lower combat potential. The process was planned to be finalized around Rostov during the following winter, but the events prevented it.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">S-79B & JRS-79B/1
In May 1937, an order was issued to Savoia Marchetti for 24 bombers. The Italians offered the tri-motored S.M. 79, but ARR wanted that the bombers be modified. The new airplane was designated S-79B and was powered by two Romanian-built Gn´me-Rh´ne 14K engines. By September 1938 all the airplanes had been delivered. However, two were lost during transport. The rest of 22 S-79Bs equipped the 1st Bomber Group (71st and 72nd Bomber Squadron).
The airplane was much appreciated, so it was decided to buy the license to produce 36 new Savoias at IAR Brasov. However, the new bombers were also going to be fitted with the more powerful Jumo 211 Da engines and the task of redesigning the aircraft for to incorporate them was too much for the experience of the Romanian engineers. Eight of these new airplanes were ordered in Italy. They were designated JIS-79B (Jumo Italian S-79B). But they didn't arrive until August 1941.
The only S-79B equipped unit at the beginning of Barbarossa in the ARR was the 1st Bomber Group. The first Savoias were shot down from the very first day. Because of heavy losses, in July 1941, one of the 2nd Bomber Group's squadrons, the 75th, was re-equipped with brand new JRS-79Bs (Jumo Roman S-79B). These went on to fight in the battle of Odessa together with the remnants of the 1st Bomber Group.
In 1942, more JRS-79Bs became available (36 were produced in total). The JIS-79Bs were assigned to the 71st Squadron and the 72nd Squadron was equipped entirely with JRS-79Bs. The rest of JRS-79Bs were distributed to the newly formed 83rd and 84th Bomber Squadron. The remaining older S-79Bs were transferred to flying schools.
In the autumn of 1942, the 1st Bomber Group was again on the front, supporting the Romanian forces near Stalingrad. This was the Savoias' last campaign in Russia. The new Romanian Air Corps, which operated in Ukraine in 1943 was equipped entirely with German-built bombers. But because the front was approaching Romania, another order of 36 bombers was issued to the IAR factory.
In 1944, the front had reached Romania. So in a desperate attempt to stop the Soviet advance all available resources were thrown into battle. All the remaining JIS/JRS-79B/B1s were massed in the 1st Bomber Group (71st and 72nd Squadron) and 2nd Bomber Squadron (82nd and 83rd Squadron).
After Romania joined the Allies in August 1944, the JRS-79B/B1s were not initially engaged against the German and Hungarian forces. But since losses grew, the reorganized 1st Bomber Group (72nd and 82nd Squadron) was sent to the front in October 1944. This unit fought on until the end of the war in May 1945. The last Romanian JRS-79B to lost in WWII fell on 21 April.</span>


In the spring of 1942, the infantry regiment received a scout company and a pioneer company. The number of battalions was reduced from 3 to 2, but the platoon was upgraded from 3 sections (30 men) to 4 sections (40 men). Each section had a light machine-gun and 60 mm Brandt mortar. The battalion's heavy weapons company was reorganized into 4 machine-gun platoons (4 MGs each) and one mortar platoon (4 81.4 mm Brandt). The regiment's heavy weapons company was also reorganized. It had 3 platoons of 37 mm AT guns (6 Bofors model 1936 each) and one platoon of 47 mm AT guns (6 Breda/Schneider/B¶hler). A heavy mortar company was created and had 3 platoons (2 120 mm PM/Resita each). In October 1942, the infantry divisions on the front were reinforced with a 75 mm AT guns platoon (6 Pak 97/38). After the reorganization, the infantry division was reduced to 13,500 soldiers, but had more firepower.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Potez 633B2
Twenty Potez 633B2s were received in 1939 and were immediately impressed into service in the 2nd Bomber Group. At the beginning of the Operation Barbarossa, the group had 17 aircraft. Three were lost in the first day only. In July, after one month of operations the 75th Squadron transferred all its surviving Potez bombers to the 74th Squadron, which also had taken a lot of damage, and was reequipped with JRS-79Bs.
The 74th Bomber Squadron participated in the battle of Odessa and flew more missions than any other unit of the 2nd Bomber Flotilla. At the end of the 1941 campaign, there it had 5 available and 1 unavailable Potez 633B2. Seven aircraft of these type were lost and the rest were under repairs.
Nine Potez 633s were received in September and October 1941. These were used to bolster the forces of the 74th Squadron, now subordinated to the 3rd Bomber Group.
Under this organization the Potez bombers participated in the second campaign, over Stalingrad. The lack of spare parts meant that their serviceability was low. After the Soviet counter-offensive they had to be retreated back to Romania. Only two were lost in combat.
Some Potez 633B2s were used as reconnaissance aircraft during the Stalingrad campaign in the 3rd Long Range Recon Squadron. The number of losses is unknown. They were also retreated in December to Romania.
Because the 3rd Bomber Group was going to convert to the Ju-87D, the Potez 633B2s were assigned to the 1st Fighter Flotilla as trainers for night fighter pilots.</span>

Because of the lack of equipment, some units received captured material like the 7.62 mm Mosin Nagant model 1891/30 rifle. A modified version became the standard sniper weapon in the Romanian Army. Also the platoon commanders and the scouts started using, on their own initiative, captured PPD-40s and PPSh-41s. These are only a few examples.

The battle of Stalingrad was a disaster for the Romanian Army. The losses in men and material were huge. Practically all the divisions were under strength and an immediate reorganization and reinforcement was necessary.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">P.37A/B Los
In September 1939, 22 (according to Romanian sources) or 27 (Polish sources) took refuge in Romania in front of the advancing German and Soviet forces. The airplanes were interned and 19 of them were armed and assigned to the 4th Bomber Group.
The group participated in operations from very first day of Barbarossa, when two were lost to Soviet AAA. Until the end of the campaign only one P.37 was shot down. but the lack of spare parts meant that few were serviceable. The PZLs claimed 4 VVS fighters shot down and 25 destroyed on the ground.
The P.37s were retreated from active duty, but in 1944, as the front reached Romania, all available forces were mobilized in a desperate attempt to stop the Red Army. Only one P.37B equipped squadron could be raised: the 76th, which was subordinated to the 4th Bomber Group.
After 23 August 1944, the remaining P.37Bs were again retreated, but this time for good.</span>

In March 1943, from the survivors of the 7th and 11th Infantry Divisions was formed the 24th Infantry Division. In September it was joined with the remains of the 4th Mountain Division to create the 4/24th Infantry Division. The 4th and 18th Infantry Divisions were reorganized with the elements of the Frontier-guard Division (which was disbanded). In August the 18th Infantry Division was transformed into the 18th Mountain Division. The troops in Trans-Dnestra were used to fill the gaps in the 5th, 15th, 9th and 6th Infantry Divisions. In July and August 1943, the 1st, 2nd, 11th, 14th and 20th Infantry Divisions were reorganized with troops from Romania. In September, the 7th and 13th Infantry Divisions were also brought back to battle-readiness. This process was possible due to the existence inside Romania of a third battalion for each regiment that was on the front.

On 28 October 1943 the Law for the organization of the Armed Forces was promulgated. Thus the regimental command company was strengthened with a traffic police platoon, a cyclists platoon and an AT section. The pioneer company received a fourth platoon, which had 3 Brandt 60 mm mortars. The battalion's heavy weapons company was also reorganized: 3 machine-gun platoons (4 MGs), one AA machine-gun platoon and one platoon of 47 mm AT guns (3 artillery pieces).

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">IAR-37/38/39/A

In 1936, IAR produced a new project for an observation and light bomber plane designated as IAR-37. Derived from the French Potez 25, the project was fitted by the IAR 14K (a French Gnome-Rhone sublicensed engine). Though, the prototype IAR-37.1 made its first test in spring 1937 with good results. A contract was signed with the Ministry of the Air and Navy and until the end of 1937, 50 planes were delivered. In summer 1938 the IAR designers proposed the available BMW-132 engine and after some modifications on the fuselage, the plane was renamed IAR-38 and the production continued with 75 more planes used only for observation/reconnaissance duties. In November 1938 the new IAR 14K IIC-32 engines were available and 49 IAR-37 received it, but due to some structural problems the IAR plant brought some modifications to the initial project. The resulted plane, named IAR-39 made its first tests in March 1940 and 95 were produced until the end of the year. From 1942 production was transferred to the SET plant in Bucharest where the IAR 39A received a mended engine: the IAR 14K IV C. Production stopped in late 1944 after 160 aircraft were produced. Each SET produced IAR received an €œS€ added to its serial number.
The observation squadrons started to receive the first IAR-37s in 1939 and by the end of 1940 three observation groups were entirely equipped with the IAR-37/38/39 aircraft. From the beginning of the Barbarossa campaign to attack enemy troops, artillery positions, convoys, AA machine-guns or for anti-partisan duties behind the front line. The IAR-38 and 39 squadrons were attached to every corps or army command and were used to observe/photograph the front line and enemy troops movements. In total 11 squadrons (11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd) and one light bomber squadron (18th). The first loss came on the very first day of the war when an IAR-37 from the 19th Observation Squadron was shot down by a VVS I-153. Two days later the rear gunner (sgt. Vasile Puscasu) of an IAR 39 from the 22nd Observation Squadron shot down an I-16 Rata. During the first campaign 30 IAR-37/38/39 were lost.
In 1942 one light bomber and six observation squadrons were used in the Stalingrad campaign from September 1942 to January 1943. 13 IAR-38/39s were lost in that period.
During 1943 most of the IAR-38/39s were used mostly for reconnaissance over the Black Sea coast or escort of the convoys between Constanta, Odessa and Sevastopol and as approach reconnaissance for army duties.
In 1944, the majority of the IAR-39s were committed to the front in 9 observation squadrons and the remaining IAR-37s equipped the 7th Light Bomber Group. After the events in August, two observation squadrons equipped with 24 IAR-39s from the 2nd Observation Group fought in the Transylvanian campaign. The 1st Observation Group (also with two squadrons) soon joined. it During the fights ten IAR 39 were lost. The old biplanes continued to fly during the continued offensive into pre -1940 Hungary, Slovakia and then the Czech Republic. Due to the lack of fighters, the IARs performed well but had several casualties to the AAA fire. The last IAR 39 loss in WWII was on 8 May 1944 near Voderady in Eastern Moravia. The last mission flown by a ARR IAR-39 was on 9 May, when an aircraft dropped leaflets and observed the surrender of German troops.
Beside its utilization on the front line, few IAR-38s were used as trainers for the preparation of the future crews of Ju 87D and from November 1943, some IAR-37s and 39s were used for towing the DFS-230 gliders of the 109th Transport Squadron.
After the war, the survivors of the IAR-37/38/39 family received civilian codes and were used until the early 1960s. Unfortunately none were preserved to our days. Despite its vulnerability, low speed and total lack of armor, the IAR-37/38/39 aircraft, nicknamed €œMos Neata€, were used by the ARR from the first to last day of the war. It was very much loved by the infantrymen on the ground, who always felt safely with the old biplane watching over them and directing the artillery fire.</span>


The submachine-guns became officially the standard weapon of the platoon and section commanders. The firepower was increased after large quantities of MG-34s and AT rocket launchers, like the Panzerfaust, were imported from Germany. Since 1942, each platoon had soldiers trained to fight against tanks. They were organized into teams of two men: the "destroyer" and the "lookout". They used grenades, mines, explosive charges and Soviet AT rifles. The AT defence increased after the introduction of the new Romanian 75 mm Resita DT-UDR 26 gun alongside the German Pak 40 and Pak 97/38.

At the end of 1943, 19 training divisions were formed (1st-9th, 13th-15th, 18th-21st, Guard). They were made up from recruits and had 6 battalions, 4 75 mm guns and 2 100 mm howitzers, a few 47 mm AT guns and between 2 and 4 20 mm AA guns. These units were supposed to be the reserve of the active divisions. But the events of 23 August 1944 changed this and some of them were used in the initial fights with the Wehrmacht.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Blenheim Mk. IF
Romania ordered 40 Bristol Blenheims in 1939, but only 37 made it to Romania, the rest being lost on the way. They equipped 4 long range reconnaissance squadrons (1st-4th) and played an important role in providing information on the movement of forces on the USSR, Hungarian and Bulgarian borders.
In 1941, the 2nd Long Range Recon Squadron was disbanded and its Blenheims given to the other three squadrons. These units carried out some of the first missions of Operation Barbarossa, but also suffered some heavy losses: four airplanes in one day! This included the first loss of ARR in WWII. Until the end of the 1941 campaign another six Blenheims were destroyed.
In August 1942, because of supply problems, only 27 Blenheims remained in service, including three ex-Yugoslav aircraft bought from Germany. The ARR's Stalingrad campaign started the next month, but only the 1st Long range Recon Squadron was equipped with Blenheims. Three were lost until the end of December, when they were retreated back to Romania.
Throughout 1943, the few serviceable Blenheims flew mostly over the Black Sea, but pilots seldom ventured far from the coast.
After 23 August 1944, the three Blenheims were shortly joined with the Ju-88D1s, but because they were obsolete, they were soon relegated to transport duties

According to the armistice protocol, the Romanian Army was going to participate in the war against the remaining Axis forces with 12 divisions. But the number was too small. There were already 19 divisions on the front. After negotiations, in 1945, in Czechoslovakia, there were 15 Romanian divisions fighting the Germans. The Romanian Army was practically halved. All the training divisions and the 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 20th Infantry Divisions were disbanded. The 18th Mountain Division became the 18th Infantry Division.

Because the Soviets refused to free the prisoners and return the equipment they captured from 24 August onward, the infantry division had to be reorganized. The number of artillery regiments was reduced to one, which had 3 battalions and each battalion had 3 batteries composed of 4 guns. The first one was made up of 75 mm AT guns, the second one of 100 mm cannons and the third one of 120 mm mortars. Even the units, which had been partially motorized in the previous years, used horse-drawn vehicles. The supplies were low, because the Soviets used the Romanian industry and the Army's logistics. At the end of the war the Romanian infantry was in an inferior state to that of 1941.

06-23-2005, 02:36 AM
Also joining the Axis Power's...

The Hungarian Army

The Hungarians in Barbarossa
by Jason Long

The Germans initially had no desire for Hungarian participation in Barbarossa which suited most of the Hungarian leadership quite well. But the Germans, meeting more resistance than they anticipated, said that they would welcome any voluntary contribution made by the Hungarians the day after Barbarossa began. This changed the situation radically and the Hungarians compromised by breaking relations with the USSR. This was hardly satisfactory to the pro-German faction within the Hungarian government and the Honved (military), but they weren't able to do anything more until the Hungarian city of Kassa (Kosice) was bombed, reputedly by the Soviets, on the 26th of June.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hungarian Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 </span>

A Soviet attack on neutral Hungary makes no sense unless it occurred by accident, but it could well have been a provocation staged by the Germans or Romanians to "encourage" Hungarian participation. One Hungarian fighter pilot reported engaging three German-manufactured He 111H bombers flying southeast after Kassa had been bombed. The He 111 was in both German and Romanian service at the time. Any number of theories have been advanced over the years, but nothing has been settled.

The attack enraged Adm. Horthy who decided upon an emphatic response. The pro-German faction got its wish; Hungary would join the attack on the USSR As the Honved was totally unprepared for war, mobilization of selected reservists and the impressment of civilian motor vehicles took several days more than anticipated even though only those forces designated to invade the Soviet Union were mobilized. These were the Carpathian Group which comprised VIII. Corps and the Gyorshadtest (Mobile Corps). VIII. Corps contributed the 1st Mountain and the 8th Border Guard Brigades as well as all of its corps troops. The Gyorshadtest comprised the 1st and 2nd Motorized Infantry Brigades as well as the 1st Cavalry Brigade and, some sources claim, the 15th Bicycle Battalion from 2nd Cavalry Brigade. Other corps contributed bicycle infantry and anti-aircraft battalions as well as two-gun batteries of 150mm artillery. These units were the best available to the Hungarians, even the Border Guards, and were definitely a cut above the rest of the Honved.

The 1st Mountain Brigade was organized into four mountain infantry battalions, plus an artillery battalion of two batteries, each with four 75mm pack or mountain guns. A platoon of two 149mm howitzers was attached for the duration of the campaign. Each mountain infantry battalion had three companies of mountain infantry, each with twelve LMGs, two 51mm mortars and a 20mm anti-tank rifle, a machine-gun company of nine HMGs, a battery of four 75mm pack or mountain guns, a platoon of four 81mm mortars, an anti-tank platoon of four guns, an engineer platoon as well as a reconnaissance detachment. Under the direct control of the brigade were a company of 6 motorized 40mm Bofors AA guns, an anti-tank company of four guns, a motorized anti-aircraft company of ten AAMGs, a cavalry company, an engineer company as well as a platoon each of motorcyclists and five Csaba armored cars.

8th Border Guards Brigade controlled far less at the brigade level than its compatriot in VIII. Corps, namely a motorized anti-aircraft company, an engineer company and a platoon of two 149mm howitzers. All units, even the five border guard battalions, were organized identically to the units in 1st Mountain Brigade.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hungarian Messerschmitt Bf 109G,s</span>

The motorized infantry brigades were composed of an motorized infantry regiment, two bicycle infantry battalions, an armored reconnaissance battalion, a motorized artillery battalion, a motorized engineer battalion as well as the standard motorized flak and AAMG companies. The motorized infantry regiment had three battalions, each with three infantry companies, each with twelve LMGs, two 51mm mortars and two anti-tank rifles, a machine-gun company with twelve HMGs and four 81mm mortars, an anti-tank platoon of four guns and an engineer platoon. The bicycle battalions were organized identically to the motorized infantry battalions with the exceptions that all units were motorized except the bicycle companies themselves and the addition of a artillery battery of four 105mm howitzers and a platoon of five Italian CV 33 tankettes. The armored reconnaissance battalion had a company of ten Csaba armored cars, a company of twenty CV 33 tankettes, a light tank company of twenty Toldi Is, a motorized infantry company organized like those in the motorized infantry battalions, except that it had three anti-tank rifles, as well as motorized platoons of engineers, medium mortars, and anti-tank guns. The artillery battalion had four batteries, each with four 105mm howitzers. The engineer battalion had only one company of combat engineers and a bridging column.

The cavalry brigade was, quite probably, the most powerful unit of its type in Eastern Europe due to its extensive supporting arms and numerous heavy weapons. It had two hussar regiments, two bicycle infantry battalions, an armored reconnaissance battalion, a motorized artillery battalion, a horse artillery battalion, a motorized engineer company and bridge column as well as the standard motorized light flak and AAMG companies totalling 7350 officers and men. Each regiment had two hussar battalions in addition to a four-gun battery of horse-drawn 75mm mountain guns, a mounted engineer platoon, a motorized platoon of anti-tank guns, and a platoon of tankettes. Each hussar battalion had three companies of cavalry with twelve LMGs and three anti-tank rifles and a mounted machine-gun company of twelve HMGs and four medium mortars. The bicycle, engineer, and armored reconnaissance battalions were organized exactly like those in the motorized infantry brigades. The motorized artillery battalion differed only in that it had but two batteries of 105mm howitzers. The horse artillery battalion had two four-gun batteries of 76.5mm guns.

My sources are rather contradictory about the identities of the non-divisional units assigned to the Carpathian Group so the information given below must be regarded as less than reliable. I do know that VIII. Corps contributed its bicycle, heavy artillery and AA battalions while other corps contributed the odd battalion or so.

The VIth and VIIIth bicycle battalions were far weaker than their compatriots assigned to the Mobile Corps as they lacked the machine-gun company, artillery battery, tankette platoon, and anti-tank rifles of their more powerful brethren. Their anti-tank platoon only mustered two guns and a machine-gun section of two HMGs was substituted for the machine-gun company. It appears that these units were exchanged with two others sometime after July as my primary source mentions the IInd and VIIth battalions in September and doesn't mention either of the first two after 7 July, after VIII. Corps had requested their return to Hungary on 3 July as they were considered to be combat ineffective due to breakdowns and tire shortages! Hence my tentative conclusion that they were replaced by the other two. With that in mind I've given the Hungarians the ability to replace them for free.

Each of the nine corps in the Honved had one of these bicycle battalions for reconnaissance duties, except I. Corps. No higher headquarters existed for them, so I've had to group them by their parent armies. The ID used is First Army because it only had two battalions in its subordinate corps.

The corps motorized heavy artillery battalions were severely under strength in 1941 with only two 150mm howitzers in each of their two batteries. VIII. Corps provided its complete battalion, but I., III., VI. and VII. Corps only provided a single battery. I've amalgamated them into a single weak counter with the ID of the Carpathian Group as this only lasted for the duration of the campaign.

In contrast to the other arms the anti-aircraft artillery participated in strength. I., V., and VIII. Corps contributed their complete motorized AA battalions. In addition the 6th, 9th, and 14th motorized light AA batteries were assigned to the Carpathian Group from the infantry brigades of the same number. Each anti-aircraft battalion had one battery of four heavy and another of six light AA guns. Each of the motorized light batteries was organized as above. In addition to the above units, one source mentions the 105th Motorized AA Battalion which had the same structure as the corps-level units. Including the 105th the Hungarians have around three points of flak including the flak organic to the brigades. Rather than give some of these brigades an intrinsic flak strength, I decided to show it as a separate unit with the Karpat ID as it is stronger than the usual army-level amalgamation would be. None of it seems to have advanced with the Mobile Corps after VIII. Corps was halted on the Dneister and this allows me to restrict it as well.

The only combat engineers with the Carpathian Group were VIIIth Combat Engineer Battalion and the 151st and 152nd Motorized Combat Engineer Companies. As VIIIth Battalion had two companies, both non-motorized, I decided to round the movement factor down to eight (non-combat/motorized) given the Hungarians' systemic problems with vehicle maintenance and supplies.

Infantry weapons consisted of the 8mm Huzagol 35 M. rifle, a few of the excellent 9mm 39 M. submachine-gun as it was just entering service, the ancestor of the German MG 34, the 30 M., as the LMG, and modernized Austro-Hungarian Schwarzlose 07/12 machine guns in the medium/heavy MG role. Mortars were a mix of German and Hungarian-manufactured 51mm and 81mm models. Anti-tank defense was provided by license-built 20mm Solothurn s18-1100 anti-tank rifles and German 37mm guns. Artillery was a grab bag of modernized Austro-Hungarian Skoda 75mm 15 M. mountain guns, 149mm 14 M. howitzers, modern German 105mm 1eFH 18 howitzers and Swedish 150mm Model 31 howitzers. Sweden also provided all of Hungary's AA guns, including the famed 40mm Bofors and the far more obscure 8cm. The horse artillery used the ancient Skoda 05/08 76.5mm gun.

AFVs assigned to the Mobile Corps totaled 140 CV 33 tankettes bought from Italy, 49 license-built Csaba armored cars and 80 Toldi I light tanks. Both of the latter were armed with a 20mm gun adapted from the Solothurn anti-tank rifle.

The Carpathian Group began its attack on 30 June with attempts to clear the passes through the Carpathians. The defenders demolished many of the roads and bridges in the area which slowed down the advance considerably. The Soviets surprised the Hungarians with their skillful delaying tactics, but the Soviets made no real effort to hold on to the area between the Carpathians and the Dneister. The Hungarians reached the Dneister by 6 July delayed more by supply problems than by the Soviet defense. The units of VIII Corps were relegated to occupation duties after reaching the Dneister, but the Mobile Corps, with the addition of VIIIth Bicycle Battalion, was placed under command of Army Group South and continued on despite immense supply difficulties and numerous breakdowns. It breached the Stalin Line against light resistance during mid-July and continued to advance as Soviet defenses toughened. By month's end the Corps' logistics situation had become perilous as it had out-run its supply lines. Its commander requested a week-long pause to recuperate, but this was ignored by the Germans.
Forced to continue its advance, it cooperated with 1st Panzer Group to pocket Soviet forces near Uman in early August. Afterwards, it headed south to Nikolaev with the objective of cutting the Soviet 9th Army's line of retreat in cooperation with the XXXXVIII Panzer Corps. Despite heavy Soviet counter-attacks, the 2nd Motorized Infantry Brigade entered Nikolaev from the west as the 16th Panzer Division entered from the east. The aggressive Soviets did succeed, however, in preventing the majority of 9th Army's troops from being encircled.

The Corps finally got its well-deserved rest after the capture of Nikolaev as it was placed in reserve at Krivoi Rog from 24 August. This only lasted a week or so as the Corps was to defend a 200 km (120 mile) stretch of the Dnepr River from Dnepropetrovsk to Nikopol while the 1st and 2nd Panzer Groups encircled the Soviet Southwestern Front behind Kiev. The most dangerous part of this sector was the island opposite Zaporozhe. The cavalry brigade provided the corps reserve with two hussar battalions, but the rest of its troops were distributed among the motorized infantry brigades.

Nowhere were the Hungarians strong enough to do much more than deploy in widely dispersed strong points supplemented with a line of sentry posts. The Soviets were continually raiding across the river, usually in less than battalion strength, and the Hungarians were hard-pressed to defeat these raiders. The Soviets were particularly troublesome around Zaporozhe Island and Nikopol. In fact a multi-battalion attack on 5 September evicted the two battalions defending the island. The first attempt to retake the island by 14th Cycle Battalion failed and the sector commander had to be evacuated to the rear with nervous exhaustion. The next highest-ranking officer present reported himself sick and his replacement reported his troops to exhausted to attack.

It was obvious that the Hungarians had been given more than they could handle and either had to be reinforced or made responsible for a smaller sector. 16th Panzer Division took over 1st Motorized Infantry Brigade's sector which allowed it to move opposite Zaporozhe Island. This was only temporary as 16th Panzer was withdrawn on 13 September. This did not bode well for the Hungarians as they were completely shot. 2nd Motorized Brigade's companies had lost half of their combat strength and more than two-thirds of the Corps' armored vehicles were out of commission! Fortunately the rapidly developing encirclement around Kiev diverted Soviet attentions, and forces, further north to counter the German pincers. The German 4 Security Regiment arrived on 27 September, which allowed the severely weakened 1st Cavalry Brigade to be withdrawn from the front lines and sent home on 5 October.

It was replaced by IInd and VIIth Bicycle Battalions for the drive northeast from Dnepropetrovsk towards Izyum beginning on 11 October. Material shortages and the extensive mud forced the Hungarians to split their force in two parts, one with all the cross-country trucks, well-supplied with heavy weapons, and the other with all the less mobile units. The lead group reached the Donets River opposite Izyum on 28 October, but not before the Soviets had time to evacuate the riverbank and blow the bridges. The Hungarians were in no shape to attempt to cross the river in the teeth of the Soviet entrenchments and they were long overdue to be relieved. The primary delay had been the German requirement for the Hungarians to furnish security troops. They returned to Hungary beginning in the first half of November and were replaced by four security brigades, with a fifth arriving later.

These were formed from second and third-line reserves using the headquarters of regular infantry brigades, but without most of the support units that each normally had, although a cavalry company and a motorized light AA battery were assigned. Each was only at between 50 and 70% strength and was armed with very little other than small arms. They had no artillery at all and only a small number of machine-guns. Each of their two regiments had three battalions of infantry. To equalize the burden, the Honved assigned battalions from every corps district in the country rather than just use the normal battalions.

Losses suffered by the Hungarians in the campaign weren't very high, a total of 4524 killed, or just over 10 percent of the 44,444 assigned to the Carpathian Group proper, but equipment losses were severe. 1200 motor vehicles, 28 guns and 30 aircraft were lost, as were all of the tankettes, 80% of the Toldi light tanks and 90% of the Csaba armored cars committed.

Air Force Operations
The Royal Hungarian Army Air Force initially contributed two squadrons each of Italian CR.32bis and CR.42 fighters as well as two squadrons each of Italian Ca.135bis and German Ju 86K-2 bombers as well as four squadrons of reconnaissance aircraft. This was reduced after July to two squadrons of CR.42s, and a squadron each of Ju 86K-2 and Ca.135bis bombers. A flight of Italian Re 2000s was deployed from August for combat evaluation. All aircraft returned to Hungary along with all of the rest of the Hungarians in November.

-HH- Beebop
06-23-2005, 07:32 AM
good stuff there, especailly about the Hungarian involvement in Barbarossa

23 June

In France... Pierre Laval is appointed Deputy Premier by Petain. Incidentally de Gaulle is also officially cashiered by General Weygand on this day.

On the Eastern Front... The German offensive continues to make astonishing progress, spearheaded by the armored and motorized forces. In the north Panzer Group 4 (Hoeppner) has advanced almost 50 miles. Panzer Group 3 (Hoth) forces have captured bridges over the Niemen River. Panzer Group 2 (Guderian) tanks have made deep penetrations on either side of Brest Litovsk. Panzer Group 1 (Kleist) has made some ground also but the Soviet defense in their southern front is stronger. The Luftwaffe continues to batter the Red Air Force and disrupt the already exiguous Soviet communications.

In Syria... The advance of the British force from Iraq reaches Palmyra but the Vichy French garrison holds out.

In the North Atlantic... The largest convoy battle to date begins around HX-133. Ten U-boats are concentrated to attack the convoy, which at first has four escorts.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Commodore Gill's Narrative of Voyage (S/S Glenpark)
The times in this document are a little hard to see, hence the question marks:
"After leaving Halifax , convoy had just sufficient time to form up when it came in dense fog and remained thus for four or five days. During this time there were several collisions resulting in five ships having to return to port.

Gales were experienced which slowed convoy down considerably.

Convoy was attacked by enemy submarine at 01:40 GMT 24th June resulting in S/S Sol¸y being torpedoed and sunk.

Convoy was again attacked at 18:00 GMT 24th June, resulting in S/S Brockley Hill also being torpedoed and sunk.

At 22:58 GMT 26th June a third attack was made on convoy by enemy submarine resulting in S/S Tibia (Dutch) being torpedoed. This ship after a slight decrease in speed, resumed her station in the convoy and continued voyage. At 23:53 GMT enemy again attacked resulting in the torpedoeing of S/S Malaya II (ex Danish), S/S Maasdam (Dutch) and S/S Kongsgaard (Norwegian). S/S Malaya II was blown to pieces, S/S Maasdam subsequently sank, and S/S Kongsgaard, after extinguishing a fire, continued voyage, rejoining convoy at 15:00 GMT (? hard to decipher the second number, might be 16:00) 27th June.

A further attack was made on convoy at 00:35 GMT (00:36?) 29th June by submarine resulting in the S/S Grayburn being torpedoed and sunk.

One FW aircraft was sighted at 09:50 MST 29th June but after circling convoy did not attack, and subsequently made off.

Apart from these incidents there is nothing to report.

Omitted earlier: One enemy U-boat was sunk by gun fire from HMS Gladiolus at 05:00 (06:00?) June 25(? see below), in position 56(66?) 44N 36:00W.

Also, one enemy U-boat was sunk by HMS Malcolm at 07:30 June 30 in position 59 30N 18 07W".

The date June 25 in the Commodore's report, even when taking into consideration that he operates with GMT, appears to be off - U-556 was sunk on June 27 and U-651 was sunk on June 29, German time.</span>
to learn more about the convoy, visit:

In North Africa... Axis troops cross into Egypt. The British 8th Army retreats in disarray to Mersa Matruh.

also:<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">June 23rd, 1942...The Nazis start deporting Polish and Jewish
mental patients from mental institutions to Auschwitz.

Rommel's tanks charge across the Egyptian frontier south of
Sidi Omar, avoiding British minefields. His aim is to swing
around British defenses at Sidi Barrani and Sollum, reach the sea
at Matruh, surrounding the 8th Army. Rommel's drive is unopposed,
and a good thing, too, he's down to 44 tanks.
In any case, Rommel is surrounding an empty bag. Ritchie has
withdrawn the 8th Army to Matruh.

The Japanese come up with a new idea on how to supply their
forces in Burma, now drawing logistics by sea through Rangoon.
Japanese convoys to Rangoon run a gauntlet of British and Dutch
submarines and consume much fuel. The Japanese need a shorter
route. The answer is a railway route traced by British engineers
from Nakhom Pathom in Thailand to Thanbyuzayat in Burma, through
"Hellfire Pass" and Three Pagodas Pass on the Burma-Thailand
border. The British have written off this route as being
unsuitable because of mountains, malarial jungles, and frequent
floods. However, the Japanese believe sheer will and prisoner-of-
war labor can overcome these obstacles.
That day, an advance party of 300 British PoWs taken in
Singapore arrives at Bampong in Thailand, with orders to
construct their own camp and one for their Japanese guards. The
PoWs are already weak from poor rations and tropical disease.
Some still suffer from wounds earned in Malaya or the sinking of
HMS Prince of Wales or HMS Exeter. Three months later, 3,000
Australian PoWs will be sent to a camp at Thanbyuzayat to begin
work from the opposite end.
Ahead lies the construction of the "Railway of Death," one
of the grimmest chapters of the war.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders a squadron of B-25
bombers to the Egyptian desert, instead of China, to aid the
British. 40 Hurricanes enroute to Russia, sitting at Basra in
Iraq, are also diverted to Egypt, as are 10 American B-24s in
India and Maj. Gen. Lewis Brereton. Roosevelt also despatches 100
howitzers and 300 tanks, sans engines, around the Cape of Good
Hope to Suez. When the ship carrying the engines is sunk off
Bermuda by a U-boat, Roosevelt sends the fastest ship available
to carry 300 more engines, so as to overtake the Suez-bound
The convoy contains something new: the M-4 Sherman tank,
packing a distinctive silhouette and a 75mm gun. It will become
the primary tank for the Allies for the rest of the war.

Eager to lead the victory parade through Alexandria, Benito
Mussolini flies to Cyrenaica, bringing along his Arabian charger,
ready for his triumphal entry. The horse frets in a Bardia stall.

The Soviets withdraw to the south side of Sevastopol's bay,
preserving their front, as the bombardment and German attacks
roll on.

The US Senate unanimous approves a bill to create a Women's
Reserve in the Navy. The House says in a report on war production
that "there has been evidence of widespread and inexcusable waste
of public funds." Charging "unbelievable red tape, top-heavy
organization and lack of orientation to a state of war," it rips
the War Department for "excessive commissions and exorbitant
salaries" in contracts; attacks the Air Corps for neglecting the
development of modern combat planes and dive bombers before the
war; criticizes the Maritime Commission for providing
insufficient ship tonnage, and accuses the Rural Electrification
Administration of using copper for non-essential projects.</span>

In New Guinea... American landings on Woodlark Island begin.
American troops storm the beach

In Australia... In the House of Representatives a motion to censure the government is defeated by one vote. Prime Minister Curtin announces that he will advise the Governor General to dissolve Parliament.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet attack begins. There are four front-level commands engaged in the operation, under the STAVKA direction of Marshal Zhukov (the southern wing) and Marshal Vasilevsky (the northern wing). From left to right: 1st Belorussian Front (Rokossovsky); 2nd Belorussian Front (Zakharov); 3rd Belorussian Front (Cherniakhovsky); and, 1st Baltic Front (Bagramian). The Soviet combat forces directly engaged in the offensive amount to over 1,250,000 men (in 124 divisions), over 4000 tanks and self-propelled guns, over 24,000 artillery pieces and over 6300 aircraft. Soviet objectives include tactical encirclements at Vitebsk and Bobruisk while a deep encirclement would aim for Minsk. Soviet forces are then to drive west toward the Vistula River. The target of Operation Bagration is German Army Group Center (Busch) holding a salient centered on Minsk, and including most of Belorussia. Its forces, from right to left, include: 9th Army (Jordan), 4th Army (Tippelskirch); and, 3rd Panzer Army (Reinhardt). On the right flank of the army group is the German 2nd Army (Weiss) which is not targeted by the Soviet offensive. The German defenders amount to 800,000 men in 63 divisions with about 900 tanks and assault guns, 10,000 artillery pieces and 1300 planes. Advances of up 11 miles are recorded by Red Army troops of 2nd, 3rd Belorussian and 1st Baltic Fronts. The 1st Belorussian Front does not join in the assault during the day. Meanwhile in the far north, forces of the Soviet 7th Separate Army cross the Svir River.
Soviet T-34 tanks and infantry attacking

On the Western Front... American forces of the US 7th Corps (part of 1st Army) penetrate the outer defenses of Cherbourg. Elements of British 2nd Army also make gains. The British 5th Division captures St. Honorina, northwest of Caen.

In the Mariana Islands... On Saipan, US 5th Amphibious Corps remains engaged in fighting. The 2nd Marine Division contineus to battle for Mount Tapotchau.

In Moscow... The rival parties claiming the right to rule Poland reach an agreement on power sharing. American and British objections to the Lublin Committee Poles, supported by the Soviet Union, are met with the inclusion of three of the Poles from the London based government in exile. Among the three is Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, the former premier, who is to be the deputy premier. In addition, two non-Communist Poles from within Poland are included in the new provisional government. The Communists and their opponents are therefore to share power more equitably than originally thought possible.
In San Francisco... The representatives of the Big Four powers (China, UK, USA and USSR) agree to admit Poland to the United Nations.

In the Philippines... American paratroopers land near Aparri on the north coast of Luzon, at the mouth of the Cagayan River, without incident. They link up with a large force of Filipino guerrillas. The combined force advances southward to make contact with the US 37th Division.
In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, the systematic mopping up of the island begins. General Stilwell takes command of the US 10th Army in place of General Geiger.

06-23-2005, 02:31 PM
On this day of June 23 1941...

Hungry joins Germany, Rumania, Italy, Slovakia and Croatia by declaring war on the Soviet Union.

June 23. The Luftwaffe (German Air Force) destroys over 2,000 Red Air Force aircraft. Many are caught on the ground in the first hours of the assault. The numerically strongest air force in the world is wiped out in 48 hours.
The Commander of Russian Aviation, General Rychagov, is given the death sentence for "treasonable activity" (i.e. defeat.)

The relentless advance in Russia continues as shattered Soviet forces flood east pursued by the German invaders.
German panzer units begin to meet Soviet tank formations rushing to the front. The Soviet columns are badly organized and depleted because of constant air attacks.
On the approaches to Vilnius, German tank columns bypass pockets of resistance and drive deep into the Soviet rear areas.
Further to the south, German forces are met by strong resistance and a fierce tank battle develops around Dubno.


-HH- Beebop
06-24-2005, 06:47 AM
24 June

In Occupied France... The Franco-Italian armistice is concluded.
French and Italian representatives meet

In the United States... The Republican Party convention at Philadelphia begins.

On the Eastern Front... The German attacks continue to make rapid gains. In the Baltics, Kaunas is captured as is Vilna, farther east, by forces of Panzer Group 3 (left flank of Army Group Center). Farther south, the Soviet garrison of the fortress town of Brest-Litovsk, which is now far behind the front line, is assaulted by forces of German 4th Army (right flank of Army Group Center).

In Washington... At a press conference President Roosevelt announces that he intends to send aid to the USSR.

In Occupied Czechoslovakia... The village of Levzasky is destroyed in reprisal for the assassination of Heydrich on May 27th. In total, more than 1,000 people are killed in various reprisals for the assassination.

In New Guinea... American landings on Woodlark Island continue.
US supplies and support arrive on Woodlark Island

On the Eastern Front... The 1st Belorussian Front joins the offensive against German Army Group Center, launching a two-pronged assault aimed at the encirclement of Bobruisk. Red Army forces have now advanced as much as 25 miles and the Orsha-Vitebsk rail line is cut. Elements of the 1st Baltic Front and 3rd Belorussian Front are threatening to encircle the German 53rd Corps (part of 3rd Panzer Army) at Vitebsk. Orsha, to the south, is also threatened. The 2nd Belorussian Front presses on Mogilev.
German infantryman with Panzerfaust

On the Western Front... The battle for Cherbourg continues. American forces of US 7th Corps (part of 1st Army) continue to make progress. The German garrison commander, General Schlieben, refuses to surrender.

In the Mariana Islands... The battle for Saipan continues as US 5th Amphibious Corps makes progress. The 27th Division clears the southern part of the island and most of the division moves northward. The 2nd Marine Division continues to battle for Mount Tapotchau.

In the Volcano Bonin Islands... Japanese bases on Iwo Jima and Chichi Jima are raided by American carrier aircraft. The planes are from Hornet, Yorktown, Bataan and Belleau Wood (a force commanded by Admiral Clark). Japanese losses are 66 aircraft.

In the Soviet Union... In Moscow, there is a victory parade at which captured Nazi banners are ceremonially dragged across Red Square. The standard of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandardt Adolf Hitler is among the two hundred banners thrown on the ground before Lenin's tomb. Stalin and senior members of the government and Communist Party watched from the top of the tomb. Marshal Georgi Zhukov leads the parade, riding a white horse, the traditional Russian mount for a conquering hero. In a speech to the massive gathering, Zhukov said that the Red Army is the most powerful in the world, but the USSR must not become "conceited or complacent."
Soviet troops throw down Nazi banners in Red Square

In the Greater Sunda Islands... Over Borneo, British and American aircraft drop 1000 tons of bombs on Japanese positions.

In France... The last of four German Ar234 jet bombers (collected by "Watson's Wizzers" of the USAAF) lands in Cherbourg, flying from Sola in Norway. These aircraft are to be loaded onboard the British aircraft carrier HMS Reaper, along with 34 other advanced German aircraft, for shipment to the United States.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">For more information (and a ton of photos) on Watson's Whizzers, visit:</span>


06-25-2005, 07:30 AM
Polish Army on the Eastern Front.

After bringing into light the Katyn massacre and breaking off the diplomatic relations with Poland (April 1943), Stalin decided to organize Polish armed forces fighting at side of the Red Army.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Soviet infantry invading Poland. September 1939.</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">German and Soviet soldiers.</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">2nd motorized artillery squadron after crossing the Hungarian border. September 1939. </span>

These troops emerged without the approval of the legal authorities of Poland, most of the commanding personnel were Soviet officers, the political officers recruited from the Polish communists but ordinary soldiers were Poles deported in the years 1939-1941 to the interior of the Soviet Union, and from the spring 1944, also the inhabitants of the Polish Kresy Wschodnie (Eastern Borderlands).
Though its origin was not legal, and it played a significant role in imposing the communist system in Poland later on, the Polish Army fighting on the Eastern Front contributed a lot to the Polish military effort.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Colonel (later promoted to general) Zygmunt Berling, the first commanding officer of the 1st Polish Army</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">1st Infantry Division leaves for the front.</span>

From a single division (1st Tadeusz Ko"ciuszko Infantry Division, commanded by colonel Zygmunt Berling) eleven-thousand-people strong, which began to form in May 1943, it expanded to one-hundred-thousand-people-strong army in July 1994, and at the end of the war it amounted to more than 330 thousand soldiers formed in two armies with all land forces arms (infantry, artillery, engineers, tanks and different supporting troops).
This army€s baptism of fire took place at the battle of Lenino (Belarus) in October 1943. In July and August 1944 the Polish troops fought at the bridgeheads on the Western Bank of the Vistula River, and in the battle of Studzianki the Polish armored brigade fought its first battle against the Germans.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Polish air force in the Eastern Front.</span>

In September 1944 the Polish Army attempted at helping the insurgents in Warsaw €" unsuccessfully and with great losses.
From January 1945 it participated in the great Soviet offensive: in February and March it fought a dramatic battle to break the Wa" Pomorski (Pomeranian Position €" the highly fortified German defense line) and capturing Ko"obrzeg (Kolberg), a Baltic seaport transformed into a fortress; the Polish troops fought at Gda"sk and Gdynia, and also by Zalew Szczeci"ski (Bay of Szczecin). The crowning of the combat route was participation in capturing Berlin. In the entire operation took part 180 000 soldiers from the 1st and 2nd Polish Army, and in the assault in the downtown of Berlin an important role played the 1st Tadeusz Ko"ciuszko Division.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Battle of Ko"obrzeg (Kolberg).</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The region of Smolensk - the "Heroes of Westerplatte" Armored Brigade</span>

It was the only military unit besides the Red Army that stuck its national flag over the ruins of the German capital. Polish troops reached the Elba River and got in touch with American units.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Pomeranian Position. Assault airplane Il-2 of Soviet production.</span>

In April 1945, the 2nd Army forced the Nysa River, then fought in the region of Dresden and Bautzen, suffering great losses. Its combat route it ended in May in Czechoslovakia. In battles against the Germans on the Eastern Front participated also some Polish air units (however, they consisted mainly of Soviet pilots).
From the battle of Lenino till the combat over Elba and in Saxony 17 500 soldiers were killed, almost 10 000 were considered to be MIA. The most casualties cost the fighting in Pomorze (Pomerania €" 5400 killed and 2800 MIA) and in the Berlin operation (7200 killed and 3800 MIA). Because of the combined nature of the Soviet and Polish actions it is difficult to estimate how much damage the Poles inflicted to the enemy.
Some partial data is available only for a few battles: at Lenino 1800 Germans were killed, wounded or taken prisoner, in the tank battle at Studzianki the Germans lost 20 tanks and self-propelled guns and 1500 soldiers, at Wa" Pomorski 2300 killed.
In Berlin the soldiers of the Ko"ciuszko Division captured four subway stations and took prisoner 2500 German soldiers.
The Polish Army fighting in the East was the greatest regular military force fighting at the side of the Red Army. Its combat route lasted for almost two years, adding up to 1000 kilometers.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Polish air force in the Eastern Front. Polish pilots and Soviet instructors.</span>

It participated in different and important activities: forcing rivers, capturing cities, attacking fortifications, pursuing enemy troops. Its share in victory was paid dearly.

Polish contribution to the Allied victory in World War 2 (1939-1945)

Poland was the only country to fight in the European theatre of war from the first to the last day of the greatest armed conflict in the history of mankind. The war began with invading Poland: first, on September 1, 1939, by the Nazi Germany, soon after, on September 17, by the Soviet Union.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Polish Air Force in the campaign of 1939. Debris of the German Heinkel 111 bomber.</span>

Both invaders acted in concert, upon the Ribbentrop €" Molotov Treaty (concluded on August 23). The allies of Poland €" Great Britain and France €" declared war upon Germany on September 3rd, but did not undertake any efficient military actions (the so-called €œPhony War€).
The Soviet Union joined the anti-Nazi alliance only in the summer of 1941, when invaded by Germany. The United States, although they gave a lot of significant material aid, joined the military actions in December 1941 when assaulted by Japan and when Germany declared war upon them.

The most important features of the Polish contribution to the defeat of Germany are determination and perseverance. Despite the severe defeat in 1939, the Poles formed five more armies, including four in exile: in France in 1939, in the United Kingdom in the summer of 1940 (after the defeat and capitulation of France), and twice in the USSR in 1941. These were the army of Gen. Anders that fought later in the South of Europe, and the one that emerged in 1943 and later fought at the Red Army€s side.
The fifth Polish army, created at the end of September of 1939 was the conspiratorial armed force in the occupied territory. For the entire period of the war there also existed the very important €œsilent front€ €" the intelligence.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">General W"adys"aw Sikorski bids farewell to the Brigade before its departure for Norway, April 21st, 1940.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Independent Podhalan Riflemen Brigade in Norway, 1940.</span>

Probably up to 2 millions Poles served since September 1st, 1939 to May 8th, 1945 in all the Polish military formations €" regular armies, partisan troops and underground forces. In the final stage of war the Polish troops on all the European fronts amounted to some 600 000 soldiers (infantry, armored troops, aircraft and navy).
In the summer of 1944, while commencing regular military struggle against the retreating Germans, the armed underground numbered more than 300 thousands sworn soldiers. It can be concluded that Poland put in the field the fourth greatest Allied army.

The underground army home
Home Army

In the night from September 26 to 27, 1939, a day before Warsaw€s capitulation, General Micha" Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski received from the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish army (at the time interned in Romania) an order to create a military conspiracy. Over a few weeks he summoned up a group of officers who avoided captivity and from the scratch they built the most powerful underground army in the occupied Europe.
The first name of it was S"użba Zwycięstwu Polski (SZP €" Polish Victory Service), later Zwi...zek Walki Zbrojnej (ZWZ - Union for Armed Struggle), and from February 1942 €" Armia Krajowa (AK €" Home Army). This resistance is widely known under this last name. The actual creator of the Home Army was Gen. Stefan Rowecki (also known as €œGrot€) who was the chief of staff first, and from June 1940 to June 1943 €" the Commanding Officer.
After his seizure by Gestapo, this post was taken by Gen. Tadeusz Komorowski (aka B³r). The Home Army, being a voluntary force, in the same time was both a part of Polskie Si"y Zbrojne (PSZ €" or PAF €" Polish Armed Forces) whose high command was located in exile, and the most important element of the Polish Underground State.
The main goal of the AK was preparation and conducting a national uprising in case of advancing frontlines or general collapse of the German armed forces. There were created suitable structures €" staff, high commands of arms and services, territorial commands (regions, and on lower level €" districts), weapons were collected, officers and soldiers trained, information about enemy gathered.
However, because of the atrocious nature of the German occupation, public feelings and attitude, it was necessary to undertake daily struggle. Therefore the AK activities consisted of two strictly connected to each other parts: 1. the daily conspiratorial struggle, 2. the national uprising (during which the Home Army was supposed to recreate the full structure of armed forces).
Parallel to the official army there emerged military units of political parties, conspiracies based upon social organizations (e.g. upon the Fire Brigades emerged Ska"a, or €œthe Rock€) and youth associations (e.g. Szare Szeregi, or €œthe Grey Ranks€, based upon the Zwi...zek Harcerstwa Polskiego, or the €œPolish Scouting Association€).
They emerged thanks to the sabotage groups prepared by the General Staff before the war€s outbreak. One of the tasks of the AK Commanding Officer was uniting them into one force. This took quite a lot of time. Eventually, only a part of radical nationalists (NSZ €" Narodowe Si"y Zbrojne €" National Armed Forces) and, emerging up from the summer 1942 €" military units of communist party remained out of the AK structures. In the spring of 1944, when the process of unification was ended, the Home Army numbered more than 300 000 sworn soldiers.
Apart from the staff and territorial structures there existed special units dealing among others with subversion and sabotage. In April 1940 the Zwi...zek Odwetu emerged (ZO - Retaliation Union), later transformed into the Kierownictwo Dywersji (Kedyw €" Subversion Command) which acted on central level and in each region.
In September 1941, because of the change in the Polish-Soviet relations the organization €œWachlarz€ (or the €œFan€) was created. It dealt with intelligence and sabotage closely behind the German-Soviet frontlines. From January 1, 1941 to June 30, 1944 within the frames of daily struggle the AK and subordinate units ditched 732 trains, set fire to 443 transports, destroyed about 4300 vehicles, burnt 130 magazines of weapons and equipments, damaged 19 000 train carriages and 6900 engines, set fire to 1200 gasoline tanks, blew up 40 railway bridges, destroyed 5 oil shafts, froze 3 blast-furnaces, conducted about 25 000 sabotage acts in war factories, 5700 attempts on officers of different police formations, soldiers and volksdeutschs (Polish citizens of German origin that volunteered to quisle with Germans), set free prisoners of 16 prisons.
The partisan troops €" active from 1943 €" fought more than 170 combats, killing more than 1000 Germans. At the beginning of 1944 there were about 60 active AK partisan troops (some numbered up to a few hundred soldiers) and about 200 sabotage squads. The AK organized a few conspiratorial groups in some of the concentration camp (e.g. in Auschwitz) and among Poles sent to Germany for slave work. The runaway allied prisoners of war were also helped.
A contact by radio and couriers with the Polish government in exile and the Commander-in-Chief staff was also maintained. There functioned permanent transfer bases (the most important one in Budapest) and courier routes (e.g. to Sweden). Since February 1942 began to arrive the trained in England Polish sabotage and intelligence officers (the so called €œcichociemni€ €" literally the €œsilent and dark ones€). In total 316 of them were parachuted in Poland.
There also was a subversion propaganda action going on, addressed to German soldiers (the so called Action €œN€). The AK conducted some large publishing activities: there were about 250 newspapers edited, including the largest resistance title €" €œBiuletyn Informacyjny€ (Information Bulletin), which was published from November 5, 1939 up to January 1945.
Besides the €œBiuletyn€ there were also issued military books of rules, handbooks and manuals for the cadets of the underground military schools (some 8600 soldiers graduated from them). As it can be seen, there were many various activities going on. Their own contribution to fight against the occupation regime paid the Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa (ŻOB €" Jewish Fighting Organization) and the supported directly by the AK Żydowski Zwi...zek Wojskowy (ŻZW €" Jewish Military Union) €" mainly in the form of the heroic and desperate Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April 19 €" May 16, 1943).

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The last photo of the 4th company 2nd battalion 2nd AK Infantry Regiment. Radom - Kielce Region of the Home Army. January 1945.</span>

To the most spectacular actions of the Home Army belong: paralyzing the railway junction in Warsaw (night from October 7 to 8, 1942), recapturing the prisoners in Pi"sk (January 18, 1943), bomb assault in a city railway station in Berlin (February 15, 1943), recapturing the prisoners in downtown Warsaw (the so-called Arsenal action, March 26, 1943), assassination of Franz Kutschera, the SS and Police Commander for the District of Warsaw (February 1, 1994).
It is estimated that until July, 1944 about 34 thousand soldiers of the Home Army and subordinate units were killed€" some in combat but mostly they were executed or tortured to death in prisons €" more or less 10% of the ranks. Among the €œcichociemni€ the losses added up to 1/3 of the ranks.

By: Andrzej Paczkowski
Pawe" Sowi"ski
Dariusz Stola

-HH- Beebop
06-25-2005, 11:31 AM
excellent woofiedog! Umm, that IL-2 picture looks somehow familiar http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

25 June

In French Indochina... The Japanese put pressure on the French authorities in Indochina to block the transit of supplies to the Chinese Nationalists. They wish the rail line into China closed and a Japanese mission to be allowed in to inspect this.

In the United States... New considerably increased taxes are introduced which bring an additional 2,200,000 into the tax roll who have never formerly paid income tax. These increases of course reflect the armament expenditure.

On the Western Front... The Franco-German armistice comes into force.

On the Eastern Front... The forces of Soviet West Front (Pavlov), principally deployed in the Bialystok salient and containing forces of the Soviet 3rd Army (Kuznetsov) southwest of Grodno and 10th Army (Golubev) west of Bialystok as well as 4th Army (Korobkov) to the south of the salient, are threatened by a double envelopment by the infantry of the German 9th and 4th Armies (of Army Group Center) marching from the north and south. In response, Pavlov orders all front and army reserves forward, west of Minsk. In the evening, German 47th Panzer Corps (part of Panzer Group 2) cuts the main route from Bialystok to the east, between Wolkowysk and Slonim, isolating the Soviet 3rd and 10th Armies in the Bialystok salient.

In Stockholm... The Swedish government announces that it will allow the Germans to move forces up to one-division strong through Sweden from Norway to Finland.

On the Eastern Front... The German offensive in the south causes a Soviet retreat from Kupyansk on the Oskol River, east of Kharkov.

In North Africa... British Commander in Chief, General Auchinleck removes General Ritchie from command of the 8th Army and assumes direct command himself.

From Washington... General Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointed to command land forces in Europe.

In Sicily... The Allies continue bombing the island, concentrating on Messina.
[I]Aerial view of the bombing damge in Sicily

On the Eastern Front... Red Army attacks on the forces of German Army Group Center continue. Soviet 1st Baltic Front and 3rd Belorussian Front complete the encirclement of Vitebsk. The German 53rd Corps (part of 3rd Panzer Army) is now trapped with 5 divisions. Other forces of 1st Baltic Front cross the Dvina River; other elements of 3rd Belorussian front approach Orsha. Forces of 2nd Belorussian Front continue to attack around Mogilev, clearing the city. The German 4th Army is being forced back. The attacks of 1st Belorussian Fronts threaten to encircle Bobruisk, trapping elements of German 9th Army.
Soviet armored column in Mogilev

On the Western Front... The 3 divisions of the US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) penetrate into the suburbs of Cherbourg. Naval support includes 3 battleships, 4 cruisers and 11 destroyers. On the left wing of the Normandy front, elements of the British 30th Corps (part of British 2nd Army) attack toward Rauray.

In Italy... Elements of US 5th Army capture Piombino. Inland the French Expeditionary Corps (part of 5th Army) and the British 8th Army attack the German-held Albert Line west of Trasimeno Lake, around Chiusi.

In the Mariana Islands... The US 5th Amphibious Corps continues to battle for Saipan. Mount Tapotchau is captured. Heavy fighting is recorded in the Hagman Peninsula and near the southwest tip of the island.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, in Sarawak, the Australian forces complete the occupation of the Miri oilfield area. A preparatory naval bombardment begins at Balikpapan by 9 cruisers and 13 destroyers under the command of Admiral Barbey.
Australian troops enter the Royal Dutch Oil refineries on Borneo

In the Philippines... On Luzon, Tuguegarao is captured by the American forces, of the US 37th Division, in the Cagayan valley. Gattaran is retaken in the southward advance of the American paratroopers dropped at Aparri, after the Japanese had expelled the Filipino guerrillas. Penablanca is also captured. The surviving Japanese units on the island, about 50,000 troops, are now concentrated in the Sierra Madre area to the east of the Cagayan valley.

In Burma... South of Prome, seven villages are cleared of Japanese forces.

In London... William Joyce ("Lord Haw Haw"), the British Fascist propagandist who broadcast from Berlin during the war, is to be sent to trial on the charge of high treason.

06-25-2005, 06:37 PM
I've been away from my home PC for a while but have still had occasion to read. Its been enjoyable guys and hefty as usual http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

On this day in 1900, Lord Louis Mountbatten, British admiral and second cousin to King George VI, is born.

Louis Mountbatten was born in Windsor, England, the fourth child of Prince Louis of Battenberg and his wife, Princess Victoria, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. He entered the Royal Navy at age 13. Among his many assignments was that of aide-de-camp to the then Prince of Wales in 1921. He attained the rank of captain in 1932 and became a French and German interpreter shortly thereafter. When the Second World War broke out, he was given the command of the destroyer Kelly, which was attacked by 24 German bombers off the coast of Crete and sunk in 1941. (Mountbatten swam to shore and took control of the rescue effort.)

An able commander and a courageous soldier, Mountbatten was given ever greater responsibilities: first that of command of Combined Operations, then that of Supreme Allied Commander of Southeast Asia. His cousin, the king, would have to fend off accusations of nepotism in granting such appointments, despite Mountbatten's gifts.

Mountbatten led the capture of Burma from Japanese control and later accepted the surrender of Japanese land forces in September 1945. He then went on to become the last British viceroy of India and an able negotiator of independence for both India and Pakistan. He was created Viscount Mountbatten of Burma in 1946 and admiral of the Royal Mediterranean fleet in 1956. Other positions he later held include that of chief of the U.K. defense staff, chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, and finally governor and lord lieutenant of the Isle of Wight.

Mountbatten's distinguished career came to an end on August 26, 1979, when an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded on his boat, killing him

06-25-2005, 10:53 PM
On this night of June 25/26 1942...

25/26 June 1942

The 'Thousand Force' was reassembled for this raid, although only 960 aircraft became available for Bomber Command use. Every type of aircraft in Bomber command was included, even the Bostons and Mosquitos of 2 Group which, so far, had only been used for day operations. The force was composed as follows: 472 Wellingtons, 124 Halifaxes, 96 Lancasters, 69 Stirlings, 51 Blenheims, 50 Hampdens, 50 Whitleys, 24 Bostons, 20 Manchesters and 4 Mosquitos.
A further 102 Hudsons and Wellingtons of Coastal Command were sent to Bremen. 5 further aircraft provided by Army Co-Operation Command were also added to the force. The final numbers dispatched, 1,067 aircraft.
Parts of the force were allocated to specific targets in Bremen. The entire 5 Group effort - 142 aircraft - was ordered to bomb the Focke-Wulf factory; 20 Blenheims were allocated to the A.G. Weser shipyard; the Coastal Command aircraft were to bomb the Deschimag shipyard; all other aircraft were to carry out an area attack on the town and docks.
The tactics were basically similar to the earlier 'Thousand' raids except that the bombing period was now cut to 65 minutes. Bremen, on the wide River Weser, should have been an easy target to find and the inland penetration of the German night-fighter belt was only a shallow one. There were doubts about a band of cloud which lay across the Bremen area during the day, but this was being pushed steadily eastwards by a strong wind. Unfortunately the wind dropped in the evening and the bomber crews found the target completely covered for the whole period of the raid. The limited success which was gained was entirely due to the use of Gee, which enabled the leading crews to start fires, on to the glow of which many aircraft of later waves bombed. 696 Bomber Command aircraft were able to claim attacks on Bremen.
572 houses were completely destroyed and 6,108 damaged. 85 people were killed, 497 injured and 2,378 bombed out.
On the industrial side, an assembly shop at the Focke-Wulf factory was completely flattened, a further 6 buildings at this factory were seriously damaged and 11 buildings lightly so. Damage was also experienced by 4 important industrial firms - the Atlas Werke, the Vulkan shipyard, the Norddeutsche Hütte and the Korff refinery - and by 2 large dockside warehouses.
The actual losses of the Bomber Command aircraft involved in the raid were 48 aircraft, including 4 which came down in the sea near England from which all but 2 crew members were rescued. This was a new record loss. It represented exactly 5 per cent of the Bomber Command aircraft dispatched. This time, heaviest casualties were suffered by the OTUs of 91 Group, which lost 23 of the 198 Whitleys and Wellingtons provided by that group, a loss of 11.6 per cent. 5 of the 102 Coastal Command aircraft were also lost.

Intruder Operations: 56 aircraft of 2 Group - 31 Blenheims, 21 Bostons, 4 Mosquitos - were dispatched to attack and harass 13 German airfields. 15 of the Blenheims were lent by Army Co-Operation Command and were operating under Bomber Command orders. The Boston and Mosquito sorties were the first Intruder flights by those aircraft types. 2 of the Army Co-Operation Blenheims, attacking St Trond and Venlo airfields, were lost.

Total Bomber Command effort for the night: 1,016 sorties, 50 aircraft (4.9 per cent) lost. Total including Coastal Command: 1,123 sorties, 55 aircraft (4.9 per cent) lost.

Hudson in Service with Royal Air Force

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hudson Mk.III</span>

The first Hudsons were shipped to Liverpool in February of 1939. The Hudson Mk.I entered service with the No.224 Squadron of the RAF's Coastal Command at Gosport in the summer of 1939. By the time that war began in September of 1939, the Hudson Mk.I was also serving with No.233 Squadron, whereas Hudson Mk.IIIs were in the process of replacing the Avro Ansons that were serving with No.220 Squadron. The pilots of No.224 Squadron's Hudsons were the first RAF pilots to exchange shots with the Luftwaffe, which took place on the war's second day.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Versions
A-29 Re-engined A-28; lendlease to RAF, 416
A-29A Re-egined A29 all lendlease to RAF. 384
Hudson Mk I RAF designation for civil airliner
Hudson Mk II As Mk I, different propellers
Hudon III Modified I. Additional armamnt different engines
Hudson IIIA RAF design for A29/29A.480
Hudson IV As Mk III, engines. 130
Hudson Mk IVA RAF designation for A28
Hudson VI RAF designation for A28A. 450 lendlease </span>

On October 8, 1939, a 224 Squadron Hudson became the first aircraft of American design to destroy an enemy aircraft, when a Dornier Do 18D flying boat was destroyed off Jutland. Four months later, a Hudson Mk.III of No.220 squadron participated in helping to direct HMS Cossack in the boarding and seizing of the Kriegsmarine prison ship Altmark in Norwegian waters.

http://photos.airliners.net/small/8/9/4/289498.jpg http://www.jetphotos.net/images/p/PVT-HUDS-VHKOY-YMPC-020405-10.jpg.93679.jpg.thumb

Antisubmarine patrol became the primary Hudson mission. During the first years of the war, the three original Coastal Command Hudson squadrons were joined by Nos.206 and 269 Squadrons. The Hudsons flew regular maritime patrols and anti-shipping sorties.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">RAF Museum (UK) Hudson MkIV</span>

In early 1940, many Hudsons had air-to-surface ASV Mark I radar sets installed, which increased their effectivenes.. They were active in the Norwegian campaign of April-June 1940 and they were important in covering the withdrawal of Allied troops from Dunkirk. Hudsons also served with No.2 Camouflage Unite during 1939-40, and from

http://www.maxdecals.com/images/hudson/rnzaf.gif http://www.maxdecals.com/images/hudson/rnzaf2.gif

July 1940 onward with No.1. Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. They flew low-level and bad-weather sorties over Germany and occupied Europe. One RAF Hudson was assigned a cover clvil regiatration of G-AGAR and flew covert missions over Baku and Batumi in the USSR out of RAF Habbaniyeh in Iraq.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">NZAF Museum (Christchurch, NZ) Lockheed Hudson GR.III NZ2031 </span>

Hudsons were operated in the anti-submarine role by the RAF beginning in August of 1940. Detachments from several squadrons flew out of Aldergrove in Northern Ireland to cover the Western Approaches. Seven months later, a detachment from No.269 Squadron began antisubmarine patrols from Kaldardanes in Iceland. On August 27, 1941, one of the 269 Squadron Hudsons, under the command of Sqdn.Ldr. J. H. Thompson damaged the sufaced U-570, which was forced to surrender, becoming the first U-boat captured by the RAF.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Lockheed Hudson V reconnaissance bomber.</span>

Later, after the US had entered the war against Germany, RAF Hudsons flew out of NAS Quonset Point in Rhode Island, out of Waller Field in the British West Indies, out of NAS Norfolk in Virginia, out of Gibraltar, out of North Africa, out of Lydda in Palestine, and from Sicily, Italy and Corsica.

http://photos.airliners.net/small/7/9/4/289497.jpg http://www.jetphotos.net/images/p/PVT-HUDS-VHKOY-YMPC-020405-13.jpg.81073.jpg.thumb

RAF Hudsons also flew convoy escort, maritime reconnaissance, and also flew occasional bombing sorties. 35 Hudsons of Nos 59, 206, and 224 Squadrons pqrticipated in the second 1000-bomber raid against Germany on the night of June 25/25, 1942. The Hudson was also used as a bomber in the Far East, beginning in early 1942 with No. 62 swuadron in Malaya, and in this theatre it also served with Nos.139, 194, 217, 353 and 357 Squadrons in the bombing, convoy escort, and supply dropping roles.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Aircraft Type: Lockheed A-28 and A-29 Hudson (military version of Lockheed 14 Super Electra)
General Characteristics
Crew: six
Length: 44 ft 4 in (13.51 m)
Wingspan: 65 ft 6 in (19.96 m)
Height: 11 ft 10 in (3.62 m)
Wing area: 551 ft² (51.2 m²)
Empty: 12,000 lb (5,443 kg)
Loaded: 17,500 lb (7,930 kg)
Maximum takeoff: 18,500 lb (8,393 kg)
Powerplant: 2 x Wright Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engines, 1,100 hp (820 kW)
Maximum speed: 246 mph (397 km/h)
Range: 1,960 miles (3,150 km)
Service ceiling: 24,500 ft (7,468 m)
Rate of climb: 1,200 ft/min (366 m/min)
Wing loading: lb/ft² ( kg/m²)
4 x .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns, (2 in nose, 2 in dorsal turret)
750 lb (341 kg) of bombs or depth charges </span>

Production of the Hudson ended in May of 1943, after 2941 examples had been built. By this time, the Hudson had become increasingly obsolete, and was largely superseded by later types in its primary role of maritime reconnaissance. The Hudson then moved into secondary roles such as meteorlogical flights, air-sea rescue (for which it carried a Mark I airborne lifeboat underneath the fuselage), the fropping of agents into enemy-occupied territory, training, and transport work. The Hudson was also operated bo BOAC in support of the Atlantic Ferry, and from November 1940, Hudsons were flown across the Atlantic rather than being shipped by sea. The last Hudson was retired from RAF service in April 1945, when No.251 Squadron transitioned to Fortresses.


In service, the Hudson was practical, popular, and surprisingly effective for a converted civil aircraft. Its reliability earned it the nickname "Old Boomerang" because it always came back. The long series of Lockheed maritime patrol aircraft started with the quickly improvised Hudson.

06-25-2005, 11:03 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif Arcadeace & -HH- Beebop ... I hope your enjoying your summer so far!
Great work on your post's... we have had over 10,000 people viewing this Thread! Wow

-HH- Beebop
06-26-2005, 12:05 PM
Arcadeace, thanks for the Mountbatten post. He was a truly gifted officer. Woofiedog, love the Hudson post. I hope we get the Hudson in BoB

26 June

In Bucharest... The Soviets present an ultimatum to Romania demanding the cession of territory in Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. Germany reluctantly intervenes to help persuade the Romanians to give in.

On the Eastern Front... In the north Daugavpils is taken in the German advance and Panzer Group 4 forces begin working to take bridgeheads over the Dvina River. In the advance of Army Group Center, forces of Panzer Group 3 are 18 miles from Minsk by midday.

From Helsinki... Finland declares war on the USSR.

In the Mediterranean... In two operations (from June 26-30th), first by Ark Royal alone and then by Ark Royal and Victorious together, 57 Hurricanes are flown off to Malta. More planes are embarked but cannot be sent because of malfunctions in the launching equipment of the carriers.

Over Germany... The final RAF 1,000 plane raid bombs Bremen. The training squadrons used to raise the number of planes to 1,000 must return to regular training.
British Lancaster bobmers in formation

In North Africa... Despite superior numbers of tanks and several fresh formations the British cannot halt the German advance into Egypt near Mersa Matruh.

In New Guinea... The Allied force at Morobe prepares for an amphibious move north along the coast.
Amphibious landings along the coast of New Guinea

On the Eastern Front... Operation Bagration continues. At Vitebsk, elements of 3rd Belorussian Front penetrate the defenses of the trapped German 53rd Corps. During the night, a breakout is attempted but most of the 28,000 German troops are either killed or captured. Other elements of 3rd Belorussian Front capture Orsha, to the south, during the night. Forces of 2nd Belorussian Front capture Mogilev. The attacks of 1st Belorussian Front encircle Bobruisk, trapping 40,000 troops of German 41st Panzer Corps (part of 9th Army). Meanwhile, the first German reinforcements for Army Group Center arrive in Minsk: elements of the German 5th Panzer Division with sPzAbt. 505 attached.
A German Tiger tank of sPzAbt. 505

On the Western Front... Most of Cherbourg, except the port, is now occupied by US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army). The German garrison commander, General Schlieben and the naval commander, Admiral Hennecke, are taken prisoner. Meanwhile, British 2nd Army forces attacking toward Caen recieve naval support from HMS Rodney, the monitor Roberts and 3 cruisers.

In Italy... The French Expeditionary Corps (part of the US 5th Army) advances north of Radicofani while South African elements of the British 8th Army, to the right, capture Chiusi.

In the Mariana Islands... The American 5th Amphibious Corps continues attacking on Saipan. A small Japanese reinforcement convoy heading for the island is met and forced away by US forces.

In the Kurile Islands... Admiral Small leads a cruiser and destroyer group to bombard Japanese positions on Matsuwa.

In San Francisco... The United Nations Charter is signed by representatives of 50 countries.
In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, the preparatory naval bombardment, at Balikpapan, continues.
Signatures of the UK,USSR and USA to the UN charter

In the Ryukyu Islands... US Marines land on Kume Island, where a new radar station is installed.

In the Philippines... On Luzon, the American paratroopers dropped near Aparri link up with the US 37th Division. The divisional headquarters now takes command of the parachute battalion and the regimental task force, sent north earlier, as well as the Filipino guerrillas operating in the area.

In China... Chinese forces capture Liuchow airfield.

Over Japan... American B-29 Superfortress bombers launch the first in a series of nighttime raids against Japanese oil refineries.

06-26-2005, 03:58 PM
On this day in 1940, Turkey announces neutrality in the widening world war. Turkey was precariously positioned, prime real estate for both the Soviet Union to the north and the Axis Powers to the west. For the Soviets, an occupied or "satellite" Turkey could be yet another buffer zone, protection against invasion. For Germany, it was a means to an end, a bridge to conquests in the Middle East. Turkey could not afford to antagonize one or the other. But that position would not hold. By the time the Soviet Union had reconquered Crimea from Germany in 1944, Turkey needed to be seen as an "ally" of the Russian Bear so as not to invite, unwittingly, Russian troops onto its territory. Consequently, Turkey stopped chrome shipments to Germany and--with added prodding by Winston Churchill--declared itself "pro-Allied" but still not a belligerent. But by February 1945, Turkey, anticipating Hitler's defeat, finally formally declared war on Germany.

On this day in 1945, the Charter for the United Nations is signed in San Francisco. The United Nations was born of perceived necessity, as a means of better arbitrating international conflict and negotiating peace than was provided for by the old League of Nations. The growing Second World War became the real impetus for the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union to begin formulating the original U.N. Declaration, signed by 26 nations in January 1942, as a formal act of opposition to Germany, Italy, and Japan, the Axis Powers. But now that the war--at least in the West--was over, negotiating and maintaining the peace was the practical responsibility of the new U.N. Security Council, made up of the United States, Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and China. Each would have veto power over the other. A year later, after the war in the East was won as well, Winston Churchill called for the United Nations to employ its Charter in the service of creating a new, united Europe--united in its opposition to communist expansion--East and West. Given the composition of the Security Council, this would prove easier said than done.

-HH- Beebop
06-27-2005, 10:33 AM
arcadeace, thanks for fleshing out the 'headlines'

27 June

In Washington... A confidential meeting is held between British and Australian representatives and the United States Secretary of State Cordell Hull. The British and Australians ask for help in standing up to Japan. They wish the USA to take economic measures or to move more units of the fleet to Malaysian and Philippine waters or to offer to mediate between China and Japan. Hull is unable to agree to any of these moves which would involve a more active foreign policy than the American public is prepared to contemplate at this time.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of the Soviet 13th Army (Filatov), recently assigned to West Front, are struck by the attacks of German Panzer Group 3, advancing southward, and Panzer Group 2, striking northward. The panzer groups link up near Minsk, trapping another 3 Soviet rifle divisions in what is now the Bialystok-Nowogrodek pocket. There are about 20 Soviet divisions encircled.

From Budapest... Hungary declares war on the USSR.

In the Arctic... Convoy PQ-17 leaves Iceland for Archangel, consisting of 36 freighters and a tanker, escorted by 6 destroyers and 13 smaller ships. QP-13 consisting of 35 ships leaves Murmansk at the same time.
The ill fated convoy PQ-17

In North Africa... Despite heavy fighting the Allied forces at Mersa Matruh are forced to continue their withdrawal.

In the Solomon Islands.. On New Georgia, the marines are ferried farther up the coast from Segi Point to begin an overland advance on Viru Harbor.
Anti-aircraft position at Segi Point, New Georgia

On the Eastern Front... The destruction of German Army Group Center continues. Soviet 1st Belorussian Front begins attacking the trapped German 41st Panzer Corps (part of 9th Army) in Bobruisk. To the north 2nd Belorussian pressures German 4th Army and 3rd Belorussian drives southwest toward the Berezina River. Vitebsk is occupied by elements of 1st Baltic Front.
[i]Soviet infatry enters Vitebsk after the German retreat

From Berlin... The commander of German 9th Army, General Jordan, is relieved. The Germans announce that talks with Finnish representatives have been concluded with the promise of German help against the Soviet forces.

On the Western Front... American forces of 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) complete the capture of Cherbourg. The port, however, is not presently operational. To the left, the British 2nd Army continues attacks. Forces of the British 30th Corps capture Rauray, near Caen, and British 8th Corps launches new attacks.

In the Philippines... On Luzon, units of the US 37th Division, part of US 1st Corps, reach Aparri, on the north coast. With the occupation of the whole of the Cagayan valley, the campaign for the recapture of the island is now effectively complete. The remaining Japanese forces are isolated in remote parts of Luzon and lack supplies or medical care.

In the Ryukyu Islands... The American carrier USS Bunker Hill is struck by a Kamikaze plane, killing 373 men.




USS Bountiful (AH-9) taking casualties on board from USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) on 12 May 1945, one day after the carrier was devastated by a kamikaze attack. USS The Sullivans (DD-537) is in the foreground. Photographed by PhoM2/c F. W. Pataye, USN of Commander Service Squadron 6.





While on patrol between Okinawa and Kyushu, the U.S. carrier Bunker Hill - her decks crammed with planes waiting to take off - was hit by two kamikazes within thirty seconds of each other. The carrier was saved through heroic damage-control measures, but it had to limp back to the United States for repairs

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, the preparatory naval bombardment, at Balikpapan, continues.

In the Soviet Union... Stalin is appointed to the new rank of Generalissimo.

In Liberated Czechoslovakia... Dr. Emil Hacha, the former president of the German sponsored "Bohemia-Moravia Protectorate," dies in Prague prison hospital, at age 73, while awaiting trial.

In Washington... Edward Stettinius resigns as Secretary of State to take up the post of ambassador to the United Nations.

06-27-2005, 03:11 PM
There's always plenty of meat mate http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

On this day in 1940, the Germans set up two-way radio communication in their newly occupied French territory, employing their most sophisticated coding machine, Enigma, to transmit information.

The Germans set up radio stations in Brest and the port town of Cherbourg. Signals would be transmitted to German bombers so as to direct them to targets in Britain. The Enigma coding machine, invented in 1919 by Hugo Koch, a Dutchman, looked like a typewriter and was originally employed for business purposes. The German army adapted the machine for wartime use and considered its encoding system unbreakable. They were wrong. The Brits had broken the code as early as the German invasion of Poland and had intercepted virtually every message sent through the system. Britain nicknamed the intercepted messages Ultra.

-HH- Beebop
06-28-2005, 08:47 AM
28 June

In London... General de Gaulle is recognized by the British government as "Leader of All Free Frenchmen."
Charles de Gaulle

In Libya... Marshal Balbo, Italian Governor and Commander in Chief in Libya, is killed by friendly antiaircraft fire while flying over Tobruk during a British air raid. Marshal Graziani is appointed to replace him.

On the Eastern Front... Marching German infantry from the 9th Army (Strauss) and 4th Army (Kluge) link up east of Bialystok by nightfall, cutting off the Soviet forces concentrated in the Bialystok pocket from the larger Nowogrodek pocket.

In Washington... The US Army Bill for 1942 is passed by Congress.

On the Eastern Front... The main German summer offensive begins. General Bock's Army Group South drives east from Kursk to Voronezh.
German PzKpfw III moves through a burning field

In North Africa... Mersa Matron falls to the Axis forces led by Rommel and again a large quantity of stores and equipment fall into Axis hands. All the forces in the area, the British 8th Army and the German and Italian troops are heading back toward El Alamien. It is here that British General Auchinleck has decided to take a stand.

In the Atlantic... Elements of the British Home Fleet leaves Scapa Flow to provide distant escort for PQ-17. The escort includes two battleships HMS Duke of York and USS Washington and one carrier, HMS Victorious with cruisers and destroyers.

In New Guinea... More American forces occupy Kiriwina and Woodlark islands. Construction of airfields begins.
American troops marching in the New Guinea jungle
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">see following post for more on the SeaBees</span>

On the Eastern Front... Soviet operations against German Army Group Center continue. Elements of the German 41st Panzer Corps break out of the Bobruisk encirclement during the night. Weak Soviet infantry forces of 1st Belorussian Front are unable to hold. About 15,000 of the roughly 40,000 manage to escape. Meanwhile, in the north, the Soviet Karelian Front forces reach Petrozavodsk and also cross the Murmansk rail line farther north.
German soldiers attemping to break out

From Berlin... The commander of German Army Group Center, Field Marshal Busch, is relieved. Field Marshal Model is designated his replacement.

On the Western Front... In the Cotentin Peninsula, American forces of US 1st Army prepare to eliminate German resistance in the direction of Cap de la Hague. The forces of British 2nd Army cross the Odon River on a 2 mile front near Mondrainville.

In Occupied France... The Vichy France Minister for Propaganda, Philippe Henriot, is assassinated in Paris.

In New Guinea... On Biak, the American divisional force, now commanded by General Doe, clears the Japanese-held caves in the western part of the island.

In the United States... Governor Thomas Dewey and Governor John Bricker win the Republican nominations for president and vice-president at the party convention in Chicago.

In the Philippines... General MacArthur announces that the operations on Luzon are complete. It has been 5 months and 19 days since the American invasion began. An estimated 11,000 Japanese troops remain isolated in the Sierra Madre mountains and another 12,000 are trapped in the Kiangan-Bontoc (or Ifugao-Bontoc) area. The US 8th Army is assigned the task of mopping up on Luzon while the US 6th Army is reorganized for the invasion of Japan (Operation Olympic). Much of the mopping-up will be left to Filipino units. On Mindanao, mopping up operations continue.
In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, the preparatory naval bombardment, at Balikpapan, continues. Australian forces capture Kuala Belait.

Over Japan... American aircraft drop incendiary bombs on Moji, Nobeoka and Okayama.

In Warsaw... A Polish government of national unity is formed. It includes several members of the London-based Polish government in exile.

-HH- Beebop
06-28-2005, 08:51 AM

Seabee History: Formation of the Seabees and World War II

After the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States entry into the war, the use of civilian labor in war zones became impractical. Under international law civilians were not permitted to resist enemy military attack. Resistance meant summary execution as guerrillas.

The need for a militarized Naval Construction Force to build advance bases in the war zone was self-evident. Therefore, Rear Admiral Ben Moreell determined to activate, organize, and man Navy construction units. On 28 December 1941, he requested specific authority to carry out this decision, and on 5 January 1942, he gained authority from the Bureau of Navigation to recruit men from the construction trades for assignment to a Naval Construction Regiment composed of three Naval Construction Battalions. This is the actual beginning of the renowned Seabees, who obtained their designation from the initial letters of Construction Battalion. Admiral Moreell personally furnished them with their official motto: Construimus, Batuimus -- "We Build, We Fight."

An urgent problem confronting the Bureau of Yards and Docks was who should command the construction battalions. By Navy regulations, military command of naval personnel was limited to line officers. Yet it was deemed essential that the newly established construction battalions should be commanded by officers of the Civil Engineer Corps who were trained in the skills required for the performance of construction work. The bureau proposed that the necessary command authority should be bestowed on its Civil Engineer Corps officers. However, the Bureau of Naval Personnel (successor to the Bureau of Navigation) strongly objected to this proposal.

Despite this opposition, Admiral Moreell personally presented the question to the Secretary of the Navy. On 19 March 1942, after due deliberation, the Secretary gave authority for officers of the Civil Engineer Corps to exercise military authority over all officers and enlisted men assigned to construction units. The Secretary's decision, which was incorporated in Navy regulations, removed a major roadblock in the conduct of Seabee operations. Of equal importance, it constituted a very significant morale booster for Civil Engineer Corps officers because it provided a lawful command authority status that tied them intimately into combat operations, the primary reason for the existence of any military force. From all points of view, Admiral Moreell's success in achieving this end contributed ultimately to the great success and fame of the Seabees.

With authorization to establish construction battalions at hand and the question of who was to command the Seabees settled, the Bureau of Yards and Docks was confronted with the problem of recruiting, enlisting, and training Seabees, and then organizing the battalions and logistically supporting them in their operations. Plans for accomplishing these tasks were not available. Workable Plans were quickly developed, however, and because of the exigencies of the war much improvising was done.

The first Seabees were not raw recruits when they voluntarily enlisted. Emphasis in recruiting them was placed on experience and skill, so all they had to do was adapt their civilian construction skills to military needs. To obtain men with the necessary qualifications, physical standards were less rigid than in other branches of the armed forces. The age range for enlistment was 18-50, but after the formation of the initial battalions, it was discovered that several men past 60 had managed to join up, clearly an early manifestation of Seabee ingenuity. During the early days of the war, the average age of Seabees was 37. After December 1942 voluntary enlistments were halted by orders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and men for the construction battalions had to be obtained through the Selective Service System. Henceforward, Seabees were on average much younger and came into the service with only rudimentary skills.

The first recruits were the men who had helped to build Boulder Dam, the national highways, and New York's skyscrapers; who had worked in the mines and quarries and dug the subway tunnels; who had worked in shipyards and built docks and wharfs and even ocean liners and aircraft carriers. By the end of the war, 325,000 such men had enlisted in the Seabees. They knew more than 60 skilled trades, not to mention the unofficial ones of souvenir making and "moonlight procurement." Nearly 11,400 officers joined the Civil Engineer Corps during the war, and 7,960 of them served with the Seabees.

At Naval Construction Training Centers and Advanced Base Depots established on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Seabees were taught military discipline and the use of light arms. Although technically support troops, Seabees at work, particularly during the early days of base development in the Pacific, frequently found themselves in conflict with the enemy.

After completing three weeks of boot training at Camp Allen, and later at its successor, Camp Peary, both in Virginia, the Seabees were formed into construction battalions or other types of construction units. Some of the very first battalions were sent overseas immediately upon completion of boot training because of the urgent need for naval construction. The usual procedure, however, was to ship the newly- formed battalion to an Advanced Base Depot at either Davisville, Rhode Island, or Port Hueneme, California. There the battalions, and later other units, underwent staging and outfitting. The Seabees received about six weeks of advanced military and technical training, underwent considerable unit training, and then were shipped to an overseas assignment. About 175,000 Seabees were staged directly through Port Hueneme during the war.

As the war proceeded, battle-weary construction battalions and other units in the Pacific were returned to the United States to the Construction Battalion Recuperation and Replacement Center at Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California. At Camp Parks, battalions were reformed and reorganized, or as was the case in several instances, the battalions were simply disestablished and the men assigned to other battalions. Seabees were given 30-day leaves and also plenty of time for rest and recuperation. Eligible men were frequently discharged at Camp Parks. On a much smaller scale, the Advance Base Receiving Barracks at Davisville, Rhode Island, performed similar functions for Atlantic battalions.

The construction battalion, the fundamental unit of the Seabee organization, comprised four companies that included the necessary construction skills for doing any job, plus a headquarters company consisting of medical and dental professionals and technicians, administrative personnel, storekeepers, cooks, and similar specialists. The complement of a standard battalion originally was set at 32 officers and 1,073 men, but from time to time the complement varied in number.

As the war progressed and construction projects became larger and more complex, more than one battalion frequently had to be assigned to a base. For efficient administrative control, these battalions were organized into a regiment, and when necessary, two or more regiments were organized into a brigade, and as required, two or more brigades were organized into a naval construction force. For example, 55,000 Seabees were assigned to Okinawa and the battalions were organized into 11 regiments and 4 brigades, which, in turn, were all under the command of the Commander, Construction Troops, who was a Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer, Commodore Andrew G. Bisset. Moreover, his command also included 45,000 United States Army engineers, aviation engineers, and a few British engineers. He therefore commanded 100,000 construction troops in all, the largest concentration of construction troops during the entire war.

Although the Seabees began with the formation of regular construction battalions only, the Bureau of Yards and Docks soon realized the need for special-purpose units. While the battalion itself was versatile enough to handle almost any project, it would have been a wasteful use of men to assign a full battalion to a project that could be done equally well by a smaller group of specialists.

The first departure from the standard battalion was the special construction battalion, or as it was commonly known, the Seabee Special. These special battalions were composed of stevedores and longshoremen who were badly needed to break a bottleneck in the unloading of ships in combat zones. Their officers, drawn largely from the Merchant Marine and personnel of stevedoring companies, were commissioned in the Civil Engineer Corps. The enlisted men were trained practically from scratch, and the efficiency of their training was demonstrated by the fact that cargo handling in combat zones compared favorably to that in the most efficient ports in the United States.

Another smaller, specialized unit within the Seabee organization was the construction battalion maintenance unit, which was about one-quarter the size of a regular construction battalion. It was organized to take over the maintenance of a base after a regular battalion had completed construction and moved on to its next assignment.

Still another specialized Seabee unit was the construction battalion detachment, ranging in size from 6 to 600 men, depending on the specialized nature of its function. These detachments did everything from operating tire-repair shops to dredges. A principal use for them, however, was the handling, assembling, launching, and placing of pontoon causeways.

Additional specialized units were the motor trucking battalions, the pontoon assembly detachments that manufactured pontoons in forward areas, and petroleum detachments comprised of experts in the installation of pipelines and petroleum facilities.

In the Second World War, the Seabees were organized into 151 regular construction battalions, 39 special construction battalions, 164 construction battalion detachments, 136 construction battalion maintenance units, 5 pontoon assembly detachments, 54 regiments, 12 brigades, and under various designations, 5 naval construction forces.


During the Second World War, the Seabees performed now legendary deeds in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters of Operation. At a cost of nearly $11 billion and many casualties, they constructed over 400 advanced bases along five figurative roads to victory which all had their beginnings in the continental United States. The South Atlantic road wound through the Caribbean Sea to Africa, Sicily, and up the Italian peninsula. The North Atlantic road passed through Newfoundland to Iceland, Great Britain, France, and Germany. The North Pacific road passed through Alaska and along the Aleutian island chain. The Central Pacific road passed through the Hawaiian, Marshall, Gilbert, Mariana, and Ryukyu Islands. The South Pacific road went through the South Sea islands to Samoa, the Solomons, New Guinea, and the Philippine's. All the Pacific roads converged on Japan and the Asiatic mainland.


Along the Atlantic front, the Seabees helped forge two roads to victory. From tropical Caribbean climes to the ultimate destination of Germany, they played a crucial role in initially opening and later maintaining bases of critical importance to the war effort.

On the South Atlantic road to victory, Seabee contributions in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America were the first of many milestones. When the United States found itself enmeshed in a two ocean war, the Panama Canal suddenly became the most strategic point on the globe. The convergence of naval and merchant fleet traffic at this point offered German U-boats a vital and tempting target. As a result, it became necessary to ring the canal's ocean approaches with protective bases.

Agreements with the governments of Caribbean, Central American, and South American countries made it possible to secure sites for new bases throughout the area. The Lend Lease Agreement, consummated with Great Britain in September of 1940, yielded still other possible bases in this crucial locale.

Not only were new base sites rapidly acquired, but United States bases already in existence were enlarged. Under the Greenslade Program of 1940, the three pre-1939 naval installations located in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Panama Canal Zone were all expanded. The construction program undertaken in Puerto Rico was perhaps the most ambitious. The Naval Station at Roosevelt Roads, seat of the Tenth Naval District, was developed into an installation of major proportions. It was so enlarged that it became known as the "Pearl Harbor of the Caribbean."

Most of the construction on existing, as well as on the newly established Caribbean, Central American, and South American bases, was carried out by civilian contractors. By late 1943, however, the Seabees had arrived in these southern reaches to complete unfinished construction jobs and keep this vast, naval network in smooth, technical operation. Along the Atlantic coastal regions, these bases formed a barrier from Bermuda to beyond the Brazilian bulge. On the Pacific side of the Americas, United States bases stretched from Honduras to Ecuador. Seaplanes, patrol bombers, blimps, and surface craft operating out of the new and enlarged harbors and airfields hunted down and destroyed roving enemy submarines.

At the big Carlsen airfield on Trinidad, Naval Construction Battalion 80 paved runways and built a giant blimp hangar. Naval Construction Battalion 83 helped cut an eight-mile, S-curved highway up Trinidad's jungled mountain slopes. Beginning at the sea level town of Port of Spain and climbing to a height of 1,300 feet, the construction of this road required that the Seabees move one million cubic yards of earth and rock.

On the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador, Naval Construction Battalion Detachment 1012 outfitted a seaplane base with tank farms, pontoon piers, and a water system. Once this mission had been successfully accomplished, the detachment moved to Salinas on the Ecuadorian main- land. There they completed the southernmost seaplane base of the crucial Pacific sea patrol arc.

More often than not, however, the construction battalions, detachments, and maintenance units that served in these areas manned bases already completed. Although far from the receding fronts of war, their tours of duty were, nonetheless, exacting and important.

From the Caribbean and the Americas, the South Atlantic victory road led to North Africa where the Seabees faced combat for the first time in the Atlantic Theater of Operations. After landing with American assault forces on 7 November 1942, they proceeded to rapidly construct military facilities at Oran, Casablanca, Safi and Fedala. Later, while the Allied armies moved toward Tunisia and their final showdown with the Afrika Korps, the Seabees built a string of staging and training areas along the northern coast. Also active on the west coast of Africa, they constructed a huge naval air station at Port Lyautey, Morocco.

After the Allies had driven the Axis forces out of Tunisia, the Seabees began a large scale buildup at their new base in Bizerte. There they prepared a new weapon of war, the steel pontoon, that was to be used for the first time on the invasion beaches of Sicily. Actually, pontoons were not new to naval warfare. Xerxes had used such devices to cross the Hellespont when he invaded Greece in the 5th Century B.C. The Seabees, however, had added some new innovations and cleverly adapted them to the requirements of modern amphibious warfare. The classic pontoons were standardized in size and fitted with special tackle so that they could be quickly assembled to form causeways, piers, and other structures. As a result, these versatile "magic boxes" could be used to meet the exigencies of any number of situations.

The beaches of Sicily had previously been considered by both the Allies and Axis as an impossible site for a major amphibious landing. Nevertheless, with help of the Seabees and their new pontoons, the Allies were able to carry off a surprise attack on the weakly defended Sicilian beaches. The enemy was quickly outflanked and overpowered as large numbers of men and huge amounts of equipment poured ashore over pontoon causeways with a minimum of casualties and delay. Thus, the Seabees were instrumental in spelling the beginning of the end for the southern stronghold of the Axis.

These same landing techniques were later used at Salerno and Anzio on the Italian mainland. Unfortunately, the Germans had learned their lesson from the Sicilian debacle, and this time they were lying in wait. It was in the face of fierce resistance and heavy bombardment that the Allies suffered heavy casualties as they stormed ashore at both Salerno and Anzio, and the Seabees absorbed their share of the casualties. At Anzio the situation was particularly desperate. Anzio had been a diversionary landing behind enemy lines and, when the Germans staged a massive counterattack, the defenders were in critical danger of being pushed back into the sea. It was the Seabees' task to keep essential supplies and ammunition moving across their pontoon causeways to the struggling forces on their precarious beachhead. Only with their vital assistance were the Allies able to turn the tide of battle and push inland in the wake of the slowly retreating Germans. For many months, however, the Seabees remained at Anzio and, under continuous German bombardment, built cargo handling facilities, unloaded tank landing ships, and kept supplies moving to the front. German resistance in Southern Italy finally collapsed and Rome was taken on 4 June 1943. Even so, the Seabees had one more task in the Mediterranean, the invasion of Southern France through Toulon. While this was a relatively important job, it was eclipsed by the much bigger assignment they were handed on the North Atlantic road to victory, the Normandy invasion.

Although Seabee accomplishments on the North Atlantic road eventually culminated in the Normandy invasion, operations in that area had begun as early as March of 1942.

The Seabees were first used on construction projects in Iceland, Newfoundland, and Greenland at bases previously acquired by treaty from Great Britain. Seabees in Newfoundland helped construct a huge naval air station and naval base at Argentia. From these installations, aircraft and surface ships set forth to protect the many Allied convoys sailing the western sector of the North Atlantic.

To complete the huge arc of bases stretching across the North Atlantic, even more Seabees were sent to the British Isles. At Londonderry, Northern Ireland, they constructed a huge, deep water facility for naval craft and a naval air station that was capable of handling the largest aircraft. Lough Erne, Loch Ryan, and Rosneath in Scotland were transformed into huge storage depots, tank farms, industrial areas, and seaplane bases.

Only with the firm establishment of the Navy's control of the seas, and the logistic battle of the North Atlantic under control, did the Seabees move to the southwest coast of England to prepare for the great invasion. From Milford Haven on the northwest coast of Wales down to Plymouth and over to Exeter, the Seabees built invasion bases which teemed with activity. There they prepared for their most critical and multifaceted role in the Atlantic Theater of Operations.

During D-Day of the Normandy invasion, 6 June 1944, the Seabees were among the first to go ashore as members of naval combat demolition units. Working with U.S. Army Engineers, their crucial task was to destroy the steel and concrete barriers that the Germans had built in the water and on the beaches to forestall any amphibious landings. When dawn betrayed their presence, they came under murderous German fire. Whole teams were wiped out when shells prematurely detonated their explosives. Heedless of the danger, the survivors continued to work until all their explosive charges were planted. As a result of their heroic actions, the charges went off on schedule and huge holes were blown in the enemy's defenses.

The arduous assignment of the combat demolition units was only the beginning of the Seabees' work on Normandy's beaches. After the invasion fleet had arrived off the coast, The approximately 10,000 Seabees of Naval Construction Regiment 25 began manhandling their pontoon causeways onto the beach. It was over these causeways that the infantry charged ashore. Under constant German fire, directed at slowing or stopping the landings, the Seabees succeeded in placing large numbers of these pontoon causeways. Allied troops and tanks subsequently swept ashore in ever greater numbers and pushed the German defenders inland.

The Seabee contribution to the success of the invasion was not restricted to assembling and placing pontoon causeways. They also manned the large ferries known as Rhinos that carried men and supplies from the larger ships to the beaches. These ferries were actually little more than floating pontoon structures powered by giant outboard motors. Huge amounts of much needed equipment were hauled ashore on Rhinos during the first few days of the invasion.

The Seabees also built offshore cargo and docking facilities, piers, and breakwaters. These were constructed out of old cargo ships, special prefabricated concrete structures that were floated over from England, and the ubiquitous steel pontoons. The huge port area that was formed out of this odd combination of materials became known as Mulberry A. Even after the artificial harbor was partially destroyed in a severe storm, the Seabees landed hundreds of thousands of tons of war material daily. In addition to these massive amounts of supplies, by July 4, only 28 days after D-day, they had helped land more than a million Allied fighting men.

The liberation of Cherbourg and Le Havre led to the next big Seabee project. Mulberry A, for all its impressiveness, was only a temporary facility, and the established harbors of these two cities were desperately needed by the Allies. Knowing of this need, the Germans had cleverly devastated the harbors of Cherbourg and Le Havre before retreating. It thus fell to the Seabees to put these harbors quickly back into service. On the heels of the liberating armies, the Seabees entered Cherbourg and Le Havre. At Cherbourg the first cargoes were landed within 11 days and within a month the harbor was capable of handling 14 ships simultaneously. Seabee accomplishments at Le Havre were equally impressive.

As the front continued to move inland, other ports along the northern and western coasts of France were restored. At Brest, Lorient, and St. Nazaire, the Seabees rapidly cleared and rebuilt harbors to handle additional vital shipments of cargo.

The final great Seabee effort in the European Theater took place during the crossing of the Rhine River in March 1945. Many times during the Second World War the Seabees had been called upon to do odd jobs of an urgent nature, but this particular odd job was of special significance. The U.S. Army, concerned about the Rhine River's swift and tricky currents, called upon the Seabees to operate many of the landing craft that were to be used in breaking Germany's Rhine River barrier. The Seabees' first successful probe across the treacherous river was at Bad Neuenahr near Remagen. Further crossings followed in rapid succession as the Seabees made their task appear to be little more difficult than a sightseeing cruise.

On 22 March 1945, General George S. Patton, with Seabee assistance, put his armored forces across the Rhine at Oppenheim in a frontal assault which swept away the German defenders. To support Patton's advancing army, the Seabees built pontoon ferries similar to the Rhinos of D-day fame and used them to transport Patton's tanks across the river.

In all, the Seabees operated more than 300 craft which shuttled thousands of troops into the heart of Germany. One Seabee crew even had the honor of ferrying Prime Minister Winston Churchill across the Rhine on an inspection tour.

The 69th Naval Construction Battalion had the distinction of being the only complete battalion to serve in Germany. Arriving at Bremen on 27 April 1945, the Seabees of this battalion set up camp just outside the city. They immediately began the re-roofing of damaged buildings, installing plumbing and lighting, setting up shops and offices, and installing power lines. A detachment also repaired facilities at the nearby port of Bremerhaven.

Later, a large detachment from the 69th battalion was sent to Frankfurt-am-Main, which had been designated as the headquarters of the U.S. Navy for the occupation of Germany. There the detachment refurbished several buildings and performed considerable maintenance work. In August 1945 the men of this detachment completed their work and withdrew to Great Britain.

For the Seabees, the completion of this task marked the end of the North Atlantic road to victory. They had reached their goal. Their building and fighting exploits along the road had been noteworthy and valorous.


Seabees in the Pacific Theater of Operations earned the gratitude of all Allied fighting men who served with them or followed in their wake. Their deeds were unparalleled in the history of wartime construction. With eighty percent of the Naval Construction Force concentrated on the three Pacific roads, they literally built and fought their way to victory.

In the North, Central, South and Southwest Pacific areas, the Seabees built 111 major airstrips, 441 piers, 2,558 ammunition magazines, 700 square blocks of warehouses, hospitals to serve 70,000 patients, tanks for the storage of 100,000,000 gallons of gasoline, and housing for 1,500,000 men. In construction and fighting operations, the Pacific Seabees suffered more than 200 combat deaths and earned more than 2,000 Purple Hearts. They served on four continents and on more than 300 islands.

Of the three Pacific roads to victory, perhaps the least significant was the one which wound through the North Pacific. At the outset of hostilities, however, this region, which included Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, had been a Japanese target. The Japanese campaign of 1942 that succeeded in seizing the Aleutian islands of Attu and Kiska was partly a feint, partly a serious probe of American defenses, and partly a move to prevent the United States from invading the Japanese homeland through the Aleutian and Kurile Islands. Many of the first Seabees were sent to the North Pacific to help forestall what appeared at the time to be a major Japanese offensive.

By late June 1942 Seabees had landed in Alaska and had begun building advanced bases on Adak, Amchitka, and other key islands in the Aleutian chain. In 1943 these new bases were used to stage the joint Army-Navy task force that recaptured Attu and Kiska. While subsequent activity in the North Pacific was minimal, the long, flanking arm of Seabee-built bases pointing toward the Japanese home islands served as a substantial threat to the Japanese throughout the remainder of the war. Even as action in the Central, South, and Southwest Pacific areas became the major focus of attention, the Japanese continued to look northward in fear.

Of the remaining two Pacific roads, the one through the steaming jungles of the South and Southwest Pacific had the Philippines as one of its principal destinations. The Seabees' first stop along this road was in the Society Islands.

The First Naval Construction Battalion (later redesignated the 1st Construction Battalion Detachment because of its small size) left the United States in January of 1942 and, one month later, landed on Bora Bora in the Society Islands. The men of this battalion called themselves the "Bobcats" after the code name BOBCAT, given to the island of Bora Bora. The Bobcats were actually the advance party of the more than 325,000 men who were to serve in the Naval Construction Force during the Second World War. The Bobcats' mission was to construct a fueling station that would service the many ships and planes necessary to defend and keep open the sea lanes to Australia. Shortly after landing on their tropical paradise, the Bobcats discovered that the island had many climatic and hygienic disadvantages. Continual rainfall, 50 varieties of dysentery, skin disease, and the dreaded elephantiasis all combined to make life miserable for the construction men. To make their task even more difficult, the island, far from the regular trade routes, had no piers from which to unload the supply-laden ships. Despite these almost overwhelming problems, the Bobcats immediately set about accomplishing their crucial objective. After devising a method of bringing supplies ashore aboard pontoon barges, they swiftly constructed the necessary fueling facilities. Their strenuous efforts were later rewarded when the island's tank farms supplied the ships and planes that fought the historic Battle of the Coral Sea.

While the Bobcats labored on Bora Bora, two additional groups of Navy construction men were organized into the 2nd and 3rd Construction Battalion Detachments. Less than five months after the Bobcats arrived on Bora Bora, the Second Detachment was sent to Tongatabu in the Tonga Islands and the Third Detachment to Efate in the New Hebrides.

These two islands were also on the supply route to Australia and were being used as a staging area for a counterthrust by the Allies against Japanese forces in the Southwest Pacific. On these islands the Seabees constructed fuel tank farms, airfields, supply depots, and other facilities to support military action in the Coral Sea and Solomon Islands.

The island of Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides was closest in proximity to Japanese-held Guadalcanal and, thus, rapidly assumed major importance. Guadalcanal was the very tip of the Japanese thrust down the Solomon chain toward the Allied southern communications route. The need to destroy the big Japanese airfields nearing completion on Guadalcanal was imperative. The Seabees of the 3rd Construction Battalion Detachment were rushed from Efate to Espiritu Santo and instructed to build a countermanding Allied bomber strip as rapidly as possible. Within an incredible 20 days the detachment had carved a 6,000 foot airstrip from virgin jungle. As a result of this tremendous feat, the Allies were able to mount large scale air attacks against Guadalcanal and destroy the dangerous Japanese air base under construction there.

When the Marines finally invaded nearby Guadalcanal, the men of the 6th Naval Construction Battalion followed them ashore and thus became the first Seabees to build under combat conditions. They immediately began the arduous task of repairing the airfield, now named Henderson Field that they had earlier helped to destroy. This became a never-ending job, because as fast as the builders leveled the strip and put down Marston matting, the Japanese would send bombers overhead to drop high explosives on their work. Nevertheless, in the midst of battle, the Seabees were able to repair shell and bomb holes faster than the Japanese could make them. The Allied pilots desperately needed the use of Henderson Field, so the Seabees kept this precious airstrip in almost continuous operation.

The first decorated Seabee hero of the war, Seaman 2nd Class Lawrence C. "Bucky" Meyer, USNR, was among the Seabees of the 6th battalion who worked on Henderson Field. In his off-time, he salvaged and repaired an abandoned machine gun, which, on 3 October 1942, he used to shoot down a Japanese Zero fighter making a strafing run. For this exploit, he was awarded the Silver Star. It was, however, a posthumous award, for 13 days after shooting down the plane, "Bucky" Myer was killed in action when the gasoline barge on which he was working was struck by Japanese naval gunfire.

On the same day Guadalcanal was invaded, Marines landed on Tulagi Island, a short distance across the Sealark Channel. Once again the Seabees also came ashore, but this time to construct an important torpedo patrol boat and repair base for the U.S. Fleet. The base played a strategic role during the savage sea battles in the "slot," the narrow channel between the islands of Tulagi, Savo, and Guadalcanal. Patrol boats darted from the Seabee-built advanced base to scout Japanese offensive moves, and crippled American ships limped in to receive temporary Seabee repairs.

As the Allies continued to island hop up the Solomon chain, the Russells, Rendova, New Georgia, and Bougainville also became centers of a frenzied construction effort by Seabee units. At the same time, Seabees in the Southwest Pacific were driving northward from Australia to New Guinea and the Philippines.

It was during the landing on Treasury Island in the Solomons, on 28 November 1943, that Fireman 1st Class Aurelio Tassone, USNR, of the 87th Naval Construction Battalion created that legendary figure of the Seabee astride his bulldozer rolling over enemy positions. Tassone was driving his bulldozer ashore during the landing when Lieutenant Charles E. Turnbull, CEC, USNR, told him a Japanese pillbox was holding up the advance from the beach. Tassone drove his dozer toward the pillbox, using the blade as a shield, while Lieutenant Turnbull provided covering fire with his carbine. Under continuous heavy fire, Tassone crushed the pillbox with the dozer blade, killing all 12 of its occupants. For this act Tassone was awarded the Silver Star.

Although Seabees were only supposed to fight to defend what they built, such acts of heroism were numerous. In all, Seabees earned 33 Silver Stars and 5 Navy Crosses during World War II. But they also paid a price: 272 enlisted men and 18 officers killed in action. In addition to deaths sustained as a result of enemy action, more than 500 Seabees died in accidents, for construction is essentially a hazardous business.

Another milestone in Seabee history was in the making in 1943 -- but the location was Hollywood rather than the South Pacific. Made in 1943 and released in early 1944, the motion picture The Fighting Seabees, starring John Wayne and Susan Hayward, made "Seabee" a household word during the latter part of the war. This picture also began a relationship between John Wayne and the Seabees which was to last more than three decades. In fact, John Wayne's last motion picture was Home for the Seabees, a Navy documentary filmed in 1977 at the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, California. This was most appropriate, since the exteriors of The Fighting Seabees, had been filmed in and around the same base during World War II.

While Hollywood made films, however, the grim reality of the war continued. Initially, the Seabees in the Southwest Pacific busied themselves enlarging and constructing new, vital staging and supply ports at several Australian coastal points. By mid-1943, however, Merauke, on the underbelly of New Guinea, resounded with the roar of battle and the clatter of Seabee hammers and bulldozers. After building an important bomber strip that helped fend off Japanese air attacks, they constructed a communications station at Port Moresby.

Finally, on 26 December 1943, the Seabees joined the First Marine Division in an assault on Japanese-held Cape Gloucester, New Britain. During the battle, Seabees bulldozed paths to the Japanese lines so that American tanks could attack the hostile positions. By New Year's Day, the Japanese airstrips were captured and the American flag flew over the entire Cape.

The Admiralty Islands atop the Bismark Sea became the key to the isolation of Rabaul and the final neutralization of enemy forces on New Britain. When the Allies seized Manus Island and the adjacent smaller Los Negros Island, enemy supply and communication lines from all points north and east were cut. In the busy months following the capture of the Admiralties, the Seabees transformed Manus and Los Negros into the largest U.S. naval and air base in the Southwest Pacific. By 1944 the new base had become the primary location for service, supply, and repair of the Seventh U.S. Fleet. During the same month, the capture of Emirau Island in the Saint Matthias group completed the encirclement of Rabaul. There the Seabees built a strategic, two-field air base, huge storage and fuel dumps, a floating dry dock, miles of roads, and a base for torpedo patrol boats.

Leapfrogging ahead with General Douglas MacArthur's forces, the Seabees reached Hollandia and turned it into a major forward base that was later instrumental in the liberation of the Philippines. In fact, the Seabees of the Third Naval Construction Brigade were still with General MacArthur when the South and Southwest Pacific roads to victory converged on the Philippine Island of Leyte in October 1944. Naval Construction Battalions operated the pontoon barges and causeway units that brought the Allied Forces ashore and fulfilled General MacArthur's famous promise to one day return.

These Seabees were soon joined by those of the Second and Seventh Naval Construction Brigades, units that had been organized and staged in the Hawaiian Islands. This vast Naval Construction Force of 37,000 men spread out into the adjoining major islands and began building the facilities that were needed to make the Philippines a great forward base in the Pacific, indeed one of the last steps on the way to the invasion of the Japanese home islands.

The Seabees of this force built U.S. Navy and Army airfields, supply depots, staging areas for men and materials, training areas and camp-sites. Seventh Fleet headquarters was moved to the Philippines and Seabees built the facilities that this enormous fleet required: fleet anchorages, submarine bases, ships repair facilities, fast torpedo boat bases. By the summer of 1945, U.S. military forces were prepared and poised for that last step on the South Pacific road to victory.

While the Seabees in the South and Southwest Pacific were hacking their way through vermin-infested jungles toward the Philippines, their comrades to the north were striking across the Central Pacific island chains straight at the heart of the Japanese Empire. It was on this extremely hazardous road to victory that the Seabees perhaps made their greatest contributions toward winning the war. They continually played a major role in the savage fighting which characterized the island- hopping campaign in the Central Pacific. One after the other, the Gilberts, Marshalls, Carolines, and Marianas were seized. After landing in the initial Marine assaults, Seabee battalions built on these islands the advanced bases from which the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the Marines, and the Army moved inexorably toward the Japanese homeland.

Tarawa Atoll in the Gilberts was one of the toughest of them all. Only after savage fighting at a cost of nearly 1,000 American dead were the Japanese defenders overwhelmed. On Tarawa, the Seabees landed with the Marines and in a mere fifteen hours put a shell-pocked airfield back into operation.

On the atolls of Kwajalein, Eniwetok, and Majuro in the Marshalls, the Seabees rendered further assistance in the destruction of Japan's eastern defense perimeter. Seabees converted the idyllic atoll of Majuro into one of the major fleet anchorages in the Pacific, and similarly transformed Kwajalein Atoll into a major aviation facility. The Carolines were the third stepping-stone on the Central Pacific road to Tokyo. Combat and construction in this island chain served yet another purpose. When the fleet and air facilities in the western Carolines were made operable by the Seabees, the islands were used as bases to support the coming liberation of the Philippines.

The seizure of the Marianas spelled the beginning of the end for the Japanese. The loss of the islands cut the Japanese line of defense and, even more important, gave the United States an airbase from which bombers could strike at the very heart of the Japanese Empire, the homeland. It was during Operation "Forager," as the Marianas Campaign was named, that the Seabees made one of their most significant contributions in the Pacific Theater of Operations.

Seabees and Marines landed together on the beaches of first Saipan, then Guam, and finally Tinian. The very same day the Marines captured Aslito, the main Japanese airfield on Saipan, the Seabees went to work repairing its bomb-damaged runways. Stopping only to fend off Japanese counterattacks, they succeeded in making the airstrip operational within four days. During the three week battle for Guam, the Seabees participated by unloading ships and performing vital construction jobs directed at eventually turning the island into the advanced headquarters for the United States Pacific Fleet, an airbase for Japan-bound B-29s, and a huge center of war supply. The invasion of Tinian called for yet another exhibition of Seabee ingenuity. Because its narrow beaches were covered with low coral cliffs, Seabees devised and operated special movable ramps which made the landings possible. Once ashore, and even as the battle raged, their bulldozers accomplished prodigious feats of construction on the damaged and unfinished Japanese airfield.

What was needed after the successful Marianas campaign was an emergency landing field much closer to the Japanese homeland that would service crippled bombers returning from raids and enable shorter- ranged fighter planes to accompany the giant bombers to their targets. The island chosen for this purpose was Iwo Jima, scene of some of the most savage fighting of the war. On 19 February 1945, the Fifth Amphibious Corps, which included the 133rd Naval Construction Battalion and elements of the 31st Naval Construction Battalion, hit the beaches. During the assault, the 133rd Naval Construction Battalion had the dubious honor of suffering more men killed or wounded than any other Seabee battalion in any previous or subsequent engagement. Although only minor construction was accomplished during the first ten days of the operation, the Seabees later built one crucial emergency landing field and fighter airstrips so desperately needed by the Allies.

The Seabees also played a key role in the last big operation of the island war, the seizure of Okinawa. The main invasion forces landed on Okinawa's west coast Hagushi beaches on Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945. Off the amphibious landing craft and over pontoons placed by the 130th Naval Construction Battalion went the 24th Army Corps and Third Amphibious Corps. Right beside them were the 58th, 71st and 145th Naval Construction Battalions. A few days later, two additional Naval Construction Battalions, the 44th and 130th, landed. The fighting was heavy and prolonged, and organized resistance did not cease until 21 June 1945.

The Seabees' task on Okinawa was truly immense. On this agrarian island, whose physical facilities a fierce bombardment had all but destroyed, they built ocean ports, a grid of roads, bomber and fighter fields, a seaplane base, quonset villages, tank farms, storage dumps, hospitals, and ship repair facilities.

Nearly 55,000 Seabees, organized into four brigades, participated in Okinawa construction operations. By the beginning of August 1945, sufficient facilities, supplies, and manpower were at hand to mount an invasion of the Japanese home islands.

While the Allied forces in the Philippines and on Okinawa were readying themselves for the final battles that would get them to Tokyo and complete the roads to victory, decisive events were taking place elsewhere, on the island of Tinian in the Marianas. During the summer of 1945, the USS INDIANAPOLIS arrived at Tinian from the Naval Weapons Center at Port Chicago, California. Seabees of the Sixth Naval Construction Brigade helped with the unloading of the components of a newly- developed weapon. The Seabees then stored the elements in a shed built by themselves, and organized a detachment to guard the shed and its mysterious contents. Scientists assembled the weapon in the shed with several Seabees assisting as handymen.

On 6 August 1945 the new weapon was loaded into a U.S. Army Air Force B-29 bomber, named the Enola Gay. A short time later, the Enola Gay took off with its secret load from Tinian's North Field, which the Seabees had built, and started on her mission to Japan. Later in the day, the mission ended with the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

This historic event sealed the fate of Japan. Realizing that the war was lost, the Japanese government negotiated a cease fire that went into effect on 16 August. On 2 September 1945 Japan formally surrendered, and Allied forces occupied the Japanese home islands in a peaceful manner. Thus, the Pacific roads to victory reached their final destination.

06-28-2005, 11:25 AM
On this day in 1940, General Charles de Gaulle, having set up headquarters in England upon the establishment of a puppet government in his native France, is recognized as the leader of the Free French Forces, dedicated to the defeat of Germany and the liberation of all France.

For Charles de Gaulle, fighting Germans was an old story. He sustained multiple injuries fighting at Verdun in World War I. He escaped German POW camps five times, only to be recaptured each time. (At 6 feet 4 inches in height, it was hard for de Gaulle to remain inconspicuous.)

At the beginning of World War II, de Gaulle was commander of a tank brigade. He was admired as a courageous leader and made a brigadier general in May 1940. After the German invasion of France, he became undersecretary of state for defense and war in the Reynaud government, but when Reynaud resigned, and Field Marshal Philippe Petain stepped in, a virtual puppet of the German occupiers, he left for England. On June 18, de Gaulle took to the radio airwaves to make an appeal to his fellow French not to accept the armistice being sought by Petain, but to continue fighting under his command. Ten days later, Britain formally acknowledged de Gaulle as the leader of the "Free French Forces," which was at first little more than those French troops stationed in England, volunteers from Frenchmen already living in England, and units of the French navy.

On August 2, a French military court sentenced de Gaulle to death in absentia for his actions. (No doubt at the instigation of the German occupiers.)

De Gaulle would prove an adept wartime politician, finally winning recognition and respect from the Allies and his fellow countrymen. He returned to Paris from Algiers, where he had moved the headquarters of the Free French Forces and formed a "shadow government," in September 1943. He went on to head two provisional governments before resigning.

06-28-2005, 04:55 PM
I hope you are not having to having to type all that information Beebop. That sure is a ton of very interesting stuff.

-HH- Beebop
06-28-2005, 05:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by blairgowrie:
I hope you are not having to having to type all that information Beebop. That sure is a ton of very interesting stuff. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I do what I must for the sake of History.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif**actually it's a cut and paste job**

06-28-2005, 10:22 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif Excellent reading material about the See-Bee's -HH- Beebop!

06-28-2005, 11:59 PM
On this day of June 29 1944...

An article written by the Great Ernie Pyle on this day in France.



Americans Like Normandy's Beauty,
But Hate It's Climate.
June 29, 1944

ON CHERBOURG PENINSULA: All the American soldiers here are impressed by the loveliness of the Normandy countryside. Except for swampy places it is almost a dreamland of beauty. Everything is' so green and rich and natural looking.

There are no fences as such. All the little fields are bordered either by high trees or by earthen ridges built up about waist-high and now after many centuries completely covered with grass, shrubbery, ferns and flowers.

Normandy differs from the English landscape mainly in that rural England is fastidiously trimmed and cropped like a Venetian garden, while in Normandy the grass needs cutting and the hedgerows are wild and everything is less of neatness and more of the way nature makes it.

The main roads in Normandy are macadam and the side roads gravel. The roads are winding, narrow, and difficult for heavy military traffic. In many places we've made roads one-way for miles at a sketch.

THE AVERAGE AMERICAN finds the climate of Normandy abominable, even in June. We have about one nice day for three bad days. On nice days the sky is clear blue and the sun is out and everything seems wonderful except that there is still a hidden chill in the air, and even in your tent or under a shade tree you are cold.

On the bad days the whole universe is dark and you need lights in your tent at noontime and it drizzles or sprinkles and often a cold wind blows and your bones and your heart, too, are miserable.

Most everybody has on his long underwear. I wear four sweaters in addition to my regular uniform. Overcoats were taken away from our troops before we left England, and there are a lot of our boys not too warmly clad.

There is a constant dampness in the air. At night you jut your clothes under your bedroll or they're wet in the morning. All this dampness makes for ruddy cheeks and green grass. But ruddy cheeks are for girls and green grass for cows, and personally I find the ordinary American is happiest when he's good and stinking hot.

IT IS THE CUSTOM throughout our Army, as you doubtless know, for soldiers to paint names on their vehicles. They have names on airplanes, tanks, jeeps, trucks, guns and practically everything that moves.

Sometimes they have girls' names and often they are trick names such as "Sad Sack," or "Invasion Blues," or "Hitler's Menace."

Well, the boys have already started painting French names on their vehicles. I saw a jeep named "Bientot," which means "soon," and a motorcycle named "Char de Mort," which means "chariot of death."

Pretty soon we will be seeing jeeps named "Yvonne" and "Ma Petite Cherie."

THE NAMES OF A LOT of the French towns in our area are tongue-twisters for our troops, so the towns quickly become known by some unanimous application of Americanese. For instance, Bricquebec is often called "Bricabrac." And Isigny was first known as "Insignia," but has now evolved into "Easy Knee," which is - closer to the French pronunciation.

I heard a funny story of one of our young fighter pilots who had to bail out one day recently, high over the English Channel.

It seems the pilots carry a small bottle of brandy in their first-aid kits, for use if they are in the water a long time or have been hurt in landing.

Well, this young pilot, once he was safely out of his plane and floating down, figured he might as well drink his before he hit the water. So he fished it out of his pocket and drained her down while still many thousands of feet in the air.

At high altitudes liquor hits you harder than at sea level. Furthermore, this kid wasn't accustomed to drinking. The combination of the two had him tighter than a goat by the time he floated down into the Channel.

A DESTROYER had spotted him coming down, and it fished him out almost as soon as he hit the water. Even the cold plunge didn't sober him up. He was giddy and staggering around and they couldn't keep him in one spot long enough to dry him off.

The captain of the destroyer sensed what had happened, and being afraid the kid would take cold wandering around the deck, he came up and said with affected harshness:

"What the hell are you doing here ? Get below where you belong."

Whereupon the wet young lieutenant drew- himself up in indignation and, with all the thick-tongued haughtiness of a plastered guest who's been insulted by his host, replied:

"I assure you I don't propose to remain where I'm not wanted."

And forthwith he jumped overboard. The destroyer had to rescue him again.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Ernie Pyle Marker</span>


-HH- Beebop
06-29-2005, 12:06 PM
RIP Ray Holmes.

Arcadeace; thanks for the thumbnail sketch of de Gaulle.
Wooifedog; ty and great Ernie Pyle post.

<span class="ev_code_PINK">Happy Birthday to my daughter Cora, 10 years old today</span>

29 June

In Berlin... The German government publishes the "White Book" which contains details of Allied plans to intervene in the Low Countries.

On the Eastern Front... The German armies are maintaining their advances and the Soviet positions is further stretched by the start of joint German-Finnish attacks in the Karelian Isthmus and farther north near Petsamo. Meanwhile, the last Soviet resistance in the Citadel area of Brest-Litovsk is eliminated.

In China... Chiang Kai-shek presents his Three Demands to General Stilwell: three US divisions before September, 500 combat planes, and a guaranteed monthly aerial supply of 5,000 tons. Chiang berates Stilwell, and hints that he might pull out of the war. Stilwell, as Chiang's chief of staff, is not responsible for procurement of supplies. The tension between the two grows.

In the Solomon Islands... A squadron of American cruisers and destroyers shells the Japanese base at Shortland while other vessels lay mines in the area. A US convoy heading for New Georgia is sighted by the Japanese but it is mistakenly believed to be carrying supplies to Guadalcanal.

On the Eastern Front... Initial objectives of the Soviet summer offensive are reached. The 1st Belorussian Front captures Bobruisk. The forces under Rokossovsky have destroyed over 350 armored vehicles, 2600 artillery pieces, killed 50,000 troops and captured 20,000 Germans in less than a week. The forces of 1st Belorussian now aim northwest toward Minsk with the aim of encircling German 4th Army, and the remnants of 9th Army, with forces of the 3rd Belorussian Front advancing southwest, while 2nd Belorussian pins down the German forces east of Minsk.

In New Guinea... Australian forces advancing from Wewak reach the Sepik River, 70 mile to the west. On Biak, American forces mop up lingering Japanese resistance.

In Washington... President Truman approves the plan, devised by the joint chiefs of staff, to invade Japan. The plan calls for 5 million troops, mostly Americans. Kyushu is to be invaded on November 1st with some 13 divisions (Operation Olympic) and Honshu is to be invaded on March 1, 1946 with some 23 divisions (Operation Coronet), including forces of the US 1st Army from Europe. The British will deploy a very long range bomber force in support of the invasion.
In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, the preparatory naval bombardment, at Balikpapan, continues.

In Prague... The government of liberated Czechoslovakia cedes 4781 square miles of Ruthenia to the USSR.

06-29-2005, 02:03 PM
-HH- Beebop... Tell Cora <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Happy Birthday!</span>



06-29-2005, 02:56 PM
On this day of June 30 1942...

The first time a PBM-1 using a British search radar was successfull when it attacked a German U-boat, on June 30, 1942.

PBM Mariner Patrol Bomber

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">PBM-3D Mariner</span>

Not surprisingly, the Navy shared Martin's interest in large flying boats. Influenced by the glamour of the Air Corps' large bombers, and impressed with the speed increases that streamlining offered, the Navy had retired the old "Patrol" category in 1935 and replaced it with "Patrol Bomber." Equipped with new Norden bombsights (products of Navy research), speedy new patrol bombers would do more than scout for the fleet - they would fight their way through to deliver heavy blows to targets on both sea and land.


Consolidated's PBY Catalina, developed during the early 1930's, was the Navy's first patrol bomber. By 1937, its top speed under 200 mph made it increasingly unlikely that the two-engine PBY could successfully carry out precision bombing missions against modern fighter opposition. The solution was obvious; add two more engines. While Martin was busy with four-engine commercial clippers, Sikorsky and Consolidated had built experimental four-engine patrol bombers, XPB2Y and XPBS, faster than the PBY and more heavily protected by guns and armor. Martin attempted to catch up in 1936 with a projected four-engine Model 160. Lacking a development contract, the company hit upon the novel idea of building a one-fourth scale model of the Model 160, big enough to hold a pilot and engineer to gather flight data.


Four-engine patrol bombers were expensive. A single Consolidated PB2Y cost as much as three two-engine PBY's. Unlike their counterparts in the Air Corps, who demanded Boeing B-17's in preference to two-engine B-18's, regardless of the extra cost, Navy procurement officials tended to choose quantity over quality. This was especially true during the Roosevelt Administration's economy drive in 1937, and it created a competitive opening for Martin. Company engineers proposed a more streamlined flying boat using two of the new Wright R-2600 double-row Cyclones. The Model 162 would offer speed and load advantages over the PBY, but cost much less than a four-engine plane.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A PBM-3 Mariner in flight</span>

In the spring of 1937 this clever ploy seemed about to yield a production contract when Major Reuben Fleet, the volatile president of Consolidated, travelled to Washington. Still bearing a grudge against Martin for the loss of the XP2M and P3M contracts in the early thirties, Fleet stormed into Navy procurement offices, disputing Martin's performance claims for the 162 and threatening political action if Consolidated lost the next Navy contract. He succeeded, at least temporarily. Although Martin received a development contract in June for a single XPBM-1 prototype, a production order was held in abeyance until the prototype had been tested. Unwilling to wait a year for this (by which time Consolidated's own two-engine Model 31/XPB4Y would be ready), Martin engineers acted quickly, hurriedly redesigned the 1/4-scale flying model of the Martin 160 to a 3/8-scale model of the 162. Framed in wood covered by aluminum sheet, the Model 162A "Tadpole Clipper" was powered by a Martin-Chevrolet light-plane engine driving two propellers by means of belts. It was ready for testing in mid November, and these confirmed Martin's performance projections for the full-sized Model 162. In late December the Navy decided to split the 1937 order: 21 PBM-1's from Martin for $5.3 million and 33 PBY-4's from Consolidated for $4.5 million.


Although more expensive, the PBM was much the more formidable patrol bomber. In contrast to the PBY's parasol wing supported by high-drag struts, the PBM's wings were cantilevered from its deep hull; their distinctive "gull" shape raised the engines clear of the water. As in the early PBY's, outboard floats folded into the wingtips for extra streamlining, but the PBM went one better by housing its payload internally in bomb-bays in the engine nacelles rather than on external bomb-racks. It promised to be 17 mph faster than the PBY-4, with one-third more range. It was also more heavily armed. Although no American power-operated gun turret yet existed, Martin promised two of them, each with a single .50 caliber machine gun. In addition, two .50 caliber guns were mounted in counterweighted gimbals in either side of the "waist" of the hull aft of the wings. A fifth .50 could be hand-aimed from the tail, and a .30 caliber could be fired downwards from the "tunnel" position under the tail. Contemporary PBY's mounted only two .50's and two .30's, all aimed by hand.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">MARTIN PBM-3D MARINER:
_____________________ _________________ _______________________

spec metric english
_____________________ _________________ _______________________

wingspan 35.97 meters 118 feet
length 24.33 meters 79 feet 10 inches
height 8.38 meters 27 feet 6 inches

empty weight 15,050 kilograms 33,175 pounds
max loaded weight 26,300 kilograms 58,000 pounds

maximum speed 340 KPH 210 MPH / 185 KT
service ceiling 6,035 meters 19,800 feet
range 3,605 kilometers 2,240 MI / 1,950 NMI

The full-sized prototype XPBM-1 began tests in February 1939; as a result of these the horizontal stabilizer was given a sharp dihedral, giving the Mariner its distinctive "pinwheel" tail. The twenty-one production-run PBM-1's began delivery in September 1940. One plane from the initial run was converted into an XPBM-2 in an attempt by the Navy to produce a "strategic" bomber with the ability to carry large bombloads up to 4,000 miles. Extra fuel tanks were installed, and the hull strengthened for launching from an experimental giant barge-mounted catapult developed by the Naval Aircraft Factory. By the time the catapult was ready in the spring of 1942, the Navy had other duties for the PBM's.


This could already been seen in the assignment of the remaining twenty PBM-1's to Patrol Squadrons (VP) 55 and 56 for service in the undeclared naval war in the Atlantic. VP-55's planes tested British airborne radar sets while VP-56 scouted the east coast of Greenland for German spy and weather stations. In July 1941, VP-55, now redesignated VP-74, was flying antisubmarine patrols from American-occupied Iceland. By the time of Pearl Harbor VP-74 had moved to Bermuda, and it was from there that a PBM-1 using a British search radar first successfully attacked a U-boat, on June 30, 1942.

[COLOR:YELLOW]PBM-5 with JATO</span>




A lot more PBM's were on the way. Alarmed by the speedy German victory over France in May 1940, President Roosevelt called for American aircraft production to be raised to 50,000 planes a year. Huge contracts began to flow from Washington, both for new planes and new plants. In the autumn of 1940 Martin agreed to build 379 PBM-3's in a separate factory at Middle River to be financed by the government. They were configured for patrolling rather than bombing. For this the PBM-3 added sturdiness but lost speed. Streamlined folding wingtip floats gave way to fixed ones; nacelles were lengthened to increase bomb-bay capacity; armor was added to protect the crew. Weight went up by over 11,000 pounds, with corresponding decreases in speed and/or range.



Several variants of the PBM-3 emerged in 1942 when the planes actually began service. Following Navy practice, these were differentiated by a suffix letter indicating function (not, as in the Air Corps system, order of appearance). The second PBM-3 was commandeered to test new AN/APS 15 search radar) as XPBM-3E. After combat service with VP-74, the rest of the "plain" PBM-3's had their armament and armor removed and floors strengthened to serve as transports, redesignated PBM-3R. Another eighteen PBM-3R's were built from scratch, transports being urgently needed to supply the many new antisubmarine bases in the Caribbean and down the South American coast. The 274 planes that followed were -3C's, classic patrol planes mounting dual .50's in three power turrets plus two more hand-aimed guns firing through side windows in the waist . Most left the factory with an empty three-foot plastic dome or "doghouse" rising behind the cockpit; the Navy installed top-secret APS 15 radar sets in Norfolk.


Back in 1940, the British had sought to purchase 150 PBM-3's, but the U.S. Navy refused to share any of Martin's output until 1943. While waiting, the RAF was probably responsible for applying the characteristically alliterative name "Martin Mariner" to the plane. About thirty PBM-3C's were finally delivered under Lend Lease in late 1943, designated Mariner G.R. I's by the British. By this time, however, the RAF had come to prefer its PBY's and Sunderlands and sent them back after a brief period of testing. Some served in the U.S. Navy as PBM-3B's.

Meanwhile the next Mariner model, the PBM-3S incorporated the British antisubmarine color scheme, an all-white paint job with gull-gray top surfaces. The PBM-3S also omitted armor and power turrets for longer combat range, up more than 25% over the PBM-3C. The Martin factory built 94 of them; others were converted in service from PBM-3C's.


Delivered during 1942 and 1943, PBM-3C's and -3S's were in the forefront of the battle against German submarines. Seventeen Mariner-equipped VP's operated from bases that stretched from Bermuda to Brazil; another patrolled the Pacific approaches to the Panama Canal. Its size and slow speed made it difficult for a PBM to surprise an alert U-boat, but patrols often kept the submarines submerged and less dangerous. They sank ten U-boats, about equally divided between the -3C and -3S planes. July and August 1943 marked the height of the campaign. Mariners were involved in sinking five of the ten U-boats assigned to Admiral D¶nitz's "West Indies Sea Blitz," and two of the six sent on a similar mission to the coast of Brazil. By this time the Germans had equipped the U-boats with antiaircraft guns and adopted a "fire back" policy when caught on the surface. The PBM's firepower and sturdiness came in handy. Nevertheless three were shot down in the Caribbean "blitz" and eight other damaged, often with casualties among the crews.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A Martin PBM-5A Mariner.</span>

With the U-boat war nearing victory in late 1943, the Mariner again become a patrol bomber. Mounting a Norden bombsight and more powerful engines, the PBM-3D version added still more armor for the crew and rubber self-sealing tanks for the fuel. Eleven VP squadrons were sent out to the Pacific beginning in late 1943. Their initial base was a "seadrome" off Saipan, from which the planes flew long patrols to protect the Marianas invasion fleet from surprise attack. PBM-3D's supported subsequent invasions in the Philippines and Okinawa from seadromes in the Kossol Passage at Palau and the Kerama Rhetto Islands. Twelve-hour Pacific patrols were made more bearable for Mariner crews by the plane's large hull. In contrast to the PBY, there was room to stand up on each of the two decks; there was also a bunkroom and fully-equipped galley. Crews numbered from nine to twelve, usually including three pilots and relief radiomen and gunners.


Besides scouting, Pacific Mariners undertook both day and night anti-shipping missions, seeking out targets of opportunity along enemy coasts. Night operations, dubbed "Black Cat" missions when performed by PBY Catalinas, were sometimes rechristened "Nightmares" to incorporate a syllable of the PBM's nickname. Most of these attacks were conducted by bombing or torpedo at low level, making no use of the planes' expensive Norden bombsights. By war's end, Mariners were bombing targets on the Japanese mainland, occasionally warding off enemy fighter attacks. They also transported cargo and personnel and undertook "Dumbo" air-sea rescue flights. Two VH (Hospital) squadrons were eventually assigned full-time to this duty. The Royal Australian Air Force also flew Mariners in the Pacific. Twelve lend-lease PBM-3R transports were used by Number 41 Squadron between May 1944 and the end of the war, flying between Australia and New Guinea. Individual aircraft served on in air-sea rescue until 1948.

Pacific operations revealed some design flaws in the PBM-3D. The R-2600-22 engines had persistent maintenance problems. Even when they were working properly, the PBM-3D, heaviest of the wartime Mariners, was seriously underpowered. This showed up most alarmingly in landings and take-offs from exposed Pacific seadromes (the one at Saipan was five miles offshore) and in open-sea rescues. The problem had already been foreseen back in 1941, when the Navy ordered 180 PBM-4's powered by huge Wright R-3350 radials. Priority for these, however, went to the Air Corps' B-29's, and the PBM-4 was cancelled. Instead, two planes were tested with smaller but still powerful Pratt and Whitney R-2800's, designated XPBM-5. When they proved successful, production of the -3D was halted after 259 planes, and 628 PBM-5's were built, production lasting until July 1947. For good measure these were also fitted to carry up to eleven jet-assisted take-off (JATO) bottles. Turrets and radios were modernized, and later PBM-5's shed the bulky "doghouse" radome for a more streamlined teardrop APS-31 mounted on a pylon.


Most PBM-5's went to the Pacific, where their extra speed, range, and payload were much appreciated in the final days of the war. After Japan surrendered they served on in three Navy squadrons in the Pacific and three more in the Atlantic. Small lots of PBM-5's were supplied to the Netherlands, Argentina, and Uruguay. A few war-surplus planes were put into service as airliners in South America, with little success. U.S. Navy Mariners provided transport support to Operation Crossroads, the Bikini atomic-bomb tests, and mapped Antarctica in Admiral Byrd's Operation Highjump. A number of variants were developed: a few -5E's tested electronic gear; a single -5M was used to monitor missile tests; a -5N was instrumented for all-weather operations; -5S antisubmarine conversions were lightened for longer range (a -5S2 variant mounting a huge 50-million candlepower searchlight); and PBM-5G's served in the U.S. Coast Guard. After successful testing of an XPBM-5A converted into an amphibian from a plane taken off the production line, 36 more PBM-5A's were ordered and four more converted. The PBM-5A amphibian was the last of the Mariners. Production finally shut down in March 1949, nearly a decade after the PBM-1.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The first PBM flight occurred on February 18, 1939. 1,235 were built with the last one being delivered in April 1949. Mariners built prior to 1946 were flying boats, and all that followed became amphibious with the addition of the retractable tricycle landing gear.
Though less numerous than the famous PBY Catalina, Mariners played important roles both in World War II and Korea. Since they were a later design they exhibited a marked superiority in performance and overall battle-worthiness.

Prior to the 1996 salvage attempt the aircraft was still in good condition. This image is looking from the nose of the aircraft down the length of the hull. The plane rests inverted and partially buried in silt.

The Mariner in the Pima Air Museum collection is the last one known to exist. It's an example of the last series built, the A series. These served in the anti-submarine role for the U.S. Navy and as air-sea rescue aircraft for the U.S. Coast Guard.
There is however another PBM-5 and it€s wresting on the bottom of Lake Washington. The PBM-5 currently rests in approximately 80 feet of water and 6 feet of silt near the south end of the lake. The Cedar River enters the lake nearby bringing a large volume of silt each fall and spring. Over the past 40 years the PBM-5 has been slowly covered. Only the occasional Navy salvage attempts keep the plane from being completely covered.

Looking close to the bottom the silt just covers the PBM€s nose turret. The guns are still suspected to be present.

Forty-eight years ago, Lt. Ralph Frame was taking the PBM from the naval station at Sand Point to a storage hanger at the south end of the lake to be mothballed. Frame landed safely but missed a tie-up buoy while taxiing to shore. Unable to turn around he ran the plane over a small pier damaging the flotation pontoon on the starboard wing. With uneven flotation the plane turned on its side. By the time the PBM hit the bottom it had completely flipped and came to rest in an inverted position..

Used for reconnaissance, rescue work and anti-sub patrols, PBMs were credited with sinking 10 German U-boats during W.W.II. The aircraft was powered by two 14-cylinder Wright R-2600 radial engines. Armament included bow and tail turrets, waist guns, and a 2000-pound bomb payload. A crew of seven to ten manned the plane.

This is the aft section of the aircraft hull. Bellow and to the back is the tail section.

Twice the Navy has attempted to salvage this aircraft and both times personnel were injured in the attempt. The first attempt in 1990 cleared much of the silt from around the aircraft. Because it was unclear at the time weather the Navy had the right to salvage the plane form Washington State waters the attempt was abandoned. In this attempt a Navy diver became ill and died, reportedly of a heart condition. The second attempt came in 1996 after many debates over the legal right of salvage. The 1996 attempt resulted in one diver getting a case of decompression sickness. The Navy made an attempt to pick the plane up by its tail. The PBM was far too week to be lifted in this manner and broke apart. The detached section was brought to the surface and loaded on a barge. After this incident the Navy again abandoned the project. The location or condition of the tail section is unclear.

Between 1950 and 1951 Mariners served in their second war, once again flying long oversea patrols with dangerous legs along hostile coastlines. Three reserve Mariner squadrons were called up for Korea, and two new ones formed. By the mid 1950's, Mariners were becoming increasingly ancient and were gradually replaced by P5M Marlin flying boats or by land-based patrol planes. The last active-service Mariner was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1958, more than twenty years after the first flight of the "Tadpole Clipper."

After years of hanging from the ceiling of Martin's A Building, the little Model 162A was transferred to the Smithsonian. It has recently been restored by a group of volunteers and is on display at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Of the 1366 full-sized Mariners built, only one, a -5A, exists complete (though unrestored) in storage for the Smithsonian at Pima County Airport, Tuscon. The nose of another PBM-5 is preserved at the Air Force Association Museum, Bull Creek, Western Australia. Two more lie beneath the fresh water of Seattle's Lake Washington and are sometimes mentioned as candidates for restoration.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Flight 19

One of the most discussed of these mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle is the case of the five TBM Avengers that left Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a bright sunny day for what was supposed to be a 2 hour training mission. All members of the training team were experienced fliers. No problems were reported with the flight until roughly an hour and forty-five minutes later when the tower was actually expecting to see the planes returning at any minute. Instead they received a cryptic message from the flight leader: "Cannot see land, we seem to be off course."

The tower requested the flights position, and waited several tense minutes before hearing--"We cannot be sure where we are, repeat: we cannot see land."

When the tower next heard from the flight the voice of the flight leader, Lt. Charles Taylor was lost amid the confused communication from the other planes. "We can't find west. Everything is wrong. We can't be sure of any direction. Everything looks strange, even the ocean." During that time the tower was given to understand that Taylor might have handed over command to another pilot. Later the new flight leader is heard to say: "We think we might be about 225 miles northeast of base." This was followed by several minutes of unintelligible communication before finally: "It looks like we are entering white water...we're completely lost."

After the last communication a Mariner flying boat was on it's way to the last known location of Flight 19 prepared to carry out a rescue of the possibly downed planes. The Mariner radioed back minutes after it took off, then while attempting to follow the path of the doom planes it also disappeared.

A Navy Board of Inquiry investigation was completed with the unsatisfactory finding: "We are not able to even make a good guess as to what happened." That statement could almost be said to invite speculation and many theorist have complied with almost every imaginable possibility. A large part of the problem in researching this case above all others related to the Triangle has been the way that sources have issued reports or statements only to retract them later. For example in 1991 a salvage boat reported that they had found the down planes on the ocean floor near the Bahamas, in fact they stated that a diver had seen the number 28 on one of the aircraft. Since this was the designation of Lt. Taylor's plane confidence was high this was Flight 19, and this information was headlined by many in the media. Within days the salvage team reported that they had not actually found Flight 19 after all, but instead another mission that disappeared in the same area. This information was not reported with the same enthusiasm as the first finding however, resulting in many lost debates, and quite possibly many lost bar bets for people who only heard the first erroneous report..

-HH- Beebop
06-29-2005, 03:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by woofiedog:
-HH- Beebop... Tell Cora <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Happy Birthday!</span>


Woofiedog </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks, I will. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

She really liked that Woofiedog. Thanks! <span class="ev_code_RED">S!</span>

06-30-2005, 02:24 AM
On this month of June 1941...

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Exactly 129 years and one day before Operation Barbarossa, another "dictator" foreign to the country he controlled, invaded Russia--making it all the way to the capital. But despite this early success, Napoleon would be escorted back to France--by Russian troops.</span>

June 19, 1941

Germany and Italy order U.S. diplomats out of their countries by July 15. This was in retaliation to a similar action by the Americans (anybody remember those Russian diplomats Shrub ditched).

Heavy fighting continues in the Middle East as Vichy French forces stop Allied advances on Damascus (the players change but the fighting never seems to end).

U.S. stops authorizing visas for aliens with relatives in the German occupied territories.

German forces continue their concentration of forces on the Soviet border in preparation for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. Heavy artillery begins moving into firing positions and bridging equipment begins to arrive. German U-boats proceed to war stations in the Baltic while mine laying operations commence. Stalin still insists that the invasion is not immanent.

British forces continue their retreat back into Egypt after Rommel defeats Operation Battleax.

June 20, 1941

President Roosevelt calls Germany an "outlaw nation" because of the sinking of the Robin Moore by a German U-Boat on May 21.

The USS Texas , while on a "neutrality patrol," is dogged by the German submarine U-203 between Newfoundland and Greenland. The German skipper thought the Texas was a lend lease vessel and therefore fair game for his attack.

June 21, 1941

Australian forces occupy Damascus after Vichy French forces withdraw.

General Wavell having utterly failed to relieve Tobruk in Operation Battleax, is sacked by Churchill as commanding officer of the Commonwealth troops in the Middle East.

Commonwealth forces enter Iraq in order to secure oil supplies for the war effort (things really never do change do they?).

Hitler signals to his eastern troops that the invasion of the Soviet Union is on for the next day.

German commandos, the Brandenburgers, begin operations, infiltrating across the border, move to secure bridges and other important facilities in the Russian rear area in preparation for the invasion.

June 22, 1941 - BARBAROSSA! The Invasion of Russia Begins

At 3:00 A.M., three million battle hardened soldiers of German Wehrmacht, struck the ill-prepared Soviet army, starting one of the single most devastating and titanic struggles in history. Three German Army Groups, North, Center and South, struck for their respective goals of Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev.

German aircraft pounded targets deep in Russia. Airfields were a primary target and by days end, 500 Soviet planes were destroyed, mostly on the ground. Russian border forces were quickly overrun after brief but vicious fights. One notable exception, the fortress of Brest-Litovsk on the Bug River, holds against ferocious German attacks. Efforts to mobilize defensive countermeasures were chaotic as reinforcing columns are harassed by constant air attacks. By days end, German ground forces advance 15-25 miles.

Hitler declared that when he unleashed his armies to the east, "The world will hold its breath". This was one of the few statements he made that was absolutely correct.

Churchill declares Britain will assist the Soviets saying, "Any man or State who fights against Nazism will have our aid. Any man or State who marches with Hitler is our foe." One hopes these words would be remembered today.

June 23, 1941

Hungry joins Germany, Rumania, Italy, Slovakia and Croatia by declaring war on the Soviet Union.

The relentless advance in Russia continues as shattered Soviet forces flood east pursued by the German invaders. German panzer units begin to meet Soviet tank formations rushing to the front. The Soviet columns are badly organized and depleted because of constant air attacks. On the approaches to Vilnius, German tank columns bypass pockets of resistance and drive deep into the Soviet rear areas. Further to the south, German forces are met by strong resistance and a fierce tank battle develops around Dubno.

British forces advance to Palmyra in Syria against strong Vichy French resistance.

June 24, 1941

The Germans continue to advance in pursuit of the retreating Russian forces. In the north, the destruction of the Soviet armored reserves is completed and the German columns begin to break into the clear. In the center, Soviet resistance is shattered as German tank columns enter Vilnius. Heavy fighting is still reported in the south as German forces make marginal gains toward Kiev. The Germans gain air superiority over the front as 2000 Russian planes have now been destroyed since hostilities started.

Roosevelt orders all Soviet assets released and promises aid to the beleaguered nation.

June 25, 1941

German troops confront the Soviet KV-I and KV-II heavy tanks in battle. The German anti-tank guns and panzers are unable to cope with these behemoths and resort to using the 88mm anti-aircraft gun and 100mm field artillery to stop the beasts. This was a very rude surprise to the Germans.

Forces of Army Group Center (3rd Panzer Group) capture Vilnius. Army Group South meets stiff opposition as the Soviet Southwest Front concentrates large tank formations in front of the advancing 1st Panzer Group. Soviet counter attacks around Grodno continue but begin to falter. In the far north, Soviet defenses stiffen around Murmansk, stopping the Germans short of their goal. The Germans would never capture the vital supply port.

Finland joins the Axis nations by declaring war on the U.S.S.R.

Sweden, although technically neutral, allows armed German troops to move through their nation on the way to Russia.("Our chief interest is to maintain our liberty and stay outside of the conflict, and the government came to the conclusion that the only way to do so was to accept the German-Finnish demand." Times, June 26, 1941, p. 5.)

Roosevelt signs Executive Order 8802 which calls for the " Full Participation In The Defense Program By All Persons, Regardless Of Race, Creed, Color, Or National Origin" (he knew he'd need everybody's help to crush fascism). Also, the (thrice elected in an honest vote) president, declared that the Siberian port Vladivostok, would be exempt from the neutrality statutes so supplies could flow to Russia.

June 26, 1941

Finland announced a state of war with Russia. "To reduce this pressure, destroy the eternal menace, and secure a happy and peaceful life for coming, generations, we now embark upon our defensive battle." Bulletin, Vol. V, No. 130, p. 556. "Since the Moscow treaty and up to the new aggression launched against Finland in June 1941, the attitude of Russia toward Finland made it fully clear that the Russian policy tends to the enslaving of Finland. The final aim of Russian policy has always been the destruction of Finland's independence." Times, June 29, 1941, p. 17.)

Helsinki bombed by Soviet planes. (President Ryti declared that in this fight "we are not alone; Great Germany, . . had decided to wage war against the Soviet and other nations have joined Germany. Russia in this task is facing a united front stretching from the White Sea to the Black Sea." Times, June 27, pp. 1, 4; cf. also Finland, pp. 100-105, and Times, June 29, p. 17.)

Soviets denounced Finland. (Moscow broadcast denounced Finland, adding, "The Finnish militarists have flagrantly violated the Soviet-Finnish peace treaty. The rulers of Finland have begun military operations against our country . . . The Soviet Union has fulfilled the peace treaty conscientiously. But the rulers of Finland, under orders from Hitler, have plunged the long-suffering Finnish people into a war against the Soviet Union. Scoring the most elementary of international laws and the vital interests of their own people, the Finnish warmongers have again launched a campaign against the Soviet Union. . . . The ignoble rulers of Finland have not learned any lesson from the campaign of the winter of 1939 and 1940. They are asking for another, a final, lesson, and that lesson the Finnish perpetrators of fascism will get." Times, June 27, p. 4.)

Organized Soviet resistance in the fortress town of Brest-Litovsk comes to an end after four days of extremely heavy fighting. The Germans finally pummeled the defenders into submission with massive air strikes and heavy artillery bombardment.

In Army Group North, tanks of von Manstein's 4th Panzer Group capture the Dvina River bridges at Daugavipils intact. Hitler orders these forces to stop, consolidate, gather supplies and wait for the infantry forces, far to the rear, to catch up. Many "historians" have indicated that this decision was fatal for the swift capture of Leningrad. This opinion, however, ignores the terrain on the approach, the Red army, and the appalling logistics situation for the Germans.

In Army Group Center, the 7th Panzer Division (Rommel's old unit from France) driving north of Minsk, cuts the Minsk-Moscow highway, the main supply route for the Soviet West Front. Further to the south, Guderian's 2 Panzer Group is driving hard to complete the encirclement of the Soviet forces around Minsk.

In Army Group South, the Soviets launch fresh and very strong counterattacks against the German spearheads. These attacks fall particularly hard on the 16th Panzer Division in the area around Ostrov. Further to the north, 11th Panzer Division is blocked in it's advance at Dubno. The advance of the this army group is temporarily stopped.

June 27, 1941

In Army Group Center, Guderian€s Panzer Group 2 and Hoth€s Panzer Group 3 meet east of Minsk, completing the first major encirclement of soviet forces. Some 200,000 men from the Russian 3rd, 10th and 13th Armies are cut off in the west of Minsk.

In Army Group South€s sector, Soviet counter attacks north of Dubno begin to sputter as uncoordinated Soviet battle groups are destroyed by the more coordinated German efforts. However, the attacks approaching from south of Dubno are more successful and create some confusion in the German attacks. Meanwhile, 11 Panzer division drives east of Dubno, breaking through the Soviet defenses and capturing Ostrog, 30 kilometers in the Soviet€s rear.

June 28, 1941

Rioting breaks out in the newly "liberated" city of Kaunas. The German military authorities stand by as 3800 Jews are killed by the angry mobs.

Soviet counter-attacks in the Dubno region collapse. Russian forces are now withdrawing on all fronts.

The Finns begin their advance into Russia.

The Germans capture Minsk as the death grip on the encircled Soviet armies tightens. The Gestapo also enters the city, ordering all men from 15 to 45 years of age to appear at the registration point. Thousands obey and are marched off to Drozdy camp.

June 29, 1941

The Soviet government tells the people to leave nothing for the Germans, ordering €œ€¦ the removal of all rolling stock, leaving not a single locomotive, not a truck, not a kilogram of bread, not a liter of fuel. Collective farms must drive away their cattle€¦. All property of value, any, including ferrous metals, bread and fuel which cannot be taken away, must, without exceptions be destroyed.€ This was the famous €œScorched Earth€ policy.

Soviet marines and elements of the 67th Rifle Division defending the Libau naval base far to the rear of the Germans run out of ammunition and time. The city and base are surrendered after inflicting heavy losses on the Germans.

German troops attempted to take Riga by storming the railroad bridge over the Dvina River. They were successful in establishing a foothold on the eastern bank, but counter-attacking Russian forces destroyed the invaders.

The German advance out of Norway, directed at the vital northern port of Murmansk is stopped by determined Soviet defenses.

The Finns under Mannerheim begin a major offensive on the Karelian Isthmus north of Leningrad.

Forces of Army Group South eliminate pockets of resistance, consolidate their forces, regroup for the continued advance toward Kiev.

June 30, 1941

In heavy fighting, Army Group South captures (the formerly Polish city of) Lvov.

Stalin begins executions of the commanders who failed to stop the invasion (conveniently forgetting that he was the one who kept on ignoring reports from the frontier and his own spies that the invasion was coming). Pavlov, commander of the Western Front was most notable among those who "lost their jobs".

Vichy France decides to break diplomatic ties with the USSR (a mortal body blow to the Russians - ha). ("The French Government had become convinced that diplomatic and consular agents of the Soviet in France were exercising influence affecting the security of the State." Times, July 1, 1941, p. 6.)


A brief history of the M-91/30:

In the years following the Civil War the Red Army wanted a standardized weapon for their troops. This was due to the fact that dozens of different weapons were in use following the Civil War and keeping them all supplied with ammunition was very difficult. A committee began work on modernizing the M-1891 in early 1924. The first trial weapons were made in 1927. The final design was adopted in on 10 June 1930, by the head of the Red Army's armaments department Ieronim Uborevich.


The primary focus of the new weapon was ease of production. To achieve this end the weapon was to have different front and rear sights, a rounded receiver, and metric measurements. The barrel was also shortened by 5mm and a new bayonet was added. These changes transformed the old M-1891 into a modern weapon that gave the Red Army a weapon was both easy to produce and use. The M-91/30 took only 13 hours to produce and its initial production run was 102,000 rifles in 1930.

The first uses of the M-91/30 in combat was during the Spanish Civil War where they were sent as foreign aid. They were also widely used in the repressive actions of the Stalinist regime. It also saw extensive use in the border conflicts with the Japanese in Manchuria and the Winter War.

With the outbreak of hostilities with the German Army in 1941, weapons production became the focus of Soviet industry. In this regard the M-91/30 proved to be the most widely manufactured Soviet weapon of the war. More than 12 million rifles and carbines were made in Izhevsk and Tula during the war.


By the end of the war over 17,475,000 M-91/30 rifles had been manufactured.

Link: http://www.o5m6.de/routes.html

06-30-2005, 02:52 AM
Lend-Lease during WW2...

How Much of What Goods Have We Sent to Which Allies?
On the very day that the bill was signed, Great Britain and Greece (then at war with Italy) were declared eligible for lend-lease aid. Goods started to move almost immediately. China, engaged in a desperate struggle with Japan, was declared eligible on May 6, and Norway on June 4, 1941.


Congress appropriated 13 billion dollars for the lend-lease program by October 28, 1941, but the movement of goods overseas got under way slowly. Our munitions industry was still largely in the tooling up state. And the flow of finished weapons was at first only a trickle. The stimulus of lend-lease and our own defense orders, however, rapidly expanded American war industry. In the meantime, food made up the largest part of lend-lease shipments:

Machinery was set up to handle the requests of foreign governments for lend-lease aid and to arrange for the production of the needed articles and services. To avoid duplication, purchasing for lend-lease was tied in closely with purchasing for our own armed forces. For example, the job of procuring lend-lease munitions was entrusted to the War Department; warships and naval aircraft and supplies to the Navy Department; merchant ships and shipping to the Maritime Commission (and later to the War Shipping Administration); food to the Department of Agriculture; and industrial materials (such as metals, chemicals, lumber, coal, textiles, clothing, etc.) to the Procurement Division of the Treasury. A special agency, the Office of Lend-Lease Administration, was created to decide matters of lend-lease policy, keep operations going smoothly and in gear, and handle the records.

What were the first results?
The first lend-lease shipments, consisting largely of food and industrial commodities, arrived in England at a time when the German submarine blockade was close to starving out the British Isles. The first American tanks and planes reached Egypt in time to be used in the second British drive into Libya which started on November 2, 1941.

The U.S.S.R. attacked by Germany on June 22, 1941€"was declared eligible for lend-lease aid on November 7, 1941. Even before that date urgent supplies were sent to the Soviets with the help of 50 million dollars credit advanced by the United States government. The first convoy of American and British cargo ships steamed into the harbor of Murmansk while the German armies were hammering at the gates of Moscow. Our aid to the U.S.S.R. was relatively insignificant in 1941, but it bore the promise of much more to come. This promise was a source of strength to the Russian people in their darkest hours.

Lend-lease in 1941 also made it possible to send engineers, trucks, gasoline, and road-building equipment to hard-pressed China. The monthly volume of supplies carried over the Burma Road€"China€s last link with the outside world€"was thereby tripled.

Lend-lease after Pearl Harbor
With our entry into the war on December 7, 1941, the idea of lend-lease broadened. From a means of helping friendly nations, it became a mighty weapon of war. New problems had to be solved through lend-lease and new forms of joint action devised. Assistance became cooperation. The United Nations could now base their military planning on pooled resources. We would help our allies to the utmost, and expect to receive their help in return.

The lend-lease program, to be understood, has to be seen in relation to the war as a whole. The act passed by Congress was flexible enough to meet chanting circumstances. This fact turned out to be important to allied strategy. In many instances, lend-lease provided quicker and easier solutions to the problems raised by the war than would otherwise have been possible. Yet the general policy of the act€"mutual aid against aggressors€"remained unchanged.

In 1942 the lend-lease program rapidly widened in scope and the volume of shipments rose sharply. During December 1942 lend-lease exports totaled 607 million dollars€"as much as was sent in the nine months of operation in 1941. As American troops took up battle stations abroad, our allies began to provide reverse lend-lease aid to them€"that is, without payment by us.

In the various theaters of war in 1942, our allies fought with renewed confidence and better success because of the equipment furnished under lend-lease. General Montgomery€s Eighth Army, which defeated Rommel€s Afrika Korps at El Alamein, used American planes, tanks, guns, and other equipment. So, to some extent, did the Soviet forces which stood firm at Stalingrad in the winter of 1942€"43. And in the Southwest Pacific, our allies were partially equipped with lend-lease arms in the engagements which began to push back the Japanese invaders of New Guinea.

What€s our rate of aid now?
In 1943 as American armament industries hit high gear, lend-lease became a tremendously powerful instrument of war.

Goods and services were provided to our allies at the rate of about 1 billion dollars a month. The British armies, which, along with American and other forces, pushed the Axis out of North Africa, Sicily, southern Italy, and France, used large quantities of lend-lease weapons. So did the rearmed French forces. The Russian offensive which drove the Germans out of White Russia and a large part of the Ukraine was aided by thousands of guns, planes, tanks, trucks, and other items provided by us. And in the air over Europe, the R.A.F. was using many American-made bombers and fighters, powered by gasoline also furnished under lend-lease.

In 1944, when Hitler€s Fortress Europe was decisively breached, the flow of aid to our allies became a torrent.

In the first six months of 1944, lend-lease transfers exceeded 1.5 billion dollars a month. With this aid, the United Nations gained overwhelming superiority over the Nazis. The assistance (along with the fighting efforts of our own armed forces) contributed to allied victories in Italy, France, the Low Countries, Russia, and eventually the Reich itself.

This does not mean that our major allies€"except for the revived French army which was almost completely equipped under lend-lease€"were mainly dependent on American supplies. It has been estimated that lend-lease provided only 10 percent of British war equipment, and certainly a lesser proportion of Soviet materiel.

But the goods we sent and services we provided were important factors in the success of their armies. Premier Joseph Stalin, in a toast at a dinner party at the Teheran Conference in ate October 1943, declared, €œWithout American machines the United Nations never could have won the war.€

A few facts and figures
How much of our war production has been turned over to our allies under lend-lease?

In dollar value the sum is large€"on June 30, 1944 it amounted to about $28,270,000,000 plus $680,000,000 transferred to allied forces by American commanding generals in the field.* But in the proportion of our total defense and war expenses it is relatively small€"about 15 percent.

* Shortly before this pamphlet went to press, figures were released on lend-lease operations up to the end of 1944. As of December 31, 1944, total direct lend-lease had risen from $28,270,000,000 to $35,382,646,000. No attempt has been made to revise the pamphlet accordingly. Lend-lease is a continuing and expanding operation. Trying to keep the pamphlet abreast of the very latest figures would mean it could never appear in print at all.

What does the dollar volume of lend-lease represent? About 54 percent of all our aid has consisted of fighting equipment, including naval and merchant ships. Some 21 percent has comprised industrial materials and products, such as aviation gasoline, metals and machine tools for the manufacture of munitions, cloth and leather to make uniforms and shoes in the factories of Great Britain and Soviet Russia, surgical and medical supplies for hospitals and military bases, rolling stock for railroads, lumber for docks, and so forth.

Approximately 13 percent of lend-lease aid has consisted of foods and other agricultural products destined for the workers of allied countries and their soldiers in the front lines.

€œThe balance of lend-lease aid€"about 12 percent€"represents vital war services, such as the construction of factories in the United States to produce lend-lease goods, repair and rental of ships, the ferrying of aircraft, and building of air and naval bases.

Developing and maintaining the lines of supply has been one of the central factors in the military strategy of the war. Lend-lease has helped to make it possible quickly to transport equipment where and when it has been most needed. Thus:

Ferry routes for flying American planes to Brazil and across the South Atlantic to Africa and the Middle Fast have been developed.

Port facilities in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf have been expanded.

A motor highway has been built across Iran and the trans-Iranian railway has been made over into a major artery for moving lend-lease supplies from the Persian Gulf to Russia.

The port of Massawa, badly wrecked by the retreating Italians in 1941, has been put back in operating condition. A pipeline has been laid from the Iranian oil fields across Iraq to the refinery at Haifa in Palestine.

The British-built refinery at Abadan, Iran, has been enlarged to make more aviation gas for allied planes in the Middle Eastern, the China, and the Burma-India theaters of operation.

What€s been lend-leased and where?
In terms of commodities, what does lend-lease represent? From the beginning of the program to June 30, 1944, we exported to our allies under lend-lease about 30,900 planes, 26,900 tanks, and 637,000 other military vehicles (ordnance carriers, jeeps, trucks, etc.). Added thousands in each category were paid for in cash.

We have also lend-leased over 1,800 merchant and auxiliary craft and 1,400 naval vessels, including escort aircraft carriers, corvettes, landing vessels, PT boats, and other small craft.

What proportion o our finished munitions has been allocated to lend-lease countries? Out of every 100 tanks that have come off our assembly lines between March 11, 1941 and June 1944, 41 were lend-leased, 3 were sold to our allies for cash, and 56 were delivered to our armed forces. Of every 100 planes, 15 were lend-leased, 3 sold to our allies, and 82 delivered to our Air Forces.

Supplies have been sent where and when they were most needed. In 1941, when the Battle of Britain was raging, lend-lease exports went mainly to the United Kingdom. As the war spread to Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and India, aid was sent to those areas. With the signing of the Russian lend-lease protocol in October 1941, lend-lease goods began to move to the U.S.S.R. in increasing volume.

Altogether, the amount of lend-lease goods actually exported up to June 30, 1944 has been divided as shown in the diagram on the next page. The figures do not include services provided in the United States or goods bought but not exported.

What€s the breakdown?
What these figures mean when broken down into specific items may be seen from the following statistics on the Soviet Union.

By the end of June 1944 the United States had sent to the Soviets under lend-lease more than 11,000 planes; over 6,000 tanks and tank destroyers; and 300,000 trucks and other military vehicles.

Many of the planes have been flown directly from the United States to the Soviet Union over the northern route via Alaska and Siberia, others were crated and shipped to the Persian Gulf, where they were assembled and flown into Russia.

We have also sent to the Soviets about 350 locomotives, 1,640 flat cars, and close to half a million tons of rails and accessories, axles, and wheels, all for the improvement of the railways feeding the Red armies on the Eastern Front. For the armies themselves we have sent miles of field telephone wire, thousands of telephones, and many thousands of tons of explosives. And we have also provided machine tools and other equipment to help the Russians manufacture their own planes, guns, shells, and bombs.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Food of the Home Front

SPAM was sent to Britain and Russia to help meet a quota of 15 million cans a week.
SPAM helped to save some of the Russian troops from starving.
In England, meat was rationed. Therefore, SPAM was the only meat that some families would eat for weeks.
Unlike in England, meat was not rationed in the United States.
The nicknames for SPAM was "meat of many uses," "the ham that didn't pass its physical," and "meatball without basic training."
Hawaii was introduced to SPAM during the Pacific battles. It still lingers there today. Now, Hawaiians eat an average of four cans of SPAM per person per year.

During WWII, President Woodruff ordered that every man receive a bottle of Coca-Cola for five cents anywhere that he is.
During the war, Coca-Cola went overseas with the troops. People in Europe experienced their first taste of Coke during WWII.
During the war, a lot of food was rationed. Therefore, Coca-Cola's production was limited.
In 1941, Coke was used as a nickname for Coca-Cola for the first time. The nickname was introduced in a magazine.

M&M's were first introduced to the public in 1941.
The soldiers really like the M&M's. They were in the rations.

Cheerioats were introduced as the first ready-to-eat oat cereal.
Cherri O'Leary was introduced as Cheerios first mascot.
Cheerioats changes its name to Cheerios in 1945.
Other foods introduced during the War:

1941: Rice Krispie Treats were introduced

1941: Mote Cristo sandwiches are created

1941: Sugarless Sponge Cake introduced

1941: Lord Woolton Pie is created

1941: Carpetbag Steak is introduced

1942: Corn Dogs were introduced

1942: Spice Cake is introduced

1942: Tomato and War cakes are created

We have supplied our allies with large quantities of food. The Soviet Union alone has received some 3,000,000 tons. Lend-lease has contributed about 10 percent of Britain€s over-all food supply. This, together with a great increase in agricultural production in the British Isles, has helped to feed the British civilians and armed forces. Bread, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and other common vegetables have been available to the British from their home gardens and farms. The United States has provided a high proportion of such foods as bacon, eggs, cheese, and fruit juices.


-HH- Beebop
06-30-2005, 08:37 AM
30 June

In the English Channel... The German forces begin to occupy the Channel Islands, the only British territory which they will conquer.
Germans fly the Nazi flag over the Channel Islands

In Bucharest... The Romanian government concedes to Soviet territorial demands presented the previous day.

In the United States... In the Republican Party convention at Philadelphia Wendell Willkie is selected as the presidential candidate after the sixth ballot by a margin of 654 to 318 over Senator Taft. The convention is overwhelmingly in favor of a policy of nonintervention in the war.

On the Eastern Front... Bobruisk is taken by Panzer Group 2 (part of Army Group Center) and operations begin to cross the Berezina River. Troops from Army Group South take Lvov while to their left other units make deeper advances toward Kiev.

In Moscow... The formation of a new State Committee of Defense is announced. The members will be Stalin, Molotov, Voroshilov, Malenkov and Beria. Stalin is very much in charge.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet High Command orders the evacuation of Sevastopol. The Soviet Black Sea Fleet, heavily damaged by the fighting attempts to remove the troops and equipment with little success.
Soviet troops leaving Sevastopol

In the Atlantic... The close cover escort for PQ-17 leaves Iceland. It is comprised of four cruisers, two American and three destroyers. The Germans sight but do not attack QP-13 out of Archangel.

In the Solomon Islands... American forces land on several islands of the New Georgia group. Rendova island is targeted, in particular. All the landings are successful. There is heavy Japanese resistance on Vangunu. The American forces engaged for these landings are principally the 43rd Division (General Hester) with naval support by Task Force 31 (Admiral Turner) and land-based aircraft commanded by Admiral Fitch.
American troop transports approach the island

In New Guinea... A mixed Australian and American unit known as McKechnie Force lands at Nassau Bay near Salamaua from Morobe. There is heavy Japanese resistance to the landing.

On the Eastern Front... There a numerous small-scale engagements along the entire front.

In Occupied Poland... The commander of the Polish Home Army, Grot-Rowecki, is arrested by the Germans in Warsaw.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces clear the route to Minsk. Elements of 3rd Belorussian Front cross the Berezina River to the north and south of Borisov. There is heavy street fighting in the city by the afternoon and the defending German forces retreat from the city by evening. These are the last major obstacles before Minsk.
A destroyed Panther of 5th Panzer Divison near Minsk

On the Western Front... German resistance in the Cotentin Peninsula ends. The US 1st Army continues to battle on the approach to St. Lo; the British 2nd Army continues to battle toward Caen. Since D-Day, the Allies have landed 630,000 troops, 600,000 tons of supplies and 177,000 vehicles in the Normandy beachhead. They have suffered 62,000 dead and wounded.

In Italy... Elements of US 5th Army are heavily engaged in Cecina. The main advance inland is slowed by a new German defensive line south of Siena and Arezzo.

In the Mariana Islands... The American 5th Amphibious Corps has captured over half of Saipan. Fighting north of Mount Tipo Pale and Mount Tapotchau continues. Death Valley and Purple Heart Ridge are cleared.

From Washington... The United States breaks diplomatic relations with Finland.

In Occupied Denmark... A general strike begins in Copenhagen.

In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, American forces complete mopping-up operations (June 23-30) in which 8975 Japanese are reported killed and 2902 captured

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, the preparatory naval bombardment, at Balikpapan, continues.

In China... Chinese forces capture Chungchin on the border of French Indochina (also occupied by the Japanese). The Chinese continue their advance into Indochina.

In Washington... President Truman appoints James F. Byrnes to succeed Edward Stettinius as Secretary of State.

06-30-2005, 01:41 PM
On this day in 1943, General Douglas MacArthur launches Operation Cartwheel, a multi-pronged assault on Rabaul and several islands in the Solomon Sea in the South Pacific. The joint effort takes nine months to complete but succeeds in recapturing more Japanese-controlled territory, further eroding their supremacy in the East.

The purpose of Cartwheel was to destroy the barrier formation Japan had created in the Bismark Archipelago, a collection of islands east of New Guinea in the Solomon Sea. The Japanese considered this area vital to the protection of their conquests in the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines. For the Allies, Rabaul, in New Britain, was the key to winning control of this theater of operations, as it served as the Japanese naval headquarters and main base.

On June 30, General MacArthur, strategic commander of the area, launched a simultaneous attack, on New Guinea and on New Georgia, as a setup and staging maneuver for the ultimate assault, that on Rabaul. The landing on New Georgia, led by Admiral William Halsey, proved particularly difficult, given the large Japanese garrison stationed there and the harsh climate and topography. Substantial reinforcements were needed before the region could be controlled, in August.

One consequence of Cartwheel was a lesson in future strategy. By establishing a "step-by-step" approach to invasion, the Allies unwittingly gave the Japanese time to regroup and establish their next line of defense. The Allies then decided that a new strategy was to be deployed, that of leaving certain islands, or parts thereof, to "wither on the vine," rather than waste valuable time and manpower in fighting it out for marginal gains. A leapfrogging strategy was then employed by MacArthur, whereby he left in place smaller Japanese strongholds in order to concentrate on "bigger fish."

06-30-2005, 11:56 PM
During the opening Stages of the Air War over Russia...

http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/images/emblem-jg53.jpg http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/images/emblem-jg51.jpg

Werner M¶lders over Eastern Front.
Written by Krzysztof Janowicz .


http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/RK-Brillianten.gif http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/EK2.gif

Oberst Werner "Vati" M¶lders,
the inspector of the Luftwaffe Figter Arm, returns from one the "unnofficial" combat sorties that he undertook with III./JG 77 over the Crimea in November 1941. As is cleary shown in this unique photo, exiting M¶lders wears no military awards whatsoever - even though he was the most decorated Wehrmacht serviceman at that time.
As a reaction to the persecution of the opposition to the Nazi regime within the Catholic Church during the Fall of 1941, M¶lders declared that he "refused to carry the insygnias of this heinous regime". After some historicans, the fatal crash of He 111 on 22 November 1941 with M¶lders on board wasn't an accident...


The attack of Germany on The Soviet Union planned as The Operation Barbarossa began on 22 June 1941. As a support for the powerful invading forces 2800 Luftwaffe aircraft were dispatched..The Group of Army Mitte was supporterd by Luftflotte 2, directed at that time by Generallfeldmarschal Albert Kesselring, and it included Fliegekorps II and VIII.
Their duty was not only securing their own bombers, but first of all to win the advantage in the Russian sky.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Bf 109 F-2 of Werner M¶lders, Stab/JG 51, summer 1941. It was probably in this aircraft that he, in aerial combat on the Eastern Front, on 15 July 1941, became the first figter pilot to reach the magical number of 100 aerial victories.</span>

The commander of Jagdgeschwader 51 was then the most efficient pilot of the Luftwaffe Oberstleutnant Werner M¶lders. Together with his squadron he was staying at the airport of Stara Wies in Eastern Poland, and all of his unit had a modern equipment consisting of modern fighters Messerschmitt Bf109f.
M¶lders, born on 18 March 1913 in Gelserkirchen was at that time a living legend of German airforce. He appeared to be a phenomenal tactitan and introduced in Luftwaffe a four-aircraft fighting sequence, where two pairs of aircraft secured each other during an air fight. This gave the German pilots tactical advantage on the battlefield for the first three years of war. His first successes were accounted during the civil war in Spain by shooting 14 republican aircraft of the Russian construction.
His score in the WW II was opened on 20 September 1939 during a fight near Merzig on the German-French border, and by the day of the German offensive in the West he had already 9 victories During the fight which took place at Campiegne, France, on 5 June 1940 at M¶lders, he being then the commander of the III/JG 53, he was shot down and was taken captive for three weeks.
At the battle of Britain, as the commander of JG 51, his scoring was increasing fast and on the 1 December he gained the 55th victory by shooting down near Ashford a Hurricane of 253 Squadron.
During five month fights over Western Europe in 1941 Werner M¶lders claimed shooting down of additional 13 British fighters so that when attacking the Soviet Union he had scored 68 victories in the air and his neck was decorated with a Knights Cross with Oak Leaves.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Major Werner M¶lders and Oblt. Hartmann Grasser of the Stab flight of JG 51 after a mission over the British Isles during the Battle of Britain. Grasser was later assigned to JG 11 and would survive the war with 103 confirmed victories. </span>

On 22 June 1941, with the first rays of the rising sun Bf 109F of JG 51 raised to fly from the landfield Stara Wies.
About 6 a.m. eight Bf109F had a fight with four Russian fighters, where Oberstleutenant M¶lders shot down one Curtiss. German pilots used this expression for the two-winged fighters Polikarpow I-153 Chayka. Probably his victim was the aircraft of lieutenant Gieorgij Chidov of 123 IAP from mixed 10 ShAD.
After the first mission the JG 51s pilots came back to their airfield and they only managed to have their breakfast when they were roused by anti-aircraft alarm. Russian aircraft were approaching.
After Luftwaffes first attacks the Russians sent their own bombers to attack the German airfields. JG 51s pilots took off hurriedly to meet near Brest small Russian groups flying without any fighter cover. Massacre began. Russian aircraft fell down one by one. Oberstleutnant M¶lders shot down two Tupolevs SB-2 having now an account of 71 wins. But that was not the end of his successes that day. Just before noon another wave of Russian bombers appeared, now flying in groups of 20 or more aircraft.
Also now M¶lders scored two bombers SB-2. JG 51 claimed shooting down 69 Russian airplanes altogether that day, of which five were shot by their leader.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Bf-109E belonging to Josef Priller during his JG-51 days</span>

In the first days of warfare in Russia German pilots claimed an unbelievable amount of shot-downs for instance on 22 June Luftflotte 2 claimed shooting down 210 enemy aircraft in the air and destruction to further 528 on the ground.
Generally on the first day the Luftwaffes score was 322 Russian aircraft shot down and a further 1489 destroyed on the ground 1811 aircraft altogether!
The next day the destruction to further 775 machines of Soviet Air Force mainly on the ground was claimed. In the next days the warfare in the air was very fierce. Apart from providing support to their own bombers and ground forces, the JG 51 pilots often had to resist attacks by Russian bombers.
In such circumstances over the German armors head Oberstleutnant M¶lders shot down a Tupolew SB-2 bomber on 24 June, and the next day he sent one more machine of that type to the ground.
On the 29 June morning, during another flight as the cover of the advancing armor column, four Bf109F of Stab JG 51 attacked a group of Russian bombers Pietlakov Pe-2. In two attacks M¶lders shot down one of them thus obtaining his 76th victory.
On that same day in the afternoon a formation of bulky fighters Polikarpow I-16 familiar to him from Spain was taken over. These machines were very maneuverable, but apart from that they could not surprise the German pilots with anything; now one of them fell victim to M¶lders.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Last Wartime Rank: N/A
Last Wartime Rank: N/A
Unit(s): JG 51, JG 53
Theatre(s): Spain, France, Battle Of Britain, Western & Eastern Fronts
Combat Debut: Spain 1937
Kills: 115
14 Spain
15 France
31 Battle Of Britain
22 Western Front
33 Eastern Front
Total Sorties: 300+
KAS: 11-22-41
Decoration: The Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and diamonds</span>

On 30 June the Messerschmitts Bf109F of JG 51 were perfectly directed on a great formation of Russian bombers flying without a fighters cover near Minsk.
During a huge air fight M¶lders pilots claimed shooting down as many as 114 enemy aircraft, and one of these shot-downs apeared to be JG51s thousandth victory. That was only 20 shot-downs less than was the claim of this unit for the whole September 1940 in the Battle of England! M¶lders himself shot down five Tupolevs SB-2 raising his score to 82 victories. In such a way he came to a level with a German ace of WW I Manfred von Richthofen, and for that Hitler awarded him with Swords to the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">"Oberst M¶lders" by Wolfgang Willrich, 1941 </span>

The moving forward German forces pushed the Russian units ever further east. Lithuania and Latvia were taken and Estonia was entered, while several Russian armies were surrounded near Minsk and destroyed. The Red Army was withdrawing on the whole front.

Meanwhile, staying from 1 July at Stary Bychov airfield, Jagdgeschwader 51 was still effectively fighting the opponents air forces.
On 5 July, to the north of Minsk, a group of six bombers Tupolew SB-2 was taken over and all of them were shot down within two minutes. Two of them fell victim to M¶lders, who five hours later sent to the ground burning with flames two I-18 fighters, also known as Yakovlev Yak-1. Four days later, in one air fight, he claimed two(I-153) and one I-16 shot down. The next day during his Freie Jagd he got a lone two-winged reconnaissance Polikarpov RZ, which he shot down easily.
Twenty minutes later another RZ appeared, and that one faced the predecessor€s fate, too. M¶lders account increased to 91 victories. On 11 July he had two more kills, and still one more the day after. He was ever closer to the magic number of 100 victories something never before achieved by anyone. Whereas on 12 July JG 51 claimed the 500th victory on the eastern front and the 1200th in their history.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">In his first attempt of entrance in the Luftwaffe, in 1935, he was declared nonapt for the flight. He tried it again, obtaining a conditional permission to initiate the training. Vomits and mareos were their inseparable companions, to whom it was able to dominate with an extraordinary force of will.
It exerted during two years like instructor in Wiesbaden. Ascended to lieutenant in 1938, volunteer appeared to comprise of the C³ndor Legion, arriving by sea at Cadiz in April of the same year, and replacing Adolf Galland to the front of 3ª squadron of the J-88. group During the Spanish fight their dowries like pilot and gunner were put of relief not only, but, also, and specially, like technician and organizer. Next to other aviators it developed in Spain the well-known technique like "four fingers" or fan, that facilitated the vision, and fomented the initiative of the pilots.

Between the 15 of July and the 3 of November of 1938 demolished fourteen apparatuses, four Flat Polikarpov i-15 and ten I-16 Fly .

Oberstleutnant M¶lders was now taking off to fight several times a day. The waiting of the whole unit for the hundred became an obsession. JG 51 leader broke the record of von Richthofen by far, and the new record was at hand. Everyone waited for the leaders return and watched if he waved his wings flying over the airfield, which was the agreed token of a victory.
On 13 July M¶lders Messerschmitt waved the wings three times. The last victory of that day he had before the whole personnels eyes, when he shot down a bomber Pietlakov Pe-2 over the base. The next day two more machines of that same type went in flames to the ground, and his account reached 99 victories.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Werner M¶lders in front of his Bf-109F</span>

On the morning of 15 July 1941 Oberstleutnant M¶lders divided tasks between his staff, and before noon he took off for a routine patrol flight. To the south of Orsha he saw five fighters Polikarpow I-16, which he attacked with his wingman. After a quick attack from the sun side the shot I-16 caught fire and went in a spin to the ground. The remaining Russian fighters dispersed in a blink. M¶lders flied around a little receiving congratulations from his colleagues, who on the airffield radio heard his claim of the hundredth and the wingmans confirmation.
On his way back he met a lone bomber DB-3, which he immediately attacked and shot down. In this way he gained his 100th and 101st victory as the first pilot in the world. At the Stary Bychov airfield great enthusiasm reigned: all pilots and mechanics gathered in the take-off area.
When the JG 51s leaders Messerschmitt landed, champagne and other drink bottles shot, and M¶lders was carried out of his cockpit on the peoples hands. They celebrated till the break of dawn.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Werner M¶lders, head of 3./j88, turning in its Me 109 D , 6-79 Luchs, apparatus with which would obtain most of its victories in Spain. </span>

At the news of M¶lders success the chief commander of Luftwaffe Reichsmarschall Hermann G¶ring called him to Berlin, where Adolf Hitler granted him with Diamonds to the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords as the first Wehrmacht soldier.
On 19 July he left the leadership of JG 51 at the hands of the so-far-leader of IV/JG 51, Major Friedrich Beckh, and took the office of Inspektor der J¤gdflieger. This office entitled him to take care of fighter units and to represent them in front of Goring.
M¶lders came back to the eastern front at the beginning of September 1941. Most often he could be seen at the advanced commanding post at Chaplinka airfield, where to he flew in his Fi156 Storch and personally directed German pilots on groups of Russian planes. His radio nickname Bussard was known on both sides of the front.
Not totally confirmed information has it that M¶lders still took part in combat missions on the eastern front and within two months he shot down about 30 more Russian machines. However, that was not noted anywhere as he was forbidden by G¶ring himself to participate in missions.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Bf 109B-2 - Werner M¶lders, 3./JGr88 </span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Bf 109E-3 - Hptm. Werner M¶lders, Kommandeur III./JG53 </span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Bf 109F-4 - ObLt. Werner M¶lders, Kommodore/JG51 </span>

In the fall of 1941 the German advance to the East was stopped and all Wehrmacht faced the Russian winter. M¶lders, having problems with provisions for his units, planned to appear in Berlin.
They lacked everything: fuel, ammunition and spare parts. The fighter units on the eastern front had a serious crisis.
In the meantime the Reichs minister of arms Ernst Udet commited a suicide and G¶ring called M¶lders to Berlin for Udets funeral.
On the morning of 22 November 1941 Werner M¶lders took off as a passenger from Chaplinka airfield onboard a He111 moving west. The flight was in a heavy rain and extreme atmospheric conditions.
Near Breslau (Wroc"aw) one of the Heinkel engines stopped. In spite of the storm and thunders the Germans flew on until the other engine of He111 failed and the machine crashed into the ground, with Generall Werner M¶lders dying in the wreck of the airplane. Thus one of the most excellent pilots of Luftwaffe fell.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Generloberst Ernst Udet & Oberst Werner M¶lders </span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Werner M¶lders Grave... and on the oppsite side is the grave of Oberleutnant ERNST UDET (1896 - 1941) also buried in the same cemetery is and Manfred von Richthofen.</span>


Altogether, he performed about 300 combat missions, having claimed kills of 101 enemy aircraft in WW II and 14 in Spain. In his honor JG51 was given the name of M¶lders.

http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/uniforms_firearms/unifo...ftitles/Molders.html (http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/uniforms_firearms/uniforms/luft_cufftitles/Molders.html)

07-01-2005, 02:01 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif I'd like to say to everyone who read this Thread and live Stateside...
May You and Your Families Have a Great & Safe <span class="ev_code_RED">4th</span> <span class="ev_code_WHITE">of </span> <span class="ev_code_BLUE">July</span>!


-HH- Beebop
07-01-2005, 10:55 AM
1 July

In Vichy France... The French government moves from Bordeaux to Vichy.
The French Tricolor is raised in Vichy

In Budapest... The Hungarian government alleges frontier violations by Romanian troops; several civilians are reported dead. Hungarian troops mass at the border with Romania.

In Bucharest... The Romanian government renounces the Anglo-French guarantee of territorial integrity. Romanian troops mass at the border with Hungary.

Over Britain... Hull and Wick, in northeast Scotland, are bombed in daylight by the Luftwaffe. British casualties are reported to be 12 killed and 22 injured.

In the Channel Islands... The German occupation is completed.

Over Germany... During the night (July 1-2), 12 RAF Hampden bombers raid the naval base at Kiel. A 2000 lbs bomb is dropped near the battle cruiser Scharnhorst by Guy Gibson and 2 small bombs strike the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen.

From London... Britain warns that it will not countenance an Axis occupation of Syria.

In Washington... Roosevelt signs a further Navy bill providing for the construction of 45 more ships and providing $550,000,000 to finance these and other projects.

In Japan... Sugar and matches are rationed.

On the Eastern Front... In the Baltics, units of the German Army Group North take Riga in Latvia while to the south other German troops are already well beyond the Dvina River, making for Ostrov. Farther south, to the east of Minsk the Berezina River has been crossed and the advance continues.
Some Riga residents welcomed German troops

From London... General Auchinleck is appointed to command the British forces in the Middle East. General Wavell takes Auchinleck's old post as Commander in Chief in India. Churchill blames Wavell for the failure of the Battleaxe offensive. The British government also recognizes that the Commander in Chief, Middle East, has had substantial political responsibilities in addition to his military duties and to avoid the distraction this has caused in the past Oliver Lyttleton is appointed minister of state, resident in the Middle East.

In Syria... Troops from General Slim's 10th Indian Division move into northern Syria from Iraq.

In the North Atlantic... Aircraft from the United States Navy start antisubmarine patrols from bases in Newfoundland.
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW"> The Consolidated PBY Catalina was considered obsolete by the U.S. Navy in 1939. However, the "Cat" turned out to be the best anti-sub aircraft available at the start of the Battle of the Atlantic because of it's range, capacity, and durability and was employed by many countries for ASW. This print features a U.S. Navy PBY-5A Catalina in early W.W.II markings engaged in a running battle with the scourge of the North Atlantic - a German type VII U-Boat.
The big, tough Martin flying boats were already in service prior to America's entry into World War II and were real workhorses throughout the war in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Mariners were quickly adapted to the role of anti-submarine warfare against the Nazi U-boat wolf packs in early 1942. Production of Mariners continued until 1949 and they served with the U.S. Navy on into the 1950s during the Korean War before being phased out. This picture shows a Mariner over calm seas attacking a submerged U-boat with a low-level depth charge run. The aircraft's ordnance was carried in a unique bomb bay located in the engine nacelles. It also had the capability of carrying torpedoes under the wings.
During WWII a gap existed where land-based aircraft could not provide air cover for the lifeline convoys sailing to Britain from North America. That mid-Atlantic gap was the prime hunting grounds for the German U-boat wolf packs until it was closed by the escort carrier groups. These small "Baby Flat Tops," armed with Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bombers and FM Wildcat fighters, could hunt down and destroy submarines as far from the convoys as required. This picture shows the first "Jeep," CVE-9 Bogue and a pair of her aircraft.</span>

In North Africa... The Afrika Korps under Rommel reaches the British defensive positions at El Alamein. The British 4th Brigade arrives at Alam el Onsol just before the German 90th Light Division. To the south, at the west end of Ruweisat Ridge, the 15th and 21 Panzer Divisions are pressing forward to Point 64 in fierce fighting.

In the Arctic... The outbound convoy PQ-17 to Murmansk has been discovered by the German intelligence service B Dienst. Acting on this information, German U-boats U-255 and U-408 find the convoy. They are joined by 8 other U-boats.

In Rome... Marshal Antonescu, the Romanian leader, visits Mussolini to suggest that Italy, Romania and Hungary should leave the war together. Mussolini is unwilling to commit to such a move.

In the Solomon Islands... The marines from Segi Point capture Viru Harbor.

On the Western Front... The German 1st SS Panzer Corps (part of 7th Army) mounts an armored attack around Grainville. British 2nd Army holds the German assault.

In Italy... Elements of the US 5th Army capture Cecina on the west coast while Pomerance falls, further inland, in the advance to Volterra. German for

On the Eastern Front... Forces of the 3rd Belorussian Front complete the capture of Borisov.ces opposite the British 8th Army begin to withdraw.

In the United States... At Bretton Woods, an international monetary conference begins with a speech by US Secretary of the Treasury, Morgenthau. There are 44 countries represented.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, the reinforced Australian 7th Division (General Milford) land at Balikpapan with 33,000 troops. Three escort carriers provide naval air support to the landing for the first three days ashore. The Balikpapan region is one of the richest oil-producing areas in Asia.
In China... Chinese forces liberate Liuchow.

Over Japan... Some 550 B-29 Superfortress bombers -- the greatest number yet to be engaged -- drop 4000 tons of incendiary bombs on the Kure naval base, Shimonoseki, Ube and Kumanoto, on western Kyushu.

In Occupied Germany... British troops withdraw from Magdeburg, which now becomes part of the Soviet occupation zone.

07-01-2005, 12:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by woofiedog:
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif I'd like to say to everyone who read this Thread and live Stateside...
May You and Your Families Have a Great & Safe <span class="ev_code_RED">4th</span> <span class="ev_code_WHITE">of </span> <span class="ev_code_BLUE">July</span>! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bump... and thanks Woofie. It is a holiday indeed, beyond the snap, crackle and pop http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Very interesting info about our flying boats Beebop.

On this day in 1942, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is brought to a standstill in the battle for control of North Africa.

In June, the British had succeeded in driving Rommel into a defensive position in Libya. But Rommel repelled repeated air and tank attacks, delivering heavy losses to the armored strength of the British, and finally, using his panzer divisions, managed to force a British retreat-a retreat so rapid that a huge quantity of supplies was left behind. In fact, Rommel managed to push the British into Egypt using mostly captured vehicles.

Rommel's Afrika Korps was now in Egypt, in El Alamein, only 60 miles west of the British naval base in Alexandria. The Axis powers smelled blood. The Italian troops that had preceded Rommel's German forces in North Africa, only to be beaten back by the British, then saved from complete defeat by the arrival of Rommel, were now back on the winning side, their dwindled numbers having fought alongside the Afrika Korps. Naturally, Benito Mussolini saw this as his opportunity to partake of the victors' spoils. And Hitler anticipated adding Egypt to his empire.

But the Allies were not finished. Reinforced by American supplies, and reorganized and reinvigorated by British General Claude Auchinleck, British, Indian, South African, and New Zealand troops battled Rommel, and his by now exhausted men, to a standstill in Egypt. Auchinleck denied the Axis Egypt. Rommel was back on the defensive-a definite turning point in the war in North Africa

07-01-2005, 01:23 PM
great posts by all of you guys, been reading it daily http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

-HH- Beebop
07-01-2005, 04:13 PM

Thanks. Glad you've been enjoying it.

Your sig is interesting. Until IL-2 I was unaware that Mexico was a belligerent in WWII. Any exploits/contributions/battles of the Mexican Armed Forces or individual service men/women would certainly be welcomed.

Arcadeace, I thought so as well. Too bad we won't get a flyable PBY at least. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Woofiedog, Arcadeace and all those who will be participating, have a happy and safe 4th. Remember if it blows up, you shouldn't play with it. Leave that to the pros.

07-02-2005, 02:08 AM
JaguarMEX... Glad you have enjoyed the articles and stories. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif
Thank's for your Support.

07-02-2005, 02:28 AM

Arcadeace & -HH- Beebop... I Hope You & Your Families the Best over this Holiday Weekend!
I'm a bit short of time for a story... but I'll be back this coming week.

Also I Sincerly like to say to all You Service Men & Women out there... My Families Best Wishes and Thank's during this Holiday!


07-02-2005, 02:36 AM
And By the Way -HH- Beebop... Thank's for the Advice! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

-HH- Beebop
07-02-2005, 12:58 PM
2 July

In the North Atlantic... The British merchant ship Arandora Star is sunk off the coast of Ireland by a U-boat. Of the 1200 people aboard 800 are drowned. They are among the 8000 "enemy aliens" who are to be deported from Britain for internment abroad.
The Arandora Star

From Berlin... An Armed Forces High Command, OKW, order is issued entitled "The War Against England." It begins "The Fuhrer and Supreme Commander has decided that a landing in England is possible." In response to this order Goring gives instructions for an intensified air blockade with especial attention to be given to attacks on shipping. The Luftwaffe has two air fleets in northern France.

In Tokyo... An Imperial Conference (a meeting of Japanese government and military leaders and the Emperor to explain policy to the Emperor and nominally to take important decisions -- in practice these are already taken at the Liaison Conferences between the politicians and the military leaders) records the decision that attempts should be made to take bases in Indochina even at the risk of war.

In the United States... The US authorities very soon know of this determination through their code-breaking service which has managed to work out the key to the major Japanese diplomatic code and some other minor operational codes. The information gained from the diplomatic code is circulated under the code name Magic.

On the Eastern Front... After a rapid concentration and regrouping Hoeppner's Panzer Group 4 attacks with renewed vigor toward Ostrov. In the south, the forces of German Army Group South, based in Romania and including the Romanian 3rd and 4th Armies and the German 11th Army, begin full-scale attacks.

In the Arctic... The two British outbound convoys, QP-13 from Murmansk and PQ-17 from Iceland pass each other, leading to some confusion for the Germans. They attack PQ-17 unsuccessfully with both submarines and the aircraft.
The ill fated PQ17

From Norway... The German battleship Tirpitz, and cruiser Admiral Hipper as well as six destroyers leave their base to join in the attack on the convoys.

In London... Public dissatisfaction with the direction of the war is expressed in the House of Commons with a Motion of Censure being presented against the government. Prime Minister Churchill is criticized for attempting to manage both the war and the government simultaneously. Churchill's response is that Parliament should either change the government or support it. The Motion of Censure is defeated 476 to 25. However, many Members of Parliament are not reassured that the war effort is going well. Also, the British Board of Trade announces an agreement to control the supply of wheat which involves grain from the USA, Britain, Argentina, Australia and Canada.

In the Solomon Islands... The American buildup on Rendova Island continues but the Japanese garrison continues to resist. During the night a Japanese naval force bombards the American positions with little effect.

In New Guinea... There are Allied landing on Numfoor Island. About 7100 troops, including elements of the US 168th Infantry Division and Australian forces, under the command of US General Patrick establish a beachhead on the north coast near Kamiri Airfield. There is no Japanese resistance. Admiral Fechteler commands the naval support with US Task Force 74 and TF75 providing escort and a preliminary bombardment. On Biak Island, remnants of the Japanese force continue to resist.

In the Mariana Islands... On Saipan, American forces conduct a general advance. Garapan village is overrun.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces cut several rail lines leading west from Minsk.

In Italy... Allied forces advance in the west and the center. Foiano is captured by elements of the British 8th Army.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Japan... The submarine USS Barb fires rockets on Kaihyo Island, off the east coast of Karafuto (Sakhalin) Island. It is the first American underwater craft to fire rockets in shore bombardment. Meanwhile, Japanese sources report that only 200,000 people remain in Tokyo. All others have been evacuated to safer areas. The Japanese claim that some 5 million civilians have been killed or wounded by American fire-bombs.
USS Barb/SSN220
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">
displacment; 1870 tons surfaced, 2424 tons submerged
length 312')
beam 27'
complement; 5 officers - 54 enlisted men
class; "GATO"
Keel laid by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT, 7JUN41;
Launched: 2APR42; Sponsored by Mrs. Charles A. Dunn;
Commissioned: 8JUL42 with LCdr John R. Waterman in command;
Decommissioned: 12FEB47;
Recommissioned: 3DEC51;
Decommissioned: 5FEB54;
Recommissioned: 3AUG54;
Decommissioned: 13DEC54;
Struck from the Navy List and loaned to Italy 15OCT72; returned and sold for scrapping.

The war operations of USS BARB (SS-220) span the period from 20 October 1942 until 2 August 1945, during which time she completed 12 war patrols. During her first patrol she carried out reconnaissance duties prior to, and during, the invasion of North Africa. Operating out of Roseneath, Scotland, until July 1943 she conducted her next four patrols against the Axis blockade runners in European waters. BARB's fifth patrol terminated 1 July 1943 and she proceeded to the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., arriving 24 July.

Following a brief overhaul period at New London, BARB departed for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived in September 1943. It was in the Pacific waters that BARB found lucrative hunting and went on to compile one of the outstanding submarine records of World War II. During the seven war patrols she conducted between March 1944 and August 1945 BARB is officially credited with sinking 17 enemy vessels totaling 96,628 tons. Included were the escort carrier UNYO, sunk 16 September 1944 and a frigate.

The last two war patrols conducted by BARB are deserving of special mention. Under Cdr. E. B. Fluckey she commenced her 11th patrol 19 December 1944. The patrol was conducted in the Formosa Straits and East China Sea off the east coast of China, from Shanghai to Kam Kit. During this patrol, which lasted until 15 February 1945, BARB sank four Japanese merchant ships and numerous enemy small craft. On 22-23 January BARB, displaying the ultimate in skill and daring, penetrated Namkwan Harbor on the China coast and wrought havoc upon a convoy of some 30 enemy ships at anchor. Riding dangerously in shallow waters, BARB launched her torpedoes into the enemy group and then retired at high speed on the surface in a full hour's run through uncharted, heavily mined , and rock-obstructed waters. In recognition of this outstanding patrol, Cdr. Fluckey was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and BARB received the Presidential Unit Citation.

Upon completion of her 11th war patrol BARB was sent stateside for a yard overhaul and alterations, which included the installation of 5-inch rocket launchers. Returning to the Pacific, she commenced her 12th and final patrol on 8 June. This patrol was conducted in the areas north of Hokkaido and east of Karafuto, Japan. For the first time in submarine warfare BARB successfully employed rockets against the towns of Shari, Shikuka, Kashaiko, and Shiritori. She also bombarded the town of Kaihyo To, with her regular armament, destroying 50 percent of the town. Shenext landed a party of crew volunteers who blew up a railroad train.For her outstanding feats during this patrol BARB was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.

Returning to the United States after the cessation of hostilities, BARB was placed in commission in reserve 9 March 1946 and out of commission in reserve 12 February 1947 at New London, Conn. On 3 December 1951 she was recommissioned and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, operating out of Key West, Fla. She was placed out of commission 5 February 1954 and underwent conversion to a Guppy submarine. Recommissioned 3 August 1954, she served with the Atlantic Fleet until 13 December 1954 when she was decommissioned and loaned to Italy under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

BARB received the Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, and eight battle stars for her World war II service.

Battle Flag of the USS Barb
Of all the awards and recognitions represented on the battle flag of the Barb, Eugene Fluckey says he is most proud of the one that ISN'T there....the Purple Heart. Not one of the intrepid Commander's sailors was ever killed or wounded during his service aboard the Barb.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... Australian forces seize the oil facilities at Balikpapan.

In the Ryukyu Islands... American military operations are officially concluded.

From London... Mountbatten is ordered to launch Operation Zipper, the liberation of Malaya, in August.

07-02-2005, 02:27 PM
On this day in 1944, as part of Operation Gardening, the British and American strategy to lay mines in the Danube River by dropping them from the air, American aircraft also drop bombs and leaflets on German-occupied Budapest.

Hungarian oil refineries and storage tanks, important to the German war machine, were destroyed by the American air raid. Along with this fire from the sky, leaflets threatening "punishment" for those responsible for the deportation of Hungarian Jews to the gas chambers at Auschwitz were also dropped on Budapest. The U.S. government wanted the SS and Hitler to know it was watching. Admiral Miklas Horthy, regent and virtual dictator of Hungary, vehemently anticommunist and afraid of Russian domination, had aligned his country with Hitler, despite the fact that he little admired him. But he, too, demanded that the deportations cease, especially since special pleas had begun pouring in from around the world upon the testimonies of four escaped Auschwitz prisoners about the atrocities there. Hitler, fearing a Hungarian rebellion, stopped the deportations on July 8. Horthy would eventually try to extricate himself from the war altogether-only to be kidnapped by Hitler's agents an!

d consequently forced to abdicate.

One day after the deportations stopped, a Swedish businessman, Raoul Wallenberg, having convinced the Swedish Foreign Ministry to send him to the Hungarian capital on a diplomatic passport, arrived in Budapest with 630 visas for Hungarian Jews, prepared to take them to Sweden to save them from further deportations.

07-02-2005, 03:30 PM
On this day in 1943 Lt Charles B Hall flying a P-40L became the first black avaitor to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Flying as part of the 99th Fighter Squadron. Lt Hall shot down an FW-190 while escortingB-25 Mitchells over western Sicily

-HH- Beebop
07-02-2005, 05:21 PM
Good posts Brass_Monkey and Arcadeace.
Thanks for contributing

-HH- Beebop
07-03-2005, 10:34 AM
3 July

In Algeria... At Mers-el-Kebir near Oran, British Admiral Somerville has been ordered to present various alternative schemes for the demobilization of the French ships and their removal to distant ports. Admiral Somerville has been sent with the two battleships and one battle cruiser of Force H supported by an aircraft carrier. The French Admiral Gensoul has four battleships and a large complement of supporting vessels. The deadline in Somerville's orders expires before the negotiations have achieved an agreement and he feels compelled to open fire. The Bretagne is sunk and two more battleships are badly damaged. The Strasbourg and five destroyers steam out of the port and succeed in getting away to Toulon.
Taken from the deck of the Dunkerque during the battle of Oran. The Bretagne is in the background in flames. The Provence and the Strasbourg are attempting to run from port.

In Britain... At Plymouth and Portsmouth two French battleships, nine destroyers and many smaller ships are taken over with a little bloodshed in some minor skirmishes.

On the Eastern Front... In the area of German Army Group North, clear weather permits the Luftwaffe to provide close air support again. The German 41st Panzer Corps (Panzer Group 4) makes good progress against the relatively weak forces of the Soviet 1st Mechanized Corps, and two reserve rifle corps, of the Soviet Northwest Front (Sobennikov). Meanwhile, in the area of Army Group Center, elements of German 9th and 2nd Armies eliminate the resistance of Soviet forces trapped in the Bialystok pocket.

In the Soviet Union... Stalin broadcasts for the first time since the German invasion. The reason for his delay in responding is not clear. He calls for total effort and a policy of scorched earth before the German advance, and guerilla warfare in their rear. He also defends the 1939 non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany on the grounds of his desire for peace. The broadcast is the first of many to emphasize patriotic nationalism.

In East Africa... In southern Abyssinia the Italian resistance comes to an end with the surrender of General Gazzera and 7000 troops to a Belgian unit. In the northwestern Gondar area there are more Italian surrenders around Debra Tabor.

In Syria... Deir el Zor falls to the troops from 10th Indian Division. The Vichy French fort at Palmyra surrenders to Habforce after a long defense.

In North Africa... The New Zealand 2nd Division and their supporting artillery almost destroy the Italian Ariete Division attacking toward Alam Nayil.
New Zealander anti-tank mobile gun

From Norway... The German pocket battleship Lutzow and cruiser Admiral Sheer leave Narvik with an escort to join the Tirpitz in an attack on the British convoys. However on the way, the Lutzow and three destroyers run aground.

In New Guinea... Australian forces, advancing from Wau, are heavily engaged by Japanese forces around Mubo. During the day, the Australians link up with the Americans from the Nassau Bay landing force in the Bitoi River region.

In the Solomon Islands... On New Georgia, American forces land at Zanana, about 8 miles east of Munda. There is no Japanese resistance and the beachhead is quickly consolidated.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of the 1st and 3rd Belorussian Fronts complete the capture of Minsk. German forces of the 4th Army, which has been pinned by 2nd Belorussian Front, are now trapped east of the city. German casualties and equipment losses are severe. Most of the forces of German Army Group Center are in disarray.
soviet forces enter Minsk

From Berlin... General Freissner replaces General Lindemann as commander of Army Group North.

On the Western Front... Forces of the US 1st Army launch an offensive drive south from the Cotentin Peninsula with the objective of reaching a line from Coutances to St. Lo. The difficult terrain and poor weather contribute to a limited advance during the day toward St. Jean de Daye and La Haye du Puits. German forces resist.

In Italy... Troops of the French Expeditionary Corps (part of US 5th Army) capture Siena. Other elements of the 5th Army reach Rosignano. Forces of the British 8th Army take Cortona.

In New Guinea... On Numfoor, the Allied forces expand their beachhead. A parachute battalion is dropped at Kamiriz Airfield which is captured with heavy casualties.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In the Soviet Union... Moscow radio announces that the body of Joseph Goebbels, the former Nazi minister of propaganda, has been discovered in the courtyard of the Chancellery in Berlin.

In Occupied Germany... The first American occupation troops arrive in Berlin. Meanwhile, Ernst Wilhelm Bohle, nominated by Hitler in 1940 to be Gauleiter of Britain, is captured by Allied troops.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, in the southeast, troops of the reinforced Australian 7th Division landed at Balikpapan take Sepinggang airfield as well as the town. The Australian forces have advance 6 miles inland, east of Balikpapan, which is almost surrounded.

Over Japan... American B-29 bombers attack Himeji, on Honshu, and the towns of Takamatsu, Tokushima and Kochi, on Shikoku Island, to the south of Honshu.

<span class="ev_code_GREEN">To those celebrating, have an safe and sane 4th</span>

07-04-2005, 02:34 AM
On this day of July 4 1944...

Fallen Heroes of the 331st
July 4, 1944


Pfc. Charly C. DiDominic, 36579640
E Company, 331st Infantry, 83rd Division
KIA, 25 July 1944
Charly DiDominic was born 10 February 1922 in Detroit , MI, the son of Assunta and Tony DiDominic. Charly entered service in March 1943, and his records indicate that he was killed in action on 25 July 1944. A single bullet hole in the brim of his helmet may have been caused by machine-gun fire or a sniper. Originally buried at Blosville, France on 25 July 1944, his body was returned home for burial in May 1948 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Detroit. Although Charly was reported as KIA on 25 July, his records contain hand written corrections that lead us to believe that he may have been killed earlier in the Normandy Campaign, possibly on 4 July--the first day of battle for the 331st Infantry. He is one of thousands of casualties suffered by the 83rd Division during the month of July.

On the morning of 4 July 1944, the 331st Infantry moved into position along the front line south of the village of Meautis in the hedgerows of Normandy. To the south of them, the crack German paratroopers of the 6th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment were well dug in and waiting on the other side of a swamp. The 331st was supposed to jump off at daylight, with the Second and Third Battalions on the line and the First in reserve. They moved up along the roads accompanied by a company of medium tanks which would supply direct covering fire from a ridge above the swamp. In the Second Battalion, F Company, on the right, faced south towards the Les Ormeaux farm, and E Company was on the left facing open marshland.

At 0430 hours, the pre-dawn sky lit up as seven field-artillery battalions and three infantry cannon companies fired a 15-minute preparatory barrage. At 0445 hours, the Second Battalion moved across the line of departure with mortars firing in support. The infantrymen had gauze strips tied to the back of their helmets so that they could be seen in the pre-dawn morning haze. As they moved out, artillery fired on prearranged targets about 700 yards in front of them. The first sign of enemy resistance was when the sun's rays lit up the swamp, reflecting its rays in bright streamers over the murky terrain.

In E Company, Lt. Ned Burr, a forward observer for the 908th Field Artillery, and his radio operator had been hit by shrapnel about three minutes after they crossed the line of departure. This left E Company without any way of calling in artillery support. In F Company, another forward observer, Lt. Cobble, had reached a point about 75 yards from the U-shaped farmhouse at Les Ormeaux. Heavy machine gun fire had caught him and he lay pinned down in a ditch. Soon the enemy was firing heavy artillery and mortars. Two high-velocity weapons fired round after round into the ridge behind the swamp.

Somehow, H Company (the heavy weapons company) had managed to make it across the swamp and past the farmhouse. There, mortarman John Aller recalled that they were in plain view of the house which was sitting above the bank of the swamp. "Despite heavy concentrations of enemy automatic weapons and mortar fire, some of the battalion had made it, only to find that all hell broke loose behind us. The enemy had let us cross over or in between them, as they had been well camouflaged and we had passed them up." Aller realized that they were surrounded and were in clear view for the Germans to take "pot shots" at them.

To the left of F Company, German snipers and patrols had caught most of E Company off guard near LaRayerie. Lt. Col. Henry Nielson (who had temporarily taken command of the regiment after Col. Barndollar had been killed by a sniper) learned that E Company had become badly disorganized. He directed Lt. Col. Faber, the 2nd Battalion commanding officer, to relieve E Company and pull it back across the line to reorganize. The situation was actually much worse than Nielson realized. E Company had gone about 200 yards when they were stopped by heavy machine gun and mortar fire. When Col. Faber and his party managed to make their way to E Company, they learned that there was only one officer left, and only about 50 men were known to be alive. For all practical purposes, E Company had ceased to exist.

Meanwhile, F Company was pinned down about fifty yards from the U-shaped house. To assist them, Col. Faber brought up six tanks to the observation post, where they started firing directly across the swamp. The enemy returned fire on the tanks, and started shelling them with mortars and heavy artillery. G Company, which had not yet moved out of reserve, was about 500 yards to the rear, and was caught under this rain of fire and received as many casualties as the troops out in the swamps.

The 3rd Battalion, near La Chenay, made up the left flank of the 331st line along the Carentan-Periers Road. They had made no progress and, in fact, had lost some ground. Unlike the swamp in which the Second Battalion was operating, the ground here was thickly crowded with hedgerows. The troops had moved out only a few yards, where they were cut down by the enemy every time they made a move. The Germans had stopped the 3rd Battalion cold. K Company had been mauled and had a lot of the fight taken out of them, and only L Company on the right had made any advance. Lt. Col. Schuster, the battalion commander, decided to contact L Company personally as there were no other communications. He crawled out of the observation post and started along the hedgerow. He reached a point about fifty yards from the observation post when he was hit. A few of the men rushed to his side and brought him back to the aid station. His executive officer, Maj. Brown, took over the front lines.

In the Second Battalion, Capt. Fleming had the only communications to the rear. All other wire and radio communications were out and runners, who were sent out in an attempt to contact the regimental command post and the other companies, never came back. From the observation post Fleming could see the men crumple over and fall to the ground.

F Company launched a new attack, and in the resulting battle, killed and wounded scores of Germans and secured the U- shaped house. Lt. Cobble got into the house with his radio and remained there for about half an hour when the enemy counter-attacked in force, preceded by direct fire from high velocity guns. This forced the men of F Company back to their former positions about fifty yards from the house. The Germans moved back into the house, and one of them started up a phonograph which was inside. The voice of Al Jolson could be heard singing over the din of battle.

One platoon of F Company, which numbered only about twelve men by now, pushed in against the German counter-attack and retook the house. They brought a heavy machine gun with them, which they set up just inside the door. About fifteen minutes later, forty enemy troops came down the main road toward the house. Lt. Mitchell, who was in command of the platoon, kicked open the door and the machine gun mowed down the Germans in the line of fire. The enemy then started to lay direct fire into the house killing or wounding many in the platoon. The survivors destroyed the machine gun and withdrew from the house.

F Company's casualties had been severe and it was decided to throw G Company into the line on the left flank of F Company, with the mission of storming the objective on the opposite side of the swamp about 1400 yards away. Platoon leaders and scouts reached the objective through a sheet of enemy fire, but were then killed. The rest of the company had become strung out in a thin line all the way back to the line of departure. Then four enemy tanks rumbled down a road, firing as they came. One of the tanks turned left while the others pulled up on a line in a field and faced the narrow ribbon of men that made up what remained of G Company men. This was about 1100 hours. Artillery set one of the tanks on fire. Two of the tanks then withdrew and another was abandoned by its crew.

John Aller with H Company realized that their position beyond the farmhouse was precarious, and they had to get back across the swamp if they were to survive. Two "ducks" were sent in to help them evacuate, but they got bogged down and stuck in the swamp. Finally, with casualties increasing by the minute, Aller and the others decided to make a mad dash back across the swamp under artillery and small arms fire, a distance that Aller figured must have been about 200 yards.

Aller managed to make it back across without being hit (which he attributed to his high-school cross-country experience). When he reached the other side, he spotted a hole and dove into it headlong. All through the evening other survivors straggled across the line, and by nightfall it was apparent that the first round of the battle had been lost. The only advance that had been made during the day was along the Carentan-Periers Road where the 1st Battalion moved out late in the day after a 15-minute artillery preparation. In the semi-darkness of evening they managed to move forward about 650 yards to Le Varimesnil before being stopped by German artillery and machine-gun fire.

The morning guns in serenade brought down a fiery hell
And it seemed to us as though the mighty heavens fell
Shrapnel ripped and scarred the ground
The red earth shattered, groaned in horrid sound

Gauze streamers on our helmets marked us
As we moved out across the line
Machine gun tracers found us and mortar shells burst round us
And when the morning mist had burned away
There were only fifty of us left to save the day

We were too young to fade away so soon
this far away from home and those we loved
So save us in the thoughts that you keep near
Protect us in the memories that you hold dear
We never had the chance to say goodbye

Thanks to Mike Spivey for providing information about Pfc. Charly DiDominic. Mike obtained Charly's helmet from a French gentleman who said that he found it during the Summer of 1944 near Carentan. The helmet was sold with the understanding that there was no name on the inside. But, using a magnifying glass, Mike was able to determine a partial name (DiDom) and the serial number, 36579640. The recent listing of WWII soldiers and their serial numbers on the search registry at the National WWII Monument webpage allowed Mike to positively identify Charly. (His name is spelled without an e in the 331st history and is listed with the middle initial C. On the WWII Monument registry his name is listed as Charley G. DiDominic.) Mike says that Charly's burial report, filled out on the 26th of July, 1944, lists date of burial as 25th of July, but the date of death is typed "unknown." Later, someone wrote by hand on the report, the date of death as the 25th of July. We believe that this was a formality, and that Charly was killed earlier in the month.

07-04-2005, 02:51 AM
Also on this date of <span class="ev_code_RED">July 4</span> <span class="ev_code_WHITE">during</span> <span class="ev_code_BLUE"> WW2</span>...

July 4th

July 4th, 1940: In direct response to the devastating British attack on the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir, the Vichy French government of Marshal Petain breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain. In the House of Commons, prime minister Churchill declares,'I leave the judgment of our actions with confidence to Parliament. I leave it to the nation and I leave it to the United States [?!]. I leave it to the world and to history.' German Stukas and MTBs attack a British convoy S of Portland, sinking 5 merchant ships. Italian bombers raid Malta and Alexandria.

July 4th. 1941: Units of Heeresgruppe Mitte (von Bock) capture Ostrov s of Pskovsk.

July 4th, 1942: Off the northern coast of Norway, German U-boats and Luftwaffe torpedo planes attack Convoy PQ-17 bound for Murmansk. Over a period of 6 days, they sink 24 ships out of a total of 37. In the East, the German 11.Armee (von Manstein) completes the occupation of the Crimea, taking 97,000 Soviet prisoners. For the first time, 6 B-17s of the US 8th Air Force join an RAF bomber formation in raids on German airfields in Holland.

July 4th, 1943: General Sikorski, leader of the London-based anti-Communist Polish government-in-exile, is killed in a plane crash at Gibraltar, some suspect as the result of deliberate sabotage.



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Wladyslaw Sikorski was born in Galicia in Poland in 1881. After leaving school, Sikorski entered the Technical Institute in Lvov. He became a soldier and on the outbreak of the First World War he joined the underground movement for Polish freedom. He served under Josef Pilsudski, who had built a private army that he hoped would enable Poland to fight for its independence from Russia.

In 1914 Pilsudski and his 10,000 men fought with the Austrians against the Russian Army but after the Russian Revolution his loyalty was questioned and he was arrested and imprisoned in July 1917.

On his release in 1918 Josef Pilsudski became provisional head of state and leader of all Polish troops. Pilsudski represented Poland at the Versailles Treaty and his army successfully defended Poland against the Red Army (1919-20).

During the Russian Civil War Sikorski commanded the Northern Army, winning one of the decisive battles of the war. Pilsudki's army made considerable gains and the Soviet-Polish Treaty of Riga (1921) left Poland in control of substantial areas of Lithuania, Belorussia and the Ukraine.

In 1921 Sikorski replaced Pilsudski as Commander-in-Chief and the following year was elected premier. Within a short time he carried out essential reforms and guided foreign policy into a direction which gained the approval of the League of Nations, while he also obtained recognition of Poland's Eastern frontiers by Britain, France and the United States.

After Josef Pilsudski staged a military coup in May 1926, Sikorski retired to Paris. Sikorski returned to Poland in 1938 but was refused a command when Poland was invaded by the German Army in September 1939. He escaped to London where he joined with Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz and Stanislaw Mikolajczyk to establish a Polish government-in-exile.

Following the invasion of the Soviet Union by the German Army, Joseph Stalin agreed in June 1941, to invalidate the Soviet-German partition of Poland.

The relationship between the governments of Soviet Union and Poland was severely damaged by the discovery of mass graves of Polish officers at Katyn. Joseph Stalin claimed that the atrocity had been carried out by the German Army and in April 1943 broke off relations with the Polish government.

Wladyslaw Sikorski was killed in an air crash over Gibraltar in July, 1943.



July 4th, 1944: In the East, the Soviet 1st Baltic Front begins an offensive toward Riga, capturing Potolsk and threatening to isolate Heeresgruppe Nord in its fighting retreat from iEstonia.

07-04-2005, 03:22 AM
Throughout July

The First Komet Engagements (Unfortunantly I can't find exact dates)

In July of 1944, American airmen over Germany found themselves being attacked by something that looked more like a football with swept wings than a fighter aircraft. It moved faster than anything they had ever seen, and climbed at what appeared to be an impossibly steep angle. Their assailant was the Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet.

The Komet was the only pure rocket-powered airplane, and the first tailless, ever to reach squadron service and fly in combat. From today€s perspective, it was a strange combination of remarkably advanced features and remarkably archaic ones. Its wing was swept back, but it was made of wood and had fabric-covered control surfaces. It flew at near-sonic speeds, but landed as a glider. It was the fastest airplane of WW II, but its powered endurance was so short that it could never venture far from home base.

Info Taken from:http://www.flightjournal.com/fj/articles/me163/me163_1.asp

I'd reccomend giving that a read,Even just for the part that dispells the common myths.


07-04-2005, 04:13 AM
Autozam-1... Good Posting... and Welcome Aboard to the IL-2 Forum! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Here's a little info on a Flyable Me 163...



07-04-2005, 04:20 AM
If I had the money i'd be single handedly funding that project!

07-04-2005, 04:47 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif It would be quite the Ride... for Sure!

-HH- Beebop
07-04-2005, 10:17 AM
<span class="ev_code_RED">HAPPY</span> BIRTHDAY <span class="ev_code_BLUE">AMERICA</span>

great posts as always. wait til the neighbors see me drive up with a Komet replica on the trailer!

4 July

In East Africa... The Italians advance from Abysinia into the Sudan occupying Kassala and Gallabat just over the border. The Italians use more than two brigades at Kassala which is defended by only two companies of the Sudan Defense Force.
Italian troops cross to the Sudan

In Romania... A new Cabinet is formed. The prime minister is Gigurtu and the Foreign Minister Manoilescu who represents the Iron Guard. The policies of the new government are clearly pro-German and anti-Semitic.

In the English Channel... The Luftwaffe attacks a convoy south of Portland; the Stuka dive-bombers sink 5 of the 9 ships involved.

On the Eastern Front... In the north, Ostrov (southeast of Lake Peipus in Russia) falls to forces of the German 41st Panzer Corps (Panzer Group 4).
German armor and infatry advancing

In the United States... In an Independence Day broadcast Roosevelt says that the United States "will never survive as a happy and fertile oasis of liberty surrounded by a cruel desert of dictatorship."

On the Eastern Front... The siege of Sevastopol ends with massive Soviet losses. The Germans take 90,000 prisoners. The Germans have a total of 24,000 casualties.

In the Arctic... PQ-17, British convoy bound to Murmansk is fired upon by German forces. Admiral Pound, First Sea Lord of the British Navy orders the convoy to scatter and the close escorts to retire. He believes that the convoy can no longer be protected by the Home Fleet, as it is now within range of the German Luftwaffe and the German heavy ships are on their way to attack. The order is controversial and the commanders of the escort ships protest, but eventually obey the order.

Over Holland... The first strikes by American Army Air Force planes over Europe take place, when six B-17's of the 8th US Army Airforce join a RAF squadron attacking airfields in Holland.

From London... After General Sikorski is killed in an airplane accident, Mikolajczyk becomes the prime minister of the Polish exile government based in London. General Kukiel is appointed Commander in Chief in place of Sikorski. The new commander of the Polish Home Army is Bor-Komorowski.
General Sikorski (seated left) killed in air crash

In the Solomon Islands... On New Georgia, US forces advancing from Zanana to Munda encounter heavy Japanese resistance. The Japanese land 1200 troops from 3 destroyers at Vila on Kolombangara.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 1st Baltic Front launches attacks on the right flank of German Army Group North. Polotsk is captured.
Soviet rife troops in Polotsk

On the Western Front... Attacks by the US 7th and 8th Corps (parts of US 1st Army) continue. The Canadian 3rd Division (part of British 2nd Army) captures the village of Carpiquet, west of Caen, but cannot secure the airfield.

In the Mariana Islands... Elements of US Task Force 58 attack Guam Island with carrier aircraft.

In the Volcano Islands... Elements of US Task Force 58 attack Iwo Jima Island with carrier aircraft.

In the Bonin Islands... Elements of US Task Force 58 attack Chichi Jima Island with carrier aircraft.

In New Guinea... On Numfoor Island, the Kornasoren airfield is captured by Allied forces. A second parachute battalion is dropped and suffers heavy casualties.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Manila... General MacArthur announces that the Philippines have been completely liberated.
In the Philippines... On Mindanao, the US 24th Division organizes an amphibious expeditionary force to liberate Sarangani Bay, in the south of the island, south of Davao. Filipino guerrilla forces assist in clearing out the Japanese pockets of resistance.

In Occupied Germany... In Berlin, rumors that Hitler is still alive start to spread. Meanwhile, several thousand civilians in the city watch the arrival of the British occupation force. The British 11th Hussars, the Armoured Car Regiment of the the British 7th Armoured Division (General L. O. Lyne) -- the "Desert Rats" -- arrived after a 14-hour, 120 mile (almost 200 km) march from the British occupation zone. They were held up for three hours at Magdeburg waiting for the Red Army forces to give them permission to enter the Soviet zone.

-HH- Beebop
07-05-2005, 12:52 PM
5 July

In Gibraltar... There is an unsuccessful French torpedo bomber raid on the British naval base.

In Vichy France... Marshal Petain's government, now based in Vichy, breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain because of the action taken against the French navy.

In Romania... Romania joins to the Axis system.

On the Eastern Front... The German 6th Army breaches the Soviet defense line west of Zhitomir. Panzer Group 1 (Kleist) begins to move through the gap but is somewhat held back by orders from Hitler. Farther north in the attacks east of Minsk the German advance reaches the Dniepr.
Panzer Group Kleist in the Ukraine

On the Eastern Front... German General Hoth's 4th Panzer Army reach the Don River near Voronezh. To their left, General Weich's 2nd Army makes progress against the Soviet defenders.
German tanks supporting Romanian troops

In the Arctic... Without defensive escorts 13 vessels from the British convoy PQ-17 are sunk by Luftwaffe and U-boat attacks. The German heavy ships approach, but return to port when their presence is made unnecessary by the success of the air and submarine attacks. The sister convoy QP-17 sails into an Allied minefield in the Denmark Straits and loses 4 ships.

On the Eastern Front... The battle of Kursk begins. After several delays, the German summer offensive is launched against the Soviet held salient centered on Kursk. To the north of the salient, the German 9th Army (General Model) attacks southward against the Soviet Central Front (General Rokossovsky). To the south, 4th Panzer Army (General Hoth) and Army Detachment Kempf (General Kempf) strike northward against the Soviet Voronezh Front (General Vatutin). The Soviet Steppe Front (General Konev) is held in reserve. Marshal Zhukov and Mashal Vasilievsky are STAVKA representatives for the battles in the north and south, respectively. The Germans hope to eliminate the Kursk salient and, with it, a Soviet capability to launch an offensive in 1943. The Soviets have prepared extensive defenses and anticipate the German offensive. A disruptive bombardment is carried out shortly before the German forces are scheduled to begin attacking. When the offensive does get under way, progress is relatively slow and casualties are relatively high on both sides.

In the Solomon Islands... On New Georgia, American force of regimental strength lands in the north at Rice Anchorage. Fighting on the Zanana-Munda track continues. During the night (July 5-6) Japanese destroyers bring nearly 3000 more troops to Vila. Admiral Ainsworth, with 3 cruisers and 4 destroyers, engages elements of the Japanese force and sinks one destroyer while losing the cruiser Helena.

USS Helena CL50

On the Eastern Front... Soviets forces begin the destruction of the trapped German 9th and 4th Armies (an estimated 100,000 troops) in Belorussia. Other Red Army forces continue to exploit westward.

On the Western Front... Elements of US 1st Army capture La Haye du Puits.

In New Guinea... On Numfoor, the Japanese garrison counterattacks the Allied beachhead but fails to make progress. American forces prepare to assault the third airfield on the island, at Namber.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Britain... The British general election is held. The results are not available until July 26th because of the time taken to bring home and count votes of the soldiers serving abroad.
British soldier casts his ballot overseas

In Washington... It is announced that General Spaatz will lead the US Strategic Air Force in the campaign against Japan.

In London and Washington... Britain and the United States recognize a new Polish government of National Unity. Mikolajczyk, former leader of the London based Polish government in exile, is one of the deputy premiers.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, reinforcements for troops of the Australian 7th Division are landed near Penadjim Point in Balikpapan Bay. Australian forces have cleared most of the oil producing area in the immediate vicinity.

In Australia... The Prime Minister, John Curtin, dies at the age of 60. He has headed the government since 1941. F.M. Forde is appointed as the interim prime minister.

07-05-2005, 02:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by -HH- Beebop:
<span class="ev_code_RED">HAPPY</span> BIRTHDAY <span class="ev_code_BLUE">AMERICA</span>

Over Holland... The first strikes by American Army Air Force planes over Europe take place, when six B-17's of the 8th US Army Airforce join a RAF squadron attacking airfields in Holland.


Love your posts. Just a small note, that first raid featured Bostons (A-20's, can't remember the model type), not B-17's. A low level strike on Altmaar and 3 others. A number of USAAF personnel had been on prior raids, this was the first 'offical' one, for obvious reasons.

-HH- Beebop
07-05-2005, 02:40 PM

Glad your enjoying the thread.

As for the B-17's:
Right you are. I swear I found that info during a Google search for the ETO on Jul.4,'42 but now I can't find it. Your info that it was A-20's is now all I can find.

I stand corrected. Thank You.

07-05-2005, 02:51 PM
np, apologies for being picky. There was an article in an old copy of Aeroplane I had which detailed the raid. Unfortunatly the copy had to go back to its owner so I haven't got futher details anymore.

Thanks for all the stuff, it's a really great thread.

07-05-2005, 03:13 PM
On this day in 1940, Congress passes the Export Control Act, forbidding the exporting of aircraft parts, chemicals, and minerals without a license. This prohibition was a reaction to Japan's occupation of parts of the Indo-Chinese coast.

Now that the Germans occupied a large swath of France, the possibility of Axis control of French colonies became a reality. Among those of immediate concern was French Indo-China. The prospect of the war spreading to the Far East was now a definite possibility. Increasing its likelihood was the request by Imperial Japan to use army, naval, and air bases in French Indo-Chinese territory, an important vantage point from which to further its campaign to conquer China. As Vichy France entered into negotiations on this issue, the Japanese peremptorily occupied key strategic areas along the coast of Indo-China.

The United States, fearing the advance of Japanese expansion and cooperation, even if by coercion, between German-controlled France and Japan, took its own action, by banning the export of aircraft parts without a license and, three weeks later, the export of aviation fuel and scrap metal and iron without a license. The United States was not alone in its concern. Great Britain, which had it own colonies in the Far East (Burma, Hong Kong, and Malaya) also feared an aggressive Japan. The day after the Export Act was passed, the British ambassador would be asked by Japan to close the Burma Road, a key supply route of arms for China, Japan's prey. Britain initially balked at the request but, fearing a declaration of war by a third enemy, caved in and closed the road, though only for a limited period

07-06-2005, 12:03 AM
On this day of July 6 1943...

N. D. COMMUNIQUӰ NO. 435, JULY 6, 1943

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

1. On the night of July 4€5, the U. S. destroyer Strong was torpedoed and sunk while engaged in the bombardment of Japanese positions on New Georgia Island. The next of kin of the casualties aboard the Strong will be notified as soon as possible.

2. On the evening of July 5, Army Liberator (Consolidated B€24) heavy bombers attacked Japanese installations on Ballale Island, Shortland Island Area. Five fires were started. About 12 Zero fighters attempted to intercept but were driven off. No U. S. losses were sustained.

3. On July 6, in the early morning, a United States surface task force engaged Japanese surface units in Kula Gulf off New Georgia Island. (Pre*viously reported in Navy Department Communiqué No. 434). Sufficient details have not been received to give the results of this engagement, but it is believed that, while some damage was suffered by the U. S. force, considerable damage was inflicted on the enemy.


by Vincent P. O'Hara

The Japanese destroyers Niizuki, Yunagi, and Nagatsuki were inbound to Vila loaded with reinforcements for the Munda garrison threatened by the June 30th American landings on Renova, the island opposite. They encountered an American task force bombarding their destination and an amphibious force delivering troops to attack it. These consisted of light cruisers Honolulu, Helena and St. Louis screened by destroyers Nicholas, Strong, O€Bannon, and Chevalier. Destroyer transports Dents, Talbot, McKean, Waters, Kilty, Crosby, Schley and destroyer minesweepers Hopkins and Trever carried the landing force of three marine battalions and two army battalions. Destroyers Radford, Gwin, McCalla, Ralph Talbot and Woodworth screened the transport group.
Niizuki was equipped with radar and this time it was the Japanese who were able to use this new technology effectively. She scooped the Americans at 0015 at a range of 11 miles. The blips from so many ships must have impressed and perhaps intimidated the Japanese. Any doubt about the nature of these blips was answered when at 0026 the Americans commenced their bombardment of Vila. The three Japanese destroyers fired a salvo of torpedoes at long range and wisely turned away.

http://www.friesian.com/images/ships/flag-4.gif http://www.friesian.com/images/ships/flag-0.gif http://www.friesian.com/images/ships/flag-jak.gif
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Imperial Japanese Navy Ensign, Commodore's Flag and Jack</span>

Ralph Talbot picked up radar images at 0031. She determined these to be unidentified ships at 0040 and advised Admiral Ainsworth of the contact at approximately 0047. At 0049 a torpedo struck Strong. She sank at 0122 with the loss of 46 men. Chevalier and O€Bannon moved in to rescue Strong€s crew and were taken under fire by Japanese shore batteries. Unable to deliver their troops, the Japanese destroyers withdrew to Buin. The American landings commenced at 0136 and continued until 0600.

By this stage of the war the Americans were beginning to suspect that Japanese torpedoes were more deadly and capable then they had hitherto believed. Nonetheless, Ainsworth, ignoring the evidence of Ralph Talbot€s radar operator, didn€t know he had been involved in a surface engagement and had forestalled a €œTokyo Express€, supposing Strong had fallen victim to a submarine.


After completing their bombardment and escort mission, Ainsworth€s force retired south. However, when news came that afternoon that a Japanese destroyer group had departed Buin bound for Vila, light cruisers Honolulu, Helena and St. Louis, with destroyers O€Bannon, and Nicholas, reversed course, determined to intercept. Radford and Jenkins hurried up to join them from Tulagi where they had been refueling. By rushing separated forces into combat, in an impromptu fashion, without conference or plan, the Americans were repeating mistakes made at Java Sea, Badung Strait, and Tassafaronga. However, this time every American ship had improved SG radar, they knew well the waters to where they were bound and had up to six months experience working with their Admiral.


The Japanese force, all destroyers, consisted of a support group, Niizuki, flag commanded by Rear Admiral Akiyama, Suzukaze and Tanikaze and two transport groups, first, Mochizuki, Mikazuki and Hamakaze and second, Amagiri, Hatsuyuki, Nagatsuki and Satsuki.

The Japanese made Vila unmolested. The first transport group separated and successfully landed its troops while the remainder of the force probed north. Thirteen miles to the southwest Ainsworth€s Task Force 36.1 was steaming on a northwesterly course roughly parallel to the Japanese. Dull states that Niizuki€s radar got the Americans at 0106 while the Americans didn€t pick up the Japanese until 0136. At 0143 Rear Admiral Akiyama ordered the second transport group to turn south toward Vila to land their troops while his support group continued north. Within minutes, however, Akiyama realized his support group by itself lacked the strength to confront TF 36.1, so he ordered the second transport group to double back and come to his aid as he maneuvered to position his ships for a torpedo attack. Meanwhile Ainsworth, thinking the advantage of surprise was his, closed and held his fire. Finally, at 0157, with the range down to less than 7,000 yards, the American cruisers opened up.

A pattern was being established. Niizuki had the misfortune of being the lead Japanese ship and as such, she was the target of almost every gun in the entire American force. The first salvo hit home and the weight of fire sank her within a few minutes. Suzukaze and Tanikaze, aiming at the American gun flashes, each launched a full salvo of eight torpedoes within the first minute. They then turned to avoid their stricken leader and made smoke. Suzukaze took several hits, but only suffered light damage. Tanikaze was struck by one dud. These two destroyers continued northwest out of the battle. When they backtracked several hours later, they saw nothing on the field of battle (although there were things to see) and returned to Buin. The Americans were tardy or delinquent in returning the torpedo fire. Jenkins launched at 0201, O€Bannon, Radford at 0210 and the others not at all. No hits were scored.

At 0203 Ainsworth ordered his force to assume a south-southwest course. At 0204 after a run of six minutes, a Japanese longlance struck Helena and severed her bow back to her No. 2 turret. Two more torpedoes followed at 0205 and 0206 and broke the back of the light cruisers. The bow and stern rose independently into the air, describing a giant V as the Helena quickly sank. The American€s had been properly impressed by the flashless powder used by the Japanese and were working to equip their own forces with the same resource. In this battle Helena was the only cruiser completely dependent upon the old power, which may explain why she caught all the torpedoes -- it was the same principle as the largest blip on the screen -- she was the most visible target.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Japanese destroyers, starting with the Fubuki, began the state of the art destroyer design for World War II. With enclosed, double turrets and heavy gun and torpedo armament, the Fubukis and their successors, the "special type," set the standard for all later design -- although the Japanese desire to pack as much as possible onto the ships tended to make them top heavy. With the design also went the tactics.

As the means of protecting capital ships from torpedo boats, the kind of ship originally called the "torpedo boat destroyer" eventually, with Japanese tactics (first in the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905), came into its own as the successor to the torpedo boats. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN, Nihon Teikoku Kaigun) had excellent torpedoes, and they planned how to use them. Japanese torpedoes had very long ranges; but the best shot for torpedoes is always as close as possible, and the best circumstances for close shots are at night. The Japanese navy thus drilled and planned for night combat. Only the British Royal Navy had a similar emphasis, after their mortifying experience of the Germans escaping in the night at the battle of Jutland in 1916.

The Royal Navy would use its night training to devastate the Italian navy at the battle of Matapan in 1941, but then the Japanese would frequently use their night training to devastate both the British and United States navies in 1941, 1942, and 1943. The campaigns in Indonesia, culminating in the battle of the Java Sea, 27 February 1942, and then the long campaign in the Solomon Islands from 1942 to 1943, provided many opportunities for Japanese torpedo and night combat training to pay off. On the other hand, the United States Navy was dominated by a group, derisively called the "Gun Club," that emphasized tactics based on gunnery. American torpedoes, poor in themselves, were actually removed from cruisers. There would be hell to pay for this bias.

The supreme achievements of Japanese torpedo and night combat were the battles near Guadalcanal of Savo Island, 9 August 1942, and Tassafaronga, 30 November 1942. The Savo Island force, ironically, consisted entirely of cruisers, except for a single pre-Fubuki destroyer, the Yunagi, trailing along. But the destroyers would get their chance. Indeed, as attrition mounted off Guadalcanal, and then the battleships Hiei and Kirishima were sunk there in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 12-15 November 1942, Japan gave up seriously contesting the waters, and used destroyers for such actions as were necessary -- combat and both to supply the troops on Guadalcanal and then finally to take them off.

In the course of one such operation, a very superior American force surprised Japanese destroyers in the battle of Tassafaronga. Turning away and filling the water with torpedoes, the Japanese force only lost one ship, while sinking or seriously damaging several American heavy cruisers. For the time being, that all but knocked the American cruisers, like the Japanese, out of the war; and, mercifully, it was about the end of the line for the "Gun Club." American destroyers finally came into their own with victory in the battle of Vela Gulf, 6/7 August 1943. In subsequent battles in the Solomons, the Japanese were without all of their previous advantages, and their reliance on destroyers to carry the brunt of supply as well as combat actions simply meant a terrific attrition in the destroyer force.

Besides their excellent design and combat history, perhaps the most striking thing about Japanese destroyers are their names. They were named after phenomena of weather, sea, and sky, with several groups based on wind (kaze), snow (yuki), rain (ame), clouds (kumo), waves (nami), mist (kiri), frost (shimo), tides (shio), and moons (tsuki). In compounds, the unvoiced initial consonants of these are often voiced, e.g. gumo for kumo or zuki for tsuki. Seldom have so many poetic names been bestowed on such devices of violence, although characteristic of the Japanese moral aestheticism that made war and death things of art and beauty.

The "London Treaty" refers to the London Naval Treaty of 1930, under whose limitations two classes of ships were built. The subsequent "cruiser" types, like the Yugomo, were built free of the limitations of naval treaties, which had been repudiated. They therefore represent the most advanced thinking of the Japanese naval architects. The final "anti-aircraft" class of large destroyers is the only attempt made in this direction comparable to the American anti-aircraft light cruisers, like the Atlanta and Juneau (both tragically sunk when improperly deployed into surface combat around Guadalcanal).

While these events were pyrotechnically unfolding, the second transport group was coming hard from the south. The American column, minus Helena, successfully maneuvered to cap their T and opened fire at 0221. Amagiri, the leader, took four hits killing ten men and disabling her electric power plant and radio compartment. She made smoke, fired torpedoes and turned south. Next in line, Hatsuyuki was hit by three duds which did heavy damage. Her hull was holed twice and six men were killed. She followed Amagiri€s example. Nagatsuki took one direct hit. She and the last ship in line, Satsuki, also turned away. However, Nagatsuki ran aground five miles short of Vila. Satsuki, unable to pull her free, returned to Buin.

At 0235 Ainsworth figured the battle was over and ordered a return to Tulagi. He believed he had sunk the entire Japanese force. Radford and Nicholas lingered to rescue Helena survivors. Amagiri was engaged in the same work for the survivors of Niizuki. After 0500 Amagiri and Nicholas spotted each other and exchanged torpedoes. All missed. At 0534 they opened fire. Amagiri was hit several times during this duel and retired under smoke, leaving Niizuki€s men to their unhappy fate: approximately 300 perished in the warm waters of Kula Gulf. Mochizuki of the first transport group elected to return to Buin via Kula Gulf. Radford and Nicholas challenged her as well, Dull states that neither side were damaged; Morison credits the American destroyers with two hits on Mochizuki.

Allied aircraft sunk the stranded Nagatsuki the next day. Of the 2,600 Japanese reinforcements, only those on the first transport group, 850, were delivered to their destination. The Americans lost a light cruiser in this engagement, but the Japanese suffered two destroyers sunk, one destroyer heavily damaged, one moderately damaged and another one (or perhaps two if Mochizuki was indeed hit) lightly damaged. Dull criticizes Ainsworth for being slow to open fire in this battle. However, in his defense, he believed he had the surprise and that firing too soon in such circumstances would be worse. A more valid criticism would be the failure, once again, of the Americans to use their torpedoes effectively. Moreover, American marksmanship was not remarkable. When they crossed the T of the transport group, their automated, radar directed six inch €œmachine-guns€, only damaged the four destroyers and none seriously.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">James R. Clarkson, MM3/c--USS Gwin DD433 </span>

Personal tale of USS Gwin and the Battle of Kolombangara

By Mikki Tocco, daughter of Gwin survivor€"James R. Clarkson

My dad was assigned to the USS Gwin April, 1943 so he was only on her a few short months. However, this does not lessen the amount of action he saw. After the Gwin was sunk, he was then transferred to the USS Buchanan (a Bristol class).

When the Cruiser, Helena was lost in the first battle of Kula Gulf July 5-6, the USS Gwin went in to rescue the survivors on the beach. One of the sailors rescued and my dad had a reunion while they were on leave in the Phoenix area. This gentleman told my dad the survivors of the Helena had given up hope of being rescued and pretty much resigned their fate in the hands of the Japanese

The night the Gwin was sunk was the Second Battle of Kula Gulf, or more commonly referred to as: "Night Battle of Kolombangara." It also has been referred to as "Hell Night."

About 1:30 a.m., while the Gwin was in a hard left turn, she took the salvo in her stern. The explosion jammed her rudder in that position. The entire aft section was in flames and smoking heavily. She was bearing down on the crippled Honolulu but a hard right turn is what kept the two ships from collision. Right after this, the enemy retreated.

The Gwin's damage was serious and the crew was able to bring the fires under control. She still had power although her rudder was still jammed and her fantail underwater. The Ralph Talbot took her in tow while the Woodworth circled on guard. Twice the task of towing her had to be dropped to fight off air attacks. At 9:00 a.m., the Gwin developed a pronounced settling by the stern and began to take a list. The Maury went alongside and took aboard the survivors: Commander Higgins (the division commander); The Captain, Lt. Commander Fellows; eight other officers; and 44 men.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW"> Pre-war photo of the Gwin in peace-time paint, hull identification, and portholes.</span>

At 9:30 a.m., the Ralph Talbot stood off and fired 4 torpedoes into the Gwin. Someone on the Talbot recited the service for burial at sea while she was sinking. She sank approximately at: Lat 0.41 S.: Long 157.27 E . Three days after the battle, the USS Dent and Waters picked up two Japanese sailors adrift in a motor whaleboat belonging to the Gwin. They were survivors of the Jintsu.

This entire battle was plagued with problems, confusion, calamities and poor judgment: The TBS system (Talk Between Ships) went down for a period of time, no one knew what ship was who€s. In the middle of this, a squall appeared. It is really a miracle the Gwin was the only ship that was lost.

Poor judgment was apparent throughout this battle. Admiral Ainsworth radioed the Buchanan that the Japanese were escaping and to leave the task force in pursuit. However, it was only transports that were leaving and now, the Buchanan was separated from the rest of the group, and the cruiser were unprotected. Another example was near collision of the Buchanan and the Woodworth.

The Woodworth and Buchanan were on a parallel course - but heading right for each other. At first it looked as if they would pass but apparently, the Woodworth did not see the Buchanan and made a right turn, heading straight for the Buchanan. The stern of the Woodworth clipped the Buchanan and crushed the bow. The Woodworth's port depth charge rack was ripped from the ship, dumping depth charges into the water. Although they were all set on safe, one of the charges exploded underneath the Buchanan. Incredibly, no further damage was done.

On a personal note: My dad, although a machinist mate, was assigned to the upper handling room of main battery gun number two as his battle station. He had been moved out of the machine room. When the torpedo hit, all the men in the area he had been stationed did not make it. On another occasion, my dad was moved to the aft gun, only to have his superior officer bring him back to the 2nd gun. Ironically, the aft gun took a hit and all the men there were killed. My brother said if he was on the Gwin when my dad was, he would have glued himself to my dad. Apparently, my dad's future was his 5 acres, a cow and 6 kids.

-HH- Beebop
07-06-2005, 06:52 AM
great stuff guys!

6 July

In Algeria... At Mers-el-Kebir, the French battle cruiser Dunkerque is crippled by Swordfish torpedo-bombers from HMS Ark Royal.
HMS Ark Royal accompanied by her Swordfish
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">After four days at Scapa Flow, Ark Royal returned to the Mediterranean. Following the surrender of France and the advent of the Vichy government of Marshal Pétain, the British realized that they must either capture or destroy the French fleet to prevent it falling into German hands. On July 2, Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville hoisted his flag in the battlecruiser HMS Hood to form Force H€"consisting also of battleships Valiant and Resolution, Ark Royal, and cruisers Arethusa and Enterprise, among other ships. The next day Force H arrived off Mers el-Kébir at the start of Operation Catapult, whereby the British intended to neutralize the potential threat posed by the French fleet. In the port just three miles from Oran, Algeria, lay the battlecruisers Dunkerque, Strasbourg, battleships Provence and Bretagne, seaplane carrier Commandant Teste, and six destroyers. Admiral Marcel Gensoul was given a number of options: fight, sail to a British port, the French West Indies, or the United States, or scuttle his ships within six hours. When Gensoul declined to heed the British demands, Somerville opened the attack. Bretagne blew up, Provence was beached, and Dunkerque was damaged and finished off the next day by aircraft from Ark Royal. Only Strasbourg escaped to Toulon.</span>

In Germany... Hitler returns to Berlin in triumph after 8 weeks away

On the Eastern Front... Romanian forces take Chernovtsy and are welcomed by the civilian population on entering the city. The Soviets claim to have carried out successful counterattacks in Latvia and in Belorussia.

In Berlin... Hitler comments that he has "given orders that the venue of the rally [the annual NSDAP rally in Nuremberg] is to be enlarged to accommodate a minimum of two million in the future."

On the Eastern Front... The battle of Kursk continues. In the north the German 9th Army has advanced about 6 miles into the first Soviet defensive line. In the south, the forces of Army Group South have penetrated 10 miles into the Soviet defenses. There is heavy rainfall on the southern battlefield.
A column of Panzer IV's of SSLAH at Kursk

In the Solomon Islands... A second Japanese destroyer, from the force that delivered troops to New Georgia, is sunk by air attack. The fighting on New Georgia continues along the Barike River.

In the Aleutian Islands... An American force (4 cruisers and 4 destroyers) led by Admiral Giffen bombards Japanese positions on Kiska Island.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of 1st Belorussian Front capture Kovel, 70 east of Lublin. German forces are retreating. Southwest of Minsk, Svir is captured.

From Berlin... It is announced the Field Marshal Kluge has replaced Field Marshal Rundstedt as Commander in Chief West.

In Italy... Elements of British 8th Army advance. The Polish 3rd Division (part of Polish 2nd Corps) captures Osemo, south of Ancona, on the Adriatic. German forces are conducting a gradual withdrawal, from river line to river line.

In New Guinea... On Numfoor, American forces capture Namber airfield. Allied fighter aircraft are flown in.

In Washington... Free French President de Gaulle arrives for talks on the status of his administration and aid for his forces.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Occupied Germany... In Berlin, the Allied occupation forces hold a victory parade. At 1430 a warrant officer of the British Guards hoisted the Union Jack over Berlin at the German victory column, near the Brandenburg Gate. The ceremony took place in the presence of officers and troops of the American, British, French and Soviet armies.

In Washington... The American chiefs of staff authorize a special operation, known as Overcast, which is intended to exploit "chosen, rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use" from among German scientists.

In Managua... Nicaragua becomes the first state to ratify the United Nations Charter.
In China... General Claire Chennault resigns his command of the US 14th Army Air Force in protest to plans to disband it.

In Burma... Japanese forces strike at British forward positions in the Sittang river bend east of Pegu but fail to make significant gains. Heavy casualties are reportedly inflicted on the Japanese. A Japanese attack on the Mawchi road, 24 miles east of Toungoo is defeated.

Over Japan... Some 600 US B-29 Superfortress bombers struck Osaka, Kofu, Chiba, Shimizu (near Tokyo), Shimotsu and Akashi, all on Honshu. Nearly 4000 tons of bombs are dropped.

07-06-2005, 03:12 PM
On this day in 1944, Georges Mandel, France's minister of colonies and vehement opponent of the armistice with Germany, is executed in a wood outside Paris by collaborationist French.

Born into a prosperous Jewish family (his given name was Louis-Georges Rothschild, though no relation to the banking family) in 1885, Mandel's political career began at age 21 as a member of the personal staff of French Premier Georges Clemenceau. He went on to serve in the National Assembly from 1919 to 1924, and then again from 1928 to 1940. Although a political conservative, he fell into conflict with fellow conservatives over their too-often pro-German sympathies, especially during the two world wars.

In 1940, he was transferred to the Ministry of the Interior by then French Premier Paul Reynaud, with whom he shared the conviction that no armistice should be made with the German invaders, and that the battle should continue, even if only from France's colonies in Africa. After the resignation of Reynaud and the establishment of the Petain/Vichy government, Mandel sailed to Morocco, where he was arrested and sent back to France and imprisoned. He was then handed over to the Germans, and put in concentration camps in Oranienburg and Buchenwald. On July 4, 1944, he was shipped back to Paris, where the French security police, the Milice, took him out to a wood and shot him. As he was being handed over to his countrymen by the German SS, he said: "To die is nothing. What is sad is to die without seeing the liberation of the country and the restoration of the Republic."

07-06-2005, 11:25 PM
On this day of July 7 1945...


On July 7, 1945 President Truman stepped off a special train onto pier 6 at Newport News, Virginia, and was piped aboard the Augusta enroute to the Potsdam Conference. Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy accompanied Truman.




Following breakfast in the mess Truman proceeded to the flag bridge. At 6:55AM Truman ordered the Augusta to get under way, and the ship set out for the Atlantic under a clear sky, on a smooth sea, with a balmy 79 degree 23 knot breeze... destination Antwerp, Belgium.





<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The USS Augusta had scout observation planes which were housed amidships. The planes were catapult launched assisted by a gunpowder charge. As the name implied the planes were employed to scout the ship's immediate vicinity and for spotting the ship's gunfire. Following a mission the planes taxied amidships and were hoisted by cranes up to the well deck.</span>



Met by a British escort, Augusta arrived on 14 July, and received dignitaries, including General Eisenhower. Her guests departed the same day and Augusta got underway to proceed to Plymouth, arriving there on 28 July.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Atlantic Charter Conference, August 1941
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill meets with President Franklin D. Roosevelt on board USS Augusta (CA-31), off Argentia, Newfoundland, 9 August 1941.
Assisting the President is his son, Army Captain Elliot Roosevelt. Ensign Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., USNR, is at left, with Assistant Secretary of State Sumner Welles standing behind him.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Major General George S. Patton, Jr., U.S. Army, Commanding General, Western Task Force, U.S. Army (left); and
Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, USN, Commander Western Naval Task Force, (center)

Share a light moment on board USS Augusta (CA-31), off Morocco during the Operation "Torch" landings.
Though the original photo is dated 4 December 1942, it was probably taken shortly before MGen. Patton went ashore on 8 or 9 November 1942.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Normandy Invasion, June 1944

Senior U.S. officers watching operations from the bridge of USS Augusta (CA-31), off Normandy, 8 June 1944.
They are (from left to right):
Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, USN, Commander Western Naval Task Force;
Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley, U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. First Army;
Rear Admiral Arthur D. Struble, USN, (with binoculars) Chief of Staff for RAdm. Kirk; and
Major General Hugh Keen, U.S. Army.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS Augusta at Omaha Beach 1944</span>

In the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea... US Navy Privateer patrol bombers (modified B-24 bombers) damage or sink numerous small Japanese vessels.



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Specifications:
Engine: Four 1350-hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-94 Twin Wasp radial engines.
Weight: Empty 27,485 lbs., Max Takeoff 65,000 lbs.
Wing Span: 110ft. 0in.
Length: 74ft. 7in.
Height: 30ft. 1in.
Maximum Speed: 237mph
Range: 2,800 miles
Armament: 12 12.7-mm (0.5-inch) machine guns

Number Built: 739

Number Still Airworthy: 5+


The Consolidated P4Y-2 Privateer was a four-engine, long-range patrol bomber used by the US Navy during the Korean War. A prototype of the B-24 Liberator first flew on 29 December 1939, and the first production aircraft flew on 17 January 1941. The B-24 entered service with the British RAF in March 1941 and with the US Army Air Force in June 1941. The PBY4-1, a variant of the B-24D designed for long-range anti-submarine patrolling, entered service with the US Navy during 1942. This led to the PBY4-2 Privateer, which was a lengthened version of the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber modified for use by the US Navy, which saw service during the closing months of World War Two.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">This is a photo by George Villasenor of a Navy PB4Y Privateer. This aircraft was originally derived from the Army Air Force's B-24D. Attu, AK. Circa 1945.</span>

The B-24 was produced in larger numbers than any other US aircraft of World War Two. Over 19,000 B-24s and variants were built. Of this total 782 PBY4-2 Privateers were built. Almost all the B-24s were declared surplus and sold at the end of World War Two, but the Privateers were retained in US Navy service.
The Privateer was armed with twelve 0.50-inch machine-guns and could carry up to six tons of internal stores.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Another view of the Navy PB4Y Privateer by George Villasenor. Attu, AK. Circa 1945.</span>


Privateers, based in Japan , were used for long-range sea patrolling throughout the Korean War. The PB4Y, re-designated the P4Y during the war, was used by three USN and two USN reserve patrol squadrons during the war. As there was little naval opposition it was often used for air-sea rescue and electronic intelligence gathering. Beginning on 12 June 1951 the US Navy began using Privateers to fly flare-dropping missions in support of Marine Corps night bombing raids, which proved to be a very effective combination.




<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">ERCO Turret Interior</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">ERCO Turret </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Privateer with Bat Missiles
Few had reached the front lines by VJ-Day, although VP-24 did achieve operational status with the Bat anti-cruise missile in the weeks prior to Japan's surrender.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Martin Top Turret</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Another view of the PB4Y2 on Shemya. Notice "Ball" nose turret located directly above the bombardier's compartment. Shemya/1945-46. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ordnance mate, getting ready to load 50 cal machine guns on PB4Y2 turrets. Notice the two oscillating guns on side €œblister€ turret. An ordnance man was responsible for all the armament on the plane, that is to say, all the offensive and defensive equipment.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">That€s me, I am leaning on the vertical tail of one of our PB4Y2s, No. 59807, on Shemya 1945-46. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Tony Suarez Shemya, 1945-1946
I enlisted in he navy on October 23, 1943, prior to my eighteenth birthday. I was sent to San Diego, Cal. where I served my basic training. Upon terminating my training, I was selected to attend aviation ordnance school at Norman, Okla. After completing my AOM classes, I was transferred to NAS Floyd Bennnet Field in Brooklyn, NY, and stationed there for about a year. After Floyed Bennet Field, I went to NAS Jacksonville, Fla, where I attended an advanced AOM school. After completion of the advanced school, I was transferred back to San Diego,Cal., where I was assigned to PATSU 10-44 and later on to F.A.W. 14, 4, with the PB4Y2s Privateers on Shemya, which flew bombing missions against the Northern Kuril Islands of Japan until the end of the war. I was also stationed on Attu and Kodiak Islands.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">On this one, I am resting against the forward top turret between two 50 cal. machine guns on a PB4Y2 Privateer (notice snow on plane). Usually, after we finished checking all the armed bombs, shackles, guns, turret operation etc. and generally getting the plane ready for the Kuril Islands next bombing mission, we hung around and wait for chow time (you know, "do-do on a shingle€). Shemya, 1945-46 </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">This picture was taken by standing on top of the nose facing the top turrets and tall rear fin of our PB4Y2 on Shemya (the €œBlack Rock€) Alaska. 1945 0r 1946.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Here is a rear view of a PB4Y2 parked on Shemya 1945 or 46. I notice some folks refer to our planes as B-24s, we called our big ocean blue birds €Our Navy Privateers." That single tall tail fin and long body, side €œblister€ turrets, were easy to identify, and made the major difference between the two heavy bombers. Shemya 1945-46.</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Privateer fitted out as a Fire Fighter</span>



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Following the end of the war, six Navy squadrons continued to fly Privateers, and the aircraft flew numerous missions during the Korean War. In 1951, the Privateers still in service were redisignated P4Y-2. The top turrets were removed from some of the planes to improve their range and speed.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">59563 Goes Down</span>

07-07-2005, 04:02 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">On this day of July 7 1954...</span>
Elvis Presley made his Radio debut in Memphis Tenn, on Station WHBQ playing his first recording from Sun Records.... That's All Right[Mama].
I know it's not WW2... but I couldn't let it go.

07-07-2005, 05:46 AM
Interesting to read about the Privateer, one thing I only leart recently is that the side turrets could be moved so the fire from the left and right turrets could meet under the aircraft so there was no need for a vental or ball turret.
I also have a quick question about the nose turret. How was the turret seperated from the navigators and bomb aimers positions in the nose? I presume there was a gap around the turret so it could rotate freely but this would allow a strong draft into the navigators station which would make life uncomoftable.
So was there any way to prevent wind and rain from entering the aircraft around the turret?

07-07-2005, 06:32 AM
Quote... One13.
I also have a quick question about the nose turret. How was the turret seperated from the navigators and bomb aimers positions in the nose? I presume there was a gap around the turret so it could rotate freely but this would allow a strong draft into the navigators station which would make life uncomoftable.
So was there any way to prevent wind and rain from entering the aircraft around the turret?

I don't have much of an answer for you at this moment... but I will look into it and see what I can find.
Judging from the photo's in my post... the turret is sealed with a rear hatch and also if you look at the photo of the nose of the aircraft with two crew members standing by it... it look's as though there is some kind of weather strip there in place.
This is the only pieces of info I have at the time.
I will post any findings for you though in this thread.




-HH- Beebop
07-07-2005, 07:19 AM
Great find on the Privateer woofiedog. I didn't even know the plane existed.

One13; I would assume that there was a weathertight door for entry into the nose ball turret, much like the B-17:


Here's some info on the B-24 Nose Turret:
Consolidated continued to use their Sac 7 for the nose position turret, but the Emerson nose turret (AAF #A-15/Navy #250CE-1) replaced the Sac 7 tail turret as the B-24 forward gun turret on planes manufactured at the Ford Willow Run plant in Michigan. The Emerson turret was somewhat of an improvement aerodynamically, but still had the aerodynamics of a bus. It had a wider field of fire but as with other nose turrets of the time, it did not have an air tight fit with the nose section and as a result leaked a tremendous amount of air into the fuselage. At 25,000 feet over Germany this air could be as cold as 50F degrees below zero.

The Navy Used the Erco Ball Turret on it's Privateers

Here's an interesting link to turrets used on WWII planes:


-HH- Beebop
07-07-2005, 07:27 AM
7 July

In French West Africa... The French battleship Richelieu is attacked in Dakar harbor during the night by a small British unit.
The French battleship Richlieu

In Egypt... The French commander in Alexandria, Admiral Godefroy, agrees to allow his ships to be demobilized. The French force here consists of the battleship Lorraine, three heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, three destroyers and a submarine.

In Iceland... American forces land on the island to take over the task of garrisoning it and protecting nearby shipping from submarine attack. The US troops are from General Marston's 1st Marine Brigade and the transport ships are form Admiral Breton's TF-19, which also includes two battleships, two cruisers and 12 destroyers.
American forces in Iceland

In the Arctic... British convoy PQ-17 on its way to Murmansk loses an additional 8 ships as a result of a controversial decision to remove escorts from the convoy due to a threat by German heavy vessels.
Merchant ship from PQ-17 sinks after German attack

On the Eastern Front... The Germans recapture Voronezh. Other units of Army Group South, including 6th Army continue the drive along the Donet's Corridor.

In the Mediterranean... British aircraft raid targets in southern Italy at Messina and Reggio Calabria. They specifically looking to destroy airfields which support the bombing at Malta.

From Washington... General Spaatz is appointed to command US air forces in Europe.

On the Eastern Front... The battle of Kursk continues. Model's 9th Army forces make only a small advance in the Central Front defenses. In the southern battlefield, the forces of Hoth's 4th Panzer Army nearly breaks through Voronezh Front defenses around Syrtzevo but Soviet armored counterattacks prevent it.

In New Guinea... Japanese positions at Mubo are bombed. Australian forces capture Observation Hill about one mile from Mubo.

In Italy... US 5th Army forces advance along the coast. The US 34th Division captures Pignano.

On the Western Front... The US 1st Army continues its offensive toward Coutances and St. Lo. The US 8th, 7th and 19th Corps attack along a line from La Haye du Puits to Vire. German forces resist effectively. The British 2nd Army prepares to reach the objective of Caen. The battleship HMS Rodney shells German positions around the city.

In Occupied France... Former cabinet minister and outspoken anti-collaborationist, Georges Mandel, is executed at Fontainbleu on the orders of the Vichy police chief, Darnand.

On the Eastern Front... North of Ladoga Lake, the Finnish forces complete the withdrawal to the U Line. In Belorussia, encircled elements of the German 9th and 4th Armies are being reduced.

In the Mariana Islands... On Saipan, most of the remaining Japanese garrison, about 3000 men, assault American lines south of the village of Makunsha. The Japanese are forced to retreat with heavy losses.

In Washington... Free French President de Gaulle continues talks with American representatives.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, Troops of the Australian 7th Division continue to advance inland. On the eastern shore of Balikpapan Bay, Dutch and native Dutch East Indian troops (reported to be in action for the first time) are assisting the Australians. The Allied forces are closing in on the last remaining Japanese-held oil refineries, particularly the Pandarasi refinery. Fighting on the coast, east of Balikpapan continue to encounter heavy Japanese opposition. It is reported that about 3000 Japanese dead have been counted in southeastern Borneo and 274 Japanese have been taken prisoner. Australian casualties are listed as 214 killed, 22 missing and 430 wounded.

In the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea... US Navy Privateer patrol bombers (modified B-24 bombers) damage or sink numerous small Japanese vessels.
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">see woofiedogs informative post above on the Privateer</span>

07-07-2005, 08:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by -HH- Beebop:
Great find on the Privateer woofiedog. I didn't even know the plane existed.

One13; I would assume that there was a weathertight door for entry into the nose ball turret, much like the B-17:

Here's some info on the B-24 Nose Turret:
Consolidated continued to use their Sac 7 for the nose position turret, but the Emerson nose turret (AAF #A-15/Navy #250CE-1) replaced the Sac 7 tail turret as the B-24 forward gun turret on planes manufactured at the Ford Willow Run plant in Michigan. The Emerson turret was somewhat of an improvement aerodynamically, but still had the aerodynamics of a bus. It had a wider field of fire but as with other nose turrets of the time, it did not have an air tight fit with the nose section and as a result leaked a tremendous amount of air into the fuselage. At 25,000 feet over Germany this air could be as cold as 50F degrees below zero.
[i]The Navy Used the Erco Ball Turret on it's Privateers

Here's an interesting link to turrets used on WWII planes:

http://www.liberatorcrew.com/15_Gunnery/03_nose.htm </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Thanks Beebop, I was just about to post that very link! I saw that quote about the B-24 I just wondered if the Priveteer was different.
An interesting but little known verion of the B-24 (it would fit quite well into Pacific Fighters).

Thanks to woofiedog for his pictures as well, I am at work now but will study them when I get home.

Also a big thankyou to you both for a facinating thred, it is one I always look for when I visit this site.
It should be a sticky, there is so much to learn from reading it.

07-07-2005, 03:24 PM
gotta sticky this thread http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

07-07-2005, 03:49 PM
On this day in 1942, Heinrich Himmler, in league with three others, including a physician, decides to begin experimenting on women in the Auschwitz concentration camps and to investigate extending this experimentation on males.

Himmler, architect of Hitler's program to exterminate Europe's Jewish population, convened a conference in Berlin to discuss the prospects for using concentration camp prisoners as objects of medical experiments. The other attendees were the head of the Concentration Camp Inspectorate, SS General Richard Glueks (hospital chief), SS Major-General Gebhardt and Professor Karl Clauberg (one of Germany's leading gynecologists). The result of the conference was that a major program of medical experimentation on Jewish women at Auschwitz was agreed upon. These experiments were to be carried out in such a way as to ensure that the prisoners were not aware of what was being done to them. (The experimentation would take the form of sterilization via massive doses of radiation or uterine injections.) It was also decided to consult with an X-ray specialist about the prospects of using X rays to castrate men and demonstrating this on male Jewish prisoners. Adolf Hitler endorsed this plan on the condition that it remained top secret.

That Heinrich Himmler would propose such a conference or endorse such a program should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his resume. As head of the Schutzstaffel ("Armed Black Shirts or Protection Squad"), the SS, the military arm of the Nazi Party, and assistant chief of the Gestapo (the secret police), Himmler was able over time to consolidate his control over all police forces of the Reich. This power grab would prove highly effective in carrying out the Fuhrer's Final Solution. It was Himmler who organized the creation of death camps throughout Eastern Europe and the creation of a pool of slave laborers.

07-07-2005, 11:43 PM
-HH- Beebop... Great site on the Aircraft Turrets... and Thank's for the info.

One13... I hope this site answers some quesions for you. Also... I'm Glad you enjoy the thread.

VMF-214_Prop... Thank's for your Support!

Arcadeace... Excellent Posts

07-08-2005, 12:54 AM
On this Day & Month of July 1943...

Edward Ardizzone
1900 - 1979
Edward Ardizzone was born in 1900, at Haiphong, Tonking, Indo-China, of Italian and Scottish parents.

He came to England when he was five. While working as a clerk with the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company, he attended evening classes at Westminster School of Art. His first one-man exhibition was at the Bloomsbury Gallery in 1928.

Edward Ardizzone sitting for Henry Carr

In 1940, Ardizzone was serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in an anti-aircraft battery in London when was appointed as a full-time official War Artist by the War Artists Advisory Committee, under the chairmanship of Sir Kenneth Clark. His first commission was to follow the British Expeditionary Force to France on 30 March 1940 and record their activities. He was later caught up in the mass retreat of the B.E.F. through Belgium, and had to leave all his equipment and later drawings in France. On his return to Britain, he was immediately re-commissioned, and was kept in full employment by the WAAC until the end of the war.

He was working as official war artist in North Africa when he heard that the invasion of Europe was imminent "I asked to be present at the landing and was told by Public Relations that I could only be put on shore 23 days after the event. Then I met some friends from the 50th division and they at once said, 'Come along with us!' - so I landed on a Sicilian beach with the Division on D-Day." That was in July 1943. Ardizzone stayed with the British Army in Sicily while it completed the arduous conquest of the island, then crossed to Italy in January 1944. Apart from a brief return to Egypt and Algiers and a week in Normandy just after the landings, he remained in Italy until April 1945, when he flew to Germany for the last days of fighting around Hamburg and Bremen.

This, his first diary, allows a glimpse into the day-to-day events of his life in the period covering his arrival in Sicily up until just before the Battle of Anzio.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Edward Ardizzone sitting for Henry Carr</span>


29th June Tuesday
Busy packing in morning. Embus in afternoon. Scene on shore - very well managed and easy embarkation. [Alaka beach] Settle into my cabin. Plenty of cool beer. Am called over by the general and introduced to a Brigadier, who knows my work. Share cabin with Zola, Knight and Kersh. Very hot sleepless night am severely bitten by something and have a very sore throat.

30th June Wednesday
Feel pretty low. I am asked by Ships Adjutant to stand on deck and do a lightning cartoon. Refuse as politely as possible. Lie down in the afternoon depressed and ill. Arrive Port Said evening, dramatic and lovely sight. Waterside signs - KLM Messageries etc. Pink & white buildings with balconies - many small boats along the waterside.

1st July Thursday
Better night though throat still bad - find Aspro gargle quietens it temporarily. Feel very lackadaisical and disinclined to work. Ship Adj. wants me to do warders duty - trying to get out of it as want to be on deck. Visit other ship with Ewart & co. See Soboleff & Ronnie there. Water frontage & ships looking very lovely in the evening light. A Med. schooner stealing down in half-light under one large jib sail.


2 July Friday
Join P's entourage with Bob, Bela and Knight. In launch to other ship and hear G. making speeches. Drink a bottle of Witzenberg for dinner - much better than I expected. Slept fairly well and feel better though throat rather bad.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">3 July 1943 Montgomery moves his tactical HQ to Malta.</span>

3 July Saturday
Uneventful day. Add considerably to my notes.


4 July Sunday
Busy morning - drawing of troops. go to Mass. Lounge in Sun Deck in afternoon. Merry evening in the Lounge - party in RN [illeg.] GOI SNOL gives us cabin afterwards.


5 July Monday
We leave Port Said. Maps - plots & [illeg] tables in the lounge. We now know our destination. Sense of excitement. Groups of soldiers on deck hearing the battle plans explained to them.

6 July Tuesday
Shew the Gen. my sketch books this morning. Laze away the morning - Majors tales of what happens when ships are Torpedoed. Find one of the watertight doors shut when we go to [ends]

7 July Wednesday
We have an air raid alarm in morning. Groups of gunners in boats - other group standing behind pile of kitbags - Bulk of men file down to cabins - More alarms in late afternoon. Luckily none materialises.


8 July Thursday
Thursday. Have just removed the 1st 20 sheets of this book and rolled them and covered them with F.L [french letter] for protection against water. Fruitless morning trying to contact the QM to exchange my Mae West. Afternoon packing. Trying to decide what kit to abandon. Very gay party in Bob's cabin. Retire to bed completely soaked with sweat.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">9 July 1943 US and British task forces converge off the island of Gozo (off the northern tip of Malta). In the afternoon the Allied fleet is buffeted by Force 7 gales and Eisenhower is forced to decide whether to go ahead with Operation HUSKY. He decides that the invasion will proceed as planned. Meanwhile, at 13:30 German reconnaissance aircraft on a routine patrol spot five enemy convoys in the waters south of Malta.
By 18:00, the Italian Commander on Sicily, Guzzoni, knows the invasion is heading his way. At 2200 he places the Axis garrisons on the island on full alert. At the same time the gliders of the British 1st Airborne Division's 1st Airlanding Brigade arrive in the air off Cape Passero. Their task is to seize and hold the Ponte Grande bridge over the River Anapo outside Syracuse until relieved by the British 5th Division. However, heavy anti-aircraft fire, inexperienced pilots and strong winds mean the glider formations are broken up and nearly half the gliders crash into the sea, killing over 250 men. Only 12 gliders assigned land on their landing zones. However, the tiny remnant of the attack force (about 80 men) takes the bridge and prepares to defend it against enemy attempts to recapture it.

3000 American troops of the 82nd Airborne Division parachute in chaotic circumstances and are dispersed over an area of more than a thousand square miles. However, throughout the next day they are able to cause havoc across south-eastern Sicily.

9 July Friday
Closing up on the slow convoy. Great Armada. The sea gets up which makes one a little anxious on D-1 day. Final messing about with kit. See Etna ahead at sunset. On deck after dark. Our bombers passing over in the moonlight. Distant ack-ack. Sea still unpleasantly rough. As near land sea calmer though a bit lumpy. 11.00 No forced gaiety or Bull ****. Supper - on deck again. The lugubrious voice through the loud speaker or pipes "Crews will man LCA's" etc. Troops marching slowly along the dark decks to their stations. Hand on shoulder climb aboard LCA's. Silence and order. 1st craft lowered away. Inside lounge men lying and sitting dressed in Battle order - dim red light. Rembrandt picture.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">10 July 1943
01:15 Royal Navy begins bombarding targets in Catania with heavy guns. 'H' Hour is at 02:45 and as the troops land, generally they meet little resistance. However the landings are not altogether smooth and the British 151st Infantry Brigade, 50th Division's assault force, has considerable problems. Troops land in scattered groups on the wrong beaches as much as 6000 yards off target. 51st Division also has problems because of the rough seas. However, the two corps of Eighth Army make steady progress as the troops stream ashore. The beaches become jammed with equipment, artillery and transport. Allied aircraft dominate the skies.

By 05:30, 'success' is being signalled from every Eighth Army beach. For the US Seventh Army too the landings are successful but not without their problems. The destroyer USS Maddox and the minesweeper Sentinel are both sunk by air attack whilst supporting the landings at Gela.


08:00 Italian troops attack the small airborne force holding Ponte Grande. The battle rages for seven hours as the heavily outgunned British troops grimly hold on. At 14:00 the US 1st Division encounters the main Axis counter-attacks and a series of ragged engagements takes place until the Axis troops draw off in the evening. By 15:30 at Ponte Grande there are only 15 defenders still surviving. These finally run out of ammunition and are forced to surrender; shortly afterwards they are released by men of the 2nd Northamptonshire Regiment and their captors are themselves taken prisoner. Advance troops of 17th Brigade, 5th Division retake the Ponte Grande bridge as they move north against scattered opposition. On 30th Corps front, Canadian troops capture Pachino airfield and work has begun on making it serviceable again. 51st Division clear Rosolini and Noto.

10 July Saturday
On deck till 3 am. Nothing to see from our beaches but Syracuse seems to be getting another terrific plastering. Flares, ack-ack, all through the night the Lug. Voice over the loud speaker ordering crews to their respective craft and craft away. Lie a little in Bob's cabin. Up on deck at dawn. Sea dotted with vessels in 1st light. Distinct sky line of mountains - flashes of gun fire and verey lights from shore. Sense of anxiety. Staff waiting news. Lovely view as sun rises. Noto on its hill fire burning with cherry coloured flame. Navy shelling. LCA's coming back some with wounded on board - evidence of a great deal of sea sickness. Things sorting themselves out - more cheerful atmosphere. Still on board by 9.00. Sea dotted with warships, transports, MLS, LCT's etc. Some shelling by warships. Little sign of activity on shore. Land looks very quiet and peaceful in the sunshine, contrast to the morning with its cold, lumpy sea. LCA's going off and wounded coming back, verey lights and bombs on shore. Extraordinary, no sign of enemy aircraft.

Arrive on shore in LCA, wade through surf up to the knees. Tank Landing Craft, all manner of craft disembarking men and stores. Enemy aircraft, troops taking cover in high maize. Walk up through walled olive and orange groves to Div. HQ. Walk into Avola with Bob. Meet John, Soboleff and Monson, collect aged revolver. Drink wine with some peasants. A few dead and wounded beside the road. Black-faced parachutists, some Yanks. Make a PR encampment in orchard of lemons, really lovely. Go down to beach in afternoon to make some drawings. Return to my grove just in time to miss some Stuka raids. Soldiers digging slit trenches among the trees. Wash my feet in very cold running water in an irrigation ditch. Picnic supper to the sound of running water. Frequent air raids on the beach and shipping.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">11 July 1943
From 06:15 Axis attacks recommence against the US 1st Division and continue until the afternoon. Heavy naval support fire and the first tanks of 2nd Armored Division ashore eventually force the Germans of the Hermann G??g Division to retreat after desperate fighting.

A German situation report read: "The counterattack against enemy landings has failed. Support by Italian forces can no longer be counted on, nor can Italian orders be expected. €¦Continued defence in present positions would result in the annihilation of the Division. Effective resistance is possible only in a shorter continuous defence position of all German units in Sicily in terrain favourable to defence."

British 5th Division continues its advance northwards. Montgomery comes ashore near Pachino and discovers that Syracuse has already fallen to 13th Corps. Augusta too falls without a fight. Patton wades ashore at Gela whilst the Axis counter-attacks are taking place. Meanwhile, tragedy strikes the US forces when airborne reinforcements meant for the Gela bridgehead are shot to pieces by Allied naval forces.

11 July Sunday
Cold, fresh night, woken at dawn by what sounded like an enemy counter attack, planes over and many fragments. Breakfast, little fires among the thick lemon trees. Spend early morning drawing, then into Avola, collect ammo for my revolver from FSO return with Freddy Kersh. Avola a small grey and white town, tiled roofs and Baroque churches. Have to make a hurried move (Bob, Zola and Knight left earlier). Bolt our lunch of bacon. We are strafed by ME's in the car park. Move some miles further towards Syracuse and stop in a field with stacks of barley and almonds. Bob and Zola return with lots of sweet wine from Syracuse. Big dogfight overhead. Pick tomatoes growing in a field nearby and have them cooked with our bacon. Fetch water from well in the farmhouse.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">12 July 1943
1st Canadian Division makes contact with the Americans in Ragusa and pushes on to the north and up the coast.

At Lentini, North of Syracuse, the Germans fight a delaying action to prevent the 5th Division breaking through into the plain of Catania. The German 1st Parachute Division reinforces them. British 23rd Armoured Brigade reaches Vizzini at dusk. 51st Division will have the task of taking this village.

12 July Monday
Woken at dawn by air raid on shipping, lots of flack over us. Feel marvellously well, lovely cold night and keen air, warm but not too hot during the day. Visit farmhouse under limestone (lava?) ridge south of Syracuse. Used as Italian barracks and abandoned in a hurry. Officer there must have been painter and educated. Paints, drawings (not good), books on English Literature - climb the hay loft to look for possible hiders and pick up several most virulent fleas.

Visited with Sorbo the big house. Abandoned equipment in lower rooms, upstairs a desolation, clothes and furniture strewn about as if a tornado had gone through the house. Vestments and clothes on the stairs, what a tragedy. We write 'Out of Bounds' notices for the caretakers quarters, and are presented with some old wine. Do a hellish and dusty journey in the back of a 15 cwt. - six in the back, plus our kit. A country of narrow tracks with loose stone walls. Camp in an enchanting spot. The whole countryside thick with olive and fruit trees, many wells. Have a delicious cool bath at one of these. Meet Henry.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">13 July 1943
Montgomery proposes to Alexander, his superior, that Seventh Army hold fast as a protective shield while 30th Corps encircles and traps the Axis forces in south eastern Italy. In particular, he wants to use the Vizzini - Caltagirone road, which is in Seventh Army's sector. Alexander agrees to this. This decision is a major sleight to Patton and the Americans who are relegated to a secondary role. Furthermore, the Americans question whether the decision is the correct one tactically.

Dempsey's British 13th Corps plans to make a major thrust into the plain of Catania. This will involve 50th Division advancing almost thirty miles in less than twenty-four hours.

In the morning, 50th Division drives the enemy from Sortino and advances up the narrow, winding road towards Lentini, whilst the 5th Division presses northwards up the main coast road. Ahead of the two advancing divisions, at about 22:00, the Malati bridge across the Lentini River is seized by No. 3 Commando landing from the sea. The commandos' task is to hold the bridge until troops of 50th Division arrive.

13 July Tuesday
Meet some Italian prisoners coming down the lane. Spectacular dogfight overhead, planes down in flames. Local peasantry stop and talk to us, a few had been in America and spoke halting English. Write letters and laze about. See Laming and young CO who knew Mike. See captured Italian Staff Officers. Soboleff and Ronnie turn up with a civilian car and a lamb. The lamb runs away and the car won't work. Bit of a panic how we are going to catch up. No transport comes for us, so have to stay the night. (Note on mountain villages: Square with Baroque church, and flowering oleander)


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">14 July 1943
02:15 Primosole bridge is seized by 1st Parachute Brigade dropping from the sky. Throughout the day No. 3 Commando holds the Malati bridge whilst 1st Parachute Brigade holds Primosole Bridge - both are determinedly counter-attacked by German troops.

At about 17:00 5th Battalion, East Yorks of 69th Brigade, 50th Division reach the Malati bridge but it is not until nearly dusk that 4th Armoured Brigade with the 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry reaches Primosole. However they are unable to force the passage of the river in the face of a determined defence by German parachutists.

In 30th Corps sector, 51st Division finally takes Vizzini on the night of 14th/15th after two days of fighting. The Division then pushes north whilst 1st Canadian Division pushes north-westwards to Caltagirone and beyond.

On the US Seventh Army front, the task is now to shield the western flank of Eighth Army. The 45th US Division halts to allow 30th Corps to use the Vizzini-Caltagirone road, but the US 1st Division continues to push out aggressive patrols. Near Biscari airfield in two separate incidents 73 Italian POWs are massacred by a captain and a sergeant of the 45th US Division. The two men are later tried for these war crimes. Both sides make claims of atrocities and in many cases the taking of prisoners is simply abandoned.

14 July Wednesday
Leave breakfastless in the morning. Journey into mountain country, fantastic road with many hairpin bends and precipices. Old grey village on hill, a sunny valley below with orange and lemon groves. Unpleasant ride in back of van, annoyance of dust and not being able to see. Park finally in more arid country, olive trees, stone walls, oaks and bare, stony hills. Tea and food at last, thank heaven. Find I have missed Henry, what a tragedy. Join Sorbo and Ron in their 15 cwt. Etna looking very graceful in the distance, plume of white smoke above it. Jerry planes haring across the sky with shells behind them.

A fantastic journey over the mountains to Syracuse., Another lovely grey mountain town, Mebilli. Hot and tired troops marching along the road, packs on painted mule carts. buy wine in Syracuse, see Warwick in a jeep there. (Note: get drawings of painted mule carts. Note: slogans on cottages.) Itinerary: Floridia, Solarino, Sortino, Millilipriolo, Syracuse. Camp under a great tree somewhere near Syracuse. Mac takes Sorbo's newly acquired 15 cwt. hope we can get Sorbo's own jeep. See Laming and hear that Bob Gilmore and Zola are stranded somewhere on the road in the civi car they traded from Sorbo, burst tyre. Bob plaintively offering 10 for a new one.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">15 July 1943
At 07:30 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry and tanks of 44th Royal Tank Regiment supported by artillery attack Primosole Bridge head on. The attack does not succeed in breaking through. The divisional commander orders a fresh attack for the afternoon but this is sensibly postponed until nightfall.

On the American front, Patton issues orders regrouping his forces into two Corps: the 2nd US Corps (1st and 45th Divisions) under Bradley and the Provisional Corps (3rd US and 82nd US Airborne Divisions) under Keyes. Patton hopes to be able to strike at Palermo.

15 July Thursday
Collect Sorbo's jeep, it works, I perch on the baggage. We journey north. Etna with its white plume ahead. Many tired, marching troops. Fascinating small towns on hills, Carlentini, Lentini. Towns' children begging for food. Lovely Villa Communale in Carlentini. Dead bodies, burnt vehicles and prisoners on the road. The sound of gunfire, we are getting fairly close to things now. The road before Carlentini very winding, through rocky hills. We drink at a delicious spring of cold water. We lunch just beyond Lentini under the usual olive tree. White vermouth, bully beef, biscuit and chocolate, melon. It is not a bad life sometimes. Sharp firing to our right, learn that it comes from two dug-in tanks. Some more probably sculling about. Break a bottle of Ronnie's champagne with a genial Lt. Colonel and his Major. Sorbo and Ronnie go and investigate, find nothing but think they know the spot. Frighten the life out of a peasant by questioning him, find out he has only come to feed his dog. He almost kisses us when we tell him we have fed him. The peasants are always decent. Give the griff to some tanks as to where the ET's were, lie behind a wall and wait in the shade for developments, nothing happens. Go to investigate some MG fire. Find it is miles away so return (with tomatoes). We go forward down into the plain of Catania. Etna smoking high in front of us. Our tanks dotted about in a cornfield. Machine-gun fire and air bursts. Catania in the distance beyond the plain. Meet Syd Hales, Tank Corps Lieutenant. Lord, it reminds me of 1925, the Battery and Laurie. Drive back to Lentini and commandeer a room. Enormous excitement in town, crowd of men and boys outside the courtyard of our commandeered room. Collect boys to bring up our luggage, give them biscuits etc. in payment. A nasty modern room.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">16 July 1943
01:30 After an artillery bombardment of an hour's length the Durham Light Infantry of 151st Brigade launch another attack to secure Primosole Bridge. They capture the north end of the Bridge, but tanks and infantry scheduled to cross immediately afterwards to establish a bridgehead fail to do so because of the failure of British wireless sets. Only when a War Office observer riding a bicycle crosses the bridge to 'observe' the battle and is able to report with news of the success of the DLI, do the tanks get forward.

However, the northern side of the bridge becomes a tank graveyard, in which five Sherman tanks are knocked out. Meanwhile the infantry cling tenaciously to the small bridgehead established and fierce hand-to-hand fighting continues through the day.

In the afternoon Major-General Kirkman commanding 50th Division decides to launch a new attack to help expand the bridgehead. However, plans for a supporting amphibious landing at Catania are postponed. The US 1st Division, part of the US 2nd Corps is now near Caltanissetta, whilst the 3rd US Division takes Agrigento, Porto Empedocle and 3000 Italian prisoners after some fighting. The US high command, and especially Patton, is pushing hard to be allowed to drive north to cut Sicily in two.

16 July Friday
Slept on a couch and badly at that. Was woken by a terrific cannonade at three in the morning, just getting to sleep at four when the bombers came over. Walk a little way in the town. Fine Baroque church. All the town standing in the streets. Being stared at most disconcerting. Find a crowd of women and children at the gates of our courtyard begging for food, all seem pretty hungry. (Note: very old woman fighting with the children for biscuits, her look of despair when the children beat her to it. The very old seem the greediest.) Leave northwards, see Freddy and Ewart. Airborne troops with pink berets. Women, girls and troops near the fountains. On the road again to the battlefield. Learn that we must have lunched yesterday in the midst of two hundred hidden German parachutists. Anxious moment with low enemy aircraft.

We get a grandstand view of impending battle. The plain spreads before us, our shells bursting among the low trees on the other side of the river. machine-gun fire, burning scrub. The bridge and the ruined house to its left. The straight road in front of us under MG fire, anti-tank gunners beside us in a cactus hedge. Leave for Syracuse, however meet Laming between Carlentini and Lentini, change our minds and all have picnic lunch on a little plateau. Terraces with orange trees below us, the usual old olives, farm with reservoir. Tragedy, find Ronnie's bedroll lost. I do some drawings and have a snooze. We drink a bottle of Ronnie's champagne. Heaven. Brought to earth by the smell of dead bodies hidden somewhere, a smell that haunts one everywhere.

Head back for Syracuse, pass an open lorry of Italian prisoners in civilian dress, a dejected lot. The MP in charge told us they were paratroops caught wearing civi dress, they will probably be shot. I think by the look of them they realised that too. Find Warriner near Syracuse. Sleep the night near fine old burnt-out farmhouse with stone carved gate. A really terrific air raid about 3 am., bits falling all around us. Sleep with my head under the jeep. It was very late and dark when we found Warriner and I was too tired to eat or even drink and curse the air raid for spoiling what I hoped would be a good night's sleep.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">17 July 1943
01:00 Two battalions of the DLI are launched into the Primosole Bridge fight. Battle rages throughout the day. The defenders of the German 1st Parachute Division are obdurate and the fighting is particularly savage. However, the DLI eventually succeed in overwhelming the German defenders, and the surviving Germans are forced to retreat to the north towards Fosso Bottacetto.

The amphibious landings at Catania are now postponed indefinitely. At a meeting with 15th Army Group commander, Alexander, Patton persuades the former to allow Seventh Army its opportunity to exploit the obviously deteriorating position of the Axis forces on his front. Orders are issued for Seventh Army to mop up the enemy in western Sicily. Patton's wish to attack towards Palermo becomes reality

17 July Saturday
Fairly leisurely morning. A number of children on the farm, a young blue-eyed woman and several old people. All suffering from malnutrition, the women with boils and the young, infant eczema and sores. Old woman making tomato pur¥ in the courtyard. The well in the garden with a fine echo, whistled an octave and it became a chord. Can't quite understand the malnutrition unless they were very underfed before we arrived on the island. Set off about 10.00. Sorbo purchases a chicken on the way and prepares it while Ronnie and I bathe. Our cooking fire at the back of the sea-shore cottage. The old woman plucks the fowl and cleans it for us. Pretty young girl sitting in a straw shelter, she is with child and making baby clothes. The fowl marvelous. We drink champagne with it and eat grapes, a fiesta.

Head northward again through Lentini. The Catanian plain looked very ominous shrouded in a black evening mist with shell bursts visible in the far distance. Etna just visible with a horizontal plume. Approaching the bridge was a chaos of burnt-out Bren gun carriers, tanks and an 88 mm. Across the bridge and to the left the smashed farmhouse and where the road turned and along a sunken ditch were the appalling remains of many German soldiers. Bodies disemboweled, stripped of their clothes, blackened, legs and arms gone and even one blown in half. That terrible smell again of dead bodes which haunts us now.

A little further on the smell of roasting bodies from two of our tanks shattered and burnt out beside an 88 mm. We meet a blackened and weary Colonel and Captain and offer them champagne and they tell us the news of the battle. Leave for Lentini, passing column after column of marching troops moving up to the assault. Dark when we get to Lentini. We find ourselves harbourage, after trying to get into several farmhouses, in an abandoned TB Dispensary, plenty of light and a desk for Ronnie to write at. Must try and make some drawings of the horrors but don't want to. Very tired, burnt and blackened with dust myself after riding many hours perched on the back of a jeep. Italian caretaker cooks our supper, out of a tin.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">18 July 1943
168th Brigade, 50th Division, attacks the ground approaching Fosso Bottacetto on the night of the 17th/18th July. This attack is made directly into the teeth of the German defences and is heavily defeated. This is virtually the end of Eighth Army's advance towards Catania for the remainder of July.

Montgomery meets Dempsey, commander of the British 13th Corps, in the morning of the 18th and decides to end the costly attacks north of the Simeto River towards Catania. Instead 5th Division is ordered to pass around the left flank of 50th Division and attack Misterbianco whilst 51st Division attacks Paterno. Meanwhile the 1st Canadian Division attack towards Leonforte and Adrano. Montgomery is now concentrating on a 'left hook' around Catania by 30th Corps.

51st Division attacks with two brigades across the River Ditta? and advances towards Paterno. On the night of 18th/19th July 13th Brigade, 5th Division attack across the Simeto at Lemon Bridge to establish a bridgehead. Fierce battles with troops of the Hermann G??g Division ensue.

Whilst Patton is ordering an aggressive strike across 100 miles of country towards Palermo, the senior Italian commander, Guzzoni, orders the Axis forces to withdraw from western Sicily.

18 July Sunday
Leave early and head northwards again, stop and see Crichton Stuart. To the bridge and farmhouse. Try to do drawings of them, such a terrible mess that I find it difficult to draw (don't want to but feel I ought to try). Smell of dead bodies pretty bad. Many barrels of wine in the farmhouse. Sorbo shoots some pigeon and gives them to the troops. Ronnie interviews one of our paratroopers. Some wounded, one man making a horrid noise, pass by on a truck. The ruined vinery at the back of the farmhouse, no time to make a real drawing of it or anything, blast it.

Back to the TB Dispensary, where the boy and his mother heat our tinned food for us. South towards Syracuse, getting dusk when we find a farmhouse. John has bought a lamb sometime before. He cooks it in the outhouse, The farmer, a bit tight on our wine, we eat in his room. Pile of wheat in the corner, old harness etc. and a very unpleasant smell. Lovely yard with cows and calves lying down. Sleep in a pile of straw, terribly bitten in consequence.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">19 July 1943
The Hermann G??g Division blocks the advance of 51st Division at Gerbini and Sferro. At this point, by his own admission, the divisional commander, Major-General Douglas Wimberley 'bites off more than he can chew' in ordering a full-scale attack against German positions at Gerbini airfield for the night of the 20th/21st July. His division has advanced quickly at first, but has failed to secure adequate aerial reconnaissance information about the defences to be attacked. The 154th Brigade of the Division is to pay a heavy price for this.

The US Seventh Army's drive towards Palermo begins. The US 3rd Division and 2nd Armored Division of the US Provisional Corps both race north and north-westwards. Mobility is the key to Patton's operations.

In the US 2nd Corps sector, 45th Division advances on Highway 121, whilst 1st US Division enters Enna.

19 July Monday
I cook a breakfast, uneatably tough pieces of lamb. We proceed back to the cottage by the sea. I cook a chicken en casserole with wine, excellent. We all bathe. The red wine from the Catanian vinery near the bridge very strong and rough, needs watering. Back to see Warriner, meet Keating and head northwards with him. Camp with RE's in an enchanted spot just south of Carlentini. Bathe in a reservoir in an orange grove.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">20 July 1943
2nd Brigade, 1st Canadian Division attacks towards Leonforte whilst the 1st Brigade attacks the mountain village of Assoro, which commands the valley leading to Leonforte.

Major The Lord Tweedsmuir, the commander of 1st Brigade's leading battalion, the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, decides a bold stroke is needed. He leads an assault force of volunteers up the steep eastern side of the mountain Assoro is situated on in a night attack aimed at taking the German defenders by surprise. His gamble succeeds brilliantly. The assaulting Canadians do not suffer a casualty in taking the village, which commands views of the surrounding country for fifty miles.

01:30 15th Infantry Brigade, 5th Division attack through the bridgehead established across the Simieto at Lemon Bridge but suffers heavily in an unsuccessful attack. On the Seventh Army front, 3rd Division and 2nd Armored Division continue their drive northwards, whilst 82nd Airborne Division clears up northwest Sicily. 3rd Division in particular is operating in tortuous terrain with terrible roads and steep mountainous areas ripe for the defenders to spring ambushes from. Nevertheless rapid progress is still made, contrasting dramatically with Eighth Army's 'slog'. </span>

20 July Tuesday
Leave for the bridge with Keating, some of the mess cleared but smell still awful. Collect wine at vinery. Turn back and branch off to the right, travelling westwards over the plain on a minor road. Stop by some priests (heavy mobile guns), after which the road was for a long way lined with reeds and quite deserted, that eerie feeling again. A farmer's boy stops us and says there are four Jerries hiding in some rushes and another two in a barn. We decide to let them be. Meet some men of The Royals whose cars had been hit. Turn northward later on, stop near a blown bridge. We lunch at a deserted farm. Westward in the afternoon. Broad plain with stubble fields and heaps of barley. Odd farmhouses on little hills, Etna to the north and a range of pointed fairy mountains to the west. We seem to have lost the war - "are we in enemy territory or not". We pass a bombed airfield, blasted with craters almost touching. We see a German vehicle ahead, I think I see six Jerries, turn out to be our own men. Arrive at Brigade HQ late afternoon, talk to the Brigadier. Vehicle covered with shocks of straw. Camp in a cornfield with sparse olive trees and make bed on shocks of barley.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">21 July 1943
On 51st Division's front, Brigadier-General Rennie's 154th Brigade attack against Gerbini airfield is launched spearheaded by 7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. The defences they attack include deep wire, machine guns and tanks. After three hours the objective is taken, but casualties are heavy.

Meanwhile, on 1st Canadian Division's front throughout the day the men of Tweedsmuir's force at Assoro beat off German counter-attacks.

At Leonforte the Canadians are checked on the steep approaches to the town, but at about 2100 the Edmonton Regiment get into the town and hard house-to-house fighting continues through the night.

The US 3rd Division takes Corleone and reaches the hills overlooking Palermo, whilst Castelvetrano also falls opening the way for 2nd Armored Division to drive into Palermo.

21 July Wednesday
Go forward and get involved in not too pleasant a battle. The approach to the ridge, 'ware mines. Tanks on the road, many dead, wounded under a cactus hedge, the burning corpse. Tanks burning and blowing up in an almond orchard. I talk to wounded men in a shed, much MG fire. Back along the road to a Malarial Centre and find a pleasant RAMC Captain there, drink cool water from a well. On the way back get involved in the battle again. Tanks pass us, one knocked out by a shell near us. Troops coming across the fields running others moving up. Shelling. Geoffrey and I on the road see what we can do, finally pick up a man who had his hand blown off and a bad leg wound. Drop him at the ADS, return and see the Brigadier and give him some information. Head south-westwards. We see Monty, then travel through low sharp hills covered with wheat stubble, towards Raddusa and the mountains. Stop in the afternoon at a large farmhouse near Raddusa, hot sirocco wind blowing. We sit in a large, cool, whitewashed barn, are offered by three farm men some salt fresh milk cheese and another cheese in a bladder of the Caerphilly type, both really excellent. They offered us some local wine too, strong and sharp but not bad at all. We rest for an hour or so, my face feels terribly burnt.

To Raddusa, on towards Agira. Raddusa an old stone hill village; country, wild hills covered with stubble and shock of corn, many rocky outcrops, distant very jagged mountains. We see Agira on its hill top, like some fairy town. Visit a few infantry in a rocky eyrie high above the road. Mortar shells drop some little way in front of us. See our shells bursting on positions before Agira. Back through Raddusa and camp in a cornfield.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">22 July 1943
Palermo falls to the Americans as both 3rd Division and 2nd Armored enter the city. The Germans have already cleared out and the Italians defending the city formally surrender at 1900. Patton arrives in the city at 2100 ebullient at his major triumph.

Meanwhile, the Germans launch a savage counter-attack against 154th Brigade at Gerbini airfield and recapture the positions lost on 21 July. After this, 51st Division goes on the defensive.

At Assoro the 48th Highlanders of 1st Canadian Division fight their way into the village from the western side to relieve the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment which has been holding on there.

Men of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade drive the Germans out of Leonforte in the afternoon, but once again the German defenders have successfully delayed Eighth Army and Montgomery's advance.

22 July Thursday
We go through the hills to Enna. Much the same sort of country as yesterday. We find a railway bridge and the road blown up, have to make a hair-raising journey by a mountain track. Enna an old grey stone town perched fantastically on the top of a high mountain. A satellite village perched on a slightly lower neighbouring mountain. Very old stone churches and a castle, cannot place them architecturally. Some shell and bomb damage. American soldiers in the town, look rather showy with their deep steel helmets.

We lunch at an hotel which turns out to be an Officer's Mess. Pleasant young American interpreter. The people seem very friendly. Try to get to Leonforte, find the way is impossible, blown bridge and mortar fire. Meet Radici and guide him across country to the Raddusa road. Stop and park for night at delightful farm under Enna. The farmer brings us cheese and wine. He and his two labourers and three children very friendly.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">23 July 1943
US troops of 2nd Corps reach the northern coast road at Cerda Station and move eastwards on Campofelice. The US Seventh Army has accomplished its task of dividing the island in two on a north-south line. Now the task is to push on Messina in an attempt to cut off the Axis troops who will otherwise escape to the Italian mainland.

US 1st Division advances north-westwards and takes Petralia. The Division is then ordered to turn east along Route 120. As they advance, the Germans tactic is to defend each ridge and then fall back in an orderly fashion to the next one.

US 45th Division also moves eastwards but is engaged by 29th Panzer Grenadier Division, whose resistance lasts for a whole week. Hube the German commander decides that rather than attempt an all-out defence of a single line of positions, the Allied advance should be delayed by establishing a series of mountain strong-points, each of which will be defended until Allied pressure forces a withdrawal to the next position.

23 July Friday
Towards Agira again. Stop in Raddusa & do a drawing, then to Ramacca where we lunch under the olive trees. Small boy brings us roses, his father fresh water & oranges. Park at AFPU Camp. Delicious bathe in stone cistern.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">24 July 1943
The greater part of Eighth Army spends the seven days from 23rd July to 29th July in regrouping and refitting before 30th Corps is to launch an attack towards Adrano and then northwards round the west side of Mount Etna.

However, 1st Canadian Division and the 231st Infantry Brigade are still operating towards Agira, a mountain top village, which is held by the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division. 1st Canadian Brigade makes several attempts to take the town without success, despite artillery and air support. The 2nd Canadian Brigade enters the battle on the 26th and the town eventually falls on the 28th. The Canadian Division suffers 438 casualties in its biggest battle of the Sicilian campaign.

24 July Saturday
Quiet day at AFPU camp. Run out to Div. in afternoon, letters missing, blast it. Collect cash Field Cashier.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">25 July 1943
News of Mussolini's downfall reaches the Axis forces in Sicily on the 25th in the evening and orders soon follow from Hitler for the 70,000 German troops on Sicily to be evacuated. No more reinforcements are to be sent there.

Meanwhile, at Montgomery's invitation, Patton flies to Syracuse to Montgomery's headquarters where the two discuss the next stage of operations. Patton is completely caught by surprise when Montgomery suggests that the Americans should capture Messina. In doing so, Montgomery shows he is aware that it is not the British who can produce a spectacular drive on Messina. The Americans are best set to finish the campaign. Patton is deeply suspicious, but determined to reach Messina first.

Also during this period, the Allies after months of indecision finally decide their plans for the invasion of Italy. There are to be two operations: the crossing of the Straits of Messina into Calabria (Operation BAYTOWN) to be carried out by Eighth Army, whilst a corps-sized amphibious operation (Operation AVALANCHE) at Salerno near Naples is to be made by Mark Clark's US Fifth Army.

25 July Sunday
Attend Mass near GHQ in morning. Pale blue sky, pinkish wall, grey green cacti. Rich green foreground tree, blue cart and hill covered with orange trees. Priest in yellow vestments. In the evening visit with Keating. Major Lyon and Col. etc. A very pleasant and bibulous evening under the trees.


26 July Monday
Out sketching most of the morning. Squadron after squadron of our bombers going over. Some poor buggers must be getting it. The country looks absolutely divine, one sees a drawing by a master everywhere. Leave with Laming and Hastings, go through delightful small town of Francofonte then on to the even more delightful town of Vizzini. Here an unforgettable experience. A great crowd round the town hall. They ask us if the news that Badoglio had taken over from Mussolini was true, we confirm it. Wild cheering. We go to the American Military Governor's house, then back to the town hall. The man with the flag (like the picture of De-Lisle singing the Marseillaise). The M. Com. arrives. The flag waved on the balcony, wild cheering on the streets. Back to the Military Governor's (A.M.G.O.T.) house where we have a memorable meal of spaghetti and omelette with sweet peppers, wine and brandy. Much good talk. To bed on a mattress on the floor. (Vizzini on its hill in a valley the loveliest town so far.


27 July Tuesday
Leave for the neighbourhood of Agira, via Grammichele, Caltagirone and Raddusa. Usual lovely hilly country and pretty grey mountain towns. Arrive in the late afternoon and park among the almond trees in a little valley.

28 July Wednesday
Uncomfortable night, up at dawn, follow various detours to the east of Agira. Make tea in a shepherd's hut on the slopes of a hill, watch mortar shells dropping on the further slopes. Back with Hugh and Peebles and try the frontal road into Agira, which we find blocked by demolitions. Investigate a large, abandoned Jerry ammo dump and then an old mill house right under the town. We find no way of getting into the town owing to demolitions. Back to our camping ground, pack up and go via Raddusa and later a fantastic mountain road to Assoro. A very grey old small town battered to a certain extent by shellfire. We install ourselves in the banker's house, a horrid mess owing to the fact that some Canadian troops have been here before. We are presented with wine by the banker, while an odd deputation of local men stand round and stare at us. We get a whiskered old man to wash up. Extreme provincialism of the house, taste so bad that it has a charm of its own. Meet outside the house of a friendly Canadian who gives us tea which we are lacking and then takes us to visit the local priest who we find giving comfort to a sister with a shrapnel wound in her leg. Simple cottage furniture. We are offered wine, a vin ros¯i&gt; type, not bad.


29 July Thursday
Sleep comfortably in beds. Visit by the banker's family before we leave, horror of the banker's wife and female relations rather nonsense. (Note: the bells in the belfry, whirring of clockwork when they strike. Beautiful iron work with small bells on top.)

Visit front areas on the way back, see Monty. Return to army, find Warwick and Brian Robb there, lunch at O Mess, Hugh in trouble over our journey. Back at AFPU, Geoffrey in Tripoli. A thunderstorm and much rain. Meet McCormack, Geoffrey turns up late at night.


30 July Friday
With correspondents to army for background talk. Meet McCormack again, make a wash drawing. Visit Div. and find letters for me. Introduced by Geoffrey to the GOC and have a talk with him at his caravanserai. Have drinks with Bob and Dugdale at the PR camp.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">31 July 1943
15th Panzer Grenadier Division halts their retreat at Troina in front of US 1st Division. When 1st Division takes Cerami, Allied intelligence expects German morale to be low and that Troina can be easily taken. The Americans do not know that they are about to assault one of the best-prepared German defensive positions in Sicily. This becomes clear when as night falls US troops are driven out of positions in front of Troina they had taken earlier in the day.

On Eighth Army's front, the 51st Division crosses the Dittaino and with the 1st Canadian Division advances on Aderno. Despite local German counter-attacks, the pressure of the Allied advance is kept up and the Germans are forced to retire.

31 July Saturday
Make a rather bad drawing in my big book of the GOC's camp, try and write a letter to Coote telling him of the difficulties of work without transport. A maddening war, only the dead and dying stay still for you to draw. Give up the attempt and write a simple letter about my plans. Write to Catherine, a quiet evening in camp.


07-08-2005, 01:34 AM
Also on these day's of July 7/8 1943...

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Jul. 12, 1943 </span>

July 8 A U-boat is sunk by an acoustic homing torpedo for the first time when U-514 is attacked by a B-24

N. D. COMMUNIQUӰ NO. 436, JULY 7, 1943

South Pacific (all dates are east longitude).

1. On July 4, a formation of Army Flying Fortresses (Boeing B€17) heavy bombers bombed the Bairoko Harbor Area, west coast of New Georgia Island.

2. On the early afternoon of July 5, sixteen Army Warhawk (Curtiss P€40) fighters intercepted about forty enemy Zero fighters over Rendova Island. Two Zeros were destroyed. One Warhawk was lost but the pilot was rescued.

3. During the early morning surface engagement of July 6, when six Japanese ships were probably sunk and several damaged, the light cruiser USS Helena was sunk. The next of kin of the casualties aboard the Helena will be notified as soon as possible.

4. During the evening of July 6:

(a) A formation of Army Liberator (Consolidated B€24) heavy bombers attacked Kahili and started several fires.

(b) During the same evening, a formation of Army Liberators bombed Buka Island. A number of fires as a result of the bombing were observed.

North Pacific.

5. On the evening of July 6, a U. S. surface task force bombarded Kiska, Enemy shore batteries did not return the fire.

Memorandum to the Press:

The following information has been announced in the Southwest Pacific:

(a) On the morning of July 6, a Navy Liberator (Consolidated PB4Y) heavy bomber was attacked by five Zero fighters northeast of Kolom*bangara Island, New Georgia. Group. Two Zeros were shot down and another was probably destroyed.

(b) On the afternoon of July 6, Army Mitchell (North American B€25) medium bombers bombed a beached Japanese destroyer in Bambari Harbor (Southeast coast of Kolombangara Island). Three hits were scored and a number of fires accompanied by violent explosions were observed.

(c) During the evening of July 6, Army Flying Fortress heavy bombers attacked Ballale Island, New Georgia Group, and started large fires.

N. D. COMMUNIQUӰ NO. 437, JULY 8, 1943

Pacific and Far East.

1. U. S. Submarines have reported the following results of operations against the enemy in the waters of these areas:

(a) 1 large transport sunk.

(b) 1 medium€sized transport sunk.

(c) 2 medium€sized cargo vessels sunk.

(d) 1 large tanker sunk.

(e) 1 medium€sized tanker sunk.

(f) 1 large cargo vessel sunk.

(g) 1 medium€sized passenger€cargo vessel sunk.

(h) 1 small cargo vessel sunk.

(i) 1 small schooner sunk.

(j) 4 medium€sized cargo vessels damaged.

2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Depart*ment Communiqués.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS LST 16</span>

USS LST-16 departed Tunis on 8 July 1943
LST Flotilla 18, Group 53, Division 105

The USS LST-16 was placed in commission on 17 March 1943 under the command of LT Rufus W. L. Horton, USCGR. She was assigned to Flotilla 18, Group 53, Division 105. The Coast Guard-manned LST-16 departed Tunis on 8 July 1943, and arrived at Transport Area 1, Woods Hole Beach on 10 July 1943, carrying LCT-336. While engaged in unloading operations the LST-16 discovered that an enemy shor battery, four miles away, had her range. The battery was located and 3"/50 caliber shells were fired at a range of 8,700 yards were apparently hits. The LST ceased firing as a U.S. destroyer opened fire on the same target, putting it out of action. Crew members on LST-16 observed small arms fire on the beach with our troops and the enemy separated by small ridges 6 or 8 feet high about 100 feet from the water line.

Ordered to proceed to Bailey's Beach four miles south of Scoglitti she discharged DUKWs before beaching. Both ramp chains parted while discharging DUKWs and a jury rig of wire pennants was installed. The Beachmaster advised that no pontoons were available. The vessel was beached on the 11th and the commanding officer went ashore to arrange for a causeway. While awaiting the causeway, then in use by another LST, several enemy aircraft attempted to attack the beach and the LST-16 opened fire.

At 1700 the causeway was received and all vehicles and Army were off by 1900. The ship's company unloaded 470 tons of supplies by hand, completing the task by 1400 on the 12th. At 1700 she proceeded to a newly marked beach north of Scoglitti and on the 13th loaded 300 tons of ammunition and supplies from P-76 and proceeded to anchorage. Fired on enemy aircraft at 2150 on the 14th began discharging ammunition and supplies via DUKWs and on the 15th was underway, anchoring in Tunis Bay on the 16th.

The LST-16 returned to Gela, Sicily, on 19 July 1943, with 7 officers and 142 enlisted men of the U.S. Army and returned to Tunis Bay with 62 Italian officers and 408 Italian soldiers as prisoners of war on 22 July 1943. Again loading 35 vehicles, 2 officers end 44 enlisted men of the U.S. Army the LST anchored off Gela on the 24th and was back in Tunis Bay the next day. On 28 July 1943, she made her final trip to Gela with 13 officers, 153 enlisted men and 63 vehicles. She returned to Biserte on 14 August 1943, towing two sections of pontoon causeways in tandem. In 14 trips and one shuttle trip 48 officers, 537 enlisted men, 894 tons of cargo and 167 vehicles were transported to Sicily. Thirty-six U. S. military personnel and 471 prisoners of war were returned to North Africa.

LST-16 was laid down on 1 September 1942 at Wilmington, Del., by the Dravo Corp.; launched on 19 December 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Lois M. Alexander; and commissioned on 17 March 1943.

During World War II, LST-16 was assigned to the European theater and participated in the following operations:

North African occupation:

(a) Tunisian operations€"July 1943

Sicilian occupation€"September 1943

Salerno landings€"September 1943

West coast of Italy operations:

(a) Anzio-Nettuno advanced landings€"January and February 1944

Invasion of Normandy€"June 1944

Following the war, LST-16 performed occupation duty in the Far East in September and November 1945. She was decommissioned on 8 March 1946 and was struck from the Navy list on 12 April 1946. On 5 December 1947, she was sold to Ships and Power Equipment Co., of Barber, N.J., for scrapping.

LST-16 earned five battle stars for World War II service.

07-08-2005, 01:50 AM
And one more for the Road...

Found this Site of the 392nd Bomber Group that you might enjoy.


Just a few of the Great Photo's






07-08-2005, 02:34 AM
One13 ... A few links that might also help out.

http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/history/marshall/mi...rs/US.bombers/b24.37 (http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/history/marshall/military/airforce/bombers/US.bombers/b24.37)
http://airtoaircombat.com/background.asp?id=61&bg=742 (http://airtoaircombat.com/background.asp?id=61&amp;bg=742)

-HH- Beebop
07-08-2005, 07:13 AM
VMF-214_Prop, thanks for the support.
Arcadeace, always good stuff.
woofiedog, MINT work mate!

8 July

In French West Africa... Damage to the French battleship Richelieu is increased by a hit from a torpedo bomber from the carrier Hermes.

In Morocco... In Casablanca, the French battleship Jean Bart is attacked by British forces.
The Jean Bart, attacked by the British off Casablanca

In London... De Gaulle criticizes the British for these actions. This is the first sign that he will maintain French independence and be a stormy partner.

In Occupied Yugoslavia... The Germans and Italians formally announce their plans for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia. Croatia is to be independent. The province of Ljubljana, part of Dalmatia and some of the Adriatic islands are to be annexed by Italy. Bosnia is to be under Italian protection. Germany takes Montenegro, Carinthia and Cariola. Hungary also takes some territory.

On the Eastern Front... In the advance on Leningrad, Hoeppner's Fourth Panzer Group takes Pskov.

In Syria... A series of battles just inland from Sidon at Jezzine and Mazzrat-ech-Chouf take place (July 8-10th).

On the Eastern Front... The 1st Panzer Army crosses the Donets River. The Soviet defenders, however, have mostly avoided capture and conduct an orderly retreat.

On the Eastern Front... The battle of Kursk continues. The German advance in the north is less than one mile. To the south the German commanders remain hopeful of a breakthrough but the rate of attrition remains high. Soviet strong points prove difficult to overcome. Meanwhile, Red Army counterattacks, with armor, prevent substantial gains.
German 6th Panzer Division column at Kursk

In the Solomon Islands... On New Georgia, US forces make some gains near the Barike River.

In the Atlantic... The British Home Fleet cruises off Norway but the Germans fail to notice them. The British intention is to draw attention away from the Mediterranean operations.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of the Soviet 1st Belorussian Front capture Baranovichi, halfway between Minsk and Brest-Litovsk.

On the Western Front... The British 2nd Army attacks towards Caen. A preliminary bombardment by 450 RAF Lancaster bombers drops 2500 tons on the city. British and Canadian troops reach the outskirts of the city. The US 1st Army is reinforced with 2 divisions arriving from Britain. There is heavy fighting along the road from Carentan to Periers.

In the Mariana Islands... American battleships shell targets on Guam.

In Washington... Free French President de Gaulle continues talks with American representatives.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In the United States... At Camp Salina, Utah, an American guard (Clarence V. Bertucci) opens fire on German prisoners of war. During the night, the 23-year-old army private climbed the guard tower with a .30 caliber machine gun. He looked across the tent city where the 250 Germans slept. Then, for the next 15 seconds, he riddled the 43 tents from left to right. The shooting stopped only when the gun ran out of ammunition. Eight Germans were killed and twenty more were wounded. The victims were laid to rest at Fort Douglas and given a proper military funeral. Bertucci showed no remorse for what he done. He said he hated Germans, and wanted to kill them. This is considered the worst massacre at a POW camp in the history of the USA.

In Burma... British Sergeant Simon Eden (aged 20), of the Royal Air Force, and son of the British Foreign Secretary, is listed as missing in action.

In the Philippines... On Mindanao, fighting continues in the Sarangani Bay area. Filipino guerrillas under American leadership engage the Japanese.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, Australian troops land at Penajam.

07-08-2005, 02:55 PM
On this day in 1943, upon the German army's invasion of Pskov, 180 miles from Leningrad, Russia, the chief of the German army general staff, General Franz Halder, records in his diary Hitler's plans for Moscow and Leningrad: "To dispose fully of their population, which otherwise we shall have to feed during the winter."

On June 22, the Germans had launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union, with over 3 million men. Enormous successes were enjoyed, thanks in large part to a disorganized and unsuspecting Russian army. By July 8, more than 280,000 Soviet prisoners had been taken and almost 2,600 tanks destroyed. The Axis power was already a couple of hundred miles inside Soviet territory. Stalin was in a panic, even executing generals who had failed to stave off the invaders.

Franz Halder, as chief of staff, had been keeping a diary of the day-to-day decision-making process. As Hitler became emboldened by his successes in Russia, Halder recorded that the "Fuhrer is firmly determined to level Moscow and Leningrad to the ground." Halder also records Hitler's underestimation of the Russian army's numbers and the bitter infighting between factions within the military about strategy. Halder, among others, wanted to make straight for the capital, Moscow; Hitler wanted to meet up with Field Marshal Wilhelm Leeb's army group, which was making its way toward Leningrad. The advantage Hitler had against the Soviets would not last. Winter was approaching and so was the advantage such conditions would give the Russians.

07-09-2005, 12:04 AM
On this day of July 9 1942...

Anne Frank, 13, goes into hiding with her family and 4 other Jews in an attic above her father's office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

Germans begin a drive toward Stalingrad in the USSR.

2/24 Bn captures German 621 Coy, a radio intercept and intelligence unit, effectively blinding Rommel.

9 July 1942
1 RAF Mosquito to Wilhelmshaven bombed through cloud. The local diary has no entry.

9/10 July 1942
Minelaying: 59 aircraft to Heligoland and the Frisian Islands. 1 Wellington lost.

Chinese Victory in Jiangxi Province Nationalist Chinese forces won a major victory over the Japanese in Jiangxi (Kiangsi) Province, which helped tie down Japanese forces in China.

The XPBB-1 Sea Ranger (the "Lone Ranger"), a long-range, seaplane patrol bomber, makes its first flight.


The XPBB-1 Sea Ranger, or the Model 344, built for the U.S. Navy, was an extremely long-range flying boat patrol bomber. It was the largest twin-engine airplane built until the time of its first flight in 1942. It used a wing very similar to the four-engine B-29 bomber and incorporated aerodynamic features of the Boeing Model 314 Clipper.

The Navy ordered 57 Sea Rangers to be manufactured at a new plant on 95 acres on the south shore of Lake Washington in Renton, Wash. The waterfront site provided natural protection from prevailing winds, so it was easier to launch seaplanes directly from the plant.

The Sea Rangers were designed for a "boosted takeoff" by being catapulted from huge barges. Although the normal range of the aircraft was 4,245 miles, designers believed this distance could double if fuel was saved by the catapulted takeoff.


However, even before the first Sea Ranger was finished, it was surrounded by rows of B-29 bombers because the U.S. military changed its strategy in favor of land-based bombers.

Only one Sea Ranger was built and nicknamed the "Lone Ranger." The Boeing 25-year tradition of building seaplanes came to an end when the "Lone Ranger" flew out of Renton for the last time on Oct. 25, 1943, heading for the Navy base in San Diego, Calif. The one-of-a-kind seaplane served the Navy in a variety of ways for several years before it was placed in storage at the Norfolk Naval Air Station in Virginia.


The Navy traded the Renton site with the U.S. Army for a plant in Kansas City, Mo., and the Army took over the Renton plant, where Boeing workers subsequently produced 1,119 B-29 bombers. After the war, the plant eventually became a manufacturing facility for Boeing commercial jet transports.

First flight: July 9, 1942
Model number: 344
Classification: Long-range patrol bomber
Span: 139 feet 8 inches
Length: 94 feet 9 inches
Gross weight: 62,006 pounds
Top speed: 219 mph
Cruising speed: 158 mph
Range: 4,245 miles
Ceiling: 18,900 feet
Power: Two 2,000-horsepower Wright Double Cyclone engines
Accommodation: 10 crew
Armament: Four machine guns, 20,000-pound bomb load

07-09-2005, 01:02 AM
On this day of July 9 1940...

Battle of Calabria

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">HMAS Vampire</span>

VAMPIRE spent June 1940 based at Alexandria for Mediterranean anti-submarine patrols and fleet exercises. Twice she attacked contacts without results, firstly on 13 June in company with WATERHEN and again on 17 June. On 26 June convoy escort duty was resumed. On 29 June VAMPIRE experienced her first bombing attack when Italian aircraft dropped ineffective patterns from high levels, Italy having entered the war on 10 June 1940.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Type: V & W Class Destroyer
Displacement: 1,090 tons (standard), 1,470 tons (full load)
Length: 312 feet 1 inch (overall)
Beam: 29 feet 7 inches
Draught: 9 feet 8 inches (mean deep load)
Builder: J. Samuel White & Co Ltd, Cowes, England
Laid Down: 10 October 1916
Launched: 21 May 1917
Completed: 22 September 1917
Machinery: Brown-Curtis turbines, twin screws
Horsepower: 27,000
Speed: 34 knots
Armament: (original)
4 x 4-inch guns
1 x 2-pounder gun
1 x Vickers .303 gun
4 x Lewis .303 guns
6 x 21-inch torpedo tubes (triple mount)
50 depth charges

1 x 12-pounder guns embarked in Alexandria in April 1941
2 x 2-pounder guns embarked in Singapore on 5 January 1942

Complement: 130

The entry of Italy into the war and the collapse of French resistance on the 22 June completely changed the naval situation in the Mediterranean. Formerly, all coastlines were either Allied or neutral, and the Anglo-French fleets were in undisputed command of the seas. Now all coasts except those of Egypt, Palestine and Cyprus in the east, Malta in the centre, and Gibraltar in the west were closed to the Royal Navy. Moreover, the Allies had lost the support of the French fleet, which had provided seven capital ships and nineteen cruisers, and had acquired a new enemy in Italy with her menacing naval potential. Her fleet boasted five battleships, twenty-five cruisers, ninety destroyers and nearly one hundred submarines. It spelt the beginning of a long and bitter struggle for control of the Mediterranean, first against the Italian fleet and Air Force (neither of which proved the menace expected) and later against the much more formidable German Luftwaffe whose dive bombers took grievous toll of British warships before they were finally driven from the skies.

For more than a year the €˜Scrap Iron Flotilla€ took part in the struggle for possession of the ancient sea route linking east and west.

July 1940 opened with VAMPIRE escorting a convoy for Port Said and then the French transport PROVIDENCE to Alexandria. At Alexandria VAMPIRE joined the Mediterranean Fleet for operations covering the passage of convoys between Malta and Alexandria and attacks against the coast of Sicily (Operation MA5). These operations, which led to the Battle of Calabria on 9 July, began on 7 July when the fleet sailed from Alexandria, VAMPIRE and VOYAGER forming part of the screen for the battleships and the aircraft carrier HMS EAGLE, while the Flotilla Leader STUART operated with screening units for the 7th Cruiser Squadron. The following day, 8 July, the fleet was heavily attacked from the air and VAMPIRE began to learn the value of violent evasive tactics. In spite of the Italian effort, some fifty bombs fell near the battleship HMS WARSPITE, only the cruiser HMS GLOUCESTER was hit.

At 6:00 am on 9 July the British fleet was concentrated 50 miles due west of the south west extremity of Greece. The 7th Cruiser Squadron with STUART in the van led the fleet eight miles ahead of Admiral Cunningham€s flagship, WARSPITE, and her screen. The 1st Battle Squadron (HM Ships ROYAL SOVEREIGN and MALAYA) and EAGLE and their screening destroyers, including VAMPIRE, brought up the rear. From this time onwards throughout the morning reconnaissance aircraft reported strong Italian forces including two battleships at sea. Cunningham disposed the fleet accordingly in an attempt to force the enemy into action.


At 2:45 pm HMAS SYDNEY, operating as a unit of the 7th Cruiser Squadron, sighted smoke on the port bow. Sixteen minutes later she sighted five enemy ships and seven minutes after that at 3:08 pm, for the first time since the Napoleonic Wars, the sighting of an enemy battle fleet in the Mediterranean was signalled when the cruiser HMS NEPTUNE reported two Italian battleships west south west, 15 miles distant. At this stage VAMPIRE was engaged in screening the carrier EAGLE acting independently and accompanied by the cruiser GLOUCESTER withdrawn as unfit for action due to her bomb damage suffered the previous day.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Italian battleship Giulio Cesare</span>



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Giulio Cesare ("Julius Caesar") was one of nine Italian dreadnought battleships in four classes authorized between 1907 and 1914. Giulio Cesare saw no action during World War I, and in the 1920s she was used as a gunnery training ship. A massive reconstruction from 1933 to 1937 resulted in a virtually new ship. She was lengthened to 186.4 meters, her maximum displacement grew to 29,100 tons, and her screws were reduced to two, although with geared turbines producing 75,000 shaft horsepower, her speed increased to 27.5 knots. Her primary armament also changed from thirteen 12.2-inch guns in five turrets to ten 12.8-inch guns in four turrets.

During World War II, Giulio Cesare saw considerable action against Britain's Mediterranean fleet in the struggle for Malta and North Africa. On July 9, 1940, a 15-inch shell from HMS Warspite off Punta Stilo knocked her out of action for six weeks. She again tangled with the British off Cape Teulada on November 27, 1940, and she sustained minor damage during an air raid on Naples in January 1941. Through January 1942, when she was laid up, Giulio Cesare took part in a number of inconclusive engagements while providing long-range cover for Axis convoys to North Africa.

Following Italy's surrender in 1943, Giulio Cesare was transferred to Allied control, and in February 1949 she was transferred to the Soviet Union as reparations under terms set at the Teheran Conference in 1945.
Renamed Novorossisk (for the Black Sea port) and rearmed with 12-inch guns, she was the most heavily armed ship in the Soviet Navy. Anchored in Sevastopol on October 29, 1955, at 0130 the ship was wracked by an explosion just forward of "A" turret. Nearly three hours later, she turned turtle and sank, taking with her 600 of her 1,600 crew.
The sinking itself remained a closely guarded secret until 1988, and the actual cause of the twentieth century's worst peacetime naval disaster has never been determined. The four possibilities most often cited€"none of them especially compelling€"are that a mine laid during World War II came loose and struck the hull; that the ship was sabotaged by KGB agents seeking to discredit Commander in Chief Admiral Nikolai G. Kuznetsov; that the ship was mined by the Italians prior to the ship's transfer to the Soviet Union; or that Italian neofascist commandos under Junio Valerio Borghese, "The Black Prince," mined the ship where she lay.


The engagement began at 3:20 pm and went through several phases, beginning with a brief surface duel between the heavy surface units which ended at 4:00 pm when the Italian fleet retired under cover of smoke and ending at 6:30 pm when Admiral Cunningham finally broke off the chase of the fleeing Italian ships when some 25 miles off the Calabrian coast. No British ship suffered any damage or casualties but the Italian battleship GIULIO CESARE was hit by WARSPITE€s 15-inch fire and limped into port with six of her boilers out of action and 29 of her crew killed. After sunset VAMPIRE detached from her task of screening EAGLE and rejoined the battle fleet. From 3:00 pm onwards for five hours the carrier and her two escorting destroyers had been under air attack.


VAMPIRE spent in all six days at sea during the progress of Operation MA5, screening the fleet and covering passage of the convoys. Her War Diary recorded that she was under repeated air attack during daylight hours and estimated that 1,350 bombs were dropped on ships of the fleet being screened by VAMPIRE and on VAMPIRE herself. Violent avoiding action prevented any direct hits but the ship suffered considerable damage from splinters and near misses. Mr J.H. Endicott, Gunner (T), died on 12 July as a result of bomb splinter wounds. He was the first casualty in a Royal Australian Navy ship in World War II.


Following bomb damage repairs at Alexandria, VAMPIRE sailed on 23 July in company with VENDETTA, screening the cruiser HMS ORION for a diversionary demonstration off Castelorizo Island. The ships were not sighted from the air and no response came from the defence ashore. The two destroyers reached Port Said on 25 July and sailed the following day escorting the armed boarding vessels HM Ships CHAKLA and FIONA for a second demonstration. They met ORION on 27 July and that evening proceeded as if to effect a landing on Castelorizo. Again the Italians refused to be provoked.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">HMS Warspite Queen Elizabeth Class Battleship 1915

One of Royal Navy€s most famous ships of the Twentieth Century, HMS Warspite served with distinction in both world wars. The Queen Elizabeth class super dreadnoughts marked the climax of the naval race between Britain and Germany since the launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1905. Mounting eight 15 inch/381mm guns, the Queen Elizabeths were the first oil-fired British battleships capable of a speed of 23 knots. They possessed an almost perfect combination of gun power, armour protection and speed. At the Battle of Jutland in 1916, Warspite was hit 13 times after her steering gear jammed and she circled in front of the German fleet. Thanks to her excellent construction damage was not severe.


Extensively modernised between 1934 €" 1937, Warspite saw extensive action throughout the Second World War. In the Second Battle of Narvik on 13 April 1940 her reconnaissance aircraft bombed and sank submarine U-64 before the battleship and nine escorting destroyers swiftly overwhelmed eight German destroyers.

Warspite will be best remembered for her service with the Mediterranean Fleet as flagship of Admiral Andrew Cunningham. At the Battle of Calabria on 9 July 1940 she hit the Italian flagship, Guilio Cesare, at the amazing range of 21 kilometres. Accompanied by sister ships Barham and Valiant at the Battle of Cape Matapan on 28 March 1941, they sank two Italian heavy cruisers in a notable night time engagement. In 1942 Warspite was re-deployed to join the Eastern Fleet to counter the Japanese threat but did not see action. She returned to the Mediterranean to be present at the surrender of the Italian Fleet at Malta on 10 September 1943.

HMS Warspite bombarding the German defences at Normandy with her 15 inch guns.

Warspite was severely damaged by a German radio-controlled bomb off Salerno while covering the landings in Italy on 16 September 1943. Nevertheless she was repaired and played a valuable role in the bombardments supporting the landings in Normandy and against Brest, Le Havre and Walcheren Island in 1944. </span>

At sea, meanwhile, the fleet covered convoys moving across the Aegean Sea, trailing its coat at the enemy€s front door without response. On 29 July VAMPIRE was back in Alexandria where refit was begun which kept her in dock until 18 August, when she resumed convoy escort duties between Alexandria, Port Said and Haifa, returning to Alexandria on 24 August.

The sinking of HMAS Vampire, 9 April 1942

On 9 April 1942 the HMAS Vampire and her crew fell victim to Japanese bombers off Ceylon. The Vampire was escorting the British light aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. It was not the first time Vampire had found herself in such a situation.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The destroyer HMAS Vampire, 1,090 tons, four 4-inch guns, six 21-inch torpedo tubes, 34 knots, lost in Japanese air attack on the Bay of Bengal, 9 April 1942.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Bay of Bengal. 10 April 1942. HMAS Vampire (left) and HMS Hermes, a British aircraft carrier en route to Australia, being attacked and sunk by a Japanese carrier fleet. It also destroyed twenty three merchant ships. In four months this fleet sank five battleships, one carrier, two cruisers and seven destroyers without suffering one hit. </span>

07-09-2005, 01:48 AM
Also on this day of July 9/10 1943...

Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">General Patton and Montgomery</span>

Following the defeat of the Axis forces in Tunisia, the Allied forces began preparations to take the war onto Axis home territory for the first time. The largest amphibious force yet seen had to be assembled: 2,590 ships and landing craft. The Royal Navy provided 1,614, including six battleships and two aircraft carriers, while the US provided 945. The remaining 31 ships were from the Free Forces of the Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Belgium and Norway. Meticulous planning was required to bring together the troop convoys, sailing from as far apart as the Clyde and Alexandria, to deliver a coordinated assault. Allied aircraft had mounted heavy preparatory air attacks against the German and Italian air forces on Sicily, and had successfully bombed the Italian garrison of the small island of Pantelleria into submission during June. Over 3,500 Allied aircraft had been mustered - Malta, which in June 1940 had been defended by just six Gladiator biplanes, now had 20 squadrons of Spitfires sitting on its airfields to provide fighter cover for the invasion.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A Fleet Air Arm Martlet fighter from HMS Formidable patrols over the veteran battleship HMS Warspite off Sicily. The Royal Navy battleships and carriers of Force H screened the initial landings against the danger of an attack by the Italian fleet, with smaller ships providing gunfire support at the beaches. HMS Warspite was later called in to bombard a military base at Catania on 17 July </span>

The invasion plan covered landings by Patton's US 7th Army in the west of Sicily, and Montgomery's 8th Army in the south-east. The Germans, realising Sicily was the obvious next target, had reinforced the Italian troops stationed there - the Italian commander-in-chief General Guzzoni had some 230,000 Italian and 40,000 German troops, plus thousands more Luftwaffe personnel. The coastal defences, although including some strongpoints, were generally weak and held by five Italian coastal divisions, manned largely by personnel unfit for field service and poorly equipped. However, Guzzoni had four Italian infantry divisions and two German armoured divisions in reserve - the Hermann Goring Panzer and 15th Panzer Grenadier Divisions.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Operation Husky"</span>

The 8th Army was allocated landing beaches on the south-east coast of Sicily, running down from the key port of Syracuse around to the western shore of the Pachino peninsula, the most southerly tip of the island. Its key objectives for the first day were to secure the port of Syracuse, to allow its use by supply ships, and to seize the airfields in the Pachino area. On the evening of 9 July, the men of the 1st Airlanding Brigade, 2,075 strong, boarded 137 Waco and 10 Horsa gliders at Tunisian airfields to spearhead the attack. Their mission was to seize an important bridge at Porte Grande near Syracuse. However, the majority of their tug aircraft were provided by inexperienced USAAF crews of 51st Troop Carrier Wing. The weather was turning for the worse, with strong winds. The glider pilots struggled to control their heavily laden aircraft, and accurate navigation proved challenging. Many of the tug aircraft released their gliders too far from the Sicilian coast, and tragically 69 came down in the sea - 252 men drowned. Only one glider landed close to the bridge, shortly before midnight, but undaunted, Lieutenant Withers led his platoon of the 2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, in an immediate attack on the bridge, some of his men swimming the river. They captured it intact, and slowly were reinforced by other glider-troops who had come down further afield, reaching a strength of 87 men by 0630. They resisted heavy counter-attacks until finally forced back from the bridge in the afternoon, but their action had prevented the bridge from being demolished and it was later retaken when troops from the beaches reached the scene.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Troops of 51st Highland Division drive ashore on "Bark South" invasion beach on the Pachino peninsula </span>

In the early hours of 10 July, the amphibious landings began, guided in by submarines and specialist beach reconnaissance personnel in tiny collapsible boats - during the preceding months, this small group of men, only about 30 in number, had suffered very heavy losses to enemy defences and the elements while scouting out the beaches. 8th Army's target sector was defended by the Italian 206th Coastal Division. Immediately to the south of Syracuse, an SAS squadron and 3 Army Commando silenced coastal batteries covering the beaches on which 5th Division came ashore. By the end of the day, the Division's 17 Brigade had taken Syracuse, the most important immediate objective, and Royal Navy minesweepers began clearing a safe route into the port; supply convoys were able to make deliveries three days later. Further south along the coast, 50th Division, recruited from Tyne and Tees, experienced more difficult landings, but even so their 151 Brigade had advanced satisfactorily inland by the end of the day. 231 Independent Brigade, which had spent much of the war on near-starvation rations as the garrison of Malta, landed on the east coast of the Pachino peninsula, while 51st Highland Division landed on the southern tip. 1st Canadian Division, having sailed direct from training in the UK via the Clyde, landed on the western coast of the peninsula, with the Royal Marines of 40 and 41 Commando taking care of the far left flank. The airfields around Pachino were taken, and RAF and Royal Engineer personnel immediately began work to put them into commission for Allied aircraft - the first three squadrons of RAF Spitfires flew in from Malta on 13 July to provide immediate air cover.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">British airborne troops in North Africa beside one of the US-built Waco gliders that carried 1st Airlanding Brigade into action on 9/10 July </span>

Patton's US 7th Army had experienced much greater difficulties to the west, where the 1st and 3rd Infantry Divisions landed around the town of Gela. The airborne spearhead provided by the 505th Parachute Regiment of 82nd Airborne Division suffered as badly from the weather as the British gliders, and were scattered over many miles of countryside. The landing craft out at sea were more exposed to the bad weather, and when the troops did get ashore, soon found themselves facing counter-attacks from the Livorno and Hermann Goring divisions. However, the US troops successfully held their ground against the German tanks.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">As airfields were captured, they were immediately taken over by specialist advance teams of ground crew and engineers to allow them to be quickly made operational for RAF and USAAF aircraft. Here, an RAF Spitfire is serviced on a Sicilian airfield alongside a Messerschmitt 109 left behind by the previous owners</span>

The massive aircover provided from Malta, Gozo, Pantelleria and Tunisia generally proved effective at keeping Italian and German air attacks at bay, but a few bombers broke through, sinking three US ships and a British hospital ship. During the operations across the beaches, the new US DUKW amphibious truck proved of immense value. Capable of 6 mph afloat and about 50 mph on land, its boat-shaped hull could carry 25 troops or 3.5 tons of supplies, and while it was awkward to load and unload, a single vehicle could swim ashore 23 tons during a typical 18-hours of operations per day. In the first 48 hours, over 8,500 vehicles, from jeeps to tanks, were successfully put ashore in 8th Army's sector, with comparable achievements in the US area of operations.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">RAF nightfighters, such as these Beaufighters, provided nocturnal air cover from bases in North Africa and Malta </span>

As the Allies consolidated their beach heads, follow-up airborne operations by the rest of 1st British and 82nd US Airborne Divisions were conducted to reinforce the advance. These proved disastrous. On the night 11/12 July, the US 504th Parachute Regiment was flown into the Gela region. Unfortunately, Allied naval anti-aircraft gunners opened up on them. Half the aircraft were damaged, and over twenty shot down. 97 paratroopers and 60 aircrew were killed, with another 132 wounded. An operation by the British 1st Parachute Brigade to seize the bridge at Primosole on the night of 13/14 July proved little more successful. Anti-aircraft fire from Allied forces again hit the transport aircraft, and, coupled with the efforts of the Axis gunners, brought fourteen down, and the rest again dropped troops over a wide area. Of a brigade strength of 1,856 men, only 295 made it into action at the bridge. They initially seized it, but were later driven back from the northern end, and a more conventional assault had to be conducted later to secure the crossing.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Poster summing up the Glider Infantry's opinion of the distinction drawn between them and Paratroopers (Artist Unknown).</span>

As the Allies pushed relentlessly outwards despite the deployment of German reinforcements, US troops took the city of Palermo on 22 July. The Axis forces fought a skilful withdrawal to the north-east corner of Sicily during the latter part of the month, where they conducted a resolute defence around Mount Etna. Under very heavy anti-aircraft and artillery cover, they then conducted a meticulous withdrawal over successive nights to the Italian mainland, some 60,000 German and 75,000 Italians being shipped to safety. The Allied conquest of Sicily was finally completed on 17 August when Messina was secured; preparations immediately began for the invasion of the Italian mainland. 8th Army had suffered some 9,000 casualties in action. Malaria had proved even more dangerous, with 11,500 British troops falling sick.


07-09-2005, 01:52 AM
thanks woofie...awesome post!

-HH- Beebop
07-09-2005, 11:00 AM
woofiedog....WOW! good work mate!

9 July

In the Mediterranean... The Royal Navy's Force H (with 3 battleships and 1 carrier), under the command of Admiral Somerville, is attacked by high-altitude bombers without loss. Admiral Cunningham's Mediterranean Fleet and an Italian squadron under the command of Admiral Campioni (with 2 battleships, 8 heavy cruisers and 12 light cruisers) are involved in a brief surface action in which the battleship Guilio Cesare is damaged by a hit from the Warspite after which the Italians break off.

In Vichy France... Marshal Petain is granted powers to make and alter the constitution by vote of the French parliament. He is opposed by only four votes, three in the Chamber and one in the Senate.

On the Eastern Front... The pockets earlier surrounded by Army Group Center have now all been cleared. At least 300,000 prisoners have been taken and more than 40 divisions have been eliminated from the Soviet Order of Battle. The panzer forces of Army Group Center are reorganized and have now crossed both the Dniepr and the Dvina, aiming to encircle Smolensk. Meanwhile, in the Ukraine, Zhitomir, less than 90 miles from Kiev, falls to forces of German Army Group South.
Soviet prisoners marching into German captivity

In Syria... The Australian troops advancing north along the coast take Damour. There is now no obstacle blocking their approach to Beirut. Homs also falls to the Allied advance. General Dentz, the Vichy French commander in chief in Syria, asks for an armistice on behalf of the Vichy forces.

From Berlin... The Germans reorganize the command structure of their forces in the south of the Eastern Front. Army South is divided into Army Group A, comprised of 1st Panzer Army, 17th Army and 11th Army under General List and Army Group B, comprised of 4th Panzer Army, 2nd Army and 6th Army under General Bock. This reorganization is designed to expedite the Caucasus offensive. The plan is for Army Group A to advance proceed south through Rostov and capture the oil fields halting on a line from Batumi on the Black Sea to Baku on the Caspian. Army Group B is to advance north of the Don River and establish a protective front for this actions.
Oil fields in the Caucasus

From the Eastern Front... German Army Group A begins its attack south to secure the oil fields in the Caucasus. Army Group B reaches Rossosh, cutting the Moscow-Rostov Railway in its advance to provide flank protection for Army Group A.

In Sicily... Operation Husky. The invasion of Sicily begins. The landing force is concentrated around Malta. There are 1200 transports and 2000 landing craft which will land elements of 8 divisions. In the evening, there are airborne landings by the US 82nd Airborne Division and British units which cause disruption in the Axis defenses, although they do not manage to seize their objectives. The Italian 6th Army (General Guzzoni) is responsible for the defense of Sicily. There are a total of about 240,000 troops (a quarter of which are Germans).
Allied troops disembarking on Sicily

On the Eastern Front... The battle of Kursk continues. The German advance is bogged down. Active Soviet defenses are wearing down the attacking German forces.

In the Solomon Islands... On New Georgia American forces attack toward Munda. Heavy Japanese resistance limits the advance. Meanwhile, Americans send reinforcements to Rendova and the Japanese send reinforcements to Kolombangara.

On the Western Front... Forces of British 2nd Army penetrate Caen. Forces of Canadian 3rd Division and British 1st Division capture most of the city north of the Orne River. Canadian forces also take Carpiquet Airfield. The US 1st Army continues attacks toward St. Lo.
Members of the British 2nd Army enter Caen

In Italy... Elements of US 5th Army advance. The US 88th Division captures Volterra and elements of the French Expeditionary Corps reach Poggibonsi.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of 3rd Belorussian Front capture Lida, 50 mile east of Grodno. Farther north, Soviet forces reach the outskirts of Vilna in Lithuania.

In the Mariana Islands... On Saipan, US forces reach Point Marpi and the last organized Japanese resistance is overcome. An estimated 27,000 Japanese have been killed and 1780 are prisoners, both figures include civilians. US forces have lost 3400 killed and 13,000 wounded.

In Washington... Free French President de Gaulle continues talks with American representatives.

In Paris... President de Gaulle proposes a national referendum to decide the system of government of France.

In the South Atlantic... The Brazilian cruiser Bahia sinks after experiencing an explosion of unknown origin (294 killed).

In the Greater Sunda Islands... Dutch troops land north of Balikpapan, completing the encirclement of the bay.

In Japan... American bombers strike two airfields near Tokyo.

In Perth... An crowd estimated to number 30,000 line the streets for the funeral procession of John Curtin, the late Australian prime minister.

In China... Chinese forces capture the Tanchuk airbase. Chinese forces advancing rapidly eastward in southern Kwangsi province have severed the last link between the Japanese army in China and the garrison in Indochina. With Nanning and Luichow recaptured, Chinese units now again control the three US 14th Army Air Force bases lost last year.

07-09-2005, 02:59 PM
On this day in 1941, crackerjack British cryptologists break the secret code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on the Eastern front.

British experts had already broken many of the Enigma codes for the Western front. Enigma was the Germans' most sophisticated coding machine, necessary to secretly transmitting information. The Enigma machine, invented in 1919 by Hugo Koch, a Dutchman, looked like a typewriter and was originally employed for business purposes. The Germany army adapted the machine for wartime use and considered its encoding system unbreakable. They were wrong. The Brits had broken their first Enigma code as early as the German invasion of Poland and had intercepted virtually every message sent through the occupation of Holland and France. Britain nicknamed the intercepted messages Ultra.

Now, with the German invasion of Russia, the Allies needed to be able to intercept coded messages transmitted on this second, Eastern, front. The first breakthrough occurred on July 9, regarding German ground-air operations, but various keys would continue to be broken by the Brits over the next year, each conveying information of higher secrecy and priority than the next. (For example, a series of decoded messages nicknamed "Weasel" proved extremely important in anticipating German anti-aircraft and antitank strategies against the Allies.) These decoded messages were regularly passed to the Soviet High Command regarding German troop movements and planned offensives, and back to London regarding the mass murder of Russian prisoners and Jewish concentration camp victims

07-10-2005, 02:28 AM
On day of July 10 1940...


Over Britain... The Germans send 70 planes to raid dock targets in South Wales. In the British reckoning this is the first day of the battle of Britain.


10th July

Weather Forecast
Overcast with rain over most of Britain. Southeast England and Channel, showery.

Combat Report
The main attacks concentrated on shipping. At 1100hrs a convoy was attacked off North Foreland by 1 Dornier (Do17) and escorted by Me109s. Spitfires of No: 74 Squadron, scrambled from Manston, engaged the enemy aircraft. At the same time Spitfires of No: 610 Squadron were scrambled from Biggin Hill to intercept Me109's over Dover. At 1330hrs about 120 enemy aircraft had formed in the Calais area to attack the convoy between Dover and Dungeness. Hurricanes from No: 34, 56 & 111 Squadrons along with Spitfires of No: 74 & 64 Squadrons were scrambled.
Later in the day enemy raids took place along the West, South and East coasts with the largest being nearly 70 bombers attacking Falmouth & Swansea. During the night, further raids were plotted with bombs dropped on Guisborough, Canewdon, Hertford, Isle of Grain, Isle of Mull (West Coast of Scotland), Colchester, Welwyn and Ely.


R.A.F. Losses: 8 aircraft damaged or destroyed and 2 pilots killed.

Luftwaffe Losses: 20 aircraft damaged or destroyed, 23 pilots & aircrew killed or missing and 10 wounded.

NOTE: Losses include non-combat patrols and accidents.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Bases of Luftwaffe Combat Units, 13 August 1940</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Major Helmut Wick </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Major Helmut Wick's Bf 109 E. On 28 November 1940, the Kommodore of JG 2 went missing south of the Isle of Wight. His body was never recovered and is thus still listed as missing, though it is almost certain that he perished that day.</span>

Below... Please keep in mind that the sector, not the base, of the fighter squadron is given.


1 Canadian






North Weald


Biggin Hill





North Weald





Church Fenton



North Weald







North Weald

Middle Wallop






St. Eval

Middle Wallop



St. Eval

Church Fenton






303 Polish


Biggin Hill


Biggin Hill




Middle Wallop



Middle Wallop

Biggin Hill



Church Fenton

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Dog-fights in its sky during the Battle of Britain.</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">April 1940 An 18 year old grammar school pupil called Josef Krinner joins the Luftwaffe and trains to be a radar operator.</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">RCAF Spitfire
Many Canadians served in the squadrons of Spitfires and Hurricanes which repulsed the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1940. No. 1 Fighter Squadron, RCAF, equipped with modern eight-gun fighters, became the first Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) unit to engage enemy planes in battle when it met a formation of German bombers over southern England on August 26, 1940. It shot down three of them and damaged four others with the loss of one pilot and one plane. Its next meeting with the enemy was not as fortunate as it was attacked out of the sun by Messerschmitts and lost three planes. By mid-October the squadron had accounted for 31 enemy aircraft destroyed and probably 43 more destroyed or damaged. It lost 16 Hurricanes; three pilots had been killed.

Other Canadians flew with the Royal Air Force during that difficult period. No 242 (Canadian) Squadron RAF, which had been formed in 1939 from some of the many Canadians who flew directly with the Royal Air Force, was not reinforced with veterans from the French campaign and joined in the battle. On August 30, nine of its planes met a hundred enemy aircraft over Essex. Attacking from above, the squadron claimed 12 victories and escaped unscathed.

Canadians also shared in repulsing the Luftwaffe's last major daylight attack. On September 27, 303 Squadron RAF and 1 Squadron RCAF attacked the first wave of enemy bombers. Seven, possibly eight enemy planes were destroyed, and another seven damaged. The Royal Canadian Air Force thus received its baptism of fire.

The Battle of Britain is too well known to require a summary recounting. It was not the largest air campaign ever fought, but it is likely the most important. During the period July 10 - October 31, 1940, RAF Fighter Command strength was generally around a thousand aircraft committed through this period, a figure hardly worth mention in the aviation history of the war. Approximately 1100 British and somewhat more German aircraft were lost; a loss rate approaching 400% in a year. That was high, but again, hardly worth mention in an era when bomber attacks costing 20% and more of the attacking strength - per mission - were quite ordinary.



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The cockpit of a He-111</span>


Nonetheless, had Germany won the battle, world history might have taken a different course. The way would have been clear for the German amphibious invasion of the British Isles. We may debate if Hitler was really serious about invading Britain, but had the RAF lost the Battle of Britain, the Royal Navy could not have prevented Operation Sea Lion. The rag-tag defenders could not for long have withstood the conquerers of Poland, France, the Low Countries, Denmark and Norway. The British, not having witnessed a foreign occupation in nine centuries, unlike the French would presumably have valiently fought a guerilla war. But without a sanctuary for rest, resupply, and training, a guerilla resistance would not have lasted long. The Germans were efficient at containing insurgency. With British slave labor and raw materials, the German war machine would have grown stronger; the difficulties of an American intervention greater - if at all the Americans would have intervened had Britain fallen. Three great tyrannies, the Japanese, the Russian, and the German, would have ruled the world, with the United States confined to on part of the globe. It would have been a quite different place.



That all this did not happen is thanks to the "few". The Germans were on the verge of bringing Fighter Command to its knees when they broke off counter-base/counter aircraft factories strategy to begin bombing cities, thanks to chance and Hitler's anger. Had a German bomber not dropped its bombs over London while trying to escape a British fighter, had Churchill not begun the counter-city war, had Hitler not lost his temper, and had the German leadership possessed a deeper understanding of air power, the British would have been defeated in the air. Freed of the relentless attacks on its sinews, the RAF continued to function, if not to prosper - it was able to add only six fighter squadrons to its net strength during the Battle of Britian, despite the huge (by European standards) production of aircraft - 1601 in August, of which 476 were fighters.



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Alberta Aces
The air battle of Britain held incredible significance in that it prevented any possibility of an invasion of the UK by German forces. All of the men who formed the initial draft of personnel to Medicine Hat had some experience of what it was like to be under fire. One of the famous RAF pilots was legless, Douglas Bader. He didn't fly in the battle over France however about 80 Canadian pilots in the RAF, including two from Alberta fought over France and Dunkirk. Hiram Peter 'Cowboy' Blatchford was the son of the mayor Edmonton. He made the first kill by a Canadian in the Second World War when as part of a flight of three Spitfires he shot down a Heinkell 111 on October 17, 1939. After the Allied evacuation at Dunkirk Blatchford would become an Ace during the Battle of Britain where while now flying Hurricanes with # 17 Squadron he destroyed a total of five enemy aircraft. For his efforts he received a Distinguished Flying Cross.
William 'Willie' Lidstone McKnight was a Flying Officer who would earn the DFC and Bar while flying with the RAF. Like Blatchford, McKnight became an Ace. Within five days he shot down ten enemy planes over Dunkirk. Before his death in January 1941 he had sixteen and one half enemy aircraft credited to his score. Following is a list of victories: May 29, 1940 shot down 2 ME-109's and 1 DO-17; May 30, 1940 shot down 2 ME-109s; June 1, 1940 shot down 4 Stuka dive bombers: August 30, 1940 shot down 3 enemy bombers; September 8 shot down 2 ME-109's; September 18, 1940 shot down 1 and half ME-109s; October 17, 1940 shot down 1 ME-109.
Quite a number of battle tested, battle weary Canadians who had survived the fighting over France and the Channel were assigned to Douglas Bader who met his rumpled, rebellious crew, reluctant to submit to authority and leery of having a Commanding Officer with no legs. Bader stomped out to a Hurricane, humped himself into the cockpit then took off for a half hour of aerobatics and low flying to show he could fly a fighter aircraft. The Canadians took grudging notice. When Bader assembled his motley crew the next day he asked them about their relaxed even slovenly appearance. They told him they had escaped France with what they wore. Bader directed them to his tailor in nearby Norwich and had them properly kitted up with him standing as guarantee to their line of credit. Bader also passed out some of his own shirts and ties to tide them over until their new proper kit arrived. He soon won their confidence and introduced them to his own new theory of fighter tactics which were to prove successful.
Bader flew with Albertans Blatchford and McKnight and supplies a brief account of the death of McKnight in his book 'Reach for the Sky'.

The RAF's strength on August 1, 1940, a date selected at random, was represnetative of the available aircraft at that time, 664 available from 54 squadrons with a UE of 996 aircraft plus 446 in reserve. This was not a large figure, but the British were defending, and the Germans attacking. The Luftwaffe's aircraft were designed for close cooperation with the ground troops; they lacked both range and payload to take the war to British air space; and they were hampered by an incompetent higher command. That they nonetheless came so close to winning, is a tribute to the tenacity of their air crews.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">On 12th July 1940 - in the early phase of the Battle of Britain - Leonard Jowitt of 85 Squadron, Royal Air Force took off in his Hawker Hurricane from Martlesham Heath on a mission to protect a convoy in the North Sea.
He was shot down by fire from a Heinkel 111, and crashed into the sea off Felixstowe. Leonard is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial and in the Roll of Honour in Westminster Abbey. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Leonard Jowitt was born on the 22 July 1911 in Failsworth, Manchester, to Leonard (2/2/1886 - 7/5/1930) and Emily Jane (nee Bayley, 11/2/1886 - 13/6/1965) Jowitt . He had two sisters - Elsie (12/1/1914 - 31/12/1933) and Ethel (22/1/16 - 4/2/91). The family had a strong military history - Leonard senior had fought in WW1 in the Royal Field Artillery, surviving the war but dying of tuberculosis in 1930 at the age of only 44 as a result of the conditions endured in the trenches. Leonard senior also had six brothers, two of which, Arthur and Clarence, were killed in action in the First World War.

Leonard jr joined the RAF in 1928, serving in India 1932 - 1934 (the medal on the portrait above is the India General Service Medal) and eventually joined the re-formed 85 squadron at Debden as a sergeant pilot in August 1938 when they were soon to convert from their Gladiators to Hurricanes. After service in Lille, France where the squadron suffered heavy losses (though Leonard did shoot down a Heinkel 111), the squadron returned to Debden in May 1940 to rebuild under Squadron Leader Peter Townsend.

During the early phase of the Battle of Britain, the squadron was based at Martlesham, and it was from here that Len took off on the that fateful day in July to protect a convoy in the North Sea. Having been downed by the defensive fire of a Luftwaffe He 111, he crashed into the sea of Felixstowe - his body was never found. At the time of his death, his family were living in Merseyside.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">This photograph shows 85 Squadron pilots and the MO at Castle Camps in July 1940, shortly before Leonard Jowitt was killed. The Squadron code VY can be seen on the Hurricane behind the men. Len Jowitt is fifth from left, with the shorn head. Of the six pilots shown, three others were killed in the Battle of Britain, and another in 1942. Only one survived the war.</span>

Of the 2945 British and allied pilots who fought in the Battle of Britian, 507 were killed, and about 500 wounded in action, odds of 1 to 3 against surviving without injury. Many of the survivors of the Battle were killed in later actions, for the war had five more years to run.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Artist: Frances Tipton Hunter Date: July 20, 1940 </span>

July 10 Senegal - British aircraft torpedo the battleship Richelieu in Dakar Roads severely damaging it.

July 10, 1940 Reorganization of Vichy French Government The French legislature in Vichy voted to establish a totalitarian form of government, on the Fascist model. The legislature extended authoritarian powers to Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain and Pierre Laval became the Vice Premier two days later.

The German offensive in May-June 1940 breached the Maginot Line and prompted the French army to collapse. The armistice accord€"actually a surrender agreement€"was signed on June 22. This brought the Third Republic to an end, and on July 10, 1940, the French parliament in joint session dissolved the Republican regime and installed Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain as head of the French state with full governing powers.
The government established its seat at Vichy, in the southern part of the country. The results of the armistice were already evident by the end of June. France was partitioned into two sectors: a German-occupied zone (including the Atlantic coast, the English Channel front, and Paris); and an unoccupied zone in the southeast, administered by the Vichy government.
The Vichy regime replaced the principles of the French Revolution€"Liberté, égalité, fraternité€"with new principles: Travail (work), Famille (family), and Patrie (fatherland).
The Vichy regime, bolstered by nationalists who demanded a policy of €œreturning France to the French,€ began systematically to circumscribe €œaliens€ influence and erode the rights of refugees and Jews.
Vichy adopted a policy of courting Nazi Germany in order to extract more tolerable arrangements from the German authorities. The Vichy regime did much to help the Germans persecute the Jews and took anti-Jewish actions at its own initiative€"such as the Statut des Juifs €" the Jewish Statutes (October 1940) and the establishment of institutions such as the Commissariat for Jewish Affairs (March 1941).

07-10-2005, 02:38 AM
A thought struck me and if I don't put it down I'll forget it. We should copy and paste this whole thread in chonological order. By the time it's done, we'll have a complete history of WW2!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif I'm lovin' it!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

-HH- Beebop
07-10-2005, 11:13 AM
Not a bad idea wayno

10 July

Over Britain... The Germans send 70 planes to raid dock targets in South Wales. In the British reckoning this is the first day of the battle of Britain.
German Do-17 bombers on a raid to England

Over the English Channel... There are more air battles in which there are losses on both sides.

In Italy... Four Italian divisions leave Italy bound for the Eastern Front.

On the Eastern Front... Units of the Soviet Fifth Army counterattack southwest of Korosten. Kleist's Panzer Group 1 holds the attack amid heavy fighting.

In Washington... Roosevelt submits new appropriations measures to Congress. He asks for $4,770,000,000 for the army.

In North Africa... The Australian 9th Division attacks the Italian Sabratha Division around Tell el Eisa. The Italians falter and Rommel is forced to send reinforcements. British Commander in Chief, Auchinleck, begins to concentrate his attacks on the Italians forcing Rommel to burn fuel to come to their aid.
Italian soldiers position an anti-tank gun

On the Eastern Front... The battle of Kursk continues. The northern attack, by Model's 9th Army, is stalled. The southern attack by 4th Panzer Army and Army Detachment Kempf has sufficiently reduced the forces of Vatutin's Voronezh Front to cause the release of the Soviet 5th Guards Tank Army from the Steppe Front.
German armor moving forward

In Sicily... Operation Husky. The Allied landings begin. Patton's 7th Army lands in the Gulf of Gela between Licata and Scoglitti. The US 7th Army captures Gela, Licata and Vittoria during the day, against slight opposition. The British land between Syracuse and the southwest tip of the island. They capture Syracuse by the end of the day. The Italian defenders have been caught off guard.

In the Solomon Islands... The American attack on New Georgia is held by the Japanese. American troops are having difficulty receiving supplies.

In New Guinea... A further linking up of Australian and American forces cuts off the Japanese forces in Mubo from Salamaua.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 2nd Baltic Front (Yeremenko) launches an offensive along a 90-mile frontage, east of Idritsa. Soviet forces capture Slonim from German forces of Army Group Center.

From Berlin... Hitler refuses a request by Field Marshal Model, commanding the shattered Army Group Center, to allow Army Group North to withdraw behind the Dvina. The intent is to bolster the defenses of Army Group Center and prevent Army Group North being cut off by the Soviet drive into the Baltics.

On the Western Front... British 8th Corps (part of 2nd Army) begins new attacks toward Evrecy. Eterville is captured.

In New Guinea... Around Aitape, Japanese forces begin new attacks along the line of the Driniumor River.

In Washington... Free French President de Gaulle continues talks with American representatives.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Argentina... The German submarine U-530, missing since the end of April, surfaces at Mar del Plata, south of Buenos Aires, sparking off speculation that it ferried high-ranking Nazi officials to sanctuary in South America.

In Japan... US Task Force 38 aircraft, 1022 in all, raid 70 air bases in the Tokyo area, destroying 173 Japanese planes. Only light anti-aircraft fire is encountered. This is the first time that elements of the US 3rd Fleet have attacked Tokyo. Included in the task force carrying out the raids are the aircraft carriers Lexington, Essex, Independence and San Jacinto, the battleships Indiana, Massachusetts, South Dakota and Iowa, the cruisers Chicago, San Juan, Springfield and Atlanta and 14 destroyers. Tokyo radio refers to the "dark shadow of invasion" in mention of the raid.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, Australian forces advance east of Balikpapan but are halted by Japanese barriers of burning petrol.

07-11-2005, 04:40 AM
On this day of July 11 1944...

Breitenbuch's March 11 Attempt | Stauffenberg's July 11 Attempt |


Cavalry Captain Eberhard von Breitenbuch had served under Colonel Henning von Tresckow with Army Group Center in Russia. In the summer of 1944, he came to Stauffenberg with high recommendations and as a volunteer to sacrifice his life in the 12th German plot since 1938 to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

In contrast to all the other military conspirators who had planned to assassinate Hitler with explosives - Tresckow, Bussche, Kleist, and Stauffenberg - Breitenbuch is determined to use a handgun to do the job. Stauffenberg warns him that SS Gruppenfuehrer Hans Rattenhuber (Hitler's personal security chief) and his detachment of armed bodyguards are always present at fuehrer conferences, but Breitenbuch is not dissuaded. Although he is sure it will cost him his life, he is a crackshot with a pistol and is certain he can fatally hit the fuehrer before being killed.

On March 11, 1944, Captain von Breitenbuch accompanies Field Marshal Ernst Busch, an ardent Nazi, as adjutant to attend a fuehrer conference at the Berghof. Concealed in his trouser pocket is a small Browning pistol.

As the doors of the conference room open, Hitler's generals entered in one by one. But as Captain von Breitenbuch prepares to follow in right behind Busch, his path is suddenly blocked by the sargeant on duty who explains: "Sorry, no adjutants beyond this point. Fuehrer's orders." Though Breitenbuch and the unsuspecting Busch protest vociferously, there is no way around it. Hitler has unwittingly or instinctively foiled yet another opportunity to assassinate him.

Stauffenberg's July 11, 1944 Attempt

Colonel von Stauffenberg's decision to kill Hitler himself and then fly back to Berlin to direct the coup is a direct result of his inability in July 1944 to find anyone else willing or able to fulfill the role of assassin. Co-conspirator Major Helmuth Stieff has his chance to do so on July 7 when he models in a new army winter uniform before Hitler. But when Stauffenberg pays him a visit the day before with a briefcase-concealed time bomb, Stieff squarely refuses to volunteer for the assignment.

Stauffenberg is now convinced that despite his severe war wounds, only he can and must perpertrate the attack. As of the beginning of July he now finally has direct access to the fuehrer briefings by virtue of his appointment to Chief of Staff of the Reserve Army. But more importantly, he believes that only he himself has the necessary sang froid to perpetrate the attack.

Stauffenberg will have three opportunities to strike against Hitler, on July 11, 15, and 20. On July 11, he flies with adjutant and co-conspirator Captain Friedrich Klausing to Berchtesgaden to attend a fuehrer briefing at Hitler's Berghof retreat. Stauffenberg remains inside the Berghof from 1:07 to 3:30 P.M. and carries with him a time bomb concealed inside his briefcase.

Klausing awaits outside the Berghof with a car after having requisitioned a He-111 aircraft to stand-by for take off at the nearby airfield. Everything is in place for an escape to Berlin as soon as Stauffenberg has armed the bomb and made his way out of the Berghof. But when Stauffenberg places a code-worded call back to Berlin to inform his colleagues that neither Himmler nor Goering are present, they insist on aborting the mission.

Stauffenberg himself agrees that Himmler must also be killed to ensure the success of the coup d'etat. He thus refrains from arming the bomb and safely returns to Berlin to plan his next assassination attempt against Hitler. This next one, like the last of the 18 plots, occurs at Hitler's Wolf's Lair headquarters in Rastenberg, East Prussia on July 15.

July 15, 1944 - Stauffenberg's 2nd Attempt

Main conspirators:
Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg

Count Fritz von der Schulenberg
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Fritz-Dietlof Graf von der Schulenburg (September 05, 1902 - August 10, 1944)
Fritz-Dietlof Graf von der Schulenburg
Fritz-Dietlof Graf von der Schulenburg begins his training in public administration in 1923 after completing law school. In the spring of 1932, he joins the NSDAP. He is married to Charlotte Kotelmann, with whom he has five daughters and a son. Following the National Socialists' rise to power he holds various party offices, working for a while as the personal representative of East Prussian Gauleiter and president Erich Koch. In 1937, Schulenburg becomes deputy chief of police in Berlin; two years later, he becomes deputy regional commissioner in Breslau. After the beginning of the Second World War, he comes into contact with the military opposition and the Kreisau Circle and disavows National Socialism entirely. In 1944 the conspirators plan to make him state secretary in the Reich Ministry of the Interior. Following the unsuccessful attempt on Hitler's life on July 20, 1944, Schulenburg is arrested in the Bendler Block; on August 10, 1944, he is sentenced to death by the People's Court and executed the same day in Berlin-Pl¶tzensee.

Werner von Haeften
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Werner von Haeften (October 09, 1908 - July 20, 1944)
Werner von Haeften
An attorney and first lieutenant, Haeften serves primarily on the eastern front. After recovering from being severely wounded, he is assigned to the staff of commanding officer of the Ersatzheer (Reserve Army) and serves as Stauffenberg's adjutant from November 1943 on. There he plays a key role in planning the assassination attempt. On July 20, 1944, Haeften and Stauffenberg fly to Hitler's headquarters in the "Wolf's Lair" near Rastenburg in East Prussia. Here Haeften helps Stauffenberg with the final preparations for the assassination attempt. After the bomb detonates, Haeften and Stauffenberg are able to leave the restricted area surrounding Hitler's headquarters under a pretext, and they succeed in escaping to Berlin by air. After the attempted coup has failed, Haeften is executed by a firing squad in the inner courtyard of the Bendler Block in the night of July 20-21, 1944, together with Stauffenberg, Friedrich Olbricht, and Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim.

General Paul von Hase
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Paul von Hase (July 24, 1885 - August 08, 1944)
Paul von Hase is a career officer married to Margarethe Freiin von Funck, with whom he has two daughters and two sons. From the spring of 1933 on, he commands a battalion in Neuruppin until he is transferred to the garrison at Landsberg on the Warthe river in February 1935. As a major general and commander of a regiment, he is soon aware of plans to overthrow Hitler in the spring of 1938. Wilhelm Canaris, Hans Oster, and the generals Erwin von Witzleben, Franz Halder, and Erich Hoepner are involved in the preparations for this abortive endeavor. After serving in the campaigns in Poland and France, Hase becomes ill in fall of 1940 and is no longer fit for active duty at the front. He is appointed commandant of the city of Berlin, a position that allows him to intensify his contact with Ludwig Beck and members of the military opposition circles around Friedrich Olbricht. As city commandant, Paul von Hase figures prominently in the planning of Operation "Valkyrie." On July 20, 1944, he issues orders to seal off the government quarter. Paul von Hase is arrested in the evening of July 20 after the coup fails. On August 8, 1944, he is sentenced to death by the People's Court in the first trial of the conspirators and murdered the same day in Berlin-Pl¶tzensee.</span>

Colonel-General Ludwig Beck
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ludwig Beck (June 29, 1880 - July 20, 1944)
Ludwig Beck
Beck joins the Prussian army in March 1898 as a cadet and continues his military career in the Reichswehr after the First World War. In October 1933 he becomes head of the Truppenamt in the defense ministry and in 1935 is promoted to Chief of Army General Staff. Until 1938 Beck attempts to influence Hitler's foreign policy with papers, memoranda, and presentations. He concurs with Carl Goerdeler in his uncompromising rejection of the risk a war would involve. In the summer of 1938 Beck unsuccessfully calls upon the senior generals to resign simultaneously to prevent the impending war in Europe. Following his conscience, he resigns his own post and quickly becomes a focal point of military and civilian opposition. Beck participates in planning the assassination attempt and is designated to become head of state secretary following Hitler's death. After the assassination attempt fails, General Friedrich Fromm demands that he commit suicide on the evening of July 20, 1944. When this attempt fails, leaving Beck seriously wounded, he is shot dead by a sergeant.

C¤sar von Hofacker
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">C¤sar von Hofacker (March 11, 1896 - December 20, 1944)
Returning to Germany after being held by French forces as a prisoner of war in Greece, C¤sar von Hofacker begins law school in 1920. From 1927 on, he works for Vereinigte Stahlwerke in Berlin, where in 1938 he is a senior manager with general commercial power of attorney. In 1931 he joins the Stahlhelm (Steel Helmet), the federation of combat veterans. He is married to Ilse Pastor, with whom he has five children. A reserve officer, he is recalled to active duty in the Wehrmacht in 1939. Following the occupation of France in 1940, he serves with the German military administration in Paris and later joins the staff of the military commander in France, General Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, in the fall of 1943. Hofacker is Stauffenberg's cousin and acts as a liaison between the military opposition in Paris and Berlin. He also has contacts with the French resistance and with the Freies Deutschland (Free Germany) movement there. On July 20, 1944, Hofacker and Stülpnagel are responsible for the short-lived but very successful coup attempt in France. After the conspiracy fails, C¤sar von Hofacker is arrested in Paris on July 26, 1944. He is sentenced to death by the People's Court on August 30, 1944, and murdered on December 20, 1944, in Berlin-Pl¶tzensee. </span>

Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">After studying law at various universities, Berthold von Stauffenberg begins his academic career as an instructor of international law at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Foreign and International Law in 1927. He is married to Maria Classen, with whom he has a daughter and a son. For two years he works for the Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague before returning to his institute in Berlin in 1933. In 1939, Stauffenberg is inducted into military service and assigned to the Naval High Command as a naval staff judge. Berthold von Stauffenberg establishes contact with the military opposition earlier than his younger brother Claus, to whom he has been particularly close since the days of their childhood. On July 20, 1944, Stauffenberg is in the Bendler Block, the focal point of the conspiracy in Berlin, where he is responsible for liaison with the navy. He is arrested that same day; on August 10, 1944, he is sentenced to death by the People's Court and executed in Berlin-Pl¶tzensee.</span>

General Ulrich von Schwanenfeld

Major Egbert Hayessen
Captain Robert Bernardis

General Friedrich Olbricht
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Friedrich Olbricht (October 04, 1888 - July 20, 1944)
Friedrich Olbricht
After completing his training as an officer of the General Staff, which had been interrupted by the First World War, Olbricht is assigned to the Reichwehr Ministry, Department of Foreign Armies, in 1926; in 1933 he is sent to Dresden as chief of staff. He is married to Eva Koeppel, with whom he has a daughter and a son. In March 1940, Olbricht heads the Allgemeines Heeresamt (General Army Office) of the Army High Command in Berlin; from 1943 on, he also heads the Wehrersatzamt (Recruiting Office) of the Armed Forces High Command. From 1942 on, he helps prepare the "Valkyrie" plans in cooperation with civilian opposition groups around Ludwig Beck and Carl Goerdeler. These plans are intended to enable the conspirators to seize executive power in Germany. In the fall of 1943, he requests Stauffenberg as chief of staff for his office, where Stauffenberg remains until his transfer to the staff of General Fromm, commander of the Ersatzheer (Reserve Army). After having been repeatedly postponed, the assassination of Hitler is finally attempted on July 20, 1944, and Olbricht issues the orders to begin Operation "Valkyrie" in Berlin that afternoon. After the attempted coup has failed, Olbricht is executed by a firing squad in the inner courtyard of the Bendler Block that same night together with Stauffenberg, Mertz von Quirnheim, and Werner von Haeften.

Colonel Albrecht von Mertz von Quirnheim
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim (March 25, 1905 - July 20, 1944)
Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim
Mertz begins his training as a career military officer in 1923. Ever since he first met Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg in a training course at the War Academy in Berlin, the two have been close friends. After serving in Poland and France, Mertz is assigned to the Führer's headquarters at Vinnitsa on the eastern front, where he works with Stauffenberg until Stauffenberg is transferred to Africa. Mertz experiences the defeat at Stalingrad during the winter of 1942-43 while serving on the eastern front. He marries Hilde Baier in 1943. In June of 1944, Mertz succeeds Stauffenberg as General Friedrich Olbricht's chief of staff. By this time, he is a member of the inner circle around Stauffenberg and is intensively involved in preparations for Operation "Valkyrie," the secret plans for the coup attempt. Mertz strives until the end to make the military coup a success; late in the evening of July 20, 1944, he and Stauffenberg, Olbricht, and Werner von Haeften are executed by a firing squad in the inner courtyard of the Bendler Block, the focal point of the conspiracy. </span>

General Heinrich von Helldorf
Major-General Helmuth Stieff
General Edouard Wagner
Major Ulrich von Oertzen

Lt. Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Biographies
Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin (March 22, 1890 - April 09, 1945)
Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin
Attorney and estate owner Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin is a supporter of the German National People's Party and advocates a monarchistic and Christian ideal of conservatism. In the final phase of the Weimar Republic, he resolutely opposes National Socialism. He is arrested twice in May and June of 1933 and released a short time later. Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin travels to London in 1938 representing Colonel-General Ludwig Beck and Admiral Canaris to inform the British government of the existence of a German opposition to Hitler. Through his contacts to Winston Churchill and Robert Vansittart, he attempts to bring Great Britain away from its policy of appeasement. Only the British government's credible determination to back Czechoslovakia with military force, Kleist-Schmenzin maintains, will ensure that the German anti-war faction has the support it needs among the generals to move against Hitler. In 1942 and 1943, Kleist-Schmenzin meets with Carl Goerdeler and pledges his support for the planned coup. Later he is party to Claus von Stauffenberg's plans and approves of the attempt on Hitler's life, in which his son Ewald-Heinrich is actively involved. Kleist-Schmenzin himself is intended to become the political representative for military district II (Stettin). Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin is arrested on July 21, 1944, after the coup fails. He is sentenced to death by the People's Court on February 23, 1944, and murdered in Berlin-Pl¶tzensee.
The criminal investigation involving his son Ewald-Heinrich, who on July 20, 1944, is present in the Bendler Block with the conspirators as aide-de-camp under orders from Fritz-Dietlof Graf von der Schulenburg, is dropped on December 12, 1944. Transferred to the front, Ewald-Heinrich is able to survive.

Field Marshal von Witzleben

General Erich Fellgiebel
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Erich Fellgiebel (October 04, 1886 - September 04, 1944)
Erich Fellgiebel
Erich Fellgiebel begins his military career in September 1905 as a cadet in a signal battalion. After the First World War, he is transferred to Berlin as a General Staff officer. In 1938 he becomes head of the army signal corps and head of armed forces communications in Armed Forces High Command. His former superior Colonel-General Ludwig Beck and Beck's successor Colonel-General Franz Halder bring Fellgiebel into contact with the military resistance circles. He is a key figure in the preparations for Operation "Valkyrie." On July 20, 1944, Fellgiebel is in the "Wolf's Lair," Hitler's headquarters in East Prussia, where he attempts to cut off all communications with this center of power. Yet once it is clear that Hitler has survived the assassination attempt, Fellgiebel is forced to countermand previous orders and reestablish communications. Erich Fellgiebel is arrested in East Prussia that same day. On August 10, 1944, the People's Court under Roland Freisler sentences him to death, and he is murdered on September 4, 1944, in Berlin-Pl¶tzensee.

Dr. Carl Goerdeler
Arthur Nebe
Colonel Kurt Hahn

Captain Friedrich Klausing
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Friedrich Karl Klausing (May 24, 1920 - August 08, 1944)
Friedrich Karl Klausing
Friedrich Karl Klausing aspires to become a career officer and joins the distinguished 9th Infantry Regiment in Potsdam as a cadet in 1938. After the Second World War begins, he first serves in Poland and France and then takes part in the fighting near Stalingrad in 1942-43, where he is seriously wounded. After being wounded a second time in 1943, he is transferred to Berlin for domestic service with the Armed Forces High Command. Fritz-Dietlof Graf von der Schulenburg succeeds in winning him over for the conspiracy against Hitler. On July 15, 1944, Klausing accompanies Claus von Stauffenberg to Hitler's headquarters in East Prussia, the "Wolf's Lair," as Stauffenberg's adjutant. On July 20, 1944, Klausing is present in the Bendler Block, the conspirators' command center, where he shares responsibility for relaying the "Valkyrie" orders. In the night of July 20-21, 1944, he initially succeeds in escaping and hiding with friends. However, he surrenders to the Gestapo the next morning. Friedrich Karl Klausing is sentenced to death by the People's Court in the first show trial of the conspirators on August 8, 1944, and murdered the same day in Berlin-Pl¶tzensee.

Lt. Ludwig von Hammerstein

Conspirators in Position | A Race Against Time | July 15 - The Nearly Fatal Rehearsal | No Going Back |

On July 14, 1944, Adolf Hitler leaves his Berghof retreat in Berchtesgaden to return to his Wolf's Lair headquarters near Rastenberg, in East Prussia. That same day in Berlin, Home Army Commander-in-Chief General Friedrich Fromm and his new Chief of Staff, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, are ordered to report to the Wolf's Lair the following day for a fuehrer briefing.

Himmler's absence from the fuehrer briefing at the Berghof on July 11 having compelled him to abort his deadly mission, Stauffenberg is now determined to use this next opportunity to assassinate Hitler and return to Berlin to direct his coup.

Conspirators in Position

The Berlin conspirators already know their assignments. Olbricht, Mertz, Schulenberg, Schwanenfeld, Wagner, Oertzen, and Witzleben are in charge of launching Operation Valkyrie the moment they receive the code word Exercize Finished. Helldorf, Hase, and Nebe are to deploy the Berlin Police to help enforce Valkyrie and arrest key Nazi figures like Goebbels, Goering, and von Ribbentrop. Kleist, Hayessen, Bernardis, Klausing, and Hammerstein will help enforce Valkyrie in Berlin while Hahn at Army headquarters-Zossen is to relay information between the Wolf's Lair and Berlin conspirators.

Stieff and Fellgiebel will be assisting the coup from right inside Hitler's Wolf's Lair headquarters. Army Signals Chief General Fellgiebel's task is to shut down or at least severely cripple all communication between the Wolf's Lair and the outside world - an immensely hazardous and complex undertaking. This conspiracy network will be the same on July 20th.

A Race Against Time

By mid-July 1944 the conspirators are all painfully aware that Germany's military situation on all three fronts ranges from critical to catastrophic and that Germany itself is in danger of being annihilated unless Stauffenberg can destroy Hitler and the Nazi regime. With every passing day, the army is being bled white on all fronts while Himmler's SS intelligence and Gestapo grow ever more powerful. From the western Allies comes not the slightest hint of support, if anything the exact opposite.

Worse still, the regime's secret police empire is closing in fast on the German conspiracy: Dohnanyi, von Trott, and von Moltke are already in jail. Both Canaris and Oster have long since been fired leaving the Abwehr weak and no longer capable of being the nerve center of the entire plot that it was back in the early years. More bad news follows on July 4 with Dr. Julius Leber's arrest by Gestapo agents.

Stauffenberg is personally distraught over this latest and potentially fatal setback. He sees Leber rather than Goerdeler as the ideal Chancellor to lead Germany in the aftermath of any successful coup and vows to his friends in the know: "I'll get him out! I must get him out!" Then comes word that an arrest warrant has been issued for Goerdeler who is to be the officially designated chancellor in any provisional government following the planned coup d'etat.

Stauffenberg must now fly to the Wolf's Lair knowing that Germany's destiny and the lives of tens of millions are in his hands. Only he has the means, the will power, and the necessary sang-froid to accomplish the job. But the clock is ticking and with every passing day thousands more die. This is what Stauffenberg has on his conscience has he enters Hitler's briefing room at 1:10 P.M. on July 15.

July 15 - The Nearly Fatal Rehearsal

Stauffenberg's July 15th mission is perhaps more fraught with danger than any previous plot owing to events that occur in Berlin and the Wolf's Lair:

11:00 A.M. | Berlin - Conspirator General Friedrich Olbricht is so sure that Stauffenberg will finally strike that he makes a highly daring and potentially fatal decision in ordering the Valkyrie forces in and around Berlin to place themselves on stand-by alert. The forces earmarked for Valkyrie include the Grossdeutschland Battalion and the local army training schools.

Two hours later at the Wolf's Lair, Stauffenberg enters Hitler's briefing room with every intention of finding the right moment to arm his time bomb.

1:10 P.M. | Wolf's Lair - The first of three consecutive fuehrer briefings begins. It ends half an hour later at 1:40 P.M. The second briefing follows right after the first and ends at 2:20 P.M. The final session begins at 2:20 P.M. and lasts a mere five minutes. What does Stauffenberg succeed in accomplishing during that time? Unfortunately, and for reasons well beyond his control, nothing.

The main reason for Stauffenberg's failure to accomplish his mission on July 15 is first and foremost Himmler's absence which he is forced to report to his Berlin colleagues in a coded telephone conversation during the first briefing session. As on July 11, a number of Berlin conspirators, including General Beck and General Wagner, insist that Stauffenberg abort in light of Himmler's continued absence. Olbricht and Mertz oppose the idea of aborting the mission and urge their colleagues to let Stauffenberg strike while he still has a chance. But no consensus is reached.

According to Frau Mertz who later notes down in her diary what her husband reveals to her later that day, Stauffenberg at that moment in time says to him over the phone: "Ali, you know that in the last resort it is only a matter between you and me - what do you say?" Mertz immediately replies: "Do it!" (Hoffmann, 385). But when Stauffenberg returns to the conference room, the briefing has already ended.

Another reason, Stauffenberg is also unable to perpetrate the attempt is that during the second fuehrer briefing, after having placed another call to Berlin, Stauffenberg returns to the conference room to discover that Major Stieff has removed his briefcase. Although Stieff is later blamed for having in his own way contributed to the failure of Stauffenberg's July 15 mission, it is very likely that his reason for removing the briefcase may have been to prevent someone else from doing so and ensuring that its deadly contents would not be discovered. In other words he may have been trying to protect Stauffenberg.

3:00 P.M. | Berlin - With word from Stauffenberg that events have forced him to abort the attempt, Olbricht, Mertz, and Oertzen immediately order the Valkyrie forces to stand down. Oertzen accompanies Olbricht on a race through Berlin to ensure that all troops earmarked for the coup are safely back in their barracks. Although Olbricht succeeds in camouflaging the entire alert as an "exercize" his act of insubordination in issuing a preliminary Valkyrie alert in General Fromm's absence infuriates the Home Army Commander-in-Chief.

No Going Back

The conspiracy-related events of July 15 in Berlin - namely Olbricht's decision to issue a preliminary Valkyrie alert - though having nearly exposed the plot have in fact allowed the conspirators to spot a number of flaws in the Valkyrie plan. They do their best to rectify these shortcomings as fast as possible. Above all, they know that there can be no further rehearsals, that the next time Stauffenberg rolls the dice, they will have crossed their Rubicon and must see their plot through to the end.

On July 20, Stauffenberg was again scheduled to meet with Hitler, this time at the Wolf's Lair, his East Prussian headquarters. This time, the plotters decided to kill Hitler no matter who was present. Instead of being held in the underground bunker, where the enclosed area would magnify the blast, the meeting was held in the conference barracks, with all ten windows open because of the hot weather. Walking to the conference with Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Stauffenberg excused himself on the pretext of having forgotten his cap and belt in an anteroom. There, with his three good fingers, he swiftly opened the briefcase, broke the capsule that started the primitive timer, and then calmly rejoined the waiting Nazis. In ten minutes the bomb would explode.

Inside the conference room, Stauffenberg took his place a few feet to the right of Hitler. He placed his briefcase on the floor, against the stout oak leg of the conference table. With four minutes left on the bomb, Stauffenberg quietly left the room on the pretext of receiving an important call from Berlin. After he left, one of the officers leaned over the table to get a closer look at the war map, and found Stauffenberg's case in his way. He moved it to the far side of the massive table support, unwittingly protecting Hitler from the brunt of the blast. At twelve-forty-two in the afternoon the bomb exploded. Stauffenberg was standing a couple of hundred yards away observing the scene when he saw the building go up in a roar of smoke and flames. Debris flew in the air and some bodies came out of the windows. Stauffenberg had no doubt that everyone in the room was dead or dying.

Although an immediate alarm was sounded, Stauffenberg talked his way past four armed SS checkpoints. At the nearby airfield, he boarded a plan with its engine running and began the three-hour trip to Berlin.

Unknown to Stauffenberg, Hitler had survived the blast. His back was cut by a falling beam, his legs were burned, his hair was singed, his right arm was temporarily paralyzed, and his eardrums were punctured, but he was not seriously hurt. Four others died, and many were critically injured. Meanwhile, with Stauffenberg in the air, the conspirators lost their momentum and leadership. The message from the Wolf's lair was not clear as to whether Hitler was dead or alive, and as a result no one in Berlin issued the Valkyrie Orders to start military operations to take over the government. Everyone idly waited for Stauffenberg's landing, and when he did arrive in Berlin, he was stunned to learn the most crucial hours had been lost. No one had even seized the radio broadcasting headquarters or telephone exchanges. He rallied the plotters, and the conspirators did manager, for the rest of the day, to hold some major buildings and detain some loyal Nazi forces, but the open communication lines slowly carried the word that the Führer had survived. Stauffenberg refused to believe it. But once that news spread, some key officers who had been fence-straddling reverted to supporting Hitler. The news also guaranteed that forces loyal to Hitler were energized for a bitter fight.

At nine p.m. the conspirators were startled to hear a radio announcement that Hitler would shortly address the nation. By eleven that night the dwindling leadership of the conspiracy was sequestered in the war ministry when a group of loyal Nazis burst in. During the ensuing scuffle, Stauffenberg was shot in his remaining arm. Within half an hour, his former superior office, General Friedrich Fromm, announced that Stauffenberg and three others had been sentenced by a summary court-martial to immediate execution. Stauffenberg, the sleeve of his wounded arm soaked in blood, was led to a courtyard in back of the ministry. There an army truck's headlights lit a wall where the condemned men were lined up to be shot. "Long live our sacred Germany!" Stauffenberg shouted as he fell to the floor, dead at the age of thirty-six.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg


Claus von Stauffenberg was born in Griefstein Castle, Upper Franconia on November 15, 1907. In his youth, he belonged to Stephan George's circle and remained a disciple of the great poet for the rest of his life. He would quote George's The Anti-Christ when recruiting friends and trusted colleagues into the conspiracy.

A bright student, at nineteen he became an officer cadet. He attended the War Academy in Berlin and joined the General Staff in 1938 and worked General Erich Hoepner.

On the outbreak of the Second World War, Stauffenberg joined the staff of 6th Panzer Division. He Served in all of Hitler's major campaigns from the Sudetenland to Poland to France to Russia to North Africa. During Operation Barbarossa, Stauffenberg became appalled by the atrocities committed by the Schutz Staffeinel (SS).

In early 1943, Stauffenberg served with the 10th Panzer Division in Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps. On April 7, 1943, he was seriously wounded along the Kasserine Pass in the North African desert when Allied fighters strafed his vehicle. He lost his left eye, right hand, and last two fingers of his left hand after surgery.

While recovering from his injuries Stauffenberg decided to kill Adolf Hitler and overthrow the Nazi government. Stauffenberg was joined by Wilhelm Canaris, Carl Goerdeler, Julius Leber, Ulrich Hassell, Hans Oster, Henning von Tresckow, Fabin Schlabrendorff , Peter von Wartenburg, Ludwig Beck, and Erwin von Witzleben in what became known as the July Plot. According to the plan, after Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler were assassinated, Ludwig Beck, Erwin von Witzleben and Friedrich Fromm would take control of the German Army and seize key government buildings, telephone and signal centres and radio stations. Stauffenberg was to become State Secretary of the War Ministry in the post-coup government.

In June 1944, Stauffenberg was promoted to Colonel and appointed Chief of Staff to Home Army Commander General Friedrich Fromm. This gave him direct access to Hitler's briefing sessions.

On July 11, Stauffenberg brought a bomb concealed in a briefcase with him to a briefing at Hitler's Berghof residence. He planned to assassinate Hitler that day, but circumstances beyond his control prevent him from doing so.

Four days later, Stauffenberg flew to the Fuehrer's Wolf's Lair headquarters with aide and co-conspirator Captain Klausing. He was ordered by senior conspirators in Berlin to abort the attempt after telephoning to report the absence of Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler and Luftwaffe Air Marshal Hermann Goering from the briefing session. He secretly agreed with close friend and Berlin co-conspirator Colonel von Mertz to try to kill Hitler anyway, but when he returned to the briefing room, he discovered the session had ended after only five minutes.

On July 20, 1944, Stauffenberg flew to the Wolf's Lair with aide and co-conspirator Lt. Werner von Haeften. Stauffenberg, who had never met Hitler before, carried the bomb in a briefcase and placed it on the floor while he left to make a phone call. The bomb exploded killing four men in the hut. Hitler's right arm was badly injured, but he survived the bomb blast. Stauffenberg returned to Berlin with Haeften and arrived at Army High Command Headquarters at 4:30 P.M. to launch the planned coup. The plot unraveled, however, because Hitler survived the attack, co-conspirator General Friedrich Olbricht's neglected to set the coup in motion during first two hours after the attempt, and the conspirators' failed to seize any radio stations or retain authority over reserve army troops in Berlin.

In an attempt to protect himself, Fromm organized the execution of Stauffenberg along with three other conspirators, Friedrich Olbricht and Werner von Haeften, in the courtyard of the War Ministry. On July 21, 1944, at 12:30 A.M., Stauffenberg was executed by firing squad. It was later reported that Stauffenberg died shouting. "Long live free Germany."



Interview with Mr. Heimeran von Stauffenberg
Son of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg

-HH- Beebop
07-11-2005, 05:28 PM
11 July

In Vichy France... President Lebrun resigns and Petain becomes head of state after an overwhelming vote in his favor in parliament. His first decree shows his new style and pretensions. It begins "Nous, Philippe Petain."

On the Eastern Front... Panzer Group 1 renews its advance toward Kiev and reaches to within 15 miles of the city. The Soviet State Defense Committee establishes three new command areas for the Red Army. Marshal Voroshilov is to command in the North (Northwest Front), Marshal Timoshenko the central West Front, and Marshal Budenny the Southwest Front.

In Washington... Roosevelt asks Congress for $3,323,000,000 for the navy and the Maritime Commission. He also appoints William Donovan to head a new civilian intelligence agency with the title "coordinator of defense information." This appointment will lead to the creation of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which in turn will develop into the modern CIA.

In Syria... Despite instructions from Vichy France forbidding him to do so, General Dentz accepts the Allied armistice terms. The cease-fire begins at 2100 hours. The casualties in the campaign have been about 2500 on the Allied side and 3500 among the Vichy French forces. In addition the Vichy authorities have had a number of prisoners flown out to Europe including a few after the armistice terms forbidding this have been agreed.

In China... The Chinese occupy Futou Island near Fuchow.

In Sicily... The British advance almost unopposed. Palazzolo is taken. On the coast, there is a halt late in the day at Priolo. The American forces encounter resistance in their advance. The German Panzer Division "Hermann Goring" strikes toward American held Gela from its positions around Caltagirone. Allied naval bombardment forces the German forces to retire.

On the Eastern Front... The battle of Kursk continues. The southern battlefield continues to be active.

On the Western Front... German forces counterattack the US 1st Army. The German Panzerlehr Division spearheads the assault against US 9th Division southwest of St. Jean de Daye. US forces hold. The British 2nd Army continues a slow advance. The 8th Corps captures Hill 112, southwest of Caen. Naval gunfire supports operations around the city.

On the Eastern Front... Other Soviet forces eliminate German resistance east of Minsk.

In New Guinea... American forces around Aitape pull back from the Driniumor River under pressure from Japanese forces.

In Washington... President Roosevelt announces that the US will recognized the French Provisional Government, led by de Gualle, as the de facto authority for the civil administration of liberated territory in France. Roosevelt also tells a press conference that he will run for president again if the Democratic Party nominates him. He say, "If the people command me to continue in office... I have as little right as a soldier to leave his position in the line."

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Occupied Germany... The first meeting of the Inter-Allied Council for Berlin takes place. The Soviets agree to turn over administration of the allocated areas to the British and Americans who have themselves made arrangements to allocate some of their sectors to the French.
In Britain... The redeployment of 2118 4-engined bombers of the US 8th Air Force, to the USA (en route for the Pacific theater) begins. It is completed in 51 days.

In Canada... The Liberal Party, led by William Mackenzie King, wins the general election. The Liberals win 119 seats in the Parliament, the Progressive Conservative Party wins 65, the CCF wins 28. Others win 33 seats. Mackenzie King, the Prime Minister, and leader of the Liberal Party, is defeated in the riding of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is reelected in a by-election on August 6, 1945.

In the Philippines... On Luzon, Americans forces drop thousands of napalm bombs on Japanese pockets on the Sierra Madre and in the Kiangan area.

In the Indian Ocean... British carrier aircraft are launched on a raid to bomb Japanese airfields on the island of Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies.

<span class="ev_code_RED">On this day, July 11th, no photos were taken during the entire war</span> http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

-HH- Beebop
07-12-2005, 07:01 AM
<span class="ev_code_RED">Today military censors of all fighting forces returned cameras confiscated yesterday to war correspondants</span> http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

12 July

Over the North Sea... Hurricane fighters destroy 4 German bombers attacking a convoy off the coast of Suffolk.
Hawker Hurricanes fly to defend a British convoy

Over Britain... German aircraft raid Aberdeen (causing 60 casualties) and Cardiff.

In Moscow... Kuusinen, former head of the Soviet sponsored Terijoki government (intended to replace the Finnish government in Helsinki), is appointed President of the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Republic, in territory acquired from Finland in the treaty of March 13, 1940.

In Moscow... Britain and the Soviet Union sign an agreement in Moscow providing for mutual assistance and forbidding the making of a separate peace.
Molotov signing the agreement

On the Eastern Front... Moscow is bombed for the first time.

In North Africa... General Bastico replaces General Gariboldi as Commander in Chief of the Italian, and nominally the German, forces in North Africa.

From Moscow... Marshal Timoshenko is appointed commander of the newly constituted Stalingrad Front.
Marshal Timoshenko

On the Eastern Front... German forces reach Lisichansk and Kanteminovka.

On the Eastern Front... The battle of Kursk continues. Elements of the 4th Panzer Army, on the southern battlefield, make a final attack in the direction of Prokhorovka but Soviet forces blunt the attack. Soviet offensive further south, near Taganrog and Stalino, threaten the position German Army Group South. To the north of the Kursk salient, the Soviet counteroffensive toward Orel begins by forces of the West Front (westward from Novosil) and Bryansk Front (southward from between Kozelsk and Sukhinichi). At the end of the day Hitler orders an end to the German offensive.
German Tiger tank burning

In Sicily... The Panzer Division "Hermann Goring" resumes attacks on American positions in the morning but withdraws to face the more threatening British advance in the afternoon. The German 15th Panzergrenadier Division proceeds to pressure the Americans after arriving from the west of the island. The British continue to advance toward Augusta, in spite of Italian and German resistance, and capture Lentini.

In the Solomon Islands... Off Kolombangara, Admiral Ainsworth's Task Force (3 cruisers and 10 destroyers) encounter a Japanese squadron (1 cruiser and 9 destroyers) under the command of Admiral Izaki. The Japanese cruiser obliterated by the radar-directed gunfire of the American cruisers but the Japanese sink one destroyer and damage two cruisers with torpedo attacks.

Over Germany... The Battle of the Ruhr. The final bombing raids in the British Bomber Command (commanded by Air Marshal Harris) effort against the Ruhr industrial area of Germany is conducted. A total of 43 raids have been conducted. About 1000 British aircraft have been lost in the effort.

In Italy... Allied air attacks against the Po bridges begin. Elements of the US 5th Army advance. The US 88th Division takes Lajatico.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet 2nd Baltic Front forces capture Idritsa.

On the Western Front... The US 1st Army offensive toward St. Lo reaches within 2 miles of the town but faces heavy resistance from German forces. Hill 192, east of the town, is captured.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Occupied Germany... In Berlin, British Field Marshal Montgomery, standing beneath the Brandenburg Gate, awarded Soviet Marshal Zhukov with the Grand Cross of the Order of Bath. Acting as the representative of the King, Montgomery also awarded Marshal Rokossovsky with the KCB and Generals Sokolovsky and Malinin with the KBE. The British King's Company of the Grenadier Guards formed the guard of honor and tanks of the King's 8th Royal Irish Hussars were drawn up on either side. The ceremony was held in front of a banner proclaiming "Glory to the Soviet forces who planted the flag of victory over Berlin."
In Paris... Concentration camp survivors carry a large cross through the city in memory of French victims of Nazism.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, there is an Allied landing near Andus. Australian troops take Maradi in the north of the island.
In the Philippines.... On Luzon, American forces drop napalm on Japanese pockets of resistance.

Over Japan... Targets on the Japanese home islands of Shikoku and Honshu are heavily bombed.

07-13-2005, 02:53 AM
On this day of July 13 1942...

12/13 July 1942
Minelaying: 55 aircraft to Lorient, St Nazaire and the Frisians. 1 Hampden and 1 Wellington lost.

1 Lancaster made a leaflet flight to France and returned safely.

13 July 1942
12 Bostons bombed Boulogne railway yards without loss.

13/14 July 1942

194 aircraft - 139 Wellingtons, 33 Halifaxes, 13 Lancasters, 9 Stirlings - on the first of a series of raids on this industrial city on the edge of the Ruhr. 6 aircraft - 3 Wellingtons, 2 Stirlings, 1 Lancaster - were lost and 4 more aircraft crashed in tons England.
The force encountered cloud and electrical storms and reported that their bombing was well scattered. Duisburg reports only housing damage - 11 houses destroyed, 18 seriously damaged - and 17 people killed.

Minor Operations: 10 Blenheim Intruders, 6 aircraft on leaflet flights. 1 Intruder lost.

July 13 - World War II: German U-Boats sink three more merchant ships in Gulf of St. Lawrence.

June 13, 1942
U-157 depth charged by coast guard cutter USS Thetis.

07-13-2005, 07:06 AM
On this day of July 13 1943...

Battle of Kolombangara:
by Vincent P. O'Hara

Admiral Ainsworth believed he had inflicted severe damage on the Japanese at Kula Gulf and he was commendably eager to inflict more. The opportunity to do so came quickly enough. The American campaign to take Vila was not going well. Morison called it the €œmost unintelligently waged land campaign of the Pacific war.€ Japanese reinforcements might have been enough to tip the balance and reinforcements were on the way. A €œTokyo Express€ was scheduled for the night of July 12-13.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS HONOLULU (CL-48)

USS Honolulu (CL-48) firing during the night bombardment of Japanese positions at Vila, on Kolombangara, and Munda, on New Georgia.</span>
Displacement 9,650 Tons, Dimensions, 608' 4" (oa) x 61' 9" x 24' (Max)
Armament 15 x 6"/47, 8 x 5"/25, 8 x 0.5" 4 Aircraft.
Armor, 5" Belt, 6 1/2" Turrets, 2" Deck, 5" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 100,000 SHP; Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 32.5 Knots, Crew 868.
Operational and Building Data
Launched 26 AUG 1937
Commissioned 15 JUN 1938
Decommissioned 03 FEB 1947
Fate: Sold as scrap to Bethlehem Steel, Baltimore, Maryland on 12 OCT 1959

The Japanese force, commanded by Rear Admiral Izaki, consisted of a support group of one light cruiser and five destroyers and a transport group of four destroyer transports. These were: Support Group - light cruiser Jintsu, destroyers Mikazuki, Yukikaze, Hamakaze, Kiyonami and Yugure and Transport Group - destroyer transports Satsuki, Minazuki, Yunagi, and Matsukaze.

Ainsworth had been reinforced for this battle. He had light cruisers Honolulu, HMNZS Leander, and St. Louis; Destroyer Squadron 21 with Nicholas, O€Bannon, Taylor, Jenkins, and Radford; and Destroyer Squadron 12 with Ralph Talbot, Buchanan, Maury, Woodworth and Gwin.

Destroyer Squadron 12 with six vessels had been added to Ainsworth force, along with the Leander, to offset the attrition his force had suffered in its frequent forays up the Slot. These last minute additions had never operated with Ainsworth before. That a smaller, well-integrated group was more effective than a larger slap-together force was a lesson the Americans were a long time learning.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">13 July 1943: The Battle of Kolombangara:
At 0330, the JINTSU departs Rabaul flying the flag of ComDesRon 2's Rear Admiral Isaki with DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 27's YUGURE, DesDiv 30's MIKAZUKI and DesDiv 31's KIYONAMI and the destroyer-transports SATSUKI, MINAZUKI, YUNAGI and the MATSUKAZE carrying 1,200 troops to be landed at Vila on Kolombangara Island, New Georgia.

Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands. At 2016, the JINTSU catapults her floatplane to reconnoiter the Gulf.

The JINTSU and the YUKIKAZE's E27 radar detectors detect the presence of enemy vessels 30 minutes before visual contact is made. This is Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Walden L. Ainsworth's Task Group 36.1: CruDiv 9's USS HONOLULU (F) (CL-48), ST LOUIS (CL-49), HMNZS LEANDER, DesRon 12's RALPH TALBOT (DD-390), MAURY (DD-401), GWIN (DD-433), WOODWORTH (DD-460) and the BUCHANAN (DD-484), DesRon 21's RADFORD (DD-446), JENKINS (DD-447), NICHOLAS (DD-449), O'BANNON (DD-450) and the TAYLOR (DD-468).*****

At 2308, Rear Admiral Isaki orders a torpedo attack on the American force. His warships launch 31 Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes at TG 36.1. The JINTSU snaps on her searchlight to illuminate Ainsworth's force.

Heavily retouched photograph, taken when the ship was new, circa 1924-1925.
The inscription in the lower left identifies the photo as (reading from right to left): Cruiser Jintsu, Sendai, Naka (and two illegible characters). The three ships named were the only members of this class to be constructed.

At 2310, the HONOLULU, ST LOUIS and the LEANDER open fire on the JINTSU and Ainsworth's other warships launch torpedoes at Isaki's force. The JINTSU is hit by at least ten 6-inch shells from the Allied cruisers in her boiler rooms and set afire. Rear Admiral Isaki, Captain Sato and Executive Officer Cdr Kondo Issei are killed. A torpedo hits the JINTSU to starboard in the aft engine room.

Captain Shimai Zenjiro, ComDesDiv 16, aboard the YUKIKAZE assumes command of the IJN force. Shimai launches torpedo attacks on the Allied force that sink LtCdr J. B. Fellows' destroyer GWIN and severely damage the New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER with an engine room, a boiler room and a 4-inch gun destroyed. The ST LOUIS is hit by a torpedo that twists her bow. During the action, the BUCHANAN glances off the WOODWORTH's stern and causes some flooding and light damage.

Two survivors of the sunken Japanese light cruiser Jintsu on board USS Nicholas (DD-449) after the action.
They are dressed in well-worn U.S. Navy enlisted working uniforms.

At 2348, the JINTSU breaks in two and sinks at 07-38S, 157-06E. 482 men are lost. Later, LtCdr (later Cdr) Kusaka Toshio's submarine I-180 arrives and rescues 21 of the JINTSU's crewmen. The Americans also rescue a few of the JINTSU's crewmen.

Rear Admiral Isaki is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously and Captain Sato is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

The Transport Group successfully lands 1,200 men on Vila, so the Battle of Kolombangara is a major defeat for the Allies. </span>

"Black Cat" PBY Catalina aircraft spotted the Japanese at 0036 at a distance of 26 miles. The Allies established radar contact at 0100 and visual contact three minutes later. Ainsworth€s had deployed his task force in a single column with five destroyers in the van followed by the cruisers and five destroyers in the rear. At this time the Allied force was heading west about twenty miles east of the northern tip of Kolombangara. The Japanese Support Group, also in a single column, was proceeding southeast about 12 miles off Kolombangara. Ainsworth was again complacently assuming he had complete surprise. In fact, Admiral Izaki had been aware of the Allied force for almost two hours. The Japanese had invented a useful device that sensed a radar€s electric impulse, apparently at a range greater than the radar itself was able to function. Izaki was able to use this device in its first operational test to accurately plot the approach of the Allied task force. At 0106 Ainsworth turned the cruisers 30? right to unmask their main batteries while ordering the lead destroyers to increase speed. The van destroyers began launching torpedoes at 0110 at a range of 10,000 yards. The Japanese beat them to the mark by two minutes, launching torpedoes between 0108 and 0114. Izaki then turned his column almost directly north.

Jintsu snapped on her searchlight as the torpedoes got underway and opened fire. Honolulu closed to 10,000 yards and the Allied cruisers replied at 0112. The Allies had spotting aircraft overhead as well as radar direction. As usual, all fire was concentrated on the largest ship. In eighteen minutes between 0112 and 0130 Jintsu was the unfortunate target of 2,630 6€ and 353 5€ shells. She was dead in the water by 0117 when she was hit by an American torpedo.

At 0117 Ainsworth ordered a turn to the south. Leander turned wide and caught a torpedo at 0122, suffering severe damage. Given the number of torpedoes fired by the Japanese, the Allies were fortunate she was the only ship hit during this portion of the battle. Leander retired from the battle, working up to 10 knots, escorted by Radford and Jenkins.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">HMNZS LEANDER
Type Light cruiser
Length 554.5 feet (oa)
Complement 550 men
Armament 8 6" guns (4x2)
8 4" AA guns (4x2), 4 4" AA guns (4x1) in Achilles
12 .5" MG AA (3x4)
8 21" torpedo tubes (2x4)
1 aircraft
1 catapult
Max speed 32.5 knots
Engines Geared turbines, 4 shafts
Power 72000 HP

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS Saint Louis (CL-49) and HMNZS Leander firing during the action.
This is probably the battle's initial engagement, in which the Japanese light cruiser Jintsu was sunk by gunfire and torpedo hits and Leander was damaged by a Japanese torpedo.</span>


Mikazuki apparently stayed by Jintsu to assist her while the other four destroyers sped north, then northwest, passing through a rainsquall along the way. By 0136 they had finished reloading their torpedo tubes and turned back to the southeast, ready for more action. At 0131 Ainsworth dispatched Nicholas, O€Bannon and Taylor to chase them. They didn€t make it very far, sending more torpedoes into the two burning halves of Jintsu at 0138 and finishing her off. They were about 20,000 yards west of the main American force at this time. Ainsworth had a decision to make. As usual, he believed he had done very well, sinking between three and six ships and probably crippling the balance. Rather than turn for home as the fortunate victor in a sharp action, he elected to bend a course northwest at 30 knots and finish off the imaginary cripples.

At 0156 Honolulu€s radar picked up a group of ships at a range of 23,000 yards. Unfortunately, Ainsworth was not clear where his three detached destroyers were. He spent several minutes trying to determine their location. At 0205 he had the unknown ships illuminated with star shell and observed they were turning away as if they had just fired torpedoes. They had. The radar detection device on Yukikaze had alerted them to the presence of the American ships by 0157.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">NAME: St. Louis
Displacement: 9,700 tons (design), 13,000 tons (full load)
Waterline Length: 600'
Length Overall: 608'
Maximum Beam: 61' 5"
Maximum Draft: 20'
15x6"/47 cal (triple mountings)
8x5"/38 cal (dual mountings)
8 .50cal Machine Guns (single mountings)
Engines: Westinghouse geared turbines
Boilers: 8 Babcock & Wilcox
Horsepower: 100,000 SHP
Speed: 32.5 knots
Side Belt: 1.5"-5"
Decks: 3"
Turrets: 3"-5"
Conning Tower: 8"
868 (normal)
1,200 (wartime)

Ainsworth ordered a 60? turn to port to unmask guns and ordered open fire, but, at 0208 before this order could be obeyed, St. Louis was struck by a torpedo in her bow. Honolulu dodged several others, but was hit in the same place at 0211, and by a dud in her stern. At 0214, Gwin took one amidships and exploded. Ralph Talbot was the only American vessel to take any action during this portion of the battle, ineffectively sending torpedoes after the fleeing Japanese at 0213.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS Honolulu (CL-48) in Tulagi Harbor, Solomon Islands, for temporary repair of damage received when she was torpedoed in the bow during the Battle of Kolombangara. USS Vireo (AT-144) is assisting the damaged cruiser.
Note billboard on the hillside beyond Honolulu's collapsed bow.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Collapsed bow of USS Honolulu (CL-48), after she was torpedoed in the Battle of Kolombangara. Photographed while she was under repair at Tulagi on 20 July 1943.</span>

Gwin was scuttled at 0930 the next morning. Honolulu and St. Louis were out of action for several months, returning to Pearl Harbor for new bows, and then to Mare Island for refitting and replacement of their antiair armament. Leander had to go all the way to Boston and was under repair for a year. She never returned to action. Except for Jintsu, the Japanese force completely escaped damage. The Transport Group successfully landed 1,200 men on Vila. In every respect, this battle was a major defeat for the Allies.

07-13-2005, 07:19 AM

On this day, July 11th, no photos were taken during the entire war

Today military censors of all fighting forces returned cameras confiscated yesterday to war correspondants

-HH- Beebop.... I'd like to Know where did you find this Info??? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

-HH- Beebop
07-13-2005, 04:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by woofiedog:

On this day, July 11th, no photos were taken during the entire war

Today military censors of all fighting forces returned cameras confiscated yesterday to war correspondants

-HH- Beebop.... I'd like to Know where did you find this Info??? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

shhhhh! I have my sources....secret sources... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

-HH- Beebop
07-13-2005, 04:34 PM
13 July

In East Africa... The Italian forces in Abyssinia move over the border into Kenya to attack the small town of Moyale.
The British fort at Moyale, on the Kenya-Abyssinia border

From Berlin... Hitler issues Directive 15 on the air war with Britain. The offensive is to begin at full strength on August 5th. Goring in fact will not be able to have his planes ready by this date. This lack of efficiency will waste vital days in the fine summer weather. The RAF is to be rapidly driven from the skies and the air supremacy necessary if an invasion is to be attempted is to be achieved. Also, in a conversation with some of his generals Hitler makes his first real mention of the future necessity to attack the Soviet Union. He suggests that England is only fighting on because of the hope of Soviet help.

On the Eastern Front... The German Luftwaffe bombs Kiev.

In the Baltic... Soviet naval forces consisting of destroyers and motor torpedo boats as well as bombers make a concerted effort to destroy a German convoy off the coast of Latvia. One ship is sunk.

Over Romania... Soviet bombers attack the Ploesti oilfields.

From Berlin... Hitler alters the plans for the German summer offensive. Army Group B, which was to provide protection for Army Group A's attacks in the Caucasus, is now assigned the task of capturing the city of Stalingrad. The German 6th Army (General Paulus) is spearheading the offensive.
General Paulus (center) leads the German 6th Army

In New Guinea... The Japanese positions at Mubo are overrun and their force is wiped out.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of German Army Group South continue to make local attacks on the southern neck of the Kursk salient. Meanwhile, to the north of the salient, both Soviet pincers make good progress toward Orel.

In the Solomon Islands... American reinforcements arrive on Rendova and New Georgia. The attack on New Georgia makes more progress against, continued, heavy Japanese resistance.

In Sicily... The British 5th Division captures Augusta. Other British units are engaged by the German Panzer Division "Hermann Goring" around Vizzini. During the night Dempsey's 8th Corps launches a drive toward Catania, attacking around Lentini

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces occupy Vilna, in Lithuania after several days of street fighting.

On the Western Front... The US 1st Army makes no progress in its attack toward St. Lo. A formal assault on the German defenses to the east of the town is now considered.

In Italy... The French Expeditionary Corps (part of US 5th Army) is attacking around Poggibonsi and Castellina, about 20 miles south of Florence.

In New Guinea... Around Aitape, the US 128th Regiment falls back to the Driniumor River. On Numfoor the final pockets of Japanese resistance are being cleared.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Moscow... At a hastily arranged meeting between the Japanese ambassador, Naotake Sato, and the Soviet commissar for foreign affairs, Molotov, it is believed that a request was made to the Soviet Union to sound out Britain and the United States about negotiations for surrender.

In Occupied Germany... In Berlin, the municipal council officially confiscates all property held by members of the NSDAP, the Nazi Party. Meanwhile, on the eve of the dissolution of SHAEF, General Eisenhower issues a farewell message to all members of the Allied Expeditionary Force. "No praise is too high," says the message, "for the manner in which you surmounted every obstacle."

In Rome... The Italian government declares war on Japan.

In Washington... The American government admits responsibility for sinking the Japanese relief ship Awa Maru in what is claimed to be an error.

The Awa Maru

In Australia... Ben Chifley, the Treasurer, is selected to be Prime Minister in place of the deceased John Curtin, an the interim prime minister F.M. Forde.

07-13-2005, 06:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by -HH- Beebop:

Thanks. Glad you've been enjoying it.

Your sig is interesting. Until IL-2 I was unaware that Mexico was a belligerent in WWII. Any exploits/contributions/battles of the Mexican Armed Forces or individual service men/women would certainly be welcomed.

Arcadeace, I thought so as well. Too bad we won't get a flyable PBY at least. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Woofiedog, Arcadeace and all those who will be participating, have a happy and safe 4th. Remember if it blows up, you shouldn't play with it. Leave that to the pros. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well there are a lot of sources for the 201st mexican fighter squadron, they mostly conducted missions over the philipines flying the P-47 D-30. There's a good link here http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindies/201squadron.html


Combat record
Combat Missions flown

Offensive Sorties flown

Defensive Sorties flown

Hours flown in Combat

Hours flown in the Combat Zone

Hours flown in Pre-Combat

Average hours flown per pilot

Total Hours flown

Bombs Dropped 1000 lb

Bombs Dropped 500 lb

Total rounds of 0.50 cal used
166,922 rds.

Aircraft lost in combat

Aircraft damaged in combat

Pilots killed in combat

Pilots killed in accidents

Pilots missing

"The 201st Mexican Squadron was given credit for putting out of action about 30,000 japanese troops and the destruction of enemy held-buildings, vehicles, tanks, anti-aircraft guns, machine gun emplacementes and ammunition depots"

There was a video circulating here about a year ago about this squadron, I'm sure NTESLA remembers it, it was pretty good. I still have it but I don't have where to host it http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif , its around 20mb

07-13-2005, 08:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by woofiedog:

On this day, July 11th, no photos were taken during the entire war

Today military censors of all fighting forces returned cameras confiscated yesterday to war correspondants

-HH- Beebop.... I'd like to Know where did you find this Info??? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was wondering the same thing. Good try mate http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

On this day in 1944, General Ivan Konev, one of the Soviet Union's most outstanding officers, pursues an offensive against 40,000 German soldiers to capture the East Galician city of Lvov. When the battle was over, 30,000 Germans were dead, and the USSR had a new western border.

Joseph Stalin had declared that he wanted the western border of the Soviet Union to be pushed back across the River Bug, territory that was part of prewar Poland, but was now occupied German territory. General Konev, who had led the first offensive against the Germans when they invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 (and who had created the "Konev ambush," a strategy by which troops retreat from the center of a battle area, only to allow troops from the flanks to close into the breach, used to defeat German General Heinz Guderian's tank offensive against Moscow), led the Red Army's new attack westward. He encircled 40,000 German soldiers in the town of Brody. After seven days, 30,000 German soldiers were dead, and Lvov was Soviet-occupied territory and would remain a part of the new postwar Soviet map.

General Konev would go on to cross Poland into Germany and, meeting up with U.S. and other Soviet forces, enter Berlin to see the final downfall of the Axis power.

07-13-2005, 10:00 PM
oops double post

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JaguarMEX:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by -HH- Beebop:

Thanks. Glad you've been enjoying it.

Your sig is interesting. Until IL-2 I was unaware that Mexico was a belligerent in WWII. Any exploits/contributions/battles of the Mexican Armed Forces or individual service men/women would certainly be welcomed.

Arcadeace, I thought so as well. Too bad we won't get a flyable PBY at least. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Woofiedog, Arcadeace and all those who will be participating, have a happy and safe 4th. Remember if it blows up, you shouldn't play with it. Leave that to the pros. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well there are a lot of sources for the 201st mexican fighter squadron, they mostly conducted missions over the philipines flying the P-47 D-30. There's a good link here http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindies/201squadron.html


Combat record
Combat Missions flown

Offensive Sorties flown

Defensive Sorties flown

Hours flown in Combat

Hours flown in the Combat Zone

Hours flown in Pre-Combat

Average hours flown per pilot

Total Hours flown

Bombs Dropped 1000 lb

Bombs Dropped 500 lb

Total rounds of 0.50 cal used
166,922 rds.

Aircraft lost in combat

Aircraft damaged in combat

Pilots killed in combat

Pilots killed in accidents

Pilots missing

"The 201st Mexican Squadron was given credit for putting out of action about 30,000 japanese troops and the destruction of enemy held-buildings, vehicles, tanks, anti-aircraft guns, machine gun emplacementes and ammunition depots"

There was a video circulating here about a year ago about this squadron, I'm sure NTESLA remembers it, it was pretty good. I still have it but I don't have where to host it http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif , its around 20mb </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

07-13-2005, 10:32 PM
JaguarMEX... Excellent Posting

07-13-2005, 11:18 PM
On this day of July 14 1945...

In Japan... Over 1000 US naval aircraft raid Hokkaido and the port of Kamaishi. Also, the American battleships South Dakota, Indiana and Massachusetts, as well as 2 heavy cruisers and 4 destroyers, bombard the Kamaishi steel works in the first naval gunfire directed against the Japanese home islands.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS Indiana (BB-58) fires a salvo from her forward 16"/45 guns at the Kamaishi plant of the Japan Iron Company, 250 miles north of Tokyo. A second before, USS South Dakota (BB-57), from which this photograph was taken, fired the initial salvo of the first naval gunfire bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands.
The superstructure of USS Massachusetts (BB-59) is visible directly behind Indiana. The heavy cruiser in the left center distance is either USS Quincy (CA-71) or USS Chicago (CA-136) .</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">View looking forward from the ship's after deck, during a lull in the Battle of Casablanca, 8 November 1942.
Note: 16"/45 guns of her after turret; 20mm gun at left with "Lead, Dammit, Lead" printed on its shield; FC & FD radar antennas atop her gun directors; two large National Ensigns flying from her masts.

USS MASSACHUSETTS was the third SOUTH DAKOTA - class Battleship and probably the last US Battleship to fire 16-inch shells in combat during World War II. It was also the MASSACHUSETTS which fired the first 16-inch shells fired by the US against the European Axis Powers during World War II. After decommissioning on March 2, 1947, the MASSACHUSETTS was saved from the scrap pile when she was transferred to the MASSACHUSETTS Memorial Committee June 8, 1965. She was enshrined at Fall River, Mass., August 14, 1965, as the Bay State's memorial to those who gave their lives in World War II.
General Characteristics: Keel laid: July 20, 1939
Launched: September 23, 1941
Commissioned: May 12, 1942
Decommissioned: March 2, 1947
Builder: Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, Mass.
Propulsion system: boilers, four Westinghouse geared turbines
Propellers: four
Length: 680.8 feet (207.5 meters)
Beam: 108 feet (32.9 meters)
Draft: 36 feet (11 meters)
Displacement: Light: approx. 38,000 tons
Displacement: Full: approx. 44,374 tons
Speed: 28 knots
Aircraft: three planes
Catapults: two
Crew: 2354 (War), 1793 (Peace)
Last armament: Nine 16-inch / 45 caliber guns; twenty 5-inch / 38 caliber guns; twenty-four 40 mm guns and thirty-five 20 mm guns

Massachusetts sailed 1 July from Leyte Gulf to join the 3d Fleet's final offensive against Japan. After guarding carriers launching strikes against Tokyo, she shelled Kamaishi, Honshu, 14 July, thus hitting Japan's second largest iron and steel center. Two weeks later she bombarded the industrial complex at Hamamatsu. returning to blast Kamaishi 9 August 1945. It was here that Massachusetts fired what was probably the last 16-inch shell fired in combat in World War II.

The USS Massachusetts tour guides are fond of mentioning that the first and last 16 inch shells fired by as US Battleship in anger during World War II were fired by the Massachusetts. The last shots fell on Kamaishi.


Friendly Fire
Author Unknown

I have several military history web sites, which draw occasional e-mails, often from the decedents of those who participated in the battles described. Sickles' Hole has drawn several requests for information on just where great-grandfather's regiment fought at Gettysburg. This site too has drawn comment from the sons and daughters of Massachusetts crew.

I recently got a letter from the son of a POW held at Kamaishi, Japan.

Mr. Butler, attached is a photo I found that Identified the USS Massachusetts with guns trained directly at Kamaishi, during the first shelling of the Japanese Homeland on July 14th 1945. The POW camp my father happened to be in that day was on the waterfront several hundred yards forward of the main target, the Iron Works. His first indication of shelling was what I believe to have been a bracketing salvo from the 5" guns. Next came the 16" rounds starting at the water and walking up the hill to the works. Dad could see plainly the ship 1.5 to 2.5 miles offshore belching smoke and fire moments before the concussion of the shells passing over hurt his hands which now covered his head.
The rounds in some cases passed completely through the Works without detonating do to the thin walls of the building and while damaging the works it appeared on the outside that it was unharmed. Several days later he spotted a high altitude flight of a single plane and thought they are going to be back I bet. That mill is still standing. He was right. August 9th the shelling was repeated, only this time the camp was obliterated with many death's to the POWs. The Works was razed and the eye witness account my father tells is hair-raising.

A bit of digging confirms that the Massachusetts did bombard Kamaishi on the dates mentioned. She was, however, but one of three battleships acting as Task Unit 34.8.1. USS South Dakota was flag. The USS Indiana filed the following report of the action.

First Bombardment of Kamaishi, 14 July 1945
PART I Summary
A. U.S.S. INDIANA as part of Task Unit 34.8.1 bombarded the city of Kamaishi, Honshu, Japan, using the main battery only, in accordance with Commander, Battleship Squadron Two's operation order #15-45. Shipboard aircraft were not launched. U.S.S. INDIANA aviators spotted for the bombardment, flying in carrier based aircraft. The CAP was provided by Task Group 38.1. No opposition by surface or aircraft was encountered. The period covered by this report is from 0558 to 2152, 14 July 1945.

PART II Preliminaries

A. Task Unit 34.8.1 was constituted as follows:

Task Unit 34.8.1 Rear Admiral J.G. Shafroth, USN



U.S.S. ABBOTT (DD-629)
U.S.S. ERBEN (DD-631)
U.S.S. HALE (DD-642)
U.S.S. WALKER (DD-511)
U.S.S. BLACK (DD-666)

Task Unit 34.8.1 detached from Task Force 38 at 0600 and proceeded directly to Kamaishi. No training was conducted en route. Mission: Bombard "certain vital areas of the Japanese mainland in order to destroy vital industries, demoralize transportation, and lower the will to resist of the Japanese people" Own forces: Task Unit 34.8.1 approached Kamaishi in a circular air defense disposition, 4 V-Bomb. The final approach and bombardment was made in a column of battleships and cruisers with destroyer screen ahead, astern and on the disengaged sides. 0558 U.S.S. INDIANA left station in Task Group 38.1 to form on U.S.S. SOUTH DAKOTA as part of Task Unit 34.8.1. 0603 Battleship Division Eight formed column. 0705 Formed cruising disposition 4 S-Bomb, U.S.S. QUINCY and U.S.S. CHICAGO joined Task Unit 34.8.1. 0910 Sighted land bearing 235*(T). 1040 General Quarters. 1053 Deployed in bombardment disposition. 1100 Signal on Flagship " Never Forget Pearl Harbor". 1210 Opened fire with main battery. 1418 Ceased fire main battery. 1424 Formed cruising disposition 4 S-Bomb. 1436 Secured from General Quarters. 2152 Ships of Task Unit 34.8.1 ordered to report to previously assigned Task Groups. B.1 Weather: Wind 13 knots, from 084* (T).

Hits in Target Area

1. 2 in Coke Ovens, Area 9451 U
2. 4 in Open Hearths, Area 9451 P&U
3. 1 in Foundry, Area 9315 T
4. 1 in Soaking Pit, Area 9351 T
5. 1 in Gas Holder, Area 7450, causing a violent explosion.
6. 1 in Rolling Mill South, Area 9351 Y
In addition to the above, 26 salvos were seen to land in the target area.
But heavy smoke did not allow good spotting.

PART III Chronological Account of Action

A. 1130 General Quarters. 1134 Course 186*. 1138 Course 210*, speed 18 knots. Formed in bombardment formation. 1144 Course 200*. 1152 course 276*, speed 22 knots. Task Group Commander ordered General Quarters. 1215 Catapulted one aircraft. 1218 Course 231*. 1225 catapulted one aircraft. 1226 course 246*. 1230 Speed 15 knots. 1246 Signal to open fire with main battery, course 186*. 1308 Course 006*. 1313 course 016*. 1343 Course 196*. 1348 Course 181* 1414 Course 001*. 1415 Ammunition allowance expended. 1420 Course 006*. 1445 Signal to cease fire. 1447 course 096*


I have found no similar report for the second bombardment, but I believe all three battleships (and likely many of the smaller vessels) returned. The columns cruised basically north-south during the bombardment, and broke off to the east. I note no mention of the POW camp in the action report. There is a discrepancy between the first paragraph's "Shipboard aircraft were not launched" and the 1215 and 1225 "catapulted one aircraft" log entries.

While one can appreciate that the sons of the POWs might have a different perspective on the Kamaishi bombardment than the sons of the navy crews, the difficulties of identifying POW camp locations must also be considered. Two of the following photos give sea and air spotter's views of the target area.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">GUNS ON JAPAN. Big guns of the U. S. S. Massachusetts are trained directly on Kamaishi, important factory town on shore of Honshu, in first shelling of the Jap homeland by warships. Coordinated with this audacious attack, were more than 1,000 Third Fleet planes which rained destruction on Honshu and Hokkaido. Some of world's greatest warships were in attack on homeland.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Task Force 38.4.1's heavy ships sailing towards Kamaishi. Indiana in foreground followed by Massachusetts, Quincy and Chicago
Photo taken from the South Dakota</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Kamaishi from a spotter aircraft</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS Massachusetts fires a salvo off Kamaishi</span>

Admiral Shafroth had spent much of the early war years investigating responsibility for the surprise at Pearl Harbor. Conspiracy theorists assert the US knew or should have known the attack was coming. Admiral Shafroth was heavily involved in the official position papers, which have been under attack by historical revisionists since. Most of Shafroth 's post war writings are on the subject of Pearl Harbor.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Admiral Shafroth reviewing the crew of USS Indiana (BB 58)
Shafroth flew his flag from the Massachusetts before shifting to the South Dakota (BB 57). South Dakota was built as a force flag ship, lacking two 5 inch mounts to provide weight allowance for a flag bridge.

The admiral was a big man. According to Massachusetts legend, as repeated by the park service tour guides, he was responsible for numerous ad-lib modifications intended to let a big man pass more easily through the tight spaces of a war ship.


History of the USS Massachusetts

USS Massachusetts (BB-59) was laid down 20 July 1939 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.: launched 23 September 1941: sponsored by Mrs. Charles Francis Adams; and commissioned 12 May 1942 at Boston. Capt. Francis E. M. Whiting in command.

After shakedown, Massachusetts departed Casco Bay, Maine, 24 October 1942 and 4 days later made rendezvous with the Western Naval Task Force for the invasion of north Africa, serving as flagship for Adm. H. Kent Hewitt.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Maneuvering off Casablanca, Morocco, during the North Africa invasion, 8 November 1942. Photographed from Mayrant (DD-402). Note that Massachusetts (BB-59) is flying two very large national ensigns. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Invasion of North Africa, November 1942. Anti-aircraft fire chases four French fighters away from an American spotting plane, during the early morning hours of the Battle of Casablanca, 8 November 1942. Photographed from the after deck of Massachusetts (BB-59). </span>

While steaming off Casablanca 8 November, she came under fire from French battleship Jean Bart's 13-inch guns. She returned fire at 0740 firing the first 16-inch shells fired by the U.S. against the European Axis Powers. Within a few minutes she silenced Jean Bart's main battery; then she turned her guns on French destroyers which had joined the attack, sinking two of them. She also shelled shore batteries and blew up an ammunition dump. After a cease-fire had been arranged with the French, she headed for the United States 12 November, and prepared for Pacific duty.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Detailed photo showing secondary armament and stern view, 1943. </span>

Massachusetts arrived at Noumea, New Caledonia, 4 March 1943. For the next months she operated in the South Pacific, protecting convoy lanes and supporting operations in the Solomons. Between 19 November and 21 November, she sailed with a carrier group striking Makin, Tarawa, and Abemama in the Gilberts; on 8 December she shelled Japanese positions on Nauru; and on 29 January 1944 she guarded carriers striking Tarawa in the Gilberts.

The Navy now drove steadily across the Pacific. On 30 January 1944, Massachusetts bombarded Kwajalein, and she covered the landings there 1 February. With a carrier group she struck against the Japanese stronghold at Truk 17 February. That raid not only inflicted heavy damage on Japanese aircraft and naval forces, but also proved to be a stunning blow to enemy morale. On 21 to 22 February, Massachusetts helped fight off a heavy air attack on her task group while it made raids on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam. She took part in the attack on the Carolines in late March and participated in the invasion at Hollandia 22 April which landed 60,000 troops on the island. Retiring from Hollandia, her task force staged another attack on Truk.

Massachusetts shelled Ponape Island 1 May 1944, her last mission before sailing to Puget Sound to overhaul and reline her gun barrels, now well-worn. On 1 August she left Pearl Harbor to resume operations in the Pacific war zone. She departed the Marshall Islands 6 October, sailing to support the landings in Leyte Gulf. In an effort to block Japanese air attacks in the Leyte conflict, she participated in a fleet strike against Okinawa 10 October. Between 12 and 14 October, she protected forces hitting Formosa. While part of TG 38.3 she took part In the Battle for Leyte Gulf 22 to 27 October, during which planes from her group sank four Japanese carriers off Cape Engano.

Stopping briefly at Ulithi, Massachusetts returned to the Philippines as part of a task force which struck Manila 14 December 1944 while supporting the invasion of Mindoro. Massachusetts sailed into a howling typhoon 17 December, with winds estimated at 120 knots. Three destroyers sank at the height of the typhoon's fury. Between 30 December and 23 January 1945, she sailed as part of TF 38, which struck Formosa and supported the landing at Lingayen. During that time she turned into the South China Sea, her task force destroying shipping from Saigon to Hong Kong. concluding operations with air strikes on Formosa and Okinawa.

From 10 February to 3 March 1945, with the Fifth Fleet, Massachusetts guarded carriers during raids on Honshu. Her group also struck Iwo Jima by air for the invasion of that island. On 17 March, the carriers launched strikes against Kyushu while Massachusetts fired in repelling enemy attacks, splashing several planes. Seven days later she bombarded Okinawa. She spent most of April fighting off air attacks, while engaged in the operations at Okinawa, returning to the area in June, when she passed through the eye of a typhoon with 100-knot winds 5 June 1945. She bombarded Minami Daito Jima in the Ryukyus 10 June.

Massachusetts sailed 1 July from Leyte Gulf to join the 3d Fleet's final offensive against Japan. After guarding carriers launching strikes against Tokyo, she shelled Kamaishi, Honshu, 14 July, thus hitting Japan's second largest iron and steel center. Two weeks later she bombarded the industrial complex at Hamamatsu. returning to blast Kamaishi 9 August 1945. It was here that Massachusetts fired what was probably the last 16-inch shell fired in combat in World War II.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">At Puget Sound Navy Yard follwing overhaul, July 11, 1944. </span>

Victory won, the fighting battleship sailed for Puget Sound and overhaul 1 September. She left there 28 January 1946 for operations off the California coast, until leaving San Francisco for Hampton Roads, arriving 22 April 1946. She decommissioned 27 March 1947 to enter the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Norfolk, and was struck from the Naval Register 1 June 1962.

"Big Mamie," as she was affectionately known, was saved from the scrap pile when she was transferred to the Massachusetts Memorial Committee 8 June 1965. She was enshrined at Fall River, Mass., 14 August 1965, as the Bay State's memorial to those who gave their lives in World War II.

Massachusetts received 11 battle stars for World War II service.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS South Dakota (BB-57)

Steams into heavy seas on 24 February 1945, while en route to take part Task Force 58's second Tokyo raid of the month. Photographed from atop the battleship's forward fire control platform.
Spray is enveloping the forecastle 40mm gun mounts in weather that curtailed the number of strikes flown on 25 February and forced the cancellation of those planned for the 26th.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942

USS South Dakota (BB-57) firing her anti-aircraft guns at attacking Japanese planes during the action, 26 October 1942.
A Japanese Type 97 Shipboard Attack Aircraft ("Kate") is at right, apparently leaving the area after having dropped its torpedo.</span>

Link: http://www.battleshipcove.org/

-HH- Beebop
07-14-2005, 06:30 AM
thanks for the info Jaguar. nice pics of the USS Mass. woofiedog

14 July

In Vichy France... It is officially declared the "Day of National Mourning".

In Britain... General de Gaulle attends Bastille Day ceremonies in London.

From London... British Prime Minister Churchill speaks about the "war of the unknown warriors" in a BBC radio broadcast.

On the Eastern Front... The German advance continues and the Luga River is reached in the northern front. Meanwhile, near Orsha, Red Army artillery forces launch a salvo of katyusha rockets, for the first time, against the German held railhead causing substantial damage and panic.
Soviet katyusha rockets firing

In the Mediterranean... A force of German Ju88 bombers attacks Suez from bases in Crete causing damage to harbor installations and to ships unloading.

In North Africa... In fierce fighting, attacks by the British 1st Armored Division on Ruwesiat Ridge lead to heavy losses on both sides, but little advance.
Panzers knocked out in the battle with the British

In the Mediterranean... Supplies continue to be sent to Malta to relieve desperate shortages. The HMS Eagle flies in 31 Spitfires. Submarines are also used to bring in food and materiel. The Italian Navy is also using submarines to ferry supplies to North Africa, where the supply situation for Rommel's troops is also critical.

In New Guinea... The Japanese positions at Mubo are overrun and their force is wiped out.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of German Army Group South continue to make local attacks on the southern neck of the Kursk salient. Meanwhile, to the north of the salient, both Soviet pincers make good progress toward Orel.

In the Solomon Islands... American reinforcements arrive on Rendova and New Georgia. The attack on New Georgia makes more progress against, continued, heavy Japanese resistance.

In Sicily... The British 5th Division captures Augusta. Other British units are engaged by the German Panzer Division "Hermann Goring" around Vizzini. During the night Dempsey's 8th Corps launches a drive toward Catania, attacking around Lentini.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front (Konev) begins a new offensive in the south. The forces of the 1st Belorussian Front capture Pinsk.

In Italy... The French Expeditionary Corps (part of US 5th Army) captures Poggibonsi.

In New Guinea... Task Force 74 (Commodore Collins) bombards Japanese positions near Aitape, between Yakamul and But.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Japan... Over 1000 US naval aircraft raid Hokkaido and the port of Kamaishi. Also, the American battleships South Dakota, Indiana and Massachusetts, as well as 2 heavy cruisers and 4 destroyers, bombard the Kamaishi steel works in the first naval gunfire directed against the Japanese home islands.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, Australian troops advanced past the Manggar airfield east of Balikpapan and have penetrated the Japanese defenses in the Macassar Strait coastal belt which was recently intensely resisted.

In Occupied Germany... In Konigsee, General Eisenhower announces the closure of SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) and eases some of the restrictions on private contact between American soldiers and German civilians. The carefully-defined limits to fraternization are part of a scheme prepared by Eisenhower, to be presented as part of an Allied plan for unified control of the country. Fraternization is forbidden in the British Army. Meanwhile, the French flag was formally unfurled today at the summit of the Victory Column in Berlin which commemorates the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871.

-HH- Beebop
07-14-2005, 07:47 AM
Lately over the last few days you may have noticed an entry for 1944 that states..."In the United States, the Bretton Woods Conference continues."
And you may ask yourself,
"Self, what was the Bretton Woods conference?" -apologies to David Byrne

Here is a summary from the 1944 conference:


United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference at Bretton Woods. Summary of Agreements. July 22, 1944

Pamphlet No. 4, PILLARS OF PEACE
Documents Pertaining To American Interest In Establishing A Lasting World Peace:
January 1941-February 1946
Published by the Book Department, Army Information School,
Carlisle Barracks, Pa., May 1946

This Conference at Bretton Woods, representing nearly all the peoples of the world, has considered matters of international money and finance which are important for peace and prosperity. The Conference has agreed on the problems needing attention, the measures which should be taken, and the forms of international cooperation or organization which are required. The agreements reached on these large and complex matters are without precedent in the history of international economic relations.

Since foreign trade affects the standard of life of every people, all countries have a vital interest in the system of exchange of national currencies and the regulations and conditions which govern its working. Because these monetary transactions are international exchanges, the nations must agree on the basic rules which govern the exchanges if the system is to work smoothly. When they do not agree, and when single nations and small groups of nations attempt by special and different regulations of the foreign exchanges to gain trade advantages, the result is instability, a reduced volume of foreign trade, and damage to national economies. This course of action is likely to lead to economic warfare and to endanger the world's peace.

The Conference has therefore agreed that broad international action is necessary to maintain an international monetary system which will promote foreign trade. The nations should consult and agree on international monetary changes which affect each other. They should outlaw practices which are agreed to be harmful to world prosperity, and they should assist each other to overcome short-term exchange difficulties.

The Conference has agreed that the nations here represented should establish for these purposes a permanent international body, The International Monetary Fund, with powers and resources adequate to perform the tasks assigned to it. Agreement has been reached concerning these powers and resources and the additional obligations which the member countries should undertake. Draft Articles of Agreement on these points have been prepared.

Page 31

It is in the interest of all nations that post-war reconstruction should be rapid. Likewise, the development of the resources of particular regions is in the general economic interest. Programs of reconstruction and development will speed economic progress everywhere, will aid political stability and foster peace.

The Conference has agreed that expanded international investment is essential to provide a portion of the capital necessary for reconstruction and development.

The Conference has further agreed that the nations should cooperate to increase the volume of foreign investment for these purposes, made through normal business channels. It is especially important that the nations should cooperate to share the risks of such foreign investment, since the benefits are general.

The Conference has agreed that the nations should establish a permanent international body to perform these functions, to be called The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It has been agreed that the Bank should assist in providing capital through normal channels at reasonable rates of interest and for long periods for projects which will raise the productivity of the borrowing country. There is agreement that the Bank should guarantee loans made by others and that through their subscriptions of capital in all countries should share with the borrowing country in guaranteeing such loans. The Conference has agreed on the powers and resources which the Bank must have and on the obligations which the member countries must assume, and has prepared draft Articles of Agreement accordingly.

The Conference has recommended that in carrying out the policies of the institutions here proposed special consideration should be given to the needs of countries which have suffered from enemy occupation and hostilities.

The proposals formulated at the Conference for the establishment of the Fund and the Bank are now submitted, in accordance with the terms of the invitation, for consideration of the governments and people of the countries represented.</span>

There, don't you feel better now?

07-14-2005, 11:05 PM
On this day of July 15 1941...

SS Farfield



The SS Farfield was a €œtypical€ steam coaster of her day. There were literally hundreds of these little vessels plying their trade around the British coast and near continent, in what must have been the hay-day of steam, from the 1890€s to the early 1950€s. Built by C.D. Homes & Co. Ltd, Hull, and 468 tons gross (192tons net) with a 3cylinder engine. She had an open wheelhouse, Captain and deck Officers accommodation amidships, two hatches, and a tall €œWoodbine€ funnel, above her crew accommodation and engine room aft.


In the 1930€s the 'Farfield' was used by Coppacks of Connah's Quay to transport cargoes of coal, fruit, bricks, and china clay. The little steamer had also carried mistletoe from Brest for the Christmas markets of Liverpool, where its Dockers nicknamed her the €˜Kissing Boat€.

The onset of war in 1939, changed these little ships and their men considerably, gone were their company colours, of brightly painted housings, masts and funnels, to be replaced by the overall drab grey of war, machine-guns were fitted as well, many of them relics of the Great War, which had ended over twenty years earlier, a pitiful attempt, at defending themselves, hardly a match for the highly trained crews of the German air force and navy.
Some of these civilian seamen were given €œspecialised€ training in operating these constantly jamming pop-guns as well, and consequently, many a funnel and mast were riddled by €œfriendly fire€ attacks!!!
By 1941 the British merchant fleet, was very much the worse for wear, literally hundreds of ships, and many thousands of men had been lost worldwide, but none, more saw than the coastal fleet, these little vessels were loaners, nearly always unescorted, and with their slow speed, and tall €˜smoky€ funnels making them visible for miles, they were just €˜sitting ducks€ to an ever vigilant and domineering enemy.

In July 1941, little Farfield and her eight-man crew, was on passage up the Irish Sea, with a cargo of anthracite, from Port Talbot, South Wales to Mostyn, Flint, on the river Dee. She passed so many bodies in the water, victims of German action, that John Hughes her Captain, who himself lived in nearby Connah€s Quay, remarked on their arrival, €œWe were chased by the enemy all the way up Channel€.
Most of her crew lived in the Deeside area as well, so a short stay at home was on the cards, and a welcome break from the rigours of war and it's uncertainties. After discharging she sailed in ballast for Penmaenmawr, some 60 miles to the west along the north Wales coast, she was to load stone at the towns quarry jetty on the Saturday afternoon, but they were delayed until Sunday the 12th, because of a local football match.
Rather prophetically, at Mostyn, immediately before sailing, one of the crew, Harold Roberts an engine room Fireman, from Ffynongroew, Flintshire, remarked €œthat he felt all over funny inside€ and would have to be excused from sailing on the Farfield that trip.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Mr. V. J. Bowles, of Mount street, Flint; Harold Bennett, The Bungalows, Chester-road, Flint; Captain John Hughes, Connah€s Quay, and Mr John Hughes, of Pentre, Queensfeery, are missing and believed killed as the result of enemy action.

There was only one survivor, and of the men who died on the raft only one body has so far been recovered, that of the mate, Mr Edwards, a native of Shotton, who went to live in Penzance following his marriage to a Cornish woman.


Mr. Vincent James Bowles, who was 66, had lived in Flint for 37 years. He was an engineer, and had been a seafarer for 40 years, commencing his career with Messrs. Lamport and Holt, Liverpool. He retired two years before the war, but answered the call for ex-Merchant Navy men to return to the service. He served at sea throughout the last war and received the Merchant Navy medals. He leaves a widow and three sons.

Mr. Harold Bennett, who was 18, is one of several brothers serving at sea, including one in the Royal Navy, and he himself only went to sea last February.

Captain John Hughes is a son of the late Captain Thomas Hughes, Mold-road, Connah€s Quay, and followed the sea all his life. He leaves a widow, one son and one daughter. The Mate, Mr. Edwards belonged to an old Connah€s Quay family. </span>

She completed loading her cargo on the Monday, and duly sailed for Gloucester, up the Bristol Channel on the morning tide.
In the early hours of Tuesday the 14th, she was slowly making her way down the Irish Sea, but when only 3 miles northwest of Bardsey Island, off the Llyn Peninsula, Farfield was attacked by a lone enemy aircraft, one of its bombs hit her after housing, and the ensuing explosion destroyed her two lifeboats.
With their ship now a blazing inferno, the crews only option was a single life-raft, which was stowed on No 2 hatch, and after a struggle, this was duly launched off the main deck, just forward of the mangled and burning aft accommodation.
But the unidentified aircraft had not yet finished its nefarious night€s work. It returned again and again and repeatedly machine-gunned the survivors in the raft, until all of Farfield€s crew were either killed or drowned.
The only one spared was the ships navy gunner, and after clinging to a hatch cover for over twelve long hours, was miraculously rescued by a passing naval patrol boat. He was the only man left, that was able to tell of the last harrowing day of little Farfield€s twenty-year life, and recall the horror of his shipmates, all defenseless civilian seafarers, being massacred in such a cowardly, and utterly deplorable way.

Footnote) How many more of these little ships were attacked in this way? We shall never know. After all, if it wasn€t for one man surviving this terrible atrocity, we wouldn€t have known about this one either.
The Farfield€s hulk drifted northeast with the tide, and finally sank the next day on July 15th 1941, five miles southwest of the South Stack lighthouse on Holy Island Anglesey, in 46 metres of water, and is simply marked as (Wk 49) on charts.

07-14-2005, 11:39 PM
Also during the summer of 1941...

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Boris Safonov with his Gold Star medal of Hero of the Soviet Union, screwback Order of Lenin, and 3 screwback awards of the Order of the Red Banner. On July 7th, 1941, Safonov led a group of 9 I-16's to cover the naval base at Poliarnye. They spotted a group of Ju 87's, with Bf 109 escorts. The Soviets desperately attacked the German dive bombers and scored, at first, 4 of the Ju 87's. Three more were destroyed after a short pursuit. The Soviets had no losses! Soon after that battle, a group of five aviators from the regiment were awarded the Order of the Red Banner. Safonov was in that group, with a total of 5 reported kills. </span>

The best known Soviet fighter ace during the first period of the war, was young Boris Safonov, who flew with 72 SAP (Composite Aviation Regiment) of the Air Force of the Soviet Northern Fleet (VVS SF) in the Murmansk area in the far North.

Before his death on May 30, 1942, Safonov scored 17 victories, of which at least eight can be verified by Luftwaffe loss records. During his last combat, he was credited with another three kills--bringing his total to 20 (according to his logbook; higher figures are given in various Soviet publications).

What makes Safonov's achievement remarkable is that 14 of these victories were claimed during the three first months of the war, while Safonov was flying an I-16 Ishak fighter, an airplane far inferior to the German Messerschmitt 109s. During a stay by RAF fighter pilots in this area in the fall of 1941, Boris Safonov gave the British airmen an impressive show of combat skill.
In September 1941, the Air Force of the Soviet Northern Fleet was reinforced with thirty-nine British Hawker Hurricane fighters of Wing Commander H. N. G. Ramsbottom-Isherwood's 151 Wing, including 81 and 143 squadrons. Twenty-four were flown to Murmansk and fifteen to
Boris Safonov with his Gold Star medal of Hero of the Soviet Union, screwback Order of Lenin, and 3 screwback awards of the Order of the Red Banner. On July 7th, 1941, Safonov led a group of 9 I-16's to cover the naval base at Poliarnye. They spotted a group of Ju 87's, with Bf 109 escorts. The Soviets desperately attacked the German dive bombers and scored, at first, 4 of the Ju 87's. Three more were destroyed after a short pursuit. The Soviets had no losses! Soon after that battle, a group of five aviators from the regiment were awarded the Order of the Red Banner. Safonov was in that group, with a total of 5 reported kills.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">B.F. Safonov€s I-16, 72nd SAP Northern Fleet AF, fall of 1941 </span>


The British were eager to avenge their humiliating defeat in the air over the same area on July 30, 1941, when German fighters shot down 15 British aircraft sent out from the carriers Victorious and Furious - without a single German loss.

On September 12, 1941, the twenty-four Hurricanes bound for Murmansk took off from the aircraft carrier Argus in the Barents Sea. That same afternoon, the British pilots of 81 Squadron flew a combat mission over the front lines. They bounced five Messerschmitt 109s escorting a Henschel 126. In the ensuing action, the Messerschmitt pilot Leutenant Eckhard von der Lühe and the Hurricane pilot Sergeant Smith were both shot down and killed. (The British pilots claimed to have shot down three Bf 109s plus the Hs 126. During the following five weeks, the RAF pilots took part in several combats, claiming 16 confirmed victories, 4 "probables," and 7 damaged enemy aircraft--a high over-claim--for the loss of only 2 Hurricanes.)

In the hands of an expert, the old I-16 was still to be reckoned with, as Boris Safonov would show the British guests. On September 6, 1941, the Luftwaffe raided 72 SAP´s airfield. Safonov and four other I-16 pilots met the attackers in the air, claiming two Ju 87s shot down. While clashing with the escorting Bf 109s, one I-16 pilot was credited with one kill while another "Messer" was shared by Safonov and a third pilot. According to the Soviet report, a third Messerschmitt crashed into the ground while chasing the agile I-16s. None of these claims can be verified in the loss tables of JG 5 (which are not necessarily complete).


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Boris Safonov scored his first aerial win already on the third day of the German invasion, June 24 of 1941. An enemy plane shot down from the northern skies €" that was really a big deal back in those days everyone kept talking about. The German pilot did his best but was eventually shot down. Discussing the details of the dogfight, Safonov concluded that to win you€ve got to attack your enemy. The following day the Northern Fleet newspaper announced the first aerial win and urged the pilots to €œHit the Nazis like Boris Safonov does.€ Three days later Safonov downed another German plane. </span>


Three days after the arrival of the British airmen--on September 15, 1941--Safonov decided to demonstrate his abilities. This was to become Safonov´s most successful day: A swarm of Messerschmitt 110s from 1.(Z)/JG 77 was out on an escort mission for the Stukas of Hauptmann Arnulf Blasig´s IV.(St.)/LG 1, which were attacking Soviet ground troops in the Zapadnaya Litsa region. Lieutenant Heinz-Horst Hoffmann, the pilot in one of the Bf 110s, spotted a lone I-16 below. Hoffmann was one of the veterans of the Zerst¶rerstaffel, with three victories to his credit. Without hesitating, he put the nose of his twin-engine fighter down to make an attack.


Hoffmann didn´t see the trap until it was too late. A dark green I-16 with the bold inscription "Smert fashistam!"
("Death to fascism!") painted in two-feet-high red letters on the side of the fuselage came arrowing down from above. It was Boris Safonov's "White 11." Hoffmann's Bf 110 was hit in an engine. The plane made a roll and went down from low altitude, exploding on impact three miles west of Zapadnaya Litsa. Having scored his 12th victory, Safonov turned against the Stukas. One of them went down in flames, Safonov´s 13th victory. Shortly afterwards, the Russian ace caught a third German plane, an Hs 126, and shot it down as well. On the following day, Boris Safonov received the highest Soviet award, the Gold Star medal--the token of the Hero of the Soviet Union.


As the British pilots left for home, the Hurricanes were naturally handed over to 72 SAP. With better equipment, the Soviet fighter pilots were able to inflict growing losses upon the small Luftwaffe forces on the "Polar Front." Marking the end of 1941, Boris Safonov, flying a Hurricane fighter, claimed one Messerschmitt 109 on December 17, 1941, and one He 111H-5 (piloted by Unteroffizier Engelbert Roithmayr of 1./KG 26) on December 31, 1941.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Safonov (r) with members of the RAF</span>

Boris Safonov went missing in action after pursuing a group of II./KG 30 Ju 88s over the convoy PQ 16 off Murmansk on May 30, 1942. On June 14, 1942, Safonov posthumously became the first Soviet citizen to be twice appointed Hero of the Soviet Union during the war against Germany.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">P-40E Kittyhawk Northern Fleet Air Force, 1942</span>

Its worth mentioning the memoirs of Leonid Ivanovich Rodionov, former Nothern Fleet warrant-officer who witnessed the death of B.F. Safonov (at that moment he was at his post on the ship€s bridge):

We listened to the radio chatter between our pilots and convoy HQ. We could clearly hear Safonov reporting: €œGot one!€ and a bit later: €œGot another one!€ All of the sudden: €œCrippled the third, but I am damaged, heading toward the ships€. Everyone could see how his plane fell into the sea.

A.I. Gurin, the Brigade commander, requested permission of the convoy commanding officer, who always was either English or American, to send one of the vessels to the plane's crash sight. That it was Safonov€s plane was know not only to the Soviet sailors, but to the convoy CO as well, since his radio was always on. Nonetheless, permission never came. In the second request it was mentioned that it was Safonov€s plane that has crashed but permission was still refused.

As we arrived at the base, the Northern Fleet commander Admiral Golovko visited us. Anton Iosifovich Gurin reported to him the details of Safonov€s death and that the convoy CO refused his request to approach the crash sight. Golovko couldn€t hold his tears. €œI wish you would have told that American to go as far as possible," he squeezed the words out of himself. "Even if you couldn€t save him you could at least pass the place where he crushed, I would have felt much better€.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">August, 19, 1945 in Aviagorpdok town the monument to the Hero of Soviet Union - pilot Boris Safonov was solemnly open. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Central Naval Museum
The exhibition tells about offensive actions of the North and Black-Sea Fleets, as well as of river flotillas in 1941-1943, the Baltic Fleet in 1943 and the development of naval technique, shipbuilding, naval medicine, officers' training in the period of the Great Patriotic War. On display are models of the ships and planes from that period, samples of arms and war technique, banners and flags of the units that took part in war actions, photographs and documents, awards and private things of seamen who distinguished them-selves in the war.

Under the vaults of the room hangs the fighter I-16, on which the famous naval pilot, Twice Hero of the Soviet Onion Boris Safonov fought with the enemy in the Arctic Region.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Russian "Tomaxayk" prepares for takeoff. The wing guns are in place.</span>

A Russian view of the P-40 Tomahawk
The following was posted to the Usenet newsgroup rec.aviation.military by by a reader who signs himself "Nele." I have edited it a bit. €" Dan Ford

I just read the interview with General-Major Nikolay Gerasimovich Golodnikov (retired), who flew with Boris Safonov in Hurricanes and P-40s. Golodnikov flew enormous number of various piston and jet-engine fighters in his career-from I-16 to Su-15TM. His opinion about fighter capabilities of US types (P-39 and P-40) is rather high (and it is not the usual "good radio" thing).

This is the translation of, maybe, most important part about P-40 capabilities:

Q. "I will cite Mike Spick to you; that is recognized military aircraft historian: "Some units of the Air Force, like on Malta or North Africa, had to fight with the second-grade aircraft. Firstly those were Gloster Gladiator biplanes and war-weary Hurricanes I. Then, in June 1941 and April 1942, Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk and Kittyhawk were introduced. Deemed inferior for use as fighter in Europe, they were sent to the desert where they could counter most of the Italian fighters, although they could not be mached to German Bf-109E and F..."

Golodnikov: "Well, that what Allies [i.e., British and American pilots] thought, that it is not wise or almost impossible fight with P-40, I knew all the time during the war. P-40 was thought of as quite good fighter with us. When we started to use P-40, we immidiatelly find two drawbacks that were reducing its value of a fighter:

1. P-40 was "dull" in acceleration; it would accelerate quite slow. Poor acceleration dynamics resulted in the low combat speed. It was hard to obtain speed necessary for the air combat. Speed is ultimate thing for a fighter.

2. Poor vertical, especially Tomahawk.

The first and second was the result of the lack of power. What we did was simple. First drawback we removed by holding higher RPM. We always flew it with increased RPM. Second: we took (wing-installed) guns off. That was it. Fighter became "on par". It all depended of yourself, the most important thing was not to be lazy, to work more intensive with the throttle. Truth to be told, engines were "burning away" from our unusual settings. They would last up to 50 hours, often shorter. They would usually clock up to 35 hours and then be replaced.

Q. And of your intensive work with throttle would do "abracadabra" (translator's. note: according to Golodnikov, Tomahawk€"but not Kittyhawk€"woud sometimes tumble "head over heels", depending of the throttle or harsh stick movement!). Allies found many drawbacks of "Tomahawks", but "abracadabra" was not mentioned. Why?

Golodnikov: I don't know, but "Tomahawk" had that drawback.

Q. and all in all, there is a serous difference in evaluations. Could it be from the different Soviet and Allied tactics?

Golodnikov: Main difference in the assesment of P-40's combat capabilities comes from that we and Allies had completely different exploitation of the aircraft. They use it as written in manuals, from letter to letter. We, as I said before, had a main rule is to take from the machine everything possible. How much "everything" is, it did not write in manuals, and even airplane designer didn't anticipate. This appears in combat. Everything said above goes for Aircobra, too. Have we flown them how Americans wrote it in the manual, we would all got shot down. It was a dud as the fighter aircraft on "birth" regime. On our regimes we had a equal combat with either "Me's" or "Fw's", but it would have meant 3-4 combats with subsequent engine change.

07-14-2005, 11:56 PM
On this day in 1941, master spy Juan Pujol Garcia, nicknamed "Garbo," sends his first communique to Germany from Britain. The question was: Who was he spying for?

Juan Garcia, a Spaniard, ran an elaborate multiethnic spy network that included a Dutch airline steward, a British censor for the Ministry of Information, a Cabinet office clerk, a U.S. soldier in England, and a Welshman sympathetic to fascism. All were engaged in gathering secret information on the British-Allied war effort, which was then transmitted back to Berlin. Garcia was in the pay of the Nazis. The Germans knew him as "Arabel," whereas the English knew him as Garbo. The English knew a lot more about him, in fact, than the Germans, as Garcia was a British double agent.

None of Garcia's spies were real, and the disinformation he transmitted to Germany was fabricated-phony military "secrets" that the British wanted planted with the Germans to divert them from genuine military preparations and plans.

Among the most effective of Garcia's deceptions took place in June 1944, when he managed to convince Hitler that the D-Day invasion of Normandy was just a "diversionary maneuver designed to draw off enemy reserves in order to make a decisive attack in another place"-playing right into the mindset of German intelligence, which had already suspected that this might be the case. (Of course, it wasn't.) Among the "agents" that Garcia employed in gathering this "intelligence" was Donny, leader of the World Aryan Order; ****, an "Indian fanatic"; and Dorick, a civilian who lived at a North Sea port. All these men were inventions of Garcia's imagination, but they leant authenticity to his reports back to Berlin--so much so that Hitler, while visiting occupied France, awarded Garcia the Iron Cross for his service to the fatherland.

That same year, 1944, Garcia received his true reward, the title of MBE-Member of the British Empire--for his service to the England and the Allied cause. This ingenious Spaniard had proved to be one of the Allies' most successful counterintelligence tools.

07-15-2005, 12:03 AM
Also at this time...

Only two fighter pilots claimed status of "ace" on the Pe-3 twin-engine fighter in Soviet VVS. They were HSU Streltsov (5 victories and some downed naval ships as well), Fedor Antonets (5 victories) also A.P. Logvinenko with 4 planes ; 3 ships ; 9 tanks, 45 cars, 2 trains all served in 95 IAP.
Unfortunately painting schemes of Streltsov's Pe-3 is not known up to now.


As the Pe-2 had originated as a fighter design, the VI-100, it was only natural that it would evolve back into one. On August 2, 1941, very shortly after the German invasion, Petlyakov was ordered to develop a twin-engine long-range fighter version of the Pe-2 on an absolute rush, minimum-change basis. The result, dubbed the Pe-3 (Soviet fighter designs generally had odd numbers; all other designs, even ones. There were a few exceptions, the Ant-3 being one.) set what must be a record for speedy production as it first flew on August 7, only five days after the request was issued! (It must be remembered that fear of Stalin was a good motivator.) All the engineers could do on such short notice was to take a standard early-production Pe-2 and hastily refit it as a fighter. The changes consisted of fitting additional fuel tanks in the fuselage, one in the bomb bay and one replacing the ventral gunner / radio operator's position, turning the machine into a two-seater. Another Berezin UBK 12.7 millimeter machine gun was added to the nose, giving it a nose armament of two UBKs, with 150 rounds per gun, and a single 7.62 mm gun with 750 rounds per gun. The rear turret of the Pe-2 was retained, though the ventral gun was removed, to be replaced by a fixed rearward-firing light machine gun with 250 rounds in the tail, a scheme derived from the VI-100 fighter.
One external bomb rack was retained under each wing, along with the bomb bays in the engine nacelles. Dive brakes were removed as was the radio compass and the bomber-type radio was swapped for a fighter-type radio.


To no surprise, given the haste behind the effort, the Pe-3 left something to be desired, with the front-line aircrew immediately calling for changes. The fighter radio had inadequate range, and the lack of a radio compass was very troublesome; forward firepower was inadequate; and the lack of frontal armor left the Pe-3 very vulnerable to defensive fire, one commander of an air regiment saying that he would be wiped out after two combat actions if armor wasn't fitted.


The Petlyakov OKB responded immediately, with the first improved "Pe-3bis" flying in September. Nose armament was increased to two UBK 12.7 millimeter machine guns and one ShVAK 20 millimeter cannon, all with 250 rounds per gun. The fixed tailcone ShKAS gun, which was generally regarded as a joke, was deleted. Frontal armor was fitted; automatic slats were added to the leading edges of the wings to improve landing characteristics; provision was added for carriage of a reconnaissance camera; and a number of other small changes were added. These changes were added in ongoing production and, to an extent, retrofitted to aircraft in the field, while the design OKB went through another iteration to further refine the design. The nose glazing was deleted; the two UBK 12.7 millimeter guns in the nose were moved to the wing roots; and a propeller and canopy de-icing system was added.


Pe-3 series aircraft were produced in relatively small batches into 1944, with a total of a few hundred built to end of production, a small quantity compared to the massive quantities of Pe-2s rolled off the production line. They were used for air combat, reconnaissance, and attack, and served to the end of the war. Many Pe-3s were refitted with improved armament in the field.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Aircraft : Pe-3bis
Year : 1940
Engine : 2 x M-105PA , 1050 hrs.pwr.
Wingspan : 17.20 m
Length : 12.70 m
Weight : 8040 kg
Max. speed : 530 km/h
Ceiling : 9100 m
Range : 2150 km
Crew : 2
Armament : 1x20mm + 3x12.7mm + 1x7.62mm guns </span>

The first operational combat sortie of the Pe-3 was performed by the 95th Air Fighter Regiment, which had converted from Pe-2's. In the beginning of October 1941 six Pe-3's took off to escort Douglas C-47's with a British military delegation which was en route from Vologda to Moscow. The Pe-3's fended off 3 German attacks without a single loss. On October 3rd the first kill was scored by the Pe-3, a Junkers Ju-88 bomber.
The Pe-3 fared better against bigger aircraft than against single-engine fighters; the early Pe-3€s were vulnerable to Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighters, since they lacked adequate protection to the rear but this changed with the Pe-3bis. Some Pe-3 were also used for long-range reconnaissance duties, joined by reconnaissance versions of the Pe-2; these aircraft lacked dive brakes and were fitted with additional fuel tanks in the bomb bay and three cameras in the rear fuselage. Of all its many roles, the Pe-3 was used mostly and most effectively as a ground attack fighter, dropping bombs on the German troops and machine gunning them. They served to the end of the war and many Pe-3s were refitted with improved armament in the field but only a few hundred were built compared to the massive quantities of Pe-2s rolled off the production line.

Link: http://www.bergstrombooks.elknet.pl/bc-rs/BC1Sample.pdf

-HH- Beebop
07-15-2005, 07:50 AM
I'm lovin' it guys! Great posts.

15 July

In East Africa... After a brief resistance against attacking Italian forces the outnumbered garrison of Moyale, Kenya withdraws from the town.

In the Baltic States... Plebiscites conducted in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are announced to show a unanimous desire for union with the USSR.

In the United States... The Democratic Party convention at Chicago opens.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviets launch a counterattack (lasting until July 17th) in the Lake Ilmen area to gain time for the building of further fortifications around Leningrad. The attacking forces lose heavily in their efforts because the troops are very inexperienced.
Soviet armor and infantry advancing

From India... The first supplies flown into China "Over the Hump" are sent to Chiang Kai-shek's forces. The loss of the Burma Road to the Japanese prevents supplying the troops by land.
American transport flying over "The Hump"
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">FLYING THE HUMP

In the process of conducting the postwar analysis of air operations, authors of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey paid attention to the story of airlift activities. In its study of the China-Burma-India theater, the survey attached particular value to the airlift factor and the role of the ATC. €œThe major significance, for the future, of all air operation in CBI was the development of air transport operations,€ the survey concluded. The airlift€s success was all the more notable because of its hurried deployment and the formidable geographic region in which it operated. As the survey observed, €œthe terrain of Burma and China and the absence of land lines of communication forced all agencies in the theater to turn to the airplane€"initially as an afterthought and an emergency last-chance measure.€ The flexibility of air transportation offered planners a unique tool €œto meet the exigencies of the various situations.€ Summing up, the survey declared that €œair transport operations expanded beyond the wildest predictions of 1942€"expanded because it was the one agency which could succeed.€

Regarding the CBI theater, the military situation in 1942 appeared to be highly unfavorable. The Imperial Japanese Army presence in China totaled one million troops. The Chinese forces opposing them numbered in the hundreds of thousands, but were critically disadvantaged by their tenuous supply line stretching hundreds of miles to the west in India. Moreover, this line to Allied support snaked through impenetrable jungles and towering mountain passes of the Himalayas. The mountains, rising to twenty thousand feet and more, presented a seemingly impossible operational challenge. With the cynical cockiness typical of soldiers and airmen, troops in the region reduced the Himalayas by way of semantics, simply referring to them as €œThe Hump.€

Following the invasion of China in 1937, Japanese forces succeeded in occupying or controlling virtually all of China€s Pacific coast and large parts of the interior; the Japanese navy commanded all ocean approaches. In the spring of 1942, Japanese units overran Burma, on India€s northern border, cutting off the last significant land routes that supplied the struggling armies of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek in China. The United States and its allies needed to keep China in the war because its forces preoccupied hundreds of thousands of Japanese troops. This holding ac-tion would permit the Allies to attack Axis powers in the European and Mediterranean theaters, at the same time building the necessary logistical infrastructure to challenge and defeat Japan in the Far East. But for this grand strategy to work, China had to be supplied. The loss of Burma and of its supply lines to China precipitated an emergency situation.

General Arnold had been worrying about the fragile supply lines to China even before the loss of Burma. During the 1930s, the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) had pioneered air routes over the Himalayas. CNAC operated with the support of the Chinese government and the expertise of Pan American Airways. With Arnold€s support, CNAC became a contractor to operate air cargo services between India and China, although it was clear that far more capacity was needed. Accordingly, the Tenth Air Force, based in India, took responsibility for substantial air cargo flights and began operations over the Hump in April 1942. In two months, the Tenth Air Force carried 196 tons of cargo, and CNAC delivered 112 tons. Summer monsoons nearly terminated flights, but the two units were delivering one thousand tons a month by the end of the year. This, however, was far short of the ten thousand tons required by the Chinese each month. A drastic reorganization ensued.

Staff reports analyzing early failures pointed to a variety of problems, including shortages in aircraft and crews. Poor maintenance kept many airplanes grounded. Operational missions dealt with foul weather, flight at high altitudes, and spoiling forays by Japanese fighter airplanes. More-over, Tenth Air Force commanders did not seem committed to an all-out effort to sustain Hump operations. In October 1942, Arnold decided to put the ATC in command of all Hump operations, and Tenth Air Force units on Hump assignments were transferred to the ATC in December. The ATC, with authority to handle all airlift requirements in the theater of operations, brought its special experience to sort out the problems in air transportation and cargo flying.

Heavily loaded transports began their runs to China after lifting off from hot, muggy airfields in India€s eastern jungles, then struggled upward for altitude to clear the towering Himalayas. A direct route to Kunming, China, took four hours, at an average altitude of about sixteen thou-sand feet, and placed aircraft over areas within range of Japanese fighters. The ATC crews characteristically flew a dogleg to the north to escape enemy airplanes, even though the path stretched fuel reserves to the limit and required an operational altitude of twenty thousand feet to clear most of the Himalayan peaks. Many fliers wound up threading their way through available mountain passes at sixteen thousand feet, with snow-covered ridges and pinnacles rising on either side of them. In addition to the changeable weather high over the Himalayas, pilots flew across virtually impenetrable jungles on both sides of the menacing mountain ranges.

Over the Indian jungles, in particular, fliers had to contend with monsoon rainstorms for six months of every year. Landing strips and runways became muddy quagmires; fliers and ground personnel existed in a swampy world of sodden bunks, clothes, and tents. The C€"46 Comman-dos mounted a many-paned windscreen and, when airborne, pilots discovered that the monsoons forced water through myriad gaps around the cockpit windows and left them as miserably soggy in the air as they were on the ground. Sheets of driving rain and turbulence around airfields of-ten kept operations shut down for days at a time. Early in the war, the Japanese never expected Allied airlifts to work because of the mountains and the tropical storms, but the pressure to deliver needed war matériel of-ten meant flying in conditions that normally kept airplanes on the ground. Veteran pilots explained the €œCBI takeoff € to newcomers€"if you could see the end of the runway through the rain and mist, then a takeoff was expected. At night, ATC crews sent a Jeep cruising ahead down the runway to clear it of cows, nocturnal animals, and curious natives.

Operational efficiency began to improve with the allocation of more airplanes and personnel, better weather forecasting, accumulated flight experience, and additional airfields where more attention was paid to drainage and weather resistance. The big push came in the wake of high-level Allied conferences during the spring of 1943. These meetings established a timetable for major European offensives and also resulted in agreements to accelerate the offensive against Japanese forces in Asia. A major key to this last objective involved a more prominent role for the ATC. President Roosevelt himself underscored a goal of ten thousand tons a month for the airlift into China, where political considerations implied heavier support of Chiang Kai-Shek€s forces.

With this factor in mind, military planners shifted workers and equipment from road construction to building airfields. By the spring of 1945, a determined effort resulted in a total of thirteen primary bases for the ATC in India and six in China. Although ATC transports carried some equipment across the Hump to Chinese construction sites, the major fac-tor on both sides of the Himalayas involved tens of thousands of local workers. The labor force€"men, women, and children€"carried out grueling tasks almost entirely by hand. Ox carts delivered rocks; a host of workers with crude picks reduced them to usable stone chips; hundreds more scooped them barehanded into baskets of woven vines, then hand-carried their burdens to the landing strip under construction. The stones were compacted by primitive boulder-filled rollers pulled along by gangs of straining laborers. News photographers recorded the throngs of workers€" some one hundred thousand people€"who swarmed back and forth to complete a six thousand-foot runway near the Yangtze River in China.

Still, nobody could reduce the Himalayas in size; banish the monsoon season; make the rough, rocky airstrips any smoother; bring down temperatures at sweltering Indian air bases; resolve the persistent shortages of personal supplies; or rectify the dozens of other major and minor complaints that affected morale. Despite such problems, ATC crews and personnel found ways to pursue specific goals and to gauge their achievements. As one observer said, they were €œliving like dogs and flying like fiends€ (Spencer, 1992). Pilots and ground crews competed against others to see who could load the most cargo and complete the most missions. These contests soon embraced entire units and expanded to include categories such as fewest accidents and highest number of flying hours to an aircraft.

With gritty determination, the ATC pushed toward the goal of ten thousand tons of cargo a month. The target was not reached until the end of 1943, and came at the cost of many airplanes and aircrews. Many fliers simply lacked the experience for night flying or for operating the heavily loaded transports in hot weather and at high altitudes. Exhaustion of the pilots remained a constant factor. During the last half of 1943, some 150 major aircraft accidents resulted in more than 160 aircrew fatalities. Improved statistics for 1944 reflected rising operational experience, along with additional airplanes and pilots to enhance the frequency of flights. Monthly cargo deliveries climbed to fifteen thousand tons by the spring of 1944, and rose to more than thirty-four thousand tons by year€s end.

Along the way, several administrative changes occurred. Brig. Gen. William H. Tunner took over Hump operations during the summer of 1944. Aircrews had dramatically raised the tonnage and frequency of flights, encouraged by Tunner€s predecessor, Brig. Gen. Thomas Hardin. But there were still too many accidents, and morale remained dismally low. Tunner€s prior success in running the huge and complex Ferrying Di-vision of the ATC led the AAF to tap him as the man to improve delivery rates even further.


Tunner insisted on appropriate military dress and appearance, markedly improved meals and recreation opportunities for service members, instituted better weather forecasting, and streamlined maintenance procedures. Though some may have groused about these changes and the increased military protocol, Tunner had good reason for the new regulations. Shortly after arriving to take up his new duties in India, Tunner personally flew a C€"46 over the Hump to China and back. During takeoff, he saw numerous scorched areas beside the runway€"grim reminders of too many transports that had crashed and gone up in flames. His round-trip over the Himalayas brought home the exigencies of flying in bad weather and the vast, menacing threat to missions over such mountainous and bro-ken terrain. His subsequent actions were all geared to reduce the accident rate and raise morale. Tunner was not above creative demonstrations to push his requests for additional resources back home, at one point making sure that reporters watched an elephant used to load crates into an ATC airplane in India.

By the end of World War II, Tunner€s ATC Division had grown from 369 to 722 aircraft, and the number of personnel had swelled from twenty-six thousand to more than eighty-four thousand. Accelerated flight activity during the final offensives against Japanese forces in China meant one ATC transport took off every three minutes. Early in 1945, the month-ly cargo delivered to China reached forty-four thousand tons, and it peaked at seventy-one thousand tons in July. Meanwhile, accident rates dropped by more than 50 percent.

The record of ATC achievements in the CBI theater unquestionably demonstrated the potential of major airlifts in modern warfare. Of all the supplies delivered to China from 1942 through 1945, 81 percent came by air over the Hump. Chinese forces tying up one million Japanese troops meant that the Japanese Imperial Army had far fewer resources to oppose the amphibious landings and other island campaigns mounted by America and its allies in the fighting throughout the Pacific. Airlift thus emerged as a significant new military consideration in future applications of air power.</span>


additional link:

In North Africa... Fighting continues around the Ruwesiat Ridge, with the German forces regaining some ground. Losses to British artillery fire are high.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet Central Front (Rokossovsky) joins the offensive drive toward Orel. In the south of the Kursk salient, German forces of Army Group South (Manstein) begin to pull back to their start lines. Soviet forces press forward against the retreating Germans.
Knocked out Greman PzKpfw IV guards dead soldiers

In Sicily... General Patton forms a provisional corps to advance on the west of the island while US 2nd Corps (Bradley) drives northward. In Catania the Axis forces retreat behind the Simeto River.

In the Solomon Islands... General Griswold replaces General Hester in command of operation in New Georgia. There is an air battle over Rendova in which the Americans lose 3 aircraft and claim to shoot down more than 40 Japanese planes.

In Washington... President Roosevelt creates a new office of economic warfare, headed by Leo Crowley. It replaces the previous board.

On the Western Front... Elements of the US 1st Army reach the outskirts of Lessay. From here to the Taute River, the advance is halted for regrouping. Heavy fighting takes place near St. Lo.
American column advancing in France

In Italy... Divisions of British 8th Army launch attacks against German positions at Arezzo. To the west, the US 5th Army advances toward Leghorn. The French Expeditionary Corps capture Castellina.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 2nd Baltic Front captures Opochka, 30 miles north of Idritsa. Other Soviet forces cross the Niemen River in several places west and southwest of Vilna.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In London... The West End lights up again, ending over 2000 days of blackout and dim-out.
In Brussels... King Leopold III repeats his refusal to abdicate.

In Japan... American naval vessels bombard Muroran, the second biggest steel center in Japan, lying in Volcano Bay on the east side of the island of Hokkaido. Three battleships bombarded the Muroran and some 1000 carrier planes bombed the cities of Hakodati, Otaru, Abashiri, Kushiro, Asahigawa and Obihiro, all on Hokkaido.

Over Japan... American B-29 Superfortress bombers, based in the Marianna Islands, raided an oil refinery at Kudamatsu on Honshu Island while fighters and bombers from Okinawa attacked objectives on Kyushu and southern Honshu.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, Australian troops capture Mount Batochampar, which was a key Japanese defensive position.

07-15-2005, 10:30 PM
-HH- Beebop... Great posting about the Hump!
Truely a Historical Achievement by the Chinese People who builded the Airfields by hand with little or no Heavy Equipment and the Air Crew's that flew these Flights over the toughest terrain on this planet.

07-15-2005, 10:48 PM
On this day of July 16 1945 the Event that changed the World Forever...


If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky,
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...
I am become Death,
The shatterer of Worlds.

The Bhagavad-Gita

Before Trinity: The 100 Ton Test

May 7, 1945:

To help in preparing the instrumentation for the Trinity shot the "100 Ton Test" was fired on 7 May 1945. This test detonated 108 tons of TNT stacked on a wooden platform 800 yards from Trinity ground zero. The pile of high explosive was threaded with tubes containing 1000 curies of reactor fission products. This is the largest instrumented explosion conducted up to this date. The test allowed the calibration of instruments to measure the blast wave, and gave some indication of how fission products might be distributed by the explosion.

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/100TonExp1s.jpg http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/100TonExp2s.jpg http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/100TonExp3s.jpg

The Gadget

July 12, 1945:
The Gadget components arrive at the test site. Assembly of the test device begins at the McDonald Ranch farmhouse at Alamogordo at 1300 hours.

July 14, 1945:
Robert Bacher drives the assembled core to Zero, where final assembly of the Gadget was conducted in a canvas tent at the basis of the tower.
Later that same day, the assembled Gadget (without detonators) was hoisted to the top of the 100 foot test tower.


July 15, 1945:
On the night of July 15th, the detonators were installed in the Gadget, and assembly was completed. Dr. Norris Bradbury, supervising the assembly process noted in his log book: "Look for rabbit's feet and four leaf clovers. Should we have the chaplain down here"?


The Trinity Test
July 16 1945, 5:29:45 A.M. (Mountain War Time)
Trinity Site Zero, Alamogordo Test Range,
Jornada del Muerto desert.

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Trinityto1MS320c20.jpg http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Trinity6-18MS320c10.jpg

In that brief instant in the remote New Mexico desert the tremendous effort of the brains and brawn of all these people came suddenly and startlingly to the fullest fruition. Dr. Oppenheimer, on whom has rested a very heavy burden, grew tenser as the last seconds ticked off. He scarcely breathed. He held on to a post to steady himself. For the last few seconds, he stared directly ahead and then when the announcer shouted "Now!" and there came a tremendous burst of light followed shortly thereafter by the deep growling roar of the explosion, his face relaxed into an expression of tremendous relief. Several of the observers standing back of the shelter to warch the lighing effects were knocked flat by the blast.

...All seemed to feel that they had been present at the birth of a new age -- The Age of Atomic Energy -- and felt their profound responsibility to help in guiding into the right channels the tremendous forces which had been unlocked for the first time in history."

Brigadier General Thomas F. Farrell, describing his impressions at S-10,000 a bunker 10,000 yards south of Trinity;
quoted in The Day the Sun Rose Twice by Ferenc M. Szasz, pg. 88.

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Trin2.jpg http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Trinity.jpg

The heat of the Trinity explosion melted the sandy soil around the tower to form a glassy crust known as "trinitite". Years later, with a view towards making the Trinity site a tourist-accessible national historic site (a plan that has never been carried out), the mildly radioactive crust was bulldozed into heaps and covered with soil.


07-15-2005, 10:55 PM
The Fall of the Trinity Test...


The fireball created by the explosion touched the ground and vaporized large amounts of soil. These relatively heavy particles, highly radioactive, fell out of the cloud quickly, causing a fair amount of local fallout. Delayed or long-distance fallout was relatively small, though it was high enough to cause defects to appear on film as far away as New York.

07-16-2005, 07:39 AM
I am become as DEATH...... the destroyer of worlds....... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

07-16-2005, 08:49 AM
Hello Bearcat99... Good to see you on this thread.
I have to admit... I was having second thoughts on this posting.
Very Scary Photo's and quesions in my view.

-HH- Beebop
07-16-2005, 10:39 AM
woofiedog, it HAD to be posted. It was the single most important event during the whole of WWII and changed the world forever.

16 July

From Berlin... Hitler issues his Directive 16. It begins, "I have decided to begin to prepare for, and if necessary to carry out, an invasion of England." It goes on to explain the importance of the air battles for the achievement of this aim. At this stage in the planning the German army's views are dominant. They wish the Channel crossing to take place on a wide front with landings all along the south coast of Britain. They envisage that the force to be employed will be at least 25 and perhaps 40 divisions. They hope that the crossing can be protected by the Luftwaffe and mines on its flanks. This is not a very realistic plan.
German troops preparing landing barges for the invasion

In Tokyo... Japanese Prime Minister Yonai resigns because of military pressure.

On the Eastern Front... The Finnish attacks north of Lake Ladoga take Sortavala and reach the Lake to the southeast of the town, cutting off Soviet forces to the west. The Soviets will be able to get some of their troops away by boat. Attacks by German Army Group South surround a Soviet force south of Uman.
A German PzKpfw III passes a burning Soviet BT7

In Berlin... At an important meeting Hitler, Goring, Bormann and Rosenberg decide on plans for the exploitation of the territory begin captured from the Soviets. Rosenberg is put in charge of a new ministry with the task of organizing the new lands for Germany's economic benefit and eliminating Jews and Communists.

In Vichy France... General Weygand is appointed Governor General of Algeria.

In Tokyo... In order to remove Masuoka from the Foreign Ministry, Prince Konoye resigns.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet resistance against the German advances near Rostov stiffens.

From Moscow... Soviets release figures of German losses from the start of their summer offensive. Their numbers, 900,000 are considered to be exaggerated.

In Sicily... The US 3rd Division attacks Agrigento and Porto Empedocle. The Canadian 1st Division captures Caltagirone advances toward Piazza Armerina. The British 50th Division crosses the Simeto River. Its bridgehead is later reinforced by armor.
British advances are reinforced by armor

From London and Washington... Roosevelt and Churchill issue a joint statement calling for an Italian surrender and the overthrow of Mussolini.

In Italy... Fascist politicians begin plotting the removal of Mussolini.

On the Eastern Front... The German withdrawal on the southern neck of the Kursk salient continues under Soviet pressure.

In London... The Polish government in exile publishes a paper claiming German territory in East Prussia, Danzig and the Polish Corridor for postwar Poland.

On the Western Front... Forces of US 1st Army continue attacking near St. Lo. Elements of British 2nd Army advance toward Hottot-les-Bagues and Evrecy.

In Italy... British 8th Army forces capture Arezzo. Elements of the British 13th Corps cross the Arno River as the German forces fall back.

On the Eastern Front... Southwest of Vilna, Soviet forces storm Grodno. To the south, the 1st Ukrainian Front advances toward Lvov on a 300-mile frontage.

In New Guinea... Around Aitape, the Japanese forces along the Driniumor River weaken.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In the United Sates... The world's first atomic bomb is exploded at Alamagordo in New Mexico (the Trinity test) at 1730 hours. The steel tower, on which the Plutonium fueled device was mounted, is vaporized by the heat of the explosion (which is greater than the temperature of the inside the of sun). The detonation is visible and audible up to 180 miles away. It is estimated that the blast generated by the explosion is equal to that yielded by between 15,000-20,000 tons of TNT.
The huge electromagnetic separation complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, became the heart of a bustling, closely-guarded community.
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A World War II Secret City
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a city born of war in 1942, existed for seven years as a truly "Secret City." Oak Ridge, Tennessee was not shown on any maps, did not allow any visitors other than by special approval, had guards posted at the entrances to the city and required all residents to wear badges at all times when outside their homes. Oak Ridge, Tennessee was born as a direct result of the letter written by Albert Einstein to then President Roosevelt in 1939 citing the urgent need to develop the capability to sustain a chain reaction of uranium. From this letter came the plan for our nation to create an atomic weapon that would be more powerful than any weapon in the history of the world. The Manhattan Project, created to develop this amazing new atomic weapon, spent 60 cents of every dollar in Oak Ridge! The "Secret City" grew to a population of 75,000, was the fifth largest city in Tennessee and was not even on the map.

Some 60,000 acres of valleys and ridges chosen as a major site for the now historic Manhattan Project because of the close proximity to the new TVA dam at Norris, Tennessee for electrical power, the availability of labor in nearby Knoxville, Tennessee and the relative sparse population because of the lay of the land which also afforded the valleys for the plants and the ridges to contain any accidental explosions. Some say it was a political decision influenced by U.S. Sen. K. D. McKellar, a Tennessee Democrat who chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, and thus could assure President Roosevelt that funds could be provided without raising suspicions regarding its use. Senator McKellar is said to have replied to Roosevelt's request to quietly approve significant funds to be made available for a secret war effort with "Yes, it can be done, and Mr. President, just where in Tennessee are we going to locate that thing?" For whatever reason, the communities of Scarboro, New Hope, Robertsville, Elza and Wheat were chosen and given notice that their 3000 residents were to vacate their 1000 properties as they were to be required to support the war effort. The people were given a matter of weeks to remove their possession and relocate.</span>

<span class="ev_code_GREEN">I was looking for some further history on Oak Ridge TN that related to WW II and the atomic bomb. This is what I found:
On a personal note I find it sad that such an important part of world history is trivialized into an attraction akin to a county fair. Just my opinion though.</span>

In Occupied Germany... The American and British delegations to the Potsdam Conference arrive in Berlin, led by President Truman and Prime Minister Churchill, respectively.

Over Japan... A force of 500 B-29 Superfortress bombers strike targets on Honshu and Kyushu. In total, over 1500 American planes attack raid various objectives on the Japanese home islands during the day.

In China... Japanese units begin pulling out of Amoy, in the south.

07-17-2005, 06:42 AM
On this day of July 17 1942...

60 years ago today Battle of Stalingrad began


On July 17, 1942, 60 years ago to the day, the Battle of Stalingrad -- one of the biggest in the Second World War -- began.

It had two stages: the first -- the Stalingrad strategic defensive operation -- started on July 17 and lasted until November 18, 1942. It was carried out by troops of the Stalingrad and South Eastern fronts assisted by the Volga military flotilla. In the course of the operation additional forces were committed: units of the South Eastern Front, five combined arms armies, two tank armies, 56 divisions and 33 brigades.



Says Gamlet Dallakian, a veteran of the battle: "Smashed at Kharkov, bled white, and forced to retreat towards the Don, we thought the war was lost and we would not be able to withstand a strong enemy".

Things were desperate indeed. The Hitlerites had overrun Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltics and nearly the whole of the Krasnodar Territory and the North Caucasus. "There was no way of stopping the Germans, they were breathing down our necks while we were retreating to the Don," Dallakian said.



Real fighting began in the Don curve, on distant approaches to Stalingrad. According to Dallakian, the signals battalion he was serving in lost more than two-thirds of its complement in a matter of 30 minutes.

The following description of the beginning of the battle of Stalingrad is given by staff of the Battle of Stalingrad panorama museum: scorched steppe, blazing sun, wearied Soviet soldiers, and smug Germans. Soviet men walking by foot, Germans riding on motor-cycles and tanks.



Despite stubborn resistance, Soviet soldiers had, under pressure from overwhelming enemy forces, to pull back to the left bank of the Don. Fighting on the outer defensive perimeter lasted a full month. The Germans had failed to capture Stalingrad in their stride. The only inroad the enemy managed to make was 60-80 kilometres, but they continued to fight their way to the Volga, burning everything as they pushed forward.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">German & Russian Army
Led by von Paulus
1,011,500 men
10,290 artillery guns
675 tanks
1,216 planes

Led by Zhukov
1,000,500 men
13,541 artillery guns
1,115 planes
894 tanks

"My hands are done for, and have been ever since the beginning of December. The little finger of my left hand is missing and - what's even worse - the three middle fingers of my right one are frozen. I can only hold my mug with my thumb and little finger. I'm pretty helpless; only when a man has lost any fingers does he see how much he needs then for the smallest jobs. The best thing I can do with the little finger is to shoot with it. My hands are finished."
Anonymous German soldier

"I was horrified when I saw the map. We're quite alone, without any help from outside. Hitler has left us in the lurch. Whether this letter gets away depends on whether we still hold the airfield. We are lying in the north of the city. The men in my unit already suspect the truth, but they aren't so exactly informed as I am. No, we are not going to be captured. When Stalingrad falls you will hear and read about it. Then you will know that I shall not return."
Anonymous German soldier


"The No 277 'No Retreat' order issued on July 27 was a correct one, despite its harshness," believes the veteran. "If there had not been one, matters would have been bad for us." It was on August 23 that Hitlerite tanks supported by motorised infantry reached the northern environs of Stalingrad. On that day massive bombing of the city began, with enemy planes making up to 2,000 raids a day. Thousands of bombs rained on the city. "Everything was burning -- the city, the air, the Volga," Dallakian recalls those days.



The bitter fighting that unfolded in the Don curve and continued near and in Stalingrad not only depleted the enemy's offensive might and exhausted the main strike group of armies on the southern wing of the Soviet-German front, but also paved the way for a decisive counter-offensive of Soviet troops.


The second stage of the battle -- the Stalingrad strategic offensive operation -- kicked off on November 19, 1942 and ended on February 2, 1943. The operation was carried out by the South-Western, Don, and Stalingrad fronts, helped by the Volga flotilla. In the course of the fighting additional units were thrown in: the 1st and 2nd Guards and the 5th and 6th strike armies, five tank and three mechanised corps, and six brigades.



During the operation Soviet troops encircled and mauled down the main forces of the 4th Panzer and 6th field German armies, and smashed the 3rd and 4th Romanian and the 8th Italian armies. Enemy losses totaled over 800,000 men. With the German grouping surrounded and eliminated between January 10 and February 2, 1943, more than 91,000 troops were taken prisoner, including 2,500 officers and 24 generals, among them Field Marshal Paulus. All in all, the enemy lost in the battle for Stalingrad about 1.5 million men in killed, wounded, captured and missing -- one-quarter of its forces fighting on the Soviet-German front.


The Battle of Stalingrad lasted exactly 200 days and nights. It marked a turning point in the war. According to Dallakian, "we not only won the battle, we came to believe that we would carry the day in the war and overcome the Hitlerites."




-HH- Beebop
07-17-2005, 04:18 PM
wow woofiedog, great pics!

17 July

In Tokyo... A new Cabinet headed by Prince Konoye is appointed. Matsuoka is the new Foreign Minister and will be very influential. The Cabinet also includes a number of supporters of a more aggressive policy. The most important is General Tojo who becomes Minister of War.
Newly appointed Japanese Minister of War, General Tojo

On the Eastern Front... The Germans develop an important bridgehead over the Dniepr River near Mogilev.
German AA gun protects engineers building bridge

From Moscow... In an attempt to stiffen resistance the political commissars are restored to the Soviet army and navy units.

In North Africa... Rommel's supply situation continues to deteriorate, but German and Italian troops are still able to halt a British advance near Miterirya Ridge. Rommel suggests a retreat to the Italian and German Commanders, Cavallero and Kesselring.
Rommel (center) with Kesserling (left)

From Berlin... Hitler fearing that Army Group A will not be able to cross the Don River against growing Soviet opposition, switches the 4th Panzer Army from Army Group B. Without 4th Panzer Army, Army Group B's progress toward Stalingrad is slowed.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet offensive toward Orel is slowed by counterattacks by German armored units. To the south, the German fighting withdrawal from the Kursk salient continues. Farther south, the Soviet Southwest Front (Malinovsky) begins attacks around Voroshilovgrad.
German column under attack by Soviet aircraft

In the Solomon Islands... Americans conduct a large air raid on Bougainville. Shipping offshore and airfields between Buin and Faisi are targeted. One Japanese destroyer is sunk.

In New Guinea... Elements of the Australian 3rd and American 41st Divisions move toward Salamaua in a holding action against the Japanese.

In Sicily... US forces capture Agrigento and Porto Empedocle.

In Occupied France... German Field Marshal Rommel is severely wounded in a strafing attack on his staff car by an Allied fighter aircraft. Rommel was returning to his headquarters from an inspection tour.
Gun camera film purportedly of the attack on Rommel

From Berlin... Field Marshal Kluge assumes temporary command of Army Group B (Rommel).

On the Western Front... Forces of US 1st Army penetrate into the town of St. Lo.

In Occupied Norway... The British carriers Formidable, Indefatigable and Furious escorted by the battleship Duke of York launch air attacks against German battleship Tirpitz at anchor at Kaafiord. The incoming strike is detected and a smoke screen effectively conceals the target.

In Tokyo... Admiral Nomura replaces Shimada as the Minister of the Navy.

In Washington... President Roosevelt announces that he will leave the choice for Vice President to the Democratic Party convention.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Occupied Germany... The Potsdam Conference (code named Terminal), informally named after the small town near Berlin in which it takes place, begins as the last of the leaders arrives. Marshal Stalin arrived in Berlin and the conference of the Big Three (Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States) began in the afternoon. President Truman is invited to preside over the meeting.

In Japan... The first Anglo-American carrier air strike on the Tokyo area is conducted by the forces of the British Pacific Fleet (Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings), designated Task Force 37, and the US 3rd Fleet (Admiral Halsey) During the night (July 17-18), the HMS King George V and 5 US battleships bombard Hitachi on Honshu. The Allied battleships fire some 2000 tons of shells on Hitachi in fifty minutes.

In Britain... German Field Marshal Busch, the former commander of Army Group Center on the Eastern Front, dies at the military hospital in Notts at age 60. Meanwhile, the King, Queen and Princess Elizabeth visit Ulster.

07-17-2005, 04:22 PM
I want to be frank, it can take me forever to download these pages on my slow modem €" for ever http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif But there are times when its worth it and this is one of them. The battle of Stalingrad was indeed an enjoyable read; some interesting facts.

"The No 277 'No Retreat' order issued on July 27 was a correct one, despite its harshness," believes the veteran. "If there had not been one, matters would have been bad for us." It was on August 23 that Hitlerite tanks supported by motorised infantry reached the northern environs of Stalingrad. On that day massive bombing of the city began, with enemy planes making up to 2,000 raids a day. Thousands of bombs rained on the city. "Everything was burning -- the city, the air, the Volga," Dallakian recalls those days.

Boy that says a lot!

On this day in 1945, the conference of Allied victors at Potsdam, outside of Berlin, begins, with U.S. President Harry S. Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in attendance.

The issues at hand for the Big Three and their staffs were the administration of a defeated Germany; the postwar borders of Poland; the occupation of Austria; the Soviet Union's "place" in Eastern Europe; war reparations; and the continuing war in the Pacific. Various disputes broke out almost immediately, especially over the Soviet Union's demand that the western border of Poland extend into German territory, granting Poland a zone of occupation. But the four zones of occupation that had been worked out at the Yalta Conference in February were finally agreed upon, to be created in both Germany and Austria and to be controlled by the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. A council composed of representatives of the four great powers was also established to determine the fate of Germany and Austria as nations. The council was to pursue the Five D's: demilitarization, denazification, decentralization, deindustrialization, and democratization. It was also !

agreed that unconditional surrender would be demanded of Japan, despite a warning by the Japanese emperor that such a demand would be resisted.

Unlike previous Allied conferences, Potsdam was marked by suspicion and defensiveness on the part of the participants. Now that the war was over in the West, each nation was more concerned with its own long-term interests than that of its partners. Winston Churchill in particular was greatly suspicious of Joseph Stalin's agenda for the Soviet Union's role in Eastern Europe. Stalin refused to negotiate the future of those Eastern European nations now occupied by Soviet forces. When Churchill was informed that an election had ousted his Conservative Party from power, and that Labor's Clement Attlee was now prime minister, he returned to London. With Churchill gone from the final negotiations of the conference, the Iron Curtain could be heard descending across Eastern Europe.

07-17-2005, 08:34 PM
Still not a sticky huh?
This would make a great coffee table book once the year is complete.....or a website. (Yeah I know...copywright)

Regarding the Trinity test, I heard a story that one fear they had was that the blast might ignite the atmosphere.....all of it. So they crossed their fingers, closed their eyes and went ahead anyway. Scarey stuff.

You guys do good work http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

07-18-2005, 06:05 AM
I want to Thank all of you Arcadeace, -HH- Beebop, and -HH-Dubbo!
I hope that you have had as much fun reading and posting in this thread as I have.
Again Thank's

Arcadeace... I also was running Dial-up... until recently. I now have DSL and it sure does make life easyer.
Before when downloading a Patch for the Game... 16-20 hr's and if it complete's without a glitch or Etc.
I'll try to keep that in mind when posting in the future.

-HH- Beebop
07-18-2005, 06:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by woofiedog:
...I hope that you have had as much fun reading and posting in this thread as I have.
Again Thank's

Arcadeace... I also was running Dial-up... until recently. I now have DSL and it sure does make life easyer.
Before when downloading a Patch for the Game... 16-20 hr's and if it complete's without a glitch or Etc.
I'll try to keep that in mind when posting in the future. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
woofiedog, I know I can speak for Dubbo and myself, we both are fasinated with your postings. Keep up the good work.
Arcadeace, I'm on a broadband hookup and, like woofiedog, will keep in mind your dial-up limitations. (and thanks for your input, it is appreciated.)
Dubbo, thanks for your continuing support.

-HH- Beebop
07-18-2005, 06:31 AM
18 July

In Burma... In response to Japanese pressure and because of their present weakness, the British government closes the Burma Road to the passage of supplies to the Chinese Nationalists. The monsoon season is just beginning in Burma, so there is little real loss to the Chinese, and the road will be reopened in October when the better weather begins.
Suspension bridge on the Burma Road

In the United States... Roosevelt is nominated as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate without any real opposition. Henry Wallace is chose to run for vice-president

In Tokyo... Prince Konoye re-forms his Cabinet with Baron Hiranuma as deputy prime minister and Admiral Toyoda as foreign minister. Already personally unpopular, Matsuoka is removed because he has been urging that the Neutrality Agreement with the Soviets should be abandoned and that Japan should join with Germany in the attack on the USSR. The other Japanese leaders do not wish to take such a decisive step, and have decided that without Matsuoka and his known liking for Hitler they have a better chance of reaching an agreement with the US over the pressing problem of oil resources.
Prince Konoye[/i]

In London... Britain formally recognizes the Benes government as the legal provisional government of Czechoslovakia. A friendship and mutual assistance agreement between the Czechs and the Soviets is signed in London.

On the Eastern Front... The German Army Group B is ordered to advance on Stalingrad.

In Sicily... Americans take Caltanisetta and cut the Palermo-Enna road to the north. East of Enna, Canadian forces capture Valguarnera. On the east coast, Dempsey's forces are stalled north of the Simeto River.
Canadian sherman tank moves through Valguarnera

In Tokyo... Tojo resigns his posts as prime minister and Chief of Staff of the Army. General Kuniaki Koiso and Admiral Yonai are chosen to form a new cabinet. General Umezu becomes the new Chief of Staff of the Army. These changes reflect the growing strength of Japanese statesmen seeking an end to the war.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of 3rd Baltic Front strike toward Ostrov and Pskov. The 1st Belorussian Front attacks around Kovel. To the south, after being held by German forces for two days, the 1st Ukrainian Front makes progress toward Lvov and encircles the 5 German divisions of the German 13th Corps in what becomes known as the Brody pocket.

On the Western Front... Most of the town of St. Lo is occupied by elements of the US 19th Corps (part of US 1st Army). The British 2nd Army launches Operation Goodwood. A preparatory bombardment involves over 2200 aircraft including 1000 RAF heavy bombers dropping more than 7000 tons of bombs on the German defenses. British and Canadian forces push from east of the Orne River southward in the direction of the high ground beyond Caen. Initially, the Allied troops make good progress but no breakthrough is achieved. Field Marshal Montgomery, commanding British 21st Army Group, believes the attack is necessary to keep German forces pinned against British and Canadian forces, rather than the American forces. He also expresses some optimism about a breakout of Normandy.

In Italy... The US 4th Corps attacks Leghorn on the west coast while other elements of US 5th Army reach the Arno River at Pontedera. On the east coast, the Polish 2nd Corps (part of British 8th Army) captures Ancona.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Canada... In Halifax, Nova Scotia, 15 people are killed by an explosion at the Royal Canadian Navy arsenal. Firemen narrowly averted the cataclysmic detonation of the main magazine, containing about 6000 tons of ammunition, vast numbers of depth charges and mines.
In Brazil... The Brazilian Expeditionary Force, which fought with the Allied forces in Italy, parades through Rio de Janeiro, on it return.

In Occupied Germany... The Potsdam Conference continues. Churchill, Truman and Stalin confer on politics and strategy, in a town near Berlin. The leaders met for their second plenary session in the Cecilienhof, an 18th century palace. President Truman informed Prime Minister Churchill that the atomic bomb test had been successful in a cryptic note, "Babies satisfactorily born." American interest in Soviet participation in the war against Japan has been noticeably lessened.

In Brussels... The Belgian Senate votes to forbid the return of King Leopold III.

In Italy... Captured German mines explode accidentally, destroying an American Red Cross club and killing 36 people.

In Wake Island... Aircraft from the American carrier Wasp attack Japanese positions.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, patrols from the Australian 7th Division find that the Japanese have evacuated the Sambodja oil fields.

In Japan... The battleship Nagato, which has been reduced service as a floating antiaircraft battery, is damaged by American planes at Yokosuka. Allied air and naval forces strike numerous other targets in the Tokyo area and encounter almost no opposition.
The Nagato showing battle damge

The Nagato in better times

In China... Some 200 B-24 and B-25 bombers of the US Far East Air Force, based in Okinawa, bomb Kiangwan airfield near Shanghai.

07-18-2005, 07:23 AM
On this day of July 18 1944...


On the Western Front... Most of the town of St. Lo is occupied by elements of the US 19th Corps (part of US 1st Army). The British 2nd Army launches Operation Goodwood. A preparatory bombardment involves over 2200 aircraft including 1000 RAF heavy bombers dropping more than 7000 tons of bombs on the German defenses. British and Canadian forces push from east of the Orne River southward in the direction of the high ground beyond Caen. Initially, the Allied troops make good progress but no breakthrough is achieved. Field Marshal Montgomery, commanding British 21st Army Group, believes the attack is necessary to keep German forces pinned against British and Canadian forces, rather than the American forces. He also expresses some optimism about a breakout of Normandy.

18 Jul 1944 - VHF radios fitted in tanks are used for the first time to call for close air support from rocket equipped Typhoons in the on-going Battle of Caen.



General Heinz Guderian, in his book Panzer Leader

In view of their experiences in WW I the German Army demanded some mobile form of armored artillery which could accompany and support the infantry. The vehicle should be able to eliminate strong points and other obstacles by direct fire, notably during the period in a battle when the conventional supporting artillery was otherwise engaged or could not be brought into action due to moving up. The vehicle should be armed with a 77mm gun on a maneuverable fully-tracked vehicle, with vehicle and weapon partly protected by armor. These attempts were halted in 1932 because other plans for motorizing the Army seemed more pressing.
A memorandum submitted in 1935 to General Beck, the Chief of General Staff, by Colonel Erich von Manstein, suggested to revive the concept of the infantry Begleitbatterien (escort batteries). He indicated the need for an armored self-propelled gun to work under infantry control, the tactical employment and the nature of the weapon itself: "Assault artillery fights as escort artillery within the framework of the infantry. It does not attack like the tank, does not break through, but carries the attack of the infantry forward by quickly eliminating the most dangerous objectives through direct fire. It does not fight in large numbers like the tank units, but is normally employed at platoon strength. The platoon, or even the individual gun, makes a surprise appearance in and then quickly vanishes before it can become a target for enemy artillery. The gun must be able to take enemy machinegun emplacements out of action with a few rounds. It must also be able to knock out enemy tanks; in comparison to them it has inferior armor, but a superior ability to observe and shoot first."

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A StuG III Ausf B with old drive sprocket and rear idler</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">StuG III Ausf. D of StuG Abt. 189</span>

A StuG III of "Grossdeutschland" Division
has been disabled by an antitank mine

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ausf F/8 fitted with single-chamber muzzle brakes on L/48 guns</span>

Five prototype vehicles were built in 1937, mounting the same short-barreled 75mm L/24 howitzer fitted to the PzKpfw IV in a limited traverse mounting on the modified chassis of the PzKpfw III Ausf. B. Constructed of soft steel, these vehicles of the "O" series were unsuitable for combat but helped developing the initial production version, the StuG III Ausf. A. The nomenclature adopted was a blend of the parent tank and the gun which was mounted (e.g. StuG III mit 7.5cm Kanone, implying a modified PzKpfw III chassis with a 75mm gun). The chassis nose plates, gun mantlet and frontal armor of the superstructure were 50mm thick, which was sufficient protection against the antitank guns of that time. The gunner's sight required a small opening in the front plate, and the fan-shaped cutout in front of the opening had bullet deflectors to deflect bullets and fragments. Production started in 1940 and 30 vehicles were made before the campaign in the west in 1940. They performed successfully in Holland and France, destroying pill-boxes, machinegun nests and antitank guns.
The assault guns were crewed by artillerymen, since the infantry had difficulties with the necessary technical and logistic infrastructure to maintain the guns in the field, while the Panzertruppen were afraid of interference with tank production. The crew consisted of the commander (called a Geschützführer, or gun leader), a loader, the gunner and a driver. Their uniforms, although cut in the style of the Panzerbesatzungen (tank crews), were German fieldgrey, not black. Their branch colour was the red of the artillery. During initial gunnery trials the assault gun crews performed better than their tank counterparts, being quicker onto the target and using less ammunition to destroy it.


In the autumn of 1940 an improved chassis with replaced transmission and engine resulted in the Ausf. B. During production of the Ausf. B the 36cm wide track was replaced by a 40cm wide track, making it necessary to fit new drive sprockets and rear idlers. Early 1941 the Ausf. C was introduced, later followed by the Ausf. D which had some internal changes. The Ausf. C and D had an altered superstructure with a single or binocular gunner's sight now mounted in the roof, eliminating the weak point in the frontal armor. The front, side and driver's roof plates were improved to a more effective shape.
Introduced one year after the Ausf. B, the last short-barreled version was the Ausf. E which had an altered superstructure. This version was to be used as a command vehicle as the SdKfz 253 observation vehicle was no longer included with the StuG units. The angled side plates were removed, and a second armored pannier box was placed on the right side, while the left pannier was lengthened. These boxes contained extra radio equipment and extra ammunition rounds. A command vehicle mounting the additional radios can be identified by the two whip antennas on the back of the superstructure.


Of the short-barreled StuG III Ausf. B, C, D and E, 320, 50, 150 and 272 were made, respectively. The StuG III was the most common Sturmgeschütz design, being little more than a tank with a fixed gun of limited traverse instead of a turret. It was slower and less maneuverable than a tank but was suited particularly well for attacking enemy infantry, heavy weapons and main points of restistance. The vehicle was found to be easier to use from concealed positions because of its lower silhouette. It was less complex, less expensive to build and had almost the same performance as a tank, and for this reason the manufacture of assault guns increased until more were being made than tanks. For the hard-fighting infantry, the Sturmgeschütz were often the last rescue in an emergency while confronting increasing numbers of enemy units.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">SdKfz 162 Jagdpanzer IV
The vehicle entered troop service towards the end of 1943 under the designation Jagdpanzer IV Ausf. F, and when the L/70 KwK 42 gun became available in 1944 it was renamed as SdKfz 162/1 Jagdpanzer IV/70.Late models of the Jagdpanzer IV had no port on the left hand side of the front plate and no muzzle brake. Also the number of return rollers was reduced from four to three. Other modifications included first two bogie wheels steel-tyred instead of rubber-tyred because of heavy gun weight. Around 1500 Jagdpanzer IV and 300 Jagdpanzer IV/70 were built. </span>

By the end of 1941 it became obvious that the infantry needed better guns than the short-barreled L/42 to defend themselves against enemy tanks. The Russian T34 and KV1 were superior to any German tank, but due to the low silhouette and thick frontal armor the StuG turned out to be an effective tank destroyer. The superior enemy tanks made it necessary to replace the gun of the PzKpfw IV by the 75mm KwK 40 L/43. Like the PzKpfw IV, the short-barreled 75mm of the StuG was also replaced by a similar long-barreled 75mm L/43. The fast battles on the Russian front, with their gradual shift to the defensive, eventually led to the development of the StuG as an effective antitank weapon. Its role was no longer attacking to rapidly advance, bur rather defence through counter-attacks. The main battle tank lost out in favor of the Sturmgeschütz as tank destroyer, which became also displayed in the production numbers.
The Ausf. F had a raised centre roof at the rear with an electronic ventilator fan, and the initial vehicles were armed with the L/43 gun. A change in the chassis design resulted in an altered engine deck, and a larger gun was fitted, the 75mm L/48. These vehicles were designated ausf. F/8 as their chassis was based on the PzKpfw III Ausf. J (8/ZW). Aditional armor was added to the front, and protection was often improved in the field by filling the frontal roof sections on both sides of the gun. The folding radio antennas were replaced with antennas with fixed mounts, The StuG did not originally have a machine gun to defend against infantry, but from F/8 vehicles onward a MG 34 or 42 in front of the loader's hatch was installed.

Combat experience led to the final version of the StuG III, the Ausf. G, which appeared early in 1943. Front plates of the superstructure and the chassis increased to 80mm, often by addition of bolted 30mm plates. A cupola was installed for the commander, including 8 episcopes and a smaller hatch for the binocular scopes. The ventilator fan moved to the centre of the rear vertical wall of the fighting compartment. The Ausf. G underwent many modifications in the field, including the addition of side skirts for protection against antitank rifles and high explosive shells, and the addition of the antimagnetic cement or Zimmerit to sloped and vertical armored surfaces. Often a "waffle" pattern was applied in contrast to the vertical line pattern used by the PzKpfw IV and VI.
The raised commander's cupola turned out to be a weak spot, and the crew increased protection by adding track sections around the cupola. Later versions of the Ausf. G had a sloping shot deflector welded in front of the cupola. In 1944 a new gun mantlet was fitted, known as the "Saukopf" (pig head) to the soldiers due to the shot-deflecting gun mantlet's form. The loader's roof hatches opened now to the sides, and a remote controlled mount for the roof machinegun was installed.

Sturmgeschütz units were organic to the Artillery, and were not organized in compagnies, but into separate abteilungen (battalions). Many of these battalions were integrated into Panzer Divisions and into Panzer grenadier Divisions. In some cases StuGs equipped the divisional tank battalions because tanks were not available for every unit. Since the StuG was considered as artillery, they were not under the direct command of the Panzertruppe, even though the StuG III was one of the most heavily armored vehicles available. Only Waffen SS and elite Wehrmacht divisions had StuG brigades as permanent part of their divisions. In 1943, the assault gun battalions were redesigned as assault gun brigades (StuG Brigade).

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer
One of the most successful mobile gun carriages was the tank destoyer variant based on the chassis of the Czech PzKpfw 38(t), known as the Hetzer (trouble-maker). The Hetzer was developed during 1943 using the original PzKpfw 38(t) chassis widened to accommodate the 75mm anti-tank gun 39 (L/48). Later versions carried the 75mm 42 L/70 gun, the same as carried by the Panther. It mounted a MG34 on the top which was operated from the inside for close defence, had the same armament as the Jagdpanzer IV and looked like a miniature of the Jagdpanther. Later models had a better shaped mantlet and later pattern road wheels.</span>

Since the later versions of the StuG III with the long-barreled 75mm L/48 were mostly used in an antitank role, more armored artillery-vehicles were needed to support the infantry against soft and hidden targets. Therefor a new vehicle based on the StuG III Ausf. F was designed, mounting the 105mm F.H. 18 howitzer. This version of the StuG was designated Sturmhaubitze (StuH 42) and saw its first action in November 1942. Later versions were based on the StuG Ausf. G and had a larger barrel fitted with a double-baffle muzzle brake. A "Saukopf" gun mantlet was also installed as seen with the late StuG Ausf. G, although with an increased size.
The StuH had the usual characteristics of the StuG but was confined to a purely anti-personnel role and did not fire armor-piercing ammunition. Like most howitzers, however, it was supplied with hollow-charge ammunition to give it some anti-armor performance. A ratio of 7 StuG to 3 StuH vehicles in each Battery was viewed as correct, but seldom possible.

From 1943 onwards the German Army was pressed into the defence, conducting only small counter-attacks and defensive battles.The main battle tanks lost out in favor of the tank destroyers, which became evident in the production numbers. The chassis of the PzKpfw IV was now also used to produce tank destroyers like the Jagdpanzer IV and the StuG IV. Production of the StuG III was delayed in 1943 due to Allied bombing, and production capacity was continued partly by the firm Krupp which resulted in the StuG IV, which was the combination of the StuG III with the chassis of the PzKpfw IV. The two standard tanks of the Wehrmacht, the PzKpfw III and PzKpfw IV, were quite similar in external measurements and combat weight. The only essential difference could be found in the layout of the running gear. The PzKpfw III had a modern torsion bar suspension, the PzKpfw IV had a outdated but easily repairable leaf spring suspension. From december 1943 to march 1945, more than 1100 StuG IV were produced by Krupp.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">SdKfz 184 Ferdinand/Elefant
As a safeguard against the failure of the Henschel design for the Tiger I, Porsche had been ordered to produce his design. When the results of the trials at Rastenburg were announced, and the Henschel design was judged to be superior, 90 Porsche vehicles were already produced. It was decided to utilize the chassis as the basis of a self-propelled carriage for the 88mm L/71 gun, designated as Jagdpanzer SdKfz 184 Ferdinand (adopted in honor of the designer, Dr Ferdinand Porsche). It featured a huge, box-shaped superstructure with only slightly sloped sides, and was heavily armored but highly underpowered. </span>

Although being designed as a support vehicle, the StuG played its major role as a tank destroyer. By the spring of 1944, the StuG units were credited with the destruction of 20.000 Russian tanks, a number which only increased later during the war while fighting defending battles on different fronts. As exampled by an after-action report from Panzerjager-Kompanie 1045 with StuG III in the Nachrichtenblatt der Panzertruppen, December 1944:
"The company was prepared as divisional reserves. The enemy attacked one morning after a half-hour pummeling of artillery preparatory fire with heavy air support, and about 30 T34 tanks and mechanized infantry deployed on a wide front. The enemy tried to force a breakthrough with portions of 5 or 6 divisions. The terrain was unusually favorable for the enemy. Above all, the forested areas provided him with suitable firing positions and assembly areas.

The company went into action with 9 Sturmgeschütz, and on the first day was able to knock-out or destroy the following within three hours:
16 T34, 2 mortars, 1 KVI, 2 observation points with radio, 2 T34 (immobile),
1 anti-tank gun, 17 machine guns, 1 infantry gun

On the second day:
2 T34, 3 anti-tank weapons, 1 self-propelled gun, 2 grenade launchers, 21 machine guns, 2 anti-tank guns

The tanks were knocked-out at ranges of 600-800 meters. In a period of 15 minutes, one StuG was able to hit five tanks out of a column. The enemy didn't fire a single aimed round. The remaining T34 tanks were individually hunted down. One T34 was knocked out at a range of 1000 meters with 3 rounds."

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">SdKfz 186 Jagdtiger
Following the Heereswaffenamt policy of the time, a limited traverse tank destroyer version of the Tiger II was also produced. A needless outgrowth of the same idea as the Jagdpanther, this vehicle, the heaviest armored fighting vehicle to go into service, was designated Jagdpanzer VI, Panzerj¤ger Tiger Ausf. B or Jagdtiger. The Jagdtiger was first shown as a full scale iron model in October 1943 and a total of 150 vehicles was ordered, but due to shortages of components and disruption by bombing only 70 machines were built, 48 of them in 1944. Through very heavy, and limited by its requirements for good roads and bridges, the Jagdtiger was a very effective tank destroyer, able to knock out virtually any Allied tank at very long range. </span>

Caen, France
July 18, 1944

The 8th Air Force was supposed to do today, Tuesday, July 18, 1944, for the British and Canadian ground troops fighting near Caen, what we did in fact do exactly one week later at St. Lo for the American forces. Caen is a town 9 miles in from the English Channel and 32 miles southwest of Le Harve. The comparison is not quite fair as on this effort we used only 644 2nd and 3rd Division B-24's, where as a week later over 1600 B-24's and B-17's were dispatched.

The purpose of this mission was to blast a hole in the German front lines with a large scale tactical bombing, 300 yards, in front of the British and Canadian positions. Our bomb load was fragmentation bombs to kill enemy troops, not dig holes. After the bombing and before the Germans could recover, the British were to launch a large scale offensive trying for a major breakthrough.

This had to be a visual bombing. Our specific drop zone was east of Caen by about 10 miles called Troarns. It was carried out by 139 of our aircraft. The 44th Bomb Group supplied 38 of this number of which 13 were by my 68th Squadron. General Leon Johnson, the recipient of the Congressional Metal of Honor for his bravery at Ploesti, lead the 14th Combat Wing consisting of the 44th, 392nd and 492nd Bomb Groups.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Members of the 2nd KSLI with Staffs Yeo tanks, near Ranville, 18 July 1944. (Imperial War Museum}</span>


The visability at the target area was excellent. The flak was intense but not as severe as St. Lo. Our bombs landed exactly in the prescribed area as my strike photo indicates. But in spite of this intense accurate tactical support bombing, the Wehrmacht's resistance was too great. The British and Canadians did cross the River Orne with some tanks and got onto more open land but the break out of the Allied Forces in Normandy did not materialize.

There was no serious damage to any of the 44th Bomb Group planes nor any other of our Combat Wing. However one plane of the 139 that went over our drop zone was shot down. After flying for 5 hours, we landed near lunch time. Needless to say, we were all disappointed with the outcome of this battle.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">StuG IV of the 17th SS Panzergrenadier division in Normandy, july 1944</span>

Also as late as 1944 in the Air War over Europe
the P-40 was still tasting Victory in the air and Scoring Kill's with the Enemy.

Lt. Clarence Allen (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Destroyed, shared with Capt. Baugh Jan. 27, 1944 P-40)

Lt. Willie Ashley Jr. (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Damaged June 9, 1943 P-40);
1 ME 109 (Probable June 18, 1943 P-40);
1 FW 190 (Destroyed Jan. 27,1944 P-40)

Lt. Charles Bailey (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Destroyed Jan. 27, 1944 P-40);
1 FW 190 (Destroyed July 18, 1944 P-51)

Capt. Lemuel Custis (99th)
1 FW 190 (Destroyed Jan. 27, 1944 P-40)

Lt. Robert Diez (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Destroyed Jan. 27, 1944 P-40);
1 FW 190 (DestroyedJan. 28,1944 P-40)

Capt. Elwood Driver (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Shared Probable Jan. 27, 1944 P-40);
l FW 190 (Destroyed Feb. 5, 1944 P-40)

Lt. Wilson Eagleson (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Destroyed Jan. 27, 1944 P-40);
1 FW 190 (Destroyed July 20, 1944 P-40)

Capt. Charles Hall (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Destroyed July 2, 1943 P-40);
1 ME 109 (Destroyed Jan. 28,1944 P-40);
1 FW 190 (Destroyed Jan. 28,1944 P-40)

Capt. Leonard Jackson (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Destroyed Feb. 7,1944 P-40)

Lt. Herman Lawson (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Probable July 8, 1943 P-40);

Lt. Walter Lawson (99th FS)
1 ME 109 (Damaged July 2, 1943 P-40);
2 ME 109s (Both Probables July 2, 1943 P-40)

Lt. Clinton Mills (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Destroyed Feb. 7, 1944 P-40)

Capt. Henry Perry (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Damaged Feb. 27, 1944 P-40);
1 ME 109 (Damaged July 18, 1944 P-40);
1 ME 109 (Destroyed,shared with Lieut. Milton Hayes Oct. 4, 1944 P-51)

Maj. George Roberts (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Damaged Jan. 27, 1944 P-40) Note: Fellow 99th pilots witnessed 2 kills by G. Roberts, but he never claimed them.

Capt. Leon Roberts (99th FS)
1 FW 190 (Destroyed Jan. 27, 1944 P-40)

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. called home in August, 1943, bids farewall to the 99th Fighter Squadron at Licata, Sicily. (Photo Credit: Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.)</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">On 18 July 1944, "Buddy" Archer destroyed a Messerschmitt Me 109 over Memmingen, Germany, another on 20 July, and six more on the ground during a strafing mission in August. He added three more in a single air battle over Lake Balaton, Hungary, on 13 October 1944. As one of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, Archer's perseverance and heroic exploits helped pave the way for future generations of blacks in the United States Armed Forces.
Lee A. "Buddy" Archer is one of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, the group of black pilots who compiled an outstanding combat record in WW II.
After excelling in high school, he enrolled in New York University to study International Relations. In early 1941, sensing war was imminent, he applied for pilot training in the US Army Air Corps. Although he passed the mental and physical examinations, he was refused appointment because government policy at the time did not allow black citizens to serve in the Army Air Corps.
Disappointed by the rejection but determined to serve, Archer left school and enlisted in the Army. In May 1942, while instructing at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, Archer heard the Army Air Corps was accepting black candidates for pilot training under the "Tuskegee Experiment." He immediately reapplied.
In July 1943, Archer earned his wings and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He transferred to the 302d Fighter Squadron of the 332d Fighter Group flying the P-40 Warhawk. In January, after retraining in P-39 Airacobras, the 332d was transferred to Italy.
Archer flew convoy escort, scrambles, reconnaissance, and strafing missions to cover allied forces pinned down on the Anzio Beaches. In early March his fighter group was transferred to the 306th Fighter Wing. The unit converted to the P-47 Thunderbolt and was assigned to Ramitelli Air Base, Italy.
In the P-47, Archer flew cover and escort for numerous B-24 and B-17 long-range bomber missions, as well as strafing missions against enemy landing grounds and troops on the march. Soon the unit converted to the P-51 Mustang. Archer flew escort and offensive missions over more than 11 countries. Having flown 169 combat missions, scoring at least 4.5 aerial victories, he returned stateside and was assigned once again to Tuskegee Army Air Field, this time as Chief of the Instrument Instructors School.
He was selected for a regular commission and sent to UCLA to complete his college education. Some of his post-war duties included: Chief of Protocol for the French Liaison Office-SHAPE; White House Air Force-France Project Officer; Chief, Latin American Postal Region; and Chief and Executive Officer of three International Military Organizations (SHAPE-Liaison Office, 36th NORAD Division, and HQ USAF Southern Command-Panama).
After 29 years of service Archer retired, having accrued eight Air Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and Special Citations from Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, and the Director of the CIA. He also received the Accuel de Paris, a special award presented by the mayor of Paris for activities in support of French-United States relations. </span>

07-18-2005, 08:20 AM
Also in the Pacific July 18 1944...

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">{*Sorry Arcadeace... all right breaking that promise.*}</span>

USS Wasp.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">"Ross" Jolley was a Photographers Mate, third class, aboard Wasp during WW II. His family contributed these images in to share with us all and as a memorial to him. The notes and captions are based on comments made by Ross.</span>

On 18 June 1944, during Naval operations against Saipan and Guam, an American submarine reported to the Third Fleet (then near Guam) that it had contacted a powerful Japanese naval force moving in the direction of our units. We were ready for them. They kept their units beyond the range of our planes, and managed to strike the first blow by flying to Guam, refueling, then continuing their flight to attack us from here. Our radar spotted their approaching planes about 150 miles from our task force. Fighters went out to intercept, but about 100 Japanese planes got through to attack us. However, not many got back to tell about it.


This photograph, taken from the USS Cabot, shows a Japanese aircraft making a dive-bombing run on Wasp. Black puffs of smoke from Our anti-aircraft guns litter the sky. Phosphorous bombs (right center) were dropped, setting small fires on our ship, but were quickly put out. Our planes struck back at the Jap fleet, inflicting heavy damage, and forcing it back to it's bases. The Japanese lost about 550 planes; our losses, 100, were due mainly to running out of fuel. This battle has been known to American pilots as "The Mariannas Turkey Shoot".


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">This picture was taken at about 1424 on 19 June 1944, during a dive bombing attack on USS Wasp. The photo shows a Japanese plane plunging into the sea ahead of Wasp. Picture by USS Cabot.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Heavy anti-aircraft fire with phosphorous bombs exploding over Wasp.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A Marine fighter comes in for landing. Missing the hydraulic cables with it's tail hook, it knocked down three barriers and overturned on a group of parked planes. The pilot was recovered uninjured.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS Wasp and Hornet accompanied by cruisers and destroyers sail along in Task Group 38.1.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A small portion of Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet rendezvous in preparation for mass aerial attack on Japanese occupied territory.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">More of Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet at rendezvous.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hundreds of Third Fleet carrier planes group together under a low cloud ceiling in preparation for strikes against Iwo Jima.
* It would be Great is we could have this number of aircraft in the Skies of IL-2! *</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Japanese planes burning on southern airfield, Iwo Jima. Photo taken on strike Baker 4 July 1944.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">On 18 March 1945, a Japanese bomb explodes dangerously close to the bow of the USS Hornet. Disgusted because he missed, the plane (right center) gains altitude and attempts a kamikaze suicide attack on us.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">No caption - The Japanese plane begins its attack.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Our gunners gave the Japanse aircraft a quick finish. He burned with a bright orange flame and crashed 100 yards astern the ship.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The plane swerves and burns fiercely as it comes nearer to us.</span>



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">With it's fuel burned, the plane crashes aft the ship. The following day a Japanese bomb hit the USS Wasp, killing 108 of our crew and injuring 200 more.</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">No caption - This looks very much like a closeup of Wasp in a photo taken at Ulithi with several other Essex Class carriers.</span>

07-18-2005, 12:56 PM
I do want you guys to know I commented with no expectations. This is not a slow modem thread: pictures do it justice. To be honest my personal preference is not to read long documented segments, but rather short articles pointing to significant events. But that€s me€¦ as you can probably tell by the nature of my posts. I expect most who read this thread do have broadband and enjoy more in depth coverage of events. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

On this day in 1925, Volume One of Adolf Hitler's philosophical autobiography, Mein Kampf, is published. It was a blueprint of his agenda for a Third Reich and a clear exposition of the nightmare that will envelope Europe from 1939 to 1945. The book sold a total of 9,473 copies in its first year.

Hitler began composing his tome while sitting in Landsberg prison, convicted of treason for his role in the infamous Beer Hall Putsch in which he and his minions attempted to stage a coup and grasp control of the government in Bavaria. It ended in disaster, with some allies deserting and others falling into the hands of the authorities. Hitler was sentenced to five years' imprisonment (he would serve only nine months). His time in the old fortress at Landsberg was hardly brutal; he was allowed guests and gifts, and was treated as something of a cult hero. He decided to put his leisure time to good use and so began dictating Volume One of his opus magnus to Rudolph Hess, a loyal member of the German National Socialist Party and fellow revolutionary.

The first part of Mein Kampf, subtitled "A Reckoning," is a 400-plus page diatribe on the problems besetting Germany-the French, who wished to dismember Germany; the lack of lebesraum, "living space," and the need to expand east into Russia; and the baleful influence of "mongrel" races. For Hitler, the state was not an economic entity, but a racial one. Racial purity was an absolute necessity for a revitalized Germany. "[F]or men do not perish as the result of lost wars, but by the loss...of pure blood."

As for leadership, Hitler's Third Reich would mimic the Prussian ideal of absolute authoritarian rule. "There must be no majority decisions, but only responsible persons.... Surely every man will have advisers...but the decision will be made by one man."

So there it was: War with France, war with Russia, the elimination of "impure" races, and absolute dictatorship. Hitler laid out his political agenda a full 14 years before the outbreak of war.

Volume Two of Mein Kampf, focusing on national socialism, was published in 1927. Sales of the complete work remained mediocre throughout the 1920s. It was not until 1933, the first year of Hitler's tenure as chancellor of Germany, that sales soared to over 1 million. Its popularity reached the point where it became a ritual to give a newly married couple a copy.

-HH- Beebop
07-18-2005, 04:58 PM
Great posts gentlemen.
woofiedog, your post on German armor is quite timely as I just finished reading "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper where he calls into question the wisdom of using the Sherman tank as the main US battle tank in WW II. The posts on the Tuskeegee Airmen was excellent as was the USS Wasp. Good show!
Arcadeace, thanks for the info on Adolf's "masterpiece".

And woofiedog,how did you find that picture of my last mission?
Just ask anyone in my squadron, they'll agree it looks like my kind of landing. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

07-19-2005, 10:26 AM
This thred will never be a sticky... there is no need. It is so well maintained that it rarely goes past page two.... and it is also on the Essential Reading list in the essentials thread. BTW... nice 99th links Woofie.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

07-19-2005, 11:52 AM
Arcadeace... Great Posting!

-HH- Beebop... Your Aircraft seem to have more pieces than mine... with my Deck Landings! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Bearcat99... Glad you enjoy the Thread!
Thank's for your Support.

07-19-2005, 12:42 PM
During this time of July 18/19 1944...

July 18, 1944

The war party in Japan is dealt a serious blow as Tojo is forced to resign as prime minister and Chief of Staff of the Army.

The British 2nd Army opens "Operation Goodwood", a major offensive east of the Orne River designed to put pressure on the Caen defenses. The attack opens with a massive air assault which drops 7000 tons of bombs on the German defenses. The preliminary bombardment included fire from 400 guns including naval gun fire from the British monitor Roberts, whose 15" guns had not been fired since the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Initial progress was good, but the Germans were able to contain the attacks and inflict heavy losses on the British and Canadian forces. Meanwhile, to the west, fighting continues in St. Lo as US forces continue to clear the town.

Hitler, after over 6 weeks of believing that the Normandy invasion was a diversion and the "real" invasion would be at Pas-de-Calais, released elements of the 15th Army to fight in Normandy.

Allied forces in Italy continue to make progress in Italy as the Polish 2nd Corps (British 8th Army) takes Ancona and the US 4th Corps (US 5th Army) captures Pontedera.

July 19, 1944

"Operation Goodwood" continues against heavy resistance. British and Canadian tank forces take heavy losses. The British 3rd Division fails to take Emiville while the Canadians move into the outskirts of Caen taking Vaucelles, south of the Orne River and the British 11th Armored Division takes Bras and Hubeit-Follie.

The US 34th (US 5th Army) Division takes Livorno.

The Roosevelt-Truman ticket is confirmed in the Democratic Convention in Chicago.

RAF Missions

17/18 July 1944
23 Stirlings and 11 Halifaxes from Heavy Conversion Units of Nos 1 and No 5 Groups on a diversion flight over the North Sea without loss, although no major operation took place elsewhere, 31 Mosquitos to Berlin, 24 RCM sorties, 38 Mosquito patrols, 8 Halifaxes minelaying off Heligoland and the Frisians, 16 aircraft on Resistance operations. No aircraft lost.

18 July 1944
942 aircraft - 667 Lancasters, 260 Halifaxes, 15 Mosquitos - to bomb 5 fortified villages in the area east of Caen through which British Second Army troops were about to make an armoured attack, Operation Goodwood. The raids took place at dawn in clear conditions. 4 of the targets were satisfactorily marked by Oboe and, at the target where Oboe failed, the Master Bomber, Squadron Leader EK Creswell, and other Pathfinder crews used visual methods. American bombers also attacked these targets and a total of 6,800 tons of bombs were dropped, of which Bomber Command dropped more than 5,000 tons. Elements of two German divisions, the 16th Luftwaffe Field Division and the 21st Panzer Division, were badly affected by the bombing, the Luftwaffe Division particularly so. Operation Goodwood made a good start. This raid was either the most useful or one of the most useful of the operations carried out by Bomber Command in direct support of the Allied armies. The aircraft bombed from medium heights, 5,000-9,000ft, but army artillery and naval gunfire subdued many of the flak batteries and only 6 aircraft - 5 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster - were shot down. No German fighters appeared. Allied air superiority over the battlefield by day was complete.

110 aircraft - 99 Halifaxes, 6 Lancasters, 5 Mosquitos - of 4,6 and 8 Groups attacked the railway yards at Vaires but no report on the bombing results was filed. 2 Halifaxes lost.

Total effort for the day: 1,052 sorties, 8 aircraft (0.8 per cent) lost.


18/19 July 1944
194 aircraft - 111 Halifaxes, 77 Lancasters, 6 Mosquitos - of Nos 1, 6 and 8 Groups to attack the synthetic-oil plant ar Wessling. 1 Halifax lost. A useful German report from Wesseling shows that this was a very successful raid and a credit to the Pathfinder marking. Approximately 1,000 high-explosive bombs fell inside the area of the plant in 20 minutes. 20 per cent of the installations were destroyed but, because some important buildings were particularly hard-hit, the loss of production was greater than this figure. 600 workmen were present on the night shift but they had good air-raid shelters and only 3 were killed. The nearby town was also hit and 151 houses were destroyed, many of them being in the estate for the oil-plant workers. The people here must also have been provided with good shelters because only 8 German people were killed. The local report stresses that no children of school age were among the casualties; the local school had been evacuated to Silesia a few weeks earlier. Foreign workers and prisoners of war in a nearby camp probably had poorer air-raid shelters; 22 foreign workers and 9 prisoners of war died.

157 Lancasters and 13 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups attacked the oil plant at Scholven/Buer. 4 Lancasters lost.

This was also a successful raid. The local report says that 550 bombs fell in the plant area, although 233 of them did not explode. Production came to 'a complete standstill for a long period'.

253 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 5 and 8 Groups attacked railway junctions at Aulnoye and Revigny. Both targets were hit and the railway lines to the battle front were cut. 2 Lancasters were lost on the Aulnoye raid but the No 5 Group raid to Revigny was caught by German fighters and 24 Lancasters were shot down, nearly 22 per cent of the Lancasters involved. No 619 Squadron, from Dunholme Lodge, lost 5 of its 13 aircraft taking part in the raid.

62 aircraft - 51 Halifaxes, 9 Mosquitos, 2 Lancasters - of 4 and 8 Groups bombed a flying-bomb launching site at Acquet but photographs indicated that no new damage was caused. 2 Halifaxes lost.

Support and 115 aircraft - 86 Wellingtons, 19 Stirlings, 10 Halifaxes - from Heavy Conversion and Operational Training Units on a diversionary sweep over the North Sea, 22 Mosquitos to Berlin and 6 to Cologne, 20 RCM sorties, 76 Mosquito patrols, 8 Halifaxes minelaying in the Frisians, 36 aircraft on Resistance operations. 3 aircraft lost - 1 Mosquito from the Berlin raid and 2 Halifaxes from Resistance operations.

Total effort for the night: 972 sorties, 36 aircraft (3.7 per cent) lost.


19 July 1944
132 Lancasters and 12 Mosquitos of 5 and 8 Groups attacked two launching sites and a supply dump. All target areas were partially cloud-covered but the targets were believed to have been hit. No aircraft lost.

19/20 July 1944
36 Mosquitos to Bremen, 9 RCM sorties, 29 Mosquito patrols, 6 Halifaxes minelaying off Heligoland, 8 OTU sorties. No aircraft lost.

The British tanks facing the Luftwaffe guns

On 18 July 1944, major von Luck returns from leave as a large offensive is on the way. He commands to a kampfgruppe of the 21st Panzer division, and notes that the allied operation Goodwood annihilates the first German defense line.
In Cagny he uses a 88 battery of the luftwaffe against English tanks. The German guns knock out a lot of tanks of the 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry. At the end of the afternoon, the 5th Armoured Brigade of Guards division renews the attack against Cagny, trying to outflank by Emiéville.
But they break against the Tigers of the Heavy battalion 503 and lose several Sherman. After sharp engagement, tanks of the Irish Guards enter Cagny in the middle of the afternoon.
On 19 July, kampfgruppe "Waldmuller" of the 12th SS Panzer division arrives on the battlefield and occupies the left wing of the 21st Panzer division near Emiéville. On 20 July, the British push back German counter attacks in this area. Emiéville will remain on the front line during nearly a month until Paddle operation launched on 17 August.

Operation Goodwood €" July 18th-20th 1944

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Preparations for Operation "Goodwood". (IWM)</span>

Montgomery always claimed that Goodwood had two aims €" one to breakout, the other to wreck German armoured reserves and draw them away from the western sector where the US forces were preparing for Cobra. Dempsey€s first and main aim was to achieve the breakout. The plan began with a massive aerial bombardment, using the strategic air force€s four-engined heavies to spearhead the attack. Lt-General Richard O€Connor€s VIII Corps comprising three whole armoured divisions €" 11th, 7th and Guards - and spearheaded by Major-General €˜Pip€ Roberts€s 11th would then rush forward, overwhelm the stunned German defenders and create the breakout the Allies so desperately required. To cover the flanks the Canadians would fight their way along the eastern suburbs of Caen, while the British 3rd Infantry and 51st Highland Divisions would cover the left flank, further to the east.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Waging war in the cornfields north of Caen</span>

11th Armoured would aim for Bras, Hubert-Folie, Verrieres and Fontenay; 7th Armoured for Four and Garcelles-Secqueville; and Guards for Cagny and Vimont. Confronting 11th was 1st SS Panzer Division.



There were many flaws with the Goodwood plan. Firstly, there would be little infantry support to avoid increasing the pressure on the already ailing Commonwealth personnel pool. As Roberts argued, with so many small fortified German held villages, infantry support would be crucial to the success of the plan.
Secondly, there would be little if any element of surprise as the Germans had the jumping off points for the attack under constant observation. You can still see to the right of the area we will be driving through the chimneys of Colombelles from where the British armoured build up was noted. In an attempt to limit this, Dempsey€s plan called for the armoured divisions to remain on the west side of the River Ornes until the last possible minute, and only then move rapidly across to the east to launch the attack.
This created a third problem. There were insufficient bridges across the Orne and the Canal de Caen to allow an easy, rapid and fluid build up for Goodwood. Indeed, chaos ensued in the eraly hours of July 18th as the build up began.
Fourthly, artillery support would only be significant until the British reached the Caen-Liseux railway line; beyond that they would only have the smaller divisional artillery for support. Fifthly, the width of the attack was very narrow and constricted, preventing the Allied tanks from using their mobility effectively.
The plan also called for 11th to bypass Cagny (a target for Guards, who were following on behind). Roberts was concerned about allowing his flank to be exposed in such a manner. Sixthly, the open, rolling country which was described by Dempsey and Montgomery as "good tank country", was in fact better for the Germans as they could now use their advantages in long-range gunnery to good effect.

The aerial bombardment was effective in many ways. It was the first time the heavy bombers had\been called on to play a tactical role. The German defenders were stunned. Captain Freimark von Rosen, then 19 years of age, recorded:


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A "Tiger" tank in a defensive position</span>

"My own tanks [12 Tigers of 503 Heavy Battalion] were combat ready, well placed, camouflaged and dispersed in the park of Manneville [3.5 miles east of Caen]€¦We were located in the very middle of this bombardment [which lasted for over two hours] which was like HELL and I am still astonished to have survived it€¦ [a] tank 30 metres away received a direct hit which set it on fire instantly.
[Another] tank was turned upside down by the air pressure, a Tiger at the weight of 58 tons€¦All tanks were completely covered with earth. The engines were full of sand. Fifty men of my company were dead, two soldiers committed suicide. Another soldier went insane. When we withdrew in the early afternoon to the Cagny area the entire battalion had only six to eight tanks left [out of 42]"

The German opposition, it was considered by British Intelligence, would be knocked out by the bombardment and the armour would encounter little significant opposition. However, the key features of Allied supremacy during the Normandy campaign (air power and artillery) would evaporate as the morning of the 18th July went on.
Artillery faded and close tactical air support which would have been critical in maintaining the suppression caused by the heavy overnight aerial bombardment was hindered by the loss of the only Forward Air Controller early in the morning.


At first however, all went well for the British, despite near pandemonium crossing the Orne and Canal bridges. Captain Lemon of 3rd Royal Tank Regiment noted:

"rather enjoyed the first few minutes. There was little opposition and one had a wonderful feeling of superiority as many Germans, shaken by the preliminary bombing and shelling, gave themselves up."

It did not last. The infantry support for 3rd RTR, 8th Rifle Brigade, began to fall behind the rapidly advancing tanks. Geoffrey Bishop of the 79th Armoured Division, offering support to the Corps attack noted:

"The whole regiment (23rd Hussars) was spread out on a fairly open plain€¦our objective a high ridge of land in front of us and to the right about five miles away. We had advanced about four miles without much trouble, and reached the line of the main railway€¦But now we had no air support and the artillery barrage had ceased."

By now the Germans had begun to gather themselves together. Trooper John Brown of 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry (11th Armoured) recorded:

"It was not long after the earlier euphoria that we realised what was in store for us €" thirteen tanks, one of our squadrons knocked out, some burning and what remained of their crews either walking or crawling back from the front. Our tanks reached the Caen-Vimont railway [the second main obstacle] close beside a level crossing in the Cagny area. From our position we knocked out two, probably three German tanks, but it was difficult to recognise this in the carnage."

Captain Lemon was now less confident:

"We did not hit the crust of the enemy, the 21st and 12th SS Panzer Divisions €" it was just as the leading tanks were level with Hubert-Folie when the fun began. I saw Sherman after Sherman go up in flames and it got to such a pitch that I thought that in another few minutes there would be nothing left of the Regiment!


John Thorpe, 2nd Fife and Forfar Yemonary:

"I see palls of smoke and tanks brewing up with flames belching forth from their turrets. I see men climbing out on fire likes torches, rolling on the ground to try and douse the flames but we are in ripe corn and the straw takes fire."


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The memory of trench warfare cast a long shadow over the Normandy front</span>

3rd RTR attacked the western area between Bras and Hubert Folie, but were stopped in the early afternoon by enemy units in and around the Bourgebus Ridge. 23rd Hussars and 2nd F&F were repulsed further to the east around Soliers and Four.
By the evening, the 11th Armoured had suffered heavy equipment losses, almost 50%, but had reached a line overlooking Bras, Hubert-Folie and Soliers. The following day July 19th, at 0430 the attack began again. Heavy fire from the Bourgebus ridge between Bras and Hubert-Folie inflicted more casualties.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The German Panzers who survived the bombardment quickly re-grouped and gave the 11th. Armoured a terrific battle.</span>

Bill Close:"We were completely unable to advance. The whole brigade was pinned down."

The fighting continued for the Bourgebus ridge and Hubert-Folie was eventually taken late on the 19th, but the Goodwood operation was effectively over as a means of achieving a breakthrough. Resistance was increasing still further.
German losses had been heavy also and almost all of their reserves had been drawn to the east of Caen to stop the British armoured advance. At the very least the scene was now set for the US breakout attempt, Operation Cobra.


The British tanks facing the Luftwaffe guns
On 18 July 1944, major von Luck returns from leave as a large offensive is on the way. He commands to a kampfgruppe of the 21st Panzer division, and notes that the allied operation Goodwood annihilates the first German defense line.
In Cagny he uses a 88 battery of the luftwaffe against English tanks. The German guns knock out a lot of tanks of the 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry.
At the end of the afternoon, the 5th Armoured Brigade of Guards division renews the attack against Cagny, trying to outflank by Emiéville. But they break against the Tigers of the Heavy battalion 503 and lose several Sherman.
After sharp engagement, tanks of the Irish Guards enter Cagny in the middle of the afternoon. On 19 July, kampfgruppe "Waldmuller" of the 12th SS Panzer division arrives on the battlefield and occupies the left wing of the 21st Panzer division near Emiéville.
On 20 July, the British push back German counter attacks in this area. Emiéville will remain on the front line during nearly a month until Paddle operation launched on 17 August

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Guard division plaque
This plaque is dedicated to the men of the British Guard Armoured division, and to all the soldiers of operation Goodwood who fought for the liberation of Cagny on 19 July 1944.
Situation : in the town center near the N13 road, Pin Bright place, plate on the church wall</span>



Link: http://www.onwar.com/maps/wwii/westfront/

07-19-2005, 01:46 PM
On this day in 1943, the United States bombs railway yards in Rome in an attempt to break the will of the Italian people to resist-as Hitler lectures their leader, Benito Mussolini, on how to prosecute the war further.

On July 16, President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill appealed to the Italian civilian population to reject Mussolini and Hitler and "live for Italy and civilization." As an "incentive," American bombers raided the city, destroying its railways. Panic broke out among the Romans. Convinced by Mussolini that the Allies would never bomb the holy city, civilians poured into the Italian capital for safety. The bombing did more than shake their security in the city-it shook their confidence in their leader.

The denizens of Rome were not alone in such disillusion. In a meeting in northern Italy, Hitler attempted to revive the flagging spirits of Il Duce, as well as point out his deficiencies as a leader. Afraid that Mussolini, having suffered successive military setbacks, would sue for a separate peace, leaving the Germans alone to battle it out with Allied forces along the Italian peninsula, Hitler decided to meet with his onetime role model to lecture him on the manly art of war. Mussolini remained uncharacteristically silent during the harangue, partly due to his own poor German (he would request a translated synopsis of the meeting later), partly due to his fear of Hitler's response should he tell the truth-that Italy was beaten and could not continue to fight. Mussolini kept up the charade for his German allies: Italy would press on. But no one believed the brave front anymore. Just a day later, Hitler secretly ordered Field Marshal Erwin Rommel to take command of the occupied Greek Islands, better to "pounce on Italy" if and when Mussolini capitulated to the United States. But within a week, events would take a stunning turn.

-HH- Beebop
07-19-2005, 05:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Arcadeace:
...But within a week, events would take a stunning turn. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

OOOO! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif A cliffhanger! I like cliffhangers! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Good post Arcadeace!

07-19-2005, 08:08 PM
Thanks Beebop... I like 'em too. Maybe Woofie can tell us what happened lol http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

07-19-2005, 11:05 PM
Arcadeace... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

07-19-2005, 11:44 PM
On this Month of July 1943...

July, 1943

5th Airforce


Thursday, 1 July, 1943
In New Guinea, A-20's bomb and strafe forces in the Duali area as nearby Allied troops consolidate positions along the S arm of the Bitoi River; other A-20's strafe the Lae area; and B-25's hit Kela Point and Logui. B-17's and B-24's bomb airfields at Rabaul on New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago. The 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group transfers with P-38's from Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia to Amberley Field, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The squadron has yet to enter combat.

This is a 71st. crew standing with Maj. Musick. Top row, left to right; Lt. Hoover, Maj. Musick, Lt. Ulmer. Bottom row, Left to right; T/Sgt. Taylor, S/Sgt. Deskos, S/Sgt. Fields (E. Connor, H. Witcher)

Friday, 2 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-25's pound defenses in the Kela Point area and a trail near Logui while a lone B-24 bombs the Salamaua area. The Allied invasion force (the MacKechnie Force) holds firm a beachhead on Nassau Bay, and makes contact with Australian forces to the N. B-17's and B-24's again attack airfields at Rabaul on New Britain Island in the Bismrack Archipelago.


Saturday, 3 July, 1943
B-24's bomb airfields in the Rabaul, New Britain Island area and hit Kendari Airfield on Celebes Island. Koepang on Timor Island is attacked by 2 B-25's. A lone B-17 bombs landing strip at Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Harriet" receiving engine maintenance. Can anybody tell me what squadron "Harriet" belonged to? (E. Connor, H. Witcher)</span>

Monday, 5 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-25's bomb and strafe the airfield at Salamaua, Komiatum Track, and HQ areas at Kela and Salamaua.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A rare color picture of an 823rd squadron B-25 at Clark Field. (USAF) </span>

Tuesday, 6 July, 1943
B-25's attack the airfield at Penfoei on Timor Island and hit Labu Lagoon area in New Guinea.

Wednesday, 7 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-24's and B-25's, along with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) airplanes, operate in direct support of Allied ground operations in the Mubo area, dropping over 100 tons of bombs on numerous targets as the MacKechnie Force begins an assault on Bitoi Ridge and Australian forces (2/6 Battalion) capture Observation Hill, an important terrain feature West of Mubo.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW"> Tokyo Sleeper again as a veteran! The 405th crew standing in front of it is; front row, left to right: S/Sgt. Mazzara, T/Sgt. Kannette. Standing: Lt. C.H. Swenson, Lt. H.E. Terrell, Lt. W.W. John. (H. Terrell)</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Tokyo Sleeper, B-25C #905, early in the war. (M. Wilkes)</span>

Thursday, 8 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-25's continue to pound enemy positions around Mubo and along the coast of Northeast New Guinea, hitting Kela Point and village, Malolo, Buigap Creek, and trails from Salamaua Airfield and Kennedy's Crossing to Logui. The 319th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers with B-24's from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Aerial view of the 38th's Headquaters at Nadzab, New Guinea. (E. Connor, H. Witcher)</span>

Friday, 9 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-25's hit forces in the vicinity of Old Bobdubi, Malolo, and Busama. On Timor Island, B-25's hit landing fields, Dili, and Cape Chater.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Zero trying to become airborne during a 38th attack on a Japanese airfield. (E.Connor, H. Witcher)</span>

Saturday, 10 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-25's pound Salamaua, Logui, and the Southeast bank of the Francisco River as Allied ground forces effect junction at Buigap Creek cutting communications between Salamaua and Mubo; a single B-24 bombs the village of Kela. B-24's bomb Boela on Ceram Island in the Moluccas Islands and Babo, New Guinea.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW"> This picture was sent in by Ted Lorenzetti. He is in the lower right corner and is the sole survivor of the crew. This picture is significant because it is one of the few I have of an 822nd. crew. (T. Lorenzetti</span>

Sunday, 11 July, 1943
In New Guinea, A-20's and B-25's blast positions in the battle zone from Nassau Bay inland to the Mubo area, hitting the trail ketween Logui and Kennedy's Crossing, the Bobdubi and Bobdubi Ridge areas, Salamaua, Kela Point and villages scattered through the area. Other B-25's bomb Penfoei on Timor Island. B-17's and B-24's pound airfields in the Rabaul area on New Britain Island. The 19th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium) transfers with B-26's from Woodstock, Queensland, Australia to Dobodura, New Guinea. The 19th, which has been in combat in the SWPA since April 1942, was pulled out of combat in January 1943 for R&R. The squadron will fly it's first combat mission on this tour on 27 July 1943.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Group formation off the coast of New Guinea. (E. Connor, H. Witcher)</span>

Monday, 12 July, 1943
13 B-24's bomb airfields and the town area in Rabaul, New Britain Island and vicinity. In the Moluccas Islands, 2 B-25's hit Lingat Air-field and Selaroe Island villages. A lone B-17 bombs Garove Island in the Bismarck Archipelago.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">822nd crew. Left to right, standing, Jack Wallace, William Muller, Wallace Byron. Kneeling, John Jakubic, Bill Stephenson, and Larry Keller. (W. Byron)</span>

Tuesday, 13 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-17's and B-24's, operating individually, bomb the airfield, town area, harbor, and other targets in the Lae area; B-25's blast positions in the Salamaua area, along the road between Kela and MacDonald's Junction, and hit AA guns at Salamaua and MacDonald's Junction; and ground forces clear the Mubo area and Lababia Ridge of the enemy. HQ 375th Troop Carrier Group arrives at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia from the US.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The "Super Service Boys" of the 71st. Squadron who kept the B-25s fueled and ready to fly. (E. Connor, H. Witcher)</span>

Wednesday, 14 July, 1943
In New Guinea, A-20's bomb and strafe the Orodubi area; and a single B-17 hits Lae. B-24's bomb Koepang on Timor Island.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ahhhhhh! The Great Outdoors! The Latrines!</span>

Thursday, 15 July, 1943
In New Guinea, A-20's hit positions along the Orodubi-Komiatum Track.

Friday, 16 July, 1943
A single B-24 bombs forces at MacDonald's Junction, New Guinea. Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) airplanes hit positions to the Southwest.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Chow call</span>

Saturday, 17 July, 1943
During the night of 17/l8 July, B-25's bomb Lautem on Timor Island while B-24's bomb Adaoet Island in the Moluccas Islands. In New Guinea during the day, B-25's pound the airfield, Army HQ and defensive positions, and the general area in and around Salamaua as Allied forces from the Nassau Bay-Mubo area begin a drive on Salamaua; the drive is a secondary effort designed to divert enemy attention from a subsequent Allied campaign to secure the Markham River Valley and Huon Peninsula and thus gain control of Vitiaz Strait and Dampier Strait.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Arthur Lyle Pritt in front of an 823rd. B-25. (M. Gould, D. Teall)</span>

Sunday, 18 July, 1943
During the night of 18/19 Jul, B-24's bomb the harbor area at Makassar on Celebes Island. In New Guinea, several B-25's, a B-24, and an A-20 bomb and strafe Lokanu, Boisi, Tambu Peninsula, Dot Island, Salamaua, and Komiatum as US forces secure the S headland of Tambu Bay for a supply base. Other B-25's attack barges and shipping off New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago sinking a small cargo vessel off Cape Kwoi.

Monday, 19 July, 1943
In New Guinea, a B-25 bombs a bridge over the mouth of the Francisco River; a B-17 hits Finschhafen Airfield; and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Bostons attack a gun position at Komiatum and a military camp at Erskine Creek.

Tuesday, 20 July, 1943
In New Guinea US ground forces begin the struggle for the heights commanding Tambu Bay and Dot Inlet; A-20's and B-25's pound Madang Airfield and area, the Komiatum, Logui, areas along the Gum River and South of the Gogol River, the Gori River bridge area, and Bogadjim. On Timor Island, B-25's bomb Lautem, Dili, and Cape Chater Airfield. A single B-24 bombs Arawe on New Britain Island.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">John Wayne and Miss Montana standing with a 823rd Squadron B-25G. January 1944.</span>

Wednesday, 21 July, 1943
In New Guinea, more than 50 B-25's again thoroughly pound the Madang area; other B-25's hit the junction of the Gori and Ioworo Rivers and the village of Bogadjim; and B-26's bomb barges and jetties W of Voco Point. Single B-24's bomb Finschhafen Airfield, New Guinea and the town of Rabaul on New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago. The 66th Troop Carrier Squadron, Fifth Air Force, arrives at Port Moresby, New Guinea from the US with C-47's. The squadron will begin aerial transportation in the theater on 27 July.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">823rd. crew. Left to right, standing: Capt. Johnson, Lt. Woodall, Lt. Dwight E. Teall. Front row is unidentified. (M. Gould, D. Teall)</span>

Thursday, 22 July, 1943
In New Guinea, more than 50 B-24's, B-25's, and B-26's blast troops, AA guns, defensive positions, and targets of opportunity in the battle zones at Komiatum, on Komiatum Ridge, at Kela Mountain, at Salamaua, and along trails near Komiatum and Salamaua. B-24's bomb an oil refinery, docks, and railroad yards at Soerabaja, Java. B-25's hit targets of opportunity on Selaroe Island in the Moloccas Islands.

Friday, 23 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-25's, B-26's, B-24's, and B-17's again pound targets in coastal NE New Guinea, hitting Malolo, Asini, Busama, Voco Point, and Salamaua, blasting barges from Hanisch Harbor to Wald Bay and Cape Busching, and thoroughly bomb Bogadjim.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Guarding the perimeter around the base. The gun is an Australian designed and built Owen gun. (Thanks Ray!)</span>

Saturday, 24 July, 1943
B-25's bomb Lautem, Fuiloro, Koepang, and Tenau on Timor Island, the airfield and surrounding areas at Lae, New Guinea, and attack barges in the Wapelik and Cape Busching area of New Britain Island and villages on the Itni River on New Britain.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Power and Light Company. 823rd. Squadron. (M. Gould, D. Teall)</span>

Sunday, 25 July, 1943
Single B-24's attack a large transport vessel West-Northwest of Buka Passage in the Solomon Islands and bomb Lingat and Adaoet Islands in the Moluccas Islands, and the area near Finschhafen, New Guinea.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A 405th Green Dragon and crew. This photo is identified as being Major Watkins aircraft. Can anybody identify anyone in this picture</span>

Monday, 26 July, 1943
In New Guinea more than 40 B-24's and B-17's bomb Salamaua, Malolo Mission, Komiatum, Komiatum Ridge, and Lae Airfield. The 65th Troop Carrier Squadron, Fifth Air Force, arrives at Port Moresby, New Guinea from the US with C-47's. The squadron flies it's first mission upon arrival.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Dentist office. 38th Bomb Group.</span>

Tuesday, 27 July, 1943
In New Guinea, 35 B-25's and 18 B-24's pound the Salamaua area in one of the largest single-strike attacks of Southwest Pacific Area. Airfield and supply storage at Salamaua, the town of Kela and nearby hilltop positions, and defensive positions between the road and beach at Logui are hit; 5 other B-25's hit barges between Pommern Bay and Finschhafen, and the concentration and supply area at Voco Point; a lone B-24 on armored reconnaissance bombs targets of opportunity on Mundua and Unea Islands.


Wednesday, 28 July, 1943
On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, B-25's attack barges and fuel dump between Cape Raoult and Rein Bay and hit the airfield at Cape Gloucester and 2 destroyers offshore; single B-24's bomb Unea Island and unsuccessfully attack shipping in Saint George Channel between New Ireland and New Britain Islands. In New Guinea, B-24's bomb Manokwari and Larat and Boela on Ceram Island in the Moluccas Islands. On Timor Island, B-25's hit the town of Lautem and the airfield at Cape Chater.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A great picture of a very early style tiger noseart on the nose of an 823rd B-25.</span>

Thursday, 29 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-17's, B-24's, and B-25's bomb Kela Point and village, and Salamaua town and peninsula area. On New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, B-25's, B-26's, and a B-24 attack Army HQ, barges, and villages in the Natamo vicinity, shipping off Cape Gloucester, Borgen Bay, along the coast from Ring Ring Plantation to Roebuck Point and barges off Cape Dampier, New Guinea. P-40's strafe targets of opportunity.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The men of the 38th washing their mess kits.</span>

Friday, 30 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-24's bomb Salamaua and Kela; B-25's hit barges off Huon Peninsula and villages in the Finschhafen area; and A-20's destroy several barges at Hanisch Harbor and Langemak Bay. Single B-24's bomb Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island and Unea Island.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Drink Shack! (M. Gould, D. Teall</span>

Saturday, 31 July, 1943
In New Guinea, B-25's hit the Finschhafen area and barges at Hanisch Harbor and Mange. B-25's and A-20's blast several barges in the Cape Gloucester area of New Britain Island. B-24's bomb Waingapoe on Sumba Island in the Sunda Islands. HQ 375th Troop Carrier Group transfers from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW"> A beautiful shot of an 823rd B-25 sitting on an airfield in New Guinea (Durand?). This has the style of noseart that was used through most of the war. (Courtesy of Sea Bird Publishing, Inc.)</span>

07-20-2005, 01:50 AM
On this day of July 20 1942...

MONDAY, 20 JULY 1942


ALASKA (11th Air Force): Brigadier General William O Butler moves advance
HQ to Umnak Island. 3 B-17s bomb Kiska Island (especially the barracks) with
incendiaries and demolition charges. 4 P-38s try to intercept 4 fighters
reported by US Navy (USN) aircraft but no contact is made.


CHINA AIR TASK FORCE (CATF): 3 B-25s bomb docks and warehouses at
Chinkiang, China on the Yangtze River; 4 escorting P-40s strafe junks on the
river. This is the last CATF bombing raid of Jul.
In China, detachments of 11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment
Group (Heavy), operating from Kweilin, Hengyang and Nanning with B-25s return
to base at Kunming.

(USAMEAF)]: Hal Bombardment Squadron and 9th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
with 19 B-24s and 9 B-17s are organized as the 1st Provisional Group under
Colonel Harry A Halverson's command at Lydda, Palestine.
HQ 57th Fighter Group arrives at Muqueibile, Palestine from the US.

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): Unit moves in Australia: 33d
Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 22d Bombardment Group (Medium), from Antil
Plains to Woodstock with B-26s; 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group,
from Petric to Port Moresby, New Guinea with P-39s and P-400s (first mission
is 22 Jul).

July 20, 1942

Operation Eagle commences as the Germans attack Russian partisan positions in the Chechivichi area of Byelorussia.

Soviet counterattacks succeeded in eliminating the German bridgehead on the east bank of the Don at Vorohezh.

Also from 12-7-41 through 12-42

The Japanese Submarine War

IJN Submarine Operations 1941-1942

December 17, 1941 I-7 Reconnoiters Pearl Harbor (Fly Over)

December 22, 1941 I-68 Bombards Johnston Atoll - I-71 and I-72 Bombards Palmyra Island

December 30, 1941 I-1 Bombards Hilo, Hawaii

January 8, 1942 I-19 Reconnoiters Pearl Harbor (Fly Over)

January 20, 1942 I-18 and I-24 Bombards Midway Atoll

January 25, 1942 I-73 Bombards Midway Atoll

February 8, 1942 I-69 Bombards Midway Atoll

February 10, 1942 I-69 Bombards Midway Atoll

February 17, 1942 I-25 Reconnoiters Sydney, Australia

February 24, 1942 I-17 Bombards Long Beach, California
- I-9 Reconnoiters Pearl Harbor (Fly Over)

February 26, 1942 I-25 Reconnoiters Melbourne, Australia (Fly Over)

March 1, 1942 I-25 Reconnoiters Hobart, Tasmania (Fly Over)

March 8, 1942 I-25 Reconnoiters Wellington, New Zealand (Fly Over)

March 19, 1942 I-25 Reconnoiters Suva and Samoa (Fly Over)

May 20, 1942 I-21 Reconnoiters Suva, Fiji (Fly Over)

- I-10 Reconnoiters Durban, South Africa (Fly Over)

May 21, 1942 I-10 Reconnoiters East London, South Africa (Fly Over)

May 22, 1942 I-10 Reconnoiters Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Fly Over)

May 23, 1942 I-10 Reconnoiters Simontown, Sourh Africa (Fly Over)

May 24, 1942 I-21 Reconnoiters Auckland, New Zealand (Fly Over)
- I-26 Reconnoiters Kodiak, Alaska (Fly Over)

May 25, 1942 I-9 Reconnoiters Kiska, Amchitka-Aleutians (Fly Over)

May 26, 1942 I-9 Reconnoiters Kiska, Aleutians (Fly Over)

May 27, 1942 I-25 Reconnoiters Kodiak, Alaska (Fly Over)

May 30, 1942 I-10 Reconnoiters Diego Suarez, Madagascar (Fly Over)

May 31, 1942 Midget Attack on Diego Suarez I-16 and I-20 Ramilies and British Loyalty damaged Midget Attack on Sydney Harbor I-22 and I-27 - I-30 Reconnoiters Durban, South Africa (Fly Over)

June 1, 1942 I-26 Reconnoiters Seattle, Washington (Fly Over)

June 20, 1942 I-26 Bombards Port Esteven (Vancouver), British Columbia

June 24, 1942 I-25 Bombards Fort Stevens, Oregon

July 15, 1942 I-10 Reconnoiters Reunion (Fly Over)

July 16, 1942 I-30 Reconnoiters Mauritius (Fly Over)

August 19, 1942 I-29 Reconnoiters Seychelles (Fly Over)

September 10, 1942 I-25 Bombards Oregon Southern Forest (Fly Over)

October 1, 1942 I-166 Spl. Mission Off Calcutta 3 INA Agents

November 11, 1942 I-7 Reconnoiters Vanikoro, Santa Cruz (Fly Over)
- I-9 Reconnoiters Espirito Santo, New Hebrides (Fly Over)
- I-21 Reconnoiters Noumea, New Caledonia (Fly Over)
- I-31 Reconnoiters Suva, Fiji (Fly Over)

December 10, 1942 I-165 Bombards Port Gregory -

December 25, 1942 I-166 Bombards Cocos Island -

07-20-2005, 02:42 AM
On this day in 1944, Hitler cheats death as a bomb planted in a briefcase goes off, but fails to kill him.

High German officials had made up their minds that Hitler must die. He was leading Germany in a suicidal war on two fronts, and assassination was the only way to stop him. A coup d'etat would follow, and a new government in Berlin would save Germany from complete destruction at the hands of the Allies. That was the plan. This was the reality: Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, chief of the army reserve, had been given the task of planting a bomb during a conference that was to be held at Berchtesgaden (but was later moved to Hitler's headquarters at Rastenburg). Stauffenberg planted the explosive in a briefcase, which he placed under a table, then left quickly. Hitler was studying a map of the Eastern front as Colonel Heinz Brandt, trying to get a better look at the map, moved the briefcase out of place, farther away from where the Fuhrer was standing. At 12:42 p.m. the bomb went off. When the smoke cleared, Hitler was wounded, charred, and even suffered the temporary paralysis

s of one arm-but he was very much alive. (He was even well enough to keep an appointment with Benito Mussolini that very afternoon. He gave Il Duce a tour of the bomb site.) Four others present died from their wounds.

As the bomb went off, Stauffenberg was making his way to Berlin to carry out Operation Valkyrie, the overthrow of the central government. In Berlin, he and co-conspirator General Olbricht arrested the commander of the reserve army, General Fromm, and began issuing orders for the commandeering of various government buildings. And then the news came through from Herman Goering-Hitler was alive. Fromm, released from custody under the assumption he would nevertheless join the effort to throw Hitler out of office, turned on the conspirators. Stauffenberg and Olbricht were shot that same day. Once Hitler figured out the extent of the conspiracy (it reached all the way to occupied French), he began the systematic liquidation of his enemies. More than 7,000 Germans would be arrested (including evangelical pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer), and up to 5,000 would wind up dead-either executed or as suicides. Hitler, Himmler, and Goering took an even firmer grip on Germany and its war machine!

. Hitler became convinced that fate had spared him-"I regard this as a confirmation of the task imposed upon me by Providence"-and that "nothing is going to happen to me.... [T]he great cause which I serve will be brought through its present perils and...everything can be brought to a good end."

-HH- Beebop
07-20-2005, 07:08 AM
20 July

Over Germany... First Lieutenant Werner Streib in an Me110 night-fighter, using only visual contact, achieves the first nighttime kill of the war by shooting down a British Whitley bomber over northwestern Germany.
An Me110 of NJG 1specially outfitted for night fighting, with its pilot and radio operator prepare for take off.

In Berlin... Goring, the commander in chief of the Luftwaffe, orders the creation of the first specialized night-fighter wing -- Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1) -- under the command of Colonel Josef Kammhuber.

In the Mediterranean... Off the coast of Tobruk in Libya, 2 Italian destroyers and a cargo ship are torpedoed by British Swordfish torpedo bombers.

In Moscow... Stalin takes the title of People's Commissar for Defense.
Joeseph Stalin

In Rome... Mussolini returns from Derna, temporarily abandoning his plans for a Cairo victory march.

In Sicily... Canadian troops capture Enna and advance to Leonforte. American troops reach Menfi in the south of the island.
Canadian troops take Enna

In Washington... Roosevelt directs that information about atomic research is to be shared with the British.

On the Eastern Front... Popov's Bryansk Front captures Mtsensk.

In the Solomon Islands... New American forces take over the front on New Georgia. New road construction alleviates the supply problem. Two Japanese destroyers are sunk during a supply mission.

In Germany... Shortly after noon, a bomb explodes in the conference room at Hitler's headquarters at Rastenburg, in East Prussia. The bomb was planted by Colonel Count von Stauffenberg. The conspirators include General Beck, Carl Gordeler, Field Marshal Witzleben and General Halder. Most of them are either aristocrats or Roman Catholics. Many others know about the plot, including Rommel, Kluge and Canaris. After it becomes clear that Hitler has survived the plot falls apart. Several of the leading participants, including Stauffenberg, are arrested and shot in Berlin by the end of the day.
Adolph Hitler announcing the failure of the plot to kill him

On the Western Front... The British 2nd Army continues attacks south and east of Caen. German forces, particularly antitank defenses, have reduced the Allied momentum.

In the Mariana Islands... The bombardment of Tinian is expanded as army artillery based on Saipan becomes available, in addition to the air attacks and naval shelling.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Occupied Germany... The Potsdam Conference continues. Churchill, Truman and Stalin confer on politics and strategy, in a town near Berlin. Truman says that the Allies are making no territorial claims, wanting only peace, prosperity and "man's greatest age." Meanwhile, a flag which will fly over Tokyo when Japan is defeated was hoisted in Berlin today in the presence of President Truman.
In Brussels... The Belgian premier, Achille Acker, tells King Leopold III that he should abdicate because of his "grave and unpardonable mistakes."

In Washington... Congress votes to increase the lending ceiling of the Export-Import Bank from $700 million to $3.5 billion. The United States Senate passes the Bretton Woods Bill by a vote of 61 to 16.

In the Philippines... American forces land on Balut Island, at the entrance to Sarangani Bay of Mindanao. The small Japanese garrison is eliminated.

Over Japan... About 80 P-51 Mustang fighters, flying from Iwo Jima, strike targets in central Honshu.

Over China... For the second consecutive day, more than 200 Allied bombers, flying from Okinawa, attack Japanese airfields in the area of Shanghai.

07-21-2005, 01:18 AM
Love this info, but only about half the photos are dnloading properly for me...many of htem are just a fragment of a photo, a third, maybe half. any1 know why it would be doing this?

im on dial up, but ive not had this problem until recently. thanx....

07-21-2005, 03:43 AM
I have dial-up with the same difficulties but they€re not unique to this particular thread. Over the years any site I€ve gone to with a lot of images can pose the same problems. These are extremely large pages taking me between 5 to 10 minutes, and like you I€m not able to get everything. I€ve tried 3 different browsers, usually without complete success. They should not be allowed to go this length but it falls on the shoulders of those who design and maintain the site€¦ and they don€t have a very good record.

On this day in 1944, Adolf Hitler takes to the airwaves to announce that the attempt on his life has failed and that "accounts will be settled."

Hitler had survived the bomb blast that was meant to take his life. He had suffered punctured eardrums, some burns and minor wounds, but nothing that would keep him from regaining control of the government and finding the rebels. In fact, the coup d'etat that was to accompany the assassination of Hitler was put down in a mere 11 1/2 hours. In Berlin, Army Major Otto Remer, believed to be apolitical by the conspirators and willing to carry out any orders given him, was told that the Fuhrer was dead and that he, Remer, was to arrest Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda. But Goebbels had other news for Remer-Hitler was alive. And he proved it, by getting the leader on the phone (the rebels had forgotten to cut the phone lines). Hitler then gave Remer direct orders to put down any army rebellion and to follow only his orders or those of Goebbels or Himmler. Remer let Goebbels go. The SS then snapped into action, arriving in Berlin, now in chaos, just in time to convince many high German officers to remain loyal to Hitler.

Arrests, torture sessions, executions, and suicides followed. Count Claus von Stauffenberg, the man who actually planted the explosive in the room with Hitler and who had insisted to his co-conspirators that "the explosion was as if a 15-millimeter shell had hit. No one in that room can still be alive." But it was Stauffenberg who would not be alive for much longer; he was shot dead the very day of the attempt by a pro-Hitler officer. The plot was completely undone.

Now Hitler had to restore calm and confidence to the German civilian population. At 1 a.m., July 21, Hitler's voice broke through the radio airwaves: "I am unhurt and well.... A very small clique of ambitious, irresponsible...and stupid officers had concocted a plot to eliminate me.... It is a gang of criminal elements which will be destroyed without mercy. I therefore give orders now that no military authority...is to obey orders from this crew of usurpers.... This time we shall settle account with them in the manner to which we National Socialists are accustomed."

-HH- Beebop
07-21-2005, 07:39 AM
21 July

From Moscow... The Soviet Union formally annexes Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and they become constituent republics of the USSR.

In Berlin... In an OKH conference Hitler again says that Germany must prepare to attack the USSR. Although the generals would prefer to deal with Britain first, they raise no objections. Later in the month Jodl tells an OKW planning section that Germany will attack in the east in the spring of 1941 and that planning for the movement of the armed forces to eastern Europe should be begun.

On the Eastern Front... There are more German air attacks on Moscow. The Soviet authorities announce that they have withdrawn their forces from the line of the Dniestr River.
German air raid in progress over Moscow

In Washington... Roosevelt asks Congress to extend the draft period from one year to 30 months and to make similar increases in the terms of service for the National Guard. There is considerable debate on the proposal.

In the Mediterranean... A major operation, code named Substance, is launched by the British Gibraltar forces to bring supplies to Malta. There are seven transports in the convoy and they are covered by Force H which has been reinforced for the operation. In addition to Renown, Ark Royal, a cruiser and eight destroyers, the Home Fleet has sent Nelson, three cruisers and nine destroyers.
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Firedrake took part in operation €˜Substance€ - the passage of a convoy GM 1 to Malta.

At 19.45 on the 23rd July the convoy was bombed from high level in position 37? 30€ N, 10? 40€ E. the Firedrake, in the process of towing a two speed destroyer sweep (TSDS) was narrowly missed by a 500 kilo bomb which exploded on the starboard side, close alongside No.1 boiler room, causing severe structural damage; the side plating which was blown inwards from upper deck to bilge keel over most of the length of No.1 boiler room, and over the fore end of No.2 boiler room; both boiler rooms were flooded and Nos.1 and 2 boilers actually shifted position as a result of the blast.
The picture above shows the Firedrake covered by the spray made by the 500kilo bomb that just missed but severely damaged the ship.
On her way back to Gibraltar the Firedrake was passed by Force H making their way back to Gibraltar after delivering the convoy to Malta.

Admiral Somerville C-in-C Force (H), had sent a message to all the ships of the Force to cheer the Firedrake as they passed her, and every ship with all their crews on deck cheered Firedrake as they sailed by.

When she arrived back in Gibraltar there was a band waiting for her, the band played Rule Britannia as she entered the dock.</span>

In North Africa... Rommel sends a complete report to German Armed Forces High Command concerning his shortages. The British using Ultra intercept the information and decide to mount a major attack against him. Despite a 3 to 1 advantage in tanks, Auchinleck's attack fails. There is mounting disillusionment from the soldiers at the way the armor is being utilized in these battles.
British soldiers captured after the failed attack

In New Guinea... General Horii's 18th Army lands at Gona, forestalling planned Allied landings.

From Washington... President Roosevelt appointments Admiral Leahy as his personal Chief of Staff.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces capture Bolkhov in the Orel offensive.

In Sicily... The Allied advances continue. The British capture Gerbini, the Canadians take Leonforte and the Americans occupy Corleone and Castelvetrano.

In Italy... The Italian naval base at Crotone is bombarded.

In the Solomon Islands... A small American force lands on Vella Lavella to determine whether significant forces can be landed there, by-passing the Japanese stronghold of Kolombangara. On New Georgia, Griswald plans an new offensive.

In the Mariana Islands... Troops of the US 3rd Amphibious Corps (Geiger) land on Guam. The 3rd Marine Division (Turnage) establishes a beachhead at Asan, west of Agana. The 1st Marine Division (Shephard) comes ashore at Agat. Eventually, 54,900 American troops are deployed. There is only moderate Japanese resistance on the beaches. Task Force 53 (Admiral Connolly) provides naval support with 6 battleships and 5 escort carriers. Three groups from Task Force 58 attack Japanese positions with carrier aircraft. The Japanese garrison numbers 19,000. The defense is based on the forces of the 29th Infantry Division (Takashima). General Obata, commanding the Japanese 31st Army, is present on the island.
US troops and a flame throwing tank in the Marianas

In New Guinea... Japanese forces launch further attacks over the Driniumor River, near Aitape. American forces hold the offensive.

In Italy... The French Expeditionary Corps (part of US 5th Army) is withdrawn from the line. It is being redeployed as part of the preparation for the Allied invasion of southern France.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 3rd Baltic Front captures Ostrov in continuing attacks.

From Berlin... General Zeitzler resigns his post as Chief of the General Staff of OKH (the Army High Command, with responsibility for the Eastern Front). His replacement is General Guderian.

In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.

In Occupied Germany... The Potsdam Conference continues. Churchill, Truman and Stalin confer on politics and strategy, in a town near Berlin. Although very little information about the progress of the Big Three Conference is being made public, it is reported that much has been done. The leaders have spent an average of almost 3 hours together since their first meeting on Tuesday and there are also frequent and lengthy meetings between the foreign affairs ministers (Eden, Byrnes and Molotov), committees and subcommittees of experts. In a private meeting Truman and Churchill agree to drop the atomic bomb on Japan if it fails to surrender unconditionally. Meanwhile, Allied representatives select Nuremberg as the location of the trial of the main Nazi war leaders.
From the United States... American radio broadcasts call on Japan to surrender or face destruction.

In China... Authorities in Chungking say that Chinese forces are closing in on Kweilin, the largest Japanese airbase and capital of the south China province of Kwangsi.

In Burma... Heavy fighting took place along the Sittang river as the Japanese continued their counterthrusts.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, Dutch and native troops are reported to be advancing northeast from Balikpapan. Allied motor torpedo boats operating on the northwest coast have shelled the Jesselton area and caused heavy explosions and fires ashore.

In the Tsushima Strait... US Navy aircraft attack shipping.

07-21-2005, 11:28 PM
On this day of July 22 1940...

July 22, 1940 Dutch prime minister De Geer meets Hitler seeking peace talks

July 22 1940- Konoye leads his 2nd Cabinet - policy of "opportunism" to create "new order" with Manchukuo and Wang Ching-wei

Battle of Britain Campaign Diary
Date: 22 July 1940
Weather: Straits fair; Channel cloudy. Light westerly winds in both. Bright intervals between showers in the east.
Day: Shipping off the south coast attacked.
Night: Minelaying the whole length of the eastern seaboard.

Enemy action by day
Enemy activity by day was on a considerably reduced scale. Just prior to the opening of the period covered by this summary, two convoys were attacked by enemy aircraft off the East Coast. One of these attacks was referred to in the previous summary (21st July) but it is now reported that fighters intercepted and claim one Do17 as a probable casualty.

Thereafter some 14 raids were detected. These appear to have been mainly engaged in meteorological and shipping reconnaissance flights off the East and South coast; although convoys were approached, no resultant attacks were reported. Convoy and shipping protection patrols were flown by our fighters and possibly accounted for the apparent reluctance on the part of the enemy to attack by daylight. A few raids crossed our coasts; one was plotted between Bristol and the Sussex coast, flying very high. Another Do17 crossed the coast near Selsey Bill and was intercepted and shot down off Tangmere. A raid of three aircraft was plotted 10 miles off Selsey Bill and appeared to have been intercepted but no combat reports have been received.


A number of hostile raids were plotted in the Calais - Boulogne - Dunkirk - St Omer areas and several raids went from Cherbourg to mid-Channel in the late evening, but these faded and nothing more was heard of them.

By night
Considerable enemy activity again took place over a wide area. Shortly after 2100 hours, raids commencing down Channel from the Boulogne/Calais area turned north, north of Cherbourg towards Portland and Land's End, minelaying being suspected, and some crossing the coast. From 2200 hours until about 0200 hours, a number of raids approached the North-East, East and South-East Coasts. Another group, presumably from Norway, attacked objectives in Scotland. Minelaying throughout the whole of the East coast is suspected, particularly in the Thames Estuary, and to a lesser extent, in the Tees, off the Norfolk coast, Humber and Tyne areas. A number of raids came inland and bombs were reported to have been dropped in the following districts:- Thames Estuary, North Kent, near Manston, South Essex, Norfolk, Kidderminster, Welshpool, Brough, Edinburgh, near Drem and South Wales. At about 2347 hours, it is reported that a Do 17 was shot down off Selsey Bill. No reports of serious damage or casualties have been received.

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/images/22jul2.jpg http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/images/22jul1.jpg

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 22 July 1940
Blenheim - 63
Spitfire - 228
Hurricane - 357
Defiant - 21
Total - 669
Enemy: Fighters - nil; Bombers - 2 confirmed, 1 unconfirmed.
Own: Nil.
Anti-Aircraft at Plymouth claims one aircraft (type unknown) unconfirmed.
208 patrols despatched involving 637 aircraft.
Flying - 1193. Casualties - 36.
All serviceable.
No. 238 Squadron (Hurricanes) is at Warmwell
No. 141 Squadron (Defiants) is at West Malling and is operational.
No. 615 Squadron (Hurricanes) is at Hawkinge.
Air Intelligence Reports
The German Air Force (GAF) is up against an efficient fighter defence organisation for the first time, and in the face of this it constantly varies the composition of its tactical forces.
The present scale of operations against this country can be accounted for by the following facts:
i. The GAF is not fully prepared for major operations
ii. In order to maintain service and civilian morale it is necessary to carry out operations on some scale
iii. This interim period is an opportunity for tactical experiments against efficient air defence.
Home Security Reports
22nd/23rd July 1940

General Summary
Reports in addition to those mentioned show that bombs also fell in East Yorkshire and Suffolk and on Leith, early on 22nd July.
During the day and the night of 22nd/23rd July, bombs fell in Banffshire, where casualties resulted, in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, and in the coastal areas of Kent, Suffolk, Essex and Monmouthshire.
Fifeshire, South Wales, South Hampshire and Lincolnshire were among the widely separated areas where bombs fell during this period, but no material damage or casualties have been reported from these areas.

Detailed Summary
Slight damage to property was caused at Cramlington (Northumberland) where 2 HE fell at 0030 hours on the 22nd July.
Bombs which fell on a farm at Skipsea (East Yorkshire) at 0145 hours, 22nd July, causing damage to electricity supply, are described as a "supposed new type containing petrol, paraffin and other oils."
Nine HE bombs fell in a field at Troston (2 miles from Honington) at 0225 hours, 22nd July, causing damage to windows and glasshouses.
Four HE and many IB were dropped at Leith at 0559 hours, 22nd July, causing considerable damage to a fire station and a pressure main. A 1,000lb bomb fell near the Albert Dock, and some sidings and mains were damaged, but main traffic is unaffected and rolling stock was not hit. One dead and six injured people are reported.
Six German prisoners were killed, and eighteen injured, by HE bombs which fell on Duff House, Banff, at 0922 hours. The house was severely damaged.
Margate reported eight HE bombs at 2235 hours, one house being demolished. The electricity supply failed and gas mains were fractured. It is reported that 15-20 HE fell near Manston aerodrome at 2230 hours.
The Maldon district of Essex was attacked with HE bombs at 2340 hours but no reports of damage have been received.
Edinburgh reported bombs early 23rd July and damage by fire to store buildings was caused.
Slight damage to Sheerness Pier was caused by bombs at 0128 hours, 23rd July, and bombs fell at Pembrey, Milford Haven, near Emsworth and Cleethorpes, but no damage or casualties are reported.

07-22-2005, 01:49 AM
On this day in 1942, the systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto begins, as thousands are rounded up daily and transported to a newly constructed concentration/extermination camp at Treblinka, in Poland.

On July 17, Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi SS, arrived at Auschwitz, the concentration camp in eastern Poland, in time to watch the arrival of more than 2,000 Dutch Jews and the gassing of almost 500 of them, mostly the elderly, sick, and very young. The next day, Himmler promoted the camp commandant, Rudolph Hoess, to SS major and ordered that the Warsaw ghetto, (the Jewish quarter constructed by the Nazis upon the occupation of Poland, enclosed first by barbed wire and then by brick walls), be depopulated-a "total cleansing," as he described it and the inhabitants transported to what was to become a second extermination camp constructed at the railway village of Treblinka, 62 miles northeast of Warsaw.

Within the first seven weeks of Himmler's order, more than 250,000 Jews were taken to Treblinka by rail and gassed to death, marking the largest single act of destruction of any population group, Jewish or non-Jewish, civilian or military, in the war. Upon arrival at "T. II," as this second camp at Treblinka was called, prisoners were separated by sex, stripped, and marched into what were described as "bathhouses," but were in fact gas chambers. T.II's first commandant was Dr. Irmfried Eberl, age 32, the man who had headed up the euthanasia program of 1940 and had much experience with the gassing of victims, especially children. He compelled several hundred Ukrainian and about 1,500 Jewish prisoners to assist him. They removed gold teeth from victims before hauling the bodies to mass graves. Eberl was relieved of his duties for "inefficiency." It seems that he and his workers could not remove the corpses quickly enough, and panic was occurring within the railway cars of newly arrived prisoners.

By the end of the war, between 700,000 and 900,000 would die at either Treblinka I or II. Hoess was tried and sentenced to death by the Nuremberg Tribunal. He was hanged in 1947.

-HH- Beebop
07-22-2005, 06:22 AM
Arcadeace; Timely post given what's being discussed in another thread in GD about correct apparel for a social event

22 July

In Britain... The British government believes strongly that there will be uprisings against Hitler's rule that will contribute greatly to the overthrow of his power and will make a British return to the continent possible. The Special Operations Executive is created to work clandestinely to encourage these developments. Although events will not turn out as the British imagine, SOE will make a considerable contribution to the development of the various resistance movements in occupied Europe. Officially SOE is to be part of the Ministry for Economic Warfare.

In London... The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, replies to Hitler's "appeal to common sense" of July 19th with "we shall not stop fighting till freedom for ourselves and others is secure."

In the Mediterranean... Part of the Operation Substance convoy is located by Italian planes but the Italian fleet stays in port, expecting only a repeat of the previous carrier operations to fly planes to Malta.
The freighter Denbighshire was part of the convoy

In North Africa... The British again suffer heavy losses, including the decimation of the 23rd Armored Brigade attacking the area south of Ruweisat Ridge. Rommel, severely short of men and equipment decides he can afford no more attacks. The British, too, require re-supply after their heavy losses. Of the two groups, the British are in a better position to receive the needed support.
German supply depot in the desert

In New Guinea... The Japanese forces under General Horii advance along the Kokoda Train from Buna. The small Australian garrison at Kokoda prepares its defense.

From Washington... President Roosevelt agrees that the second front in Europe, code-named Operation Sledgehammer, will not be possible this year. He instructs his staff in London to agree to "another place for US troops to fight in 1942." The plan to invade North Africa, renamed Operation Torch is adopted.

In Sicily... American forces enter Palermo and isolate 50,000 Italian troops in the west of the island. The Axis mobile forces, including most of the German forces, escape to the northeast corner of the island.
German soldiers fighting on Sicily

In the Aleutian Islands... US naval forces (2 battleships and 4 cruisers as well as lighter units) bombard Japanese held Kiska Island.

In the United States... At Bretton Woods (Mount Washington Hotel, New Hampshire) the international conference concludes with agreement on the establishment of an International Monetary Fund and an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Mount Washington Hotel, New Hampshire

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 3rd Belorussian Front captures Chelm as they advance toward Lublin.

In the Mariana Islands... On Guam, marines of US 3rd Amphibious Corps attempt to link up their two beachheads with converging attacks. The American forces each advance about one mile against heavy Japanese resistance.

In Burma... Japanese forces trapped in the Pegu Hills, estimated to number 5000, suffer heavy losses in attempts to breakout eastwards to the Sittang river.

In China... The American Far East Air Force attack Japanese air bases and shipping in the Shanghai area with 300 planes (including the new Douglas A-26 Invader light bomber). The Japanese news agency later reports that the Shanghai area was bombed by about 100 bombers and fighters and claims the Japanese shot down 4 planes and damaged 7 others.

In Japan... US Task Force 92 bombards Paramushiro in the Kurile Islands. During the night (July 22-23), 9 American destroyers penetrate Tokyo Bay under the cover of a storm and attack a Japanese convoy. Other Allied task forces are being resupplied in the largest resupply at sea operation of the war.

From Tokyo... The Japanese government announces that it is open to peace negotiations but not to threats.

In Occupied Germany... The Potsdam Conference continues. Churchill, Truman and Stalin confer on politics and strategy, in a town near Berlin.

07-22-2005, 12:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by -HH- Beebop:
Arcadeace; Timely post given what's being discussed in another thread in GD about correct apparel for a social event </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You made me think... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

07-22-2005, 10:54 PM
On this day of July 23 1940...

July 23, 1940: The Soviets take Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as per the Soviet-German non-agression pact in which Poland was divided between the two, and the Baltic Nations were "given" to the Soviets. A provisional Czech Government is set up in London under Dr. Benes.


Battle of Britain Campaign Diary
Date: 23 July 1940
Weather: Slight haze in the Straits of Dover. Cloudy with occasional rain in other districts.
Day: East coast shipping raided.
Night: Minelaying from Dover to the Tyne and Forth Estuary.

Enemy action by day
Enemy activity appeared to have further decreased and those aircraft with few exceptions approaching the coast seemed to devote their attention to reconnaissance of shipping and to attacks when opposition was not immediately encountered but turned away when fighters were in the vicinity.

While patrolling a convoy off Yarmouth in the early morning, Hurricanes shot down a Ju86[?] and it is a probable casualty.

A 'help' message from a convoy some distance off Lowestoft was received at about 0809 hours but only one bomb is reported to have been dropped from a great height.

Later, a raid penetrating inland as far as Kenley dropped bombs during the flight. It at once retraced its track on the approach of fighters. At 1120 a force of six aircraft approached North Foreland and bombed trawlers. Two fighter squadrons intercepted without conclusive results. During the morning, various other aircraft were detected around the coast from the North of Scotland southwards. No contact was made by fighters.

During the afternoon activity was still further reduced but in a raid near Kinnaird's Head a Do215 was intercepted and is confirmed as having been shot down by Spitfires at 1540 hours.

At 1530 hours a raid of nine aircraft appeared without being tracked in RDF 50 miles east of Harwich. A naval vessel is reported to have been bombed. Another raid appeared inland near Yarmouth at 1640 hours and re-crossed the coast near Bawdsey after dropping bombs at Pulham Market. It evaded fighters in the clouds. Fighters were sent up to a raid which appeared inland over North Scotland after 1800 hours but the enemy aircraft escaped east at great speed.



Hostile tracks were plotted along the French coast and to mid-Channel but few approached nearer to our coasts.

By night
Enemy activity again was again at somewhat on a lesser scale and almost exclusively confined to coastal flights, presumably minelaying. The chief activity was along the east coast from Dover to the Tyne and Forth Estuary, with one or two raids as far north as Kinnaird's Head and considerably less concentration in the Thames Estuary and the South Coast.

It is reported that one He111 was shot down for certain at 0040 hours by a Spitfire near Dunbar. About eight raids visited the West Country picking out Falmouth, Plymouth and Bristol and four raids were lost going north off the Welsh Coast., but were picked up in the Liverpool area where anti-aircraft guns were in action and they claim one enemy aircraft (type unknown) unconfirmed.

At about 0043 hours a smoke screen about 100 yards long and thirty feet high was reported by the Observer Corps off Dover.

From information received during the late evening it would appear that attempts were being made to intercept our bombers, an attack upon one having been reported.

It was noticeable too that that throughout the night there were only two or three isolated raids which crossed the coast, one over Midd*****rough proceeding south of Catterick and one over Cornwall and South Wales.

The only report of any bombs having been dropped is near Hartlepool.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">RAF 242 Sqdn, 1940. L to R: Crowley-Milling, Tamblyn, Turner, Saville, Campbell, McKnight, Bader, Ball, Homer, Brown
Their aerial tactics remained the same vics of three aircraft. All who had served in France and survived understood the versatility of the German finger-four tactics, but there was no time to re-train even the veteran pilots. Bader loosened up the vic and used several weavers to watch their tails. This helped somewhat but the German aerial tactics remained superior until the English had the winter to revise their manuals and train pilots. </span>

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 23 July 1940
Blenheim - 62
Spitfire - 243
Hurricane - 282
Defiant - 12
Total - 599
Enemy: Fighters - 1 unconfirmed; Bombers - 2 confirmed.
Own: Nil.
182 patrols despatched involving 495 aircraft.
Flying - 1205 Casualties - 34.
No changes.
No. 43 Squadron (Hurricanes) has moved from Tangmere to Northolt.
No. 1 Squadron (Hurricanes) has moved from Northolt to Tangmere
No. 264 Squadron (Defiants) has moved from Duxford to Kirton in Lindsey.
No. 141 Squadron (Defiants) have arrived at Prestwick and are non-operational.
Air Intelligence Reports
Home Security Reports


General Summary
Additional reports of districts affected by enemy bomb attacks early on July 23rd show that East Yorkshire, Berwickshire, Isle of Wight, Gloucestershire and the Swansea area were all visited, but very little damage was caused and casualties were slight.
During the day and night of 23/24 July, enemy bombing activity was very slight, but some bombs were dropped in parts of Norfolk, Kent and West Sussex; apart from structural damage at Pulham (Norfolk), the effects were negligible.

Detailed Summary
Montrose aerodrome reports one HE bomb which fell in the landing ground at 0043 hours without causing damage or casualties.
Eleven HE bombs were dropped near Ternhill Aerodrome at 0133 hours, the only damage caused being the partial blocking of a road for which repairs are now in hand. No casualties are reported.
HE and IBs fell at Tetney near North Coates in the early morning, without causing damage or casualties.
Bombs fell at Yarmouth and Brightstone (Isle of Wight) at 0045 hours causing slight damage to one house.
The HE did considerable damage to six houses in Willerby (East Yorkshire) at 0122 hours, and a signal arm on the railway was wrecked. The track was undamaged and four slight casualties resulted.
At 0838 bombs fell on the beach and inland at Worthing, and at 0935 whistling bombs were dropped in a field at Itching Field (Horsham). In neither of these incidents was there any damage.
Air Ministry property at Pulham (Norfolk) suffered structural damage at 1648 hours when sixteen HE fell, but there were no casualties.
There are unconfirmed reports of bombs at West Hartlepool at 0100 hours (24 July).

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ju-86P-1 High Altitiude Bomber and Reconnaissance Aircraft</span>

Losses in the Battle of Britain
July 1940

R.A.F. Fighter Command

Hurricane 33 destroyed, 17 damaged

23 killed, 0 missing, 11 wounded

Spitfire 34 destroyed, 24 damaged

25 killed, 0 missing, 9 wounded

Blenheim 4 destroyed, 1 damaged

9 killed, 0 missing, 1 wounded

Defiant 6 destroyed, 1 damaged

10 killed, 0 missing, 2 wounded

TOTAL: 77 destroyed, 43 damaged

67 killed, 0 missing, 23 wounded


Dornier Do 17 39 destroyed, 13 damaged

30 killed, 74 missing, 19 wounded

Junkers Ju 87 13 destroyed, 11 damaged

10 killed, 12 missing, 3 wounded

Junkers Ju 88 39 destroyed, 11 damaged

52 killed, 67 missing, 11 wounded

Heinkel He 111 32 destroyed, 3 damaged

52 killed, 85 missing, 6 wounded

Messerschmitt Bf 109 48 destroyed, 14 damaged

17 killed, 14 missing, 13 wounded

Messerschmitt Bf 110 18 destroyed, 4 damaged

13 killed, 17 missing, 2 wounded

Other 27 destroyed, 1 damaged

19 killed, 33 missing, 15 wounded

TOTAL: 216 destroyed, 57 damaged

193 killed, 302 missing, 69 wounded

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Vics of Hurricanes from RAF 242.</span>


A Hawker Hurricane fighter.

On Jan. 5, 1940 SL Gobeil and five others, including Turner, went to St. Athan, South Wales to take delivery of the first of their Hurricanes. On the return they ran into bad weather and had to land where they could. FO Coe crashed on a force-land at Appleton and was killed. Gobeil nearly came to the same end, overturning on landing at Culceth. Fortunately, he came out unscathed. The others reached their waypoint at Ternhill without incident. On the 16th the three with aircraft tried for Church Fenton, the weather closed in again and they were forced down all over the midlands. Turner wrote off his aircraft in a spectacular crash that he was lucky to survive. It turned out to be the worst winter in over 40 years, with record snowfalls.

Finally, on Feb 10th the weather cleared enough to ferry more aircraft so that they soon had 12 Hurricanes to start fighter training on. Air Ministry orders were that No. 242 be operational for day AND NIGHT! operations by March 12, 1940. Poor weather and night flying caused their second fatality as PO Niccolls crashed into level ground at full speed one night. By March 11 everyone in the Squadron received their shots for overseas service. On March 23 the Squadron passed their operational exam by the Air Ministry and two days later A Flight undertook their first operational sorties. Over the next two days the two flights alternated doing "convoy duties" escorting ships. on April 4th two officers were posted to France to " recce" locations for 242 in France, the Adjutant and a senior PO went. They returned two days later. General movement orders were issued on the 10th with the intent that they were to move to the continent between the 14th and the 21st of April. But the Germans ruined their plans, as they did so many others.

The Battle for France
On April 8th the Wehrmacht supported by the Luftwaffe invaded Denmark and the next day, Norway. The "Phoney War" was over, the Blitzkrieg war of the Germans had resumed. On May 10th, 1940 the German offensive on France began with simultaneous attacks on Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland and France. The RAF had six fighter Squadrons on the Continent, four more were dispatched immediately to support them. On May 13th Fighter Command sent a further 32 pilots as replacements. This move included orders for No. 242 to go to France. Then they were recinded and only four officers were ordered to France to fly with other units. FL Sullivan, and POs Grassick, McKnight and Turner were selected, leaving that evening. Six more pilots left two days later.

They reported to No. 607 Squadron at Vitry-en-Artois and were immediately thrust into battle attempting to stem the tide of Germans flooding into France. Their first combat sorties found a large group of Henschel Hs-126 army cooperation aircraft guarded by Messerschmitt Bf-109s. A fierce battle arose, with the Germans losing ten aircraft and the British four. One of the four was FL Sullivan, apparently killed in his parachute by a German fighter.

McKnight and Grassick were posted to No. 615 Squadron while Turner stayed in No. 607. Turner's logbook for this period was lost, and he didn't seem that assiduous in keeping it up, anyhow. The British squadrons fought a losing battle in a rapidly deteriorating situation. The momentum was in favour of the Germans who had burst through the Ardennes Forest flanking the French defensive Maginot Line. There was little to stop them as they slaughtered the French tanks and infantry units being committed piece-meal and the English troops were forced back to the coast at Dunkirk. Belgium and Holland were quickly overrun. The rest of the Squadron was ordered to France on the 16th of May arriving at Lille/Seclin. Ironically, the ground crews were flown to the continent in a Sabena Airlines Junkers Ju-52 transport. They started operations in company with No. 85 Squadron.

On May 18th McKnight, Turner and Grassick were ordered back to England, arriving there the same day in their Hurricanes. They were granted 7 days leave, although it was recinded quickly, they were quicker and made good their escape. By May 19th the squadron was forced to fall back further as the Germans advanced. They were heavily engaged with Bf-109s and Heinkel He-111 bombers attacking their bases and allied troops. By the 21st they were all ordered back to England with their Hurricanes. The ground crews were evacuated from Boulogne arriving in Dover shortly thereafter. They all received their baptism of fire, knocking down some six enemy aircraft and losing four of their pilots (one dead, one POW and two wounded).

Finally, the entire Squadron was put together at Biggin Hill by May 21st. They were now committed to Operation Dynamo, the extraction of the British Expeditionary Force and French units from Dunkirk. They flew combat patrols over the coast of France in the Arras, Albert, Frevent area to prevent German combat aircraft from the Dunkirk beaches. Their loses mounted rapidly, within two days they lost one pilot wounded, two killed and one POW. The next day (24th) two more pilots were killed when they collided over the sea. One Hurricane chewed the tailplane off the other, then they crumpled together and spun into the water. Their successes climbed as well, with at least four German aircraft downed. The 25th saw another loss to the squadron when a pilot force-landed in England and sustained serious head injuries. Turner rejoined them on May 25th a bit early from leave, McKnight and Grassick arrived back on the 26th. By the 27th they had only 12 pilots left, and Operation Dynamo was now fully underway.


Fighter Command put what resources it had into supporting the withdrawal from Dunkirk with some 20 Squadrons covering the ships. However, as in the case of 242 Squadron, hardly any of them were up to their full complement. The RAF could either fly a lot of small patrols continuously over the beaches but would not be able to exert command of the air, or they could fly in a few large patrols during which time they could dominate the air war. They tried the first, but eventually settled on the latter. Their task was simple but crucial, to cover the area between Furnes and Dunkirk, beating off any German aircraft that might come near the BEF and the Armée de France.

No. 242 Squadron flew uneventful sorties on the 27th, but were into the thick of the fighting on the 28th. On their 2nd mission of the day five pilots, including Stan Turner, became separated from the rest in cloud. The section leader spotted a dog-fight some three miles inland and was heading for it when they were distracted by twelve Bf-109s, these they attacked instead. Their small formation was in turn attacked by some sixty 109s. The section leader had fallen out of control after attacking a German and headed back to England low over the water. Two others were shot down, one of whom was killed instantly. Turner engaged a 109 and out manoeuvered it, getting in two bursts from 150 yards. The Messerschmitt went down in flames and PO Turner escaped into clouds and returned to base. The other pilot was Bill McKnight who shot down a 109 but claimed that he was in turn hit in the engine, losing his oil and coolant systems. In his words he reached Manston after "a determined and sustained chase by the enemy". However, Stan Turner told a different story after the war. While escaping in the cloud he fired at a shape that cruised past, which turned out to be McKnight's Hurricane. He blew off the oil sump and nearly shot down his friend. Back at Manston MnKnight angrily confronted Turner, then broke down with laughter. Mistaken identity was common in air battles and McKnight fudged his report to protect Turner.

On June 8, the entirety of 242 Squadron was sent back to France, the pilots joined with No. 17 RAF and flew to Le Mans, southwest of Paris. Two Divisions of English Army remained in France and more (including the 1st Canadian Div.) were being sent. No. 242 was to provide air cover for them. Stan recalled that "The battle by then was so confused, it was often difficult to tell friend from foe." Beside the runway was a wrecked Hurricane, the result of a fatal crash by the New Zealand ace "Cobber" Kain while stunting. The CO thought the wreck would impress on the pilots the stupidity of aerobatic flying. Their stay was short, they refueled and took off for Chateaudun NW or Oleans. Their aircrew flew in on Bristol Bombays and Handley-Page Harrow transports. Their accomodation at Chateaudun was a set of large bell tents.

On June 9 Turner shot down a pair of German fighters. His friend Don MacQueen was attacked by two 109s. Turner tried to get to him in time and radioed for him to bail out, but MacQueen was shot down in flames and killed. In a cold fury Turner in turn shot down one of his attackers and then another later on.

Shortly after arriving in France Stan and his wingman were forced down in a wheat field due to lack of fuel. They were quickly surrounded by hostile French farmers. There were a few frantic minutes until they convinced the natives that they were with the RAF and not the Luftwaffe, although this did not guarantee a warm welcome.

Their duties were to provide air cover for retreating French army units and to cover the important port of Le Havre, as it was their evacuation port. On June 13 there was a fire in one of their bell tents, all of the men escaped from it but their clothing went up in flames. The German ground advance was threatening their airfield so they tried to pull back, but all of the airfields behind them were choked with aircraft. They remained at Chateaudun for the 14th, which left the ground crews an important few hours to round up some trucks to move themselves.

It was clear that the Allied fight in France was rapidly coming to an end, on June 14 the Germans occupied Paris with a triumphal march down the Champs Elysees. No. 242 Squadron was ordered back to Nantes and met up with their ground crew.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A schwarm of Bf 109Es in finger-four formation.</span>

For their losses of 7 pilots, 2 wounded and 1 invalided they shot down roughly 30 German aircraft. Turner and McKnight were leading most of the patrols by now as they were the most experienced pilots. The ground crews left for St. Nazaire to be shipped out so now the pilots had to do everything, including arming and re-fueling their aircraft. It was a gruelling time with long days and nights spent under the wings of their Hurricanes to ensure that no one would saboutage them. Turner recalled:

"One night we went into Nantes, and soon wished we hadn't. As we came out of a bar, we were sniped at - probably by another Fifth Columnist. We beat it back to the airfield and found the canteen tent abandoned. It was loaded with liquor, so we had a party. Willie McKnight, I remember, refused to drink from a glass. Whenever he needed a drink, he reached for a bottle, smashed the neck, and took it straight.
The day France surrendered, French soldiers set up machine-guns along our runway. "All aircraft are grounded," an officer told us. "there's to be no more fighting from French soil." We saw red. A brawl was threatening when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Behind me was a British army officer, who had come out of the blue. "Go ahead and take off," he said. "I'll look after these chaps." He pointed to his platoon which had set up a machine-gun covering the French weapons. The French officer shrugged and left.


Time was running out. The Germans were over the Loire River and heading towards us. On June 18 we flew a last patrol over Brest and made a couple of sorties inland.

Later that day they were ordered to evacuate. The pilots destroyed several Hurricanes that they couldn't get started and then smashed the canteen.

"All that booze - it was heartbreaking. We armed and fuelled our aircraft and climbed in. We were a wild-looking bunch, unshaven, scruffily dressed, exhausted, grimed with dirt and smoke. We were also in a pretty Bolshie mood. After weeks of fighting we were all keyed up. Now that the whole shebang was over, there was a tremendous let-down feeling. As we headed for England we felt not so much relief as anger. We wanted to hit something, and there was nothing to hit. The skies were empty - not a German in sight - and the ground below looked deserted too. It was all very sunny and peaceful, and quite unreal. As if the war didn't exist. But we knew the real war had only just begun."
France sued for peace and Hitler occupied the northern half of the country and the channel ports, the rest was governed by the Vichy collaborationist government.

Fighter Command had been mauled in the Battle of France. It had weeded out the inadequate aircraft, like the suicidal Boulton-Paul Defiant and the Bristol Blenheim, and showed deficient tactics, like unescorted bombers, and low-level bombing by unescorted aircraft. All RAF fighter squadrons, except three in Scotland, had been in France and had all lost heavily. Many experienced men had died. The Army had lost all of their armour and artillery and much of their transport. The First Canadian Division was the best equipped unit in England. Only 200 inadequate tanks existed to meet the Panzers should they ever get a toe-hold in England. The situation was grim indeed.


The Battle of Britain
Hugh Halliday in his 242 Squadron history wrote: "The remnant of No. 242 Squadron was assembled at Coltishall, near Norwich. They were demoralized, and unkempt, angry at their ejection from France and what they perceived to be official indifference. Turner and others characterized their feelings at this time as "Bolshi" (short for Bolshevic) a term used to indicate rebellion against Airforce authority. It was time for a change. SL Gobeil was removed and a new CO arrived. On artificial legs!"

SL Douglas Bader came stumping into A Flight's hut with his Adjutant. He received a frosty reception from the Canadians. The pilots were all down at the dispersal huts, on readiness, when he arrived. At 'A' flight's hut, Bader pushed the door open and stumped in unheralded. From his lurching walk the Canadians knew who he was. A dozen pair of eyes surveyed him coolly. No one got up. Hands stayed in pockets. The room was silent. Watchful.

At last Bader said, "Who's in charge here?" No one answered.

Well, who's the senior?" Again no answer, although men looked at one another inquiringly.

"Isn't anyone in charge?" A large dark young man said: "I guess not."

Bader eyed them a little longer, anger flaring, turned abruptly and went out.


In 'B' flight dispersal the eyes again stared silently. "Who's in charge here?" he asked.

After a while a thick-set young man with wiry hair and a face chipped out of granite rose slowly and said, "I guess I am." He had the single ring of a flying officer on his sleeve.

"What's your name?"

"Turner ..." he paused, "sir."

Bader informed Turner and the others that they were a disgrace to their uniforms and their service and that he intended to knock them into shape. What did they think of that?

"Horse****," said Turner. Another pause. "Sir."

With that Bader was on the defensive. He realized that he had to prove himself to these angry, demoralized airmen. He turned and stumped out of the hut and over to a Hurricane. The fitter gave him a hand getting in and he showed No. 242 what he was made of. He showed them a flawless demonstration of aerobatic flying, despite the fact that he had never been in a Hurricane. When he slid off the wing he didn't even glance at the pilots clustered around the flight-hut door. He stumped off to his car and drove away. The Canadians were impressed.

Later he called the pilots to his office and silently eyed the rumpled uniforms, the preference for turtle-neck sweaters instead of shirts and ties, the long hair and general untidy air. At last he spoke: "You're a scruffy lot. A good squadron looks smart. I don't want to see flying boots or sweaters in the mess. You will wear shoes and shirts and ties. Is that clear?"

It was a mistake. Turner said unemotionally, in his deep, slow Canadian voice: "Most of us don't have any shoes or shirts or ties except what we're wearing."

"What d'you mean?" Bader said aggressively.

"We lost everything in France." With a trace of cynacism, Turner explained the chaos of the running fight, how they had apparently been deserted by authority, shunted about, welcome nowhere, separated from their ground staff 'til it had been every man for himself, each pilot servicing his own aircraft, and sleeping under his own wing. The squadron had suffered nearly 50 percent casualties. When the end had come they had flown back across the Channel. Since then things had not greatly improved and they were drifting. There was no self-pity in Turner's story, only a restrained anger.

"I'm sorry," said Bader. "I apologise for my remarks." He then loaned them what spare kit he had and personally guaranteed their purchases in Norwich at uniform shops. Then he talked over their fighter experience and went flying with each of them. In the mess that evening he won them over completely with his charm. Finally one pilot put down his empty pint pot and said, "Hell, sir, we were scared you were going to be another goddam figurehead".

Within two weeks No. 242 Squadron was a cohesive unit. They undertook a period of intensive training. They achieved the highest scores on the RAF air firing range ever posted. Apparently their Bolshie attitudes were being overcome by Bader, the upcoming emergency and plain hard work. Bader lived for his squadron and expected all his men to do likewise. He was everywhere on the base overseeing all activities. As Turner said to West, the squadron engineering officer: "Legs or no legs, I've never seen such a goddam mobile fireball."

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Percival Stanley "Stan" Turner
Percival Stanley "Stan" Turner was born in Ivybridge, Devon, England on September 3, 1913. His parents emigrated to Canada when he was a child to Toronto, Ontario. He grew up in Toronto thoroughly Canadian. Stan enjoyed swimming and earned his Red Cross certificate to become a life guard. He attended the University of Toronto studying engineering and flying part-time with No. 110 (Auxilliary) Squadron as an airman, where he earned his "wings". Prior to the war he applied to the RAF through the RCAF recruiting depot in Toronto through the "Direct Entry Scheme". At this time the RAF anticipated a war with Germany and were actively recruiting from England and the Dominions for men who could become operational quickly as they would already have pilots licenses. The RCAF and the government of Canada were slower in comprehending the danger of Hitler and were not actively recruiting at the time. He passed the exams and was accepted for a short service commission in October, 1938. At this time many of the recruits had completed, at their own expense, initial flight training and had a pilots license. He and a select group of young Canadian men were shipped to England that same month for training. He was made an Acting Pilot Officer on Jan. 14, 1939 based on his pilots license and apparent promise as a pilot.</span>

The muscular Stan Turner was not a mild man himself, having a large capacity for beer and a penchant for firing off a revolver in public. The Wing Commander had suggested: "You ought to get rid of that chap. He's too wild". But Bader saw eye-to-eye with Turner, a first-class pilot, fearless and decisive.


-HH- Beebop
07-23-2005, 09:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Arcadeace:
You made me think... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Sorry mate, I forgot how busy you are... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
another great post woofiedog http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

23 July

In London... A provisional Czechoslovakian government is formed and is recognized by British government. Dr. Benes is president and Mgr Sramek is prime minister.
Dr. Eduard Benes, pictured here with his wife

In the United States... The British Purchasing Mission in the United States reaches agreement that it will be allowed to buy up 40 percent of the United States' production of aircraft.

On the Eastern Front... Around Smolensk, the forces of the Soviet 20th Army (Lieutenant General P.A. Kurochkin) counterattack forces of German Panzer Group 2 even though the army flanks are unsecured.

In the Mediterranean... One British destroyer is sunk and one cruiser and three destroyers are hit in Italian air attacks on the Operation Substance forces.

On the Eastern Front... There is heavy fighting between the Soviets and the Germans along the Don River from Rostov to Tsimlyansk, especially near Novocherkassk.
German soldiers fighting on the Eastern Front

In New Guinea... Advancing up the Kokado Trail, the Japanese 17th Army engaged the Australian defenders near Wosida.

From Washington... US Secretary of State Hull urges the formation of an international peace keeping organization by the United Nations after the war.

On the Eastern Front... The German forces engaged on the southern battlefield of the Kursk salient reach their original starting positions (for the battle of Kursk) under continued Soviet pressure.
soviet soldiers inspect a destroyed Tiger tank

In Sicily... Americans occupy Trapani and Marsala. On the north coast, US forces reach Termini Imerese.

In Moscow... The formation of a Polish Committee of National Liberation is announced. The London based Polish government in exile calls it "the creation of a handful of unknown communists."

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces capture Pskov. This was the last major town of the prewar USSR to have been held by German forces. To the south, troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front enter Lublin. German forces continue to resist in Lublin.

From Berlin... Field Marshal Schorner replaces General Friessner as commander of Army Group North.

In Italy... Elements of the US 4th Corps (part of US 5th Army) penetrate the outskirts of Pisa but are only able to occupy the area south of the Arno River.

In the Mariana Islands... On Guam, American marines on the northern beachhead reach Point Adelup. On the southern beachhead, the marines cross the neck of the Orote Peninsula, thereby cutting off the main Japanese airfield on the island.

On the Western Front... The Canadian 1st Army becomes operational in Normandy.

In France... Marshal Philippe Petain, the former head of state of Vichy France, is put on trial at the Palais de Justice in Paris. The trail is suspended twice, during the day, because of disorder. Paul Reynaud, the former president of the council of ministers, accused Petain of plotting to betray France in 1940. Petain, who is 89, was a hero of France during the Great War, but collaborated with Nazi Germany during the Second World War. He challenged the competence of the court to try him.

In Occupied Germany... The Potsdam Conference continues. Churchill, Truman and Stalin confer on politics and strategy, in a town near Berlin.

In Burma... Japanese forces continue to attempt to breakout eastwards from the Pegu Hills, despite heavy losses. Only a small proportion have succeeded in crossing the Mandalay-Rangoon road. British commanders report counting more than 500 dead, excluding those killed by artillery and air attacks.

In the Greater Sunda Islands... Australian forces made another unopposed landing in Balikpapan Bay, in east Borneo, and a 6-mile beachhead is established.

07-23-2005, 10:43 PM
Continued from yesterdays Post...

Within two weeks No. 242 Squadron was a cohesive unit. They undertook a period of intensive training. They achieved the highest scores on the RAF air firing range ever posted. Apparently their Bolshie attitudes were being overcome by Bader, the upcoming emergency and plain hard work. Bader lived for his squadron and expected all his men to do likewise. He was everywhere on the base overseeing all activities. As Turner said to West, the squadron engineering officer: "Legs or no legs, I've never seen such a goddam mobile fireball."


They were declared operational on July 9, 1940. Their first sorties were to patrol over a convoy. Most historians have agreed that the Battle of Britain occurred from July 10 to October 31, 1940. The initial period involved skirmishing and the probing of aerial defences by the Germans. The next few days saw a lot of small actions as they tested the aerial defenses of southern and eastern England. No. 242 was kept busy for most of July flying cover for convoys and covering the south-eastern part of England. Sporadic interceptions showed that No. 242 was not in the main part of the battle.

Denis Crowley-Milling, then a Pilot Officer with 242 who rose to become Air Marshal, stated "As young and inexperienced pilots, we were often too excited and fired our guns too early, from too far away. Fortunately, the armourers put tracer in toward the end of the ammo load, so that one would come up with a jolt and realise one didn't have much ammo left. It might have been better for us if they had put the tracer in first ..." Interspersing tracer was something that would later become standard practice so the pilot could see his stream of bullets.

Coltishall, an airfield controlled by No. 12 Group under Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, was on the northern flank of the primary battle area, and action was correspondingly sporadic. However, on August 19th German aircraft raided the field, killing two men and slightly damaging a building. One of the new pilots who took off after the bombers spun into the ocean, being killed on impact. A series of small German missions by three aircraft each kept them occupied for several days with nothing to show for it.

On August 30 the squadron was ordered to fly from Coltishall to Duxford, close to London. They did this in the morning, returning to Coltishall in the early evening. This put them into the prime battle area at the peak of the battle. That afternoon they were sent on a scramble to intercept bombers approaching North Weald aerodrome. Bader led the way west to get the sun behind them. They spotted a large force of Bf-110 Zerst¶rers and bombers. Bader charged into the midst of them, scattering their formation and making them all the more vulnerable to the Hurricanes. They downed 12 Germans that afternoon, although Turner did not fly.

From Aug. 31 to Sept 6 they patrolled over Duxford, Northolt, North Weald and Hornchurch without contacting the enemy. That is not to say they weren't there, terrific air battles were being fought, by other Squadrons. So far the Luftwaffe were concentrating on RAF fields in the south and east of England in areas where they would have to dominate during the invasion, Operation Seelowe (Sealion). But on Aug. 24 about 100 Luftwaffe bombers aimed for the Thameshaven oil refinery. This they missed but hit a residential area causing large fires and heavy civilian casualties. The English retaliated and bombed Berlin the next night. Now began a vicious retaliation/counter-retalian cycle that Goering felt the Luftwaffe capable of winning. He also thought the RAF was nearly through, although he was wrong on both counts. The Bf-109 without extra fuel tanks was operating at it's limit over London, they barely had 10 minutes fighting time at normal throttle before they had to head back to France. Many didn't make it because they ran out of fuel.

Sept. 7 started like many others had, No. 242 flew down to Duxford from Coltishall and joined Nos. 19 and 310 flying Spitfires and Hurricanes. With these they made up the "Duxford Wing". Just before 5 PM they were all scrambled to meet an incoming force of bombers and fighters. Bader took them up to 15,000 feet and found enemy aircraft 5,000 feet higher yet. Between 70 and 90 bombers in a tight box were protected by higher flying Bf-110s and Bf-109s higher yet. They slammed the throttles through the gates into maximum boost and cut off the attack. Turner was leading Green section, the last of the Hurricanes to hit the fray. As he approached the dogfight he saw a Bf-110 shot down in flames by Bader's section. He then fired at a 110 but before he could press home the attack he had to avoid a 109. Turner outmanoeuvred this one and gave it a good burst of machine-gun fire and saw it go into a dive. Another 109 jumped him, he snapped off a quick burst and took evasive action. His final score was a single damaged 109, despite the fierceness of the fight. The rest of the Squadron downed 10 German aircraft for the loss of one pilot and many damaged Hurricanes from wickedly accurate defensive fire from the bombers.

Sept. 15 opened with mist but with a promise of good weather. The Germans sent over a few recce sorties in the early morning. By 11 AM the British radar plotters had a large force assembling over France. Only 30 minutes later 100 Do-17 bombers with a larger number of fighter escorts crossed the Channel.
It was to be the peak of the fighting for the Battle of Britain. The entire Duxford Wing, now consisting of five fighter squadrons, and four other squadrons were launched at the massive attack. It was the perfect defensive attack. The British had the advantage of height, and sun. The three Hurricane squadrons (242, 302 and 310) were at 23,000 feet in line abreast and the two Spitfire Squadrons (19 and 611) were stepped up at 26,000 feet. The Germans were at 17,000 with the escorting Bf-109s hovering close around. This proved to be a faulty tactic that the German bomber commanders insisted on. The German fighters didn't have room to manoeuver or to intercept the British fighters before they were through their protective screen and into the bombers.


It was disastrous for the Luftwaffe. No. 242 Squadron alone shot down 4 bombers and 2 fighters for only 1 Hurricane lost. Others claimed a further 23 destroyed and 8 probables. There was a great danger of colliding with another British fighter as there were so many twisting and firing at the bombers and fighters. Turner shot down a Do-17. Bader was given the credit for his fine timing in positioning his squadron and attacking out of the sun.
After a hurried lunch they were again airborne that day just after 2 PM. Climbing through clouds, AA bursts ahead showed them that the Germans this time had the height advantage. The Messerschmitts dove into the British fighters, the Hurricanes wheeled after them and the Spitfires went after the Dorniers.

At the start of the battle Turner lined up a quick shot on a 109 and saw his bullets hit. The German spun out of control making him think the pilot was dead. But he couldn't watch that one any longer, a cannon shell exploded near the tail of his Hurricane throwing him into a spin. He dove through the clouds and pulled up near a Do-17. He attacked from the side with full deflection. The right-hand engine started smoking and fell into a gradual dive to explode on the banks of the Thames. His tail unit was on fire and Stan was seriously considering bailing out over the Thames Estuary when he flew through a rain-heavy cloud. To his great relief the cloud extinguished the fire. Being well out of the battle with a damaged Hurricane and low on ammunition he returned to base. He received a destroyed and a probable credit for the day.

On Sept. 16 Turner was jumped from a Pilot Officer to a Flight Lieutenant and given the job of "B" Flight Commander. Bader found that the added responsibility curbed Turner's wildness.

Following further successful battles with the Luftwaffe a set of medals were awarded to the pilots of 242, Turner received a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

Distinguished Flying Cross - Flight Lieutenant Percival Stanley Turner (October 8th, 1940)

On September 15th, 1940, Flight Lieutenant Turner succeeded in shooting down one enemy aircraft when his own aircraft was hit by a cannon shell which put it temporarily out of control. On recovery he saw and attacked a further enemy aircraft, which he destroyed, afterwards bringing his own damaged aircraft safely back to its base. This officer has personally destroyed a total of ten hostile aircraft during engagements over Dunkirk and England. He has proved himself a most courageous and capable leader, displaying coolness and initiative in the face of the enemy.

Sept 27th was the last of their participation in the heavy fighting of the Battle of Britain. They were back to patrolling from Coltishall and Duxford but few enemy aircraft showed themselves. They returned to Coltishall at the end of November and to Martlesham Heath for December.


The Luftwaffe had exhausted itself in the Battle of Britain, so that the RAF went on the offensive in early 1941. They began a series of offensive missions against German air units, aerodromes and military installations in Occupied France, Belgium and Holland. These missions were code named "Circuses" and were flown by a few bombers with massive fighter support. Turner and 11 others flew with the first Circus to Guines aerodrome near Calais. Their duty along with another squadron was to provide forward support by shooting up St. Inglevert airfield to tie down the 109 fighters. Two days later they continued with a "Mosquito" mission, later named "Rhubarbs" for their low-level flight plan. SL Bader and FL Turner conducted the first as an armed pair of low flying (600 feet max.) fighters. Half way across the Channel they spotted a pair of German Schnell or "E" boats and a converted fishing boat. They turned in towards them and, in loose formation, attacked. Bader described it in his report:

"Both opened fire together at a height of 50 feet and speed 200 mph. Saw bullets strike water ahead of "E" boat and then hitting "E" boat. Got one burst from front guns of "E" boat - no damage. F/Lt. Turner having converged slightly on me, turned away to avoid slip stream as we passed over "E" boat. One burst from drifter before I opened fire and none as my bullets struck drifter. Passed over drifter and made for home with F/Lt Turner in formation. Did not stop to observe damage to boats but "E" boat must have had a lot as we could see bullets from 16 guns hitting the boat; drifter probably did not receive much damage - probably killed a few of the crew."
The pilots were exhilerated at this new low-level attack mission, but they were lucky and had liekly surprised the E-boats. Low level attackes turned out to be extremely deadly. The same day as Bader and Turner's mission FO Willie McKnight and another pilot attacked ground targets along the coast. McKnight, the squadron's leading ace, died in the attack, likely hit by anti-aircraft ground fire. Also that same day FO Latta was killed in another low-level attack of dubious value to the war effort. In one day the Squadron lost some of their most experienced pilots in return for little damage to the Germans. This was to be the pattern for Rhubarbs, with some other notable losses in the RAF, such as fighter ace WC Stanford Tuck.

On Feb. 8 Turner, leading two others, was scrambled to intercept an approaching aircraft. Despite cloud and haze they intercepted an all black Do-17 bomber. Avoiding the defensive fire Turner lit into it destroying the right wing and fuselage, setting one engine smoking. It escaped into the cloud and one wingman went after it. He was heard over RT that he was landing in the sea, so Turner quit hunting the Dornier and went to look for his wingman. He never found him. No one did. His body was never recovered. On Feb. 15 Turner damaged a Ju-88 over the North Sea, and intercepted a 109 in the afternoon but lost it in cloud. At the end of February, they received a new aircraft, sort of. It wasn't Spitfires, but the 12-gun Hurricane IIa. March 18 saw SL Douglas Bader promoted to Wing Commander of the Tangmere Wing (145, 610 and 616 Squadrons), in his place came SL Treacy.

April was a disastrous month for No. 242 with the loss of six pilots, including FL Tamblyn, one of the few original pilots left. Three pilots, including SL Treacy died in a single mid-air collision. Bader had problems of his own, he had to rest the SL of 145 Squadron and asked the AOC, AVM Trafford Leigh-Mallory, for Turner.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Crew Member of a Do-17</span>

"By all means," replied Leigh-Mallory. "I'm glad you asked for Turner because he is getting to be a bit of a nuisance in objecting to flying with anyone else."

The AOC no doubt was recalling Stan's reactin about a month before when he had promoted Bader to W/C Flying. Stan was present and, with his pipe stem jabbed right into Leigh-Mallory's chest, saild "look here, Sir, you can't go and post our CO away because we won't work for anyone else." No doubt the AOC was peleased to get Turner out of his way. On the 13th FL Turner was promoted to Squadron Leader and sent to command No. 145 Squadron.

145 Squadron
No. 145 Squadron was still flying the Spitfire II on sweeps over France and Turner made a quick transition from the Hurricane to the Spitfire in a day. The next day he lead 145 Sq. in a historical sweep over France called Circus No. 1 - the first large-scale operation over France by Fighter Command. A veritable horde of Spitfires (36 from Tangmere, 36 from Biggin Hill and others for target support and rear cover) escorted a group of Blenheims to raid Cherbourg. The Luftwaffe declined to rise to the bait.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Nose detail of a Do17</span>

As the Germans had made several successful raids on Tangmere, Bader spread his squadrons out, 145 was posted to nearby Merston at night and flew from Tangmere in the day. The other innovation was the implementation of the finger four technique, identical to what the Germans were using at the time. It was also during this period that Turner developed his style of leading men in action. He demanded instant attention to his orders and promptly got rid of men who did not do as he instructed. Finally, in June, on a sweep of the Le Touquet area the Germans came up to do battle, the first sign that the Luftwaffe were still in operation. But the German high command surprised everyone with Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia.

On June 25 they flew two Circuses, the second netted Turner a destroyed. Over Westhampnett he spotted some 109s about to attack the other squadrons and drove them off. More Bf-109s appeared and he led his squadron on another dive this time with more solid results. At 300 yards he fired a large deflection volley that hit his target square in the fusilage, streaming white and black smoke the German plunged to the ground. However, a fighter pilot who stays fixated on his victem, soon becomes one himself, so Turner did not follow the final dive of his opponent. He claimed a probably destroyed.


In early July they finally received a much needed update in equipment, the Spitfire Va, with which to effectively combat the new Messerschmitt Bf-109F. It came with a more powerful engine and in place of six 0.303 machine guns it packed four 0.303 mgs and a pair of 20 mm cannons. In late July he downed a 109 in his old stomping ground east of Dunkirk, although it was nearly the death of him. They were loitering at 3 - 4,000 feet waiting for bombers to escort when they were bounced by 8 Bf-109s. They turned to evade them and repositioned themselves behind the fleeing Germans. They, however, made the mistake of turning back towards the Spitfires without climbing first. This gave Turner a shot at one that apparently did no damage, his wingman chased another down low over the Channel, leaving Turner alone. Four 109s kept him busy exchanging shots but none hit him as he twisted and turned away from them. Another 7 109s joined the fray and made everything a confused mess as Turner used their numbers against them. They generally got in each other's way. Finally seeing a chance he dove out of the fight to England. His wingman had made it made after killing his quarry and reported that Stan's first shots must have killed the 109 pilot as he had dove straight into the Channel. This raised his total to 10 1/3 destroyed (3 unconfirmed), 1 probable, 4 damaged.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">
Wingspan : 59 ft 0.75 inches ( 18 m )
Length : 52 ft 6 inches ( 15.95 m )
Height :14 ft 11 inches ( 4.55 m )
Wing Area : 592 sq feet ( 55.0 sq m )
Engines : 2 X DB600 Gs
BHP : 1050
Armament : 6 X 7.9 mm MG 15 Machine Guns
Bomb Load : 5,510 lb
Gross Weight : 27,400 lb

Max Speed : 292 mph ( 470 km. h )
Service Ceiling : 30,400 ft ( 9,250 m )
Range : 965 miles ( 1,550 km )

First Flight : Summer 1936
Service Entry : 1937 </span>

Johnnie Johnson, Britain's No. 1 ace, was at that time a pilot in 616 Sq. He recalled Turner:

"Fearless and a great leader. He was given the most difficult job of all - that of top cover to ourselves and No. 610 Squadron. Teh Messerschmitt 109F possessed a higher ceiling than our Spitfire IIs, so that they still sqarmed above our formations; and Stan's task was to hold his squadron togther in their high sundown position and ward off the highest 109s. He was always there with his boys; always fanning across the skyin the right position; and always ready to chortle some ribald comment over the radio ... The Wing was far weaker after Turner's departure, for during the last few weeks we had fought hard together, and it would take a long time to work up the new squadron".

He led this squadron in this area on sweeps until October, 1941, receiving a bar to his DFC in August. The Citation read:

This officer had led his squadron on all sweeps over France, and has set a splendid example by his quiet coolness in the face of the enemy. he has been resposible for the destruction of at least 12 enemy aircraft."

Turner tried like a fury to prevent his posting out of 145 Squadron, and from posting the squadron on easier duties, but to no avail. He was given a two month rest by being posted as the Staff Operations Officer to 82 Group HQ in Northern Ireland until Dec., 1941. This also got him acquainted with the command structure and staff.

07-23-2005, 11:10 PM
On this day July 24, 1943, British bombers raid Hamburg, Germany, by night in Operation Gomorrah, while Americans bomb it by day in its own "Blitz Week."

Britain had suffered the deaths of 167 civilians as a result of German bombing raids in July. Now the tables were going to turn. The evening of July 24 saw British aircraft drop 2,300 tons of incendiary bombs on Hamburg in just a few hours. The explosive power was the equivalent of what German bombers had dropped on London in their five most destructive raids. More than 1,500 German civilians were killed in that first British raid.

Britain lost only 12 aircraft in this raid (791 flew), thanks to a new radar-jamming device called "Window," which consisted of strips of aluminum foil dropped by the bombers en route to their target. These Window strips confused German radar, which mistook the strips for dozens and dozens of aircraft, diverting them from the trajectory of the actual bombers.

To make matters worse for Germany, the U.S. Eighth Air Force began a more comprehensive bombing run of northern Germany, which included two raids on Hamburg during daylight hours.

British attacks on Hamburg continued until November of that year. Although the percentage of British bombers lost increased with each raid as the Germans became more adept at distinguishing between Window diversions and actual bombers, Operation Gomorrah proved devastating to Hamburg-not to mention German morale. When it was over, 17,000 bomber sorties dropped more than 9,000 tons of explosives, killing more than 30,000 people and destroying 280,000 buildings, including industrial and munitions plants. The effect on Hitler, too, was significant. He refused to visit the burned-out cities, as the ruins bespoke nothing but the end of the war for him. Diary entries of high German officials from this period describe a similar despair, as they sought to come to terms with defeat.

07-24-2005, 12:57 AM
On this day of July 24 1940...

Battle of Britain Campaign Diary
Date: 24 July 1940
Weather: Channel and Straits of Dover cloudy. Coastal and hill fog in western districts spreading east. Rain in most districts.
Day: Convoys and shipping in the Channel attacked.
Night: Nil.
Enemy action by day
The main activity was centred in the Channel. A combat involving approximately 90 aircraft took place at midday off Deal and North Foreland. Convoys and shipping were the main objectives. A few raids penetrated inland and dropped bombs without inflicting any serious damage except near Glasgow where a printing works was practically demolished.

North and North-East

At 0630 hours, hostile aircraft appeared over Glasgow and bombed the Hillingdon district where a printing works was seriously damaged. Some windows of the Rolls Royce factory were broken and a few minor casualties are reported. This aircraft was intercepted and it is reported that the rear gunner was killed and one engine put out of action. The enemy aircraft dived into clouds and was lost but it is doubtful if it will reach home. In the afternoon, several reconnaissances were plotted in the Aberdeen area.

East and South-East

Numerous hostile reconnaissances were carried out off the East and South-East coasts and in four cases were followed by attacks on shipping. One Do215 was shot down.

Just before midday, a large force of enemy aircraft assembled behind Calais and then approached two convoys off the North Foreland and the Downs. Three squadrons were up ready to intercept. A battle ensued in which approximately fifty enemy aircraft were involved with thirty-six of our fighters. The enemy aircraft were driven off after - it is reported - having sunk two trawlers and damaged two more. Enemy losses reported in this combat are reported as 10 confirmed (including one by AA) and sixteen unconfirmed against the loss of two of our Spitfires.

At 1503 hours, an enemy aircraft crossed the coast west of Shoreham and dropped bombs on the Vickers landing ground at Weybridge and on the gas works at Walton on Thames and at Byfleet. Little damage is reported and production has not been affected. There was no interception by our fighters.

At 1727 hours, three enemy aircraft bombed ships off Dover. No 74 Squadron report that one Do215 was shot down (unconfirmed) off Manston.

At 1950 hours, a hostile track appeared 20 miles south of Hastings and is reported to have machine-gunned inshore patrols. Weather conditions were too bad for fighter action to be taken.

At 2050 hours, one Spitfire of No 66 Squadron whilst on patrol, came down in the sea 30 miles north-east of Cromer but the pilot was rescued.

South and West

At 0730 hours, a Ju88 which approached Portcawl and bombed shipping was shot down by No 92 Squadron. Several raids approached Bournemouth and Portland but faded without and attack being made. Considerable enemy reconnaissance activity was plotted in the Channel.

By night
No enemy activity is reported with the exception of one track which was possibly minelaying off Bamburgh.


Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 24 July 1940
Blenheim - 56
Spitfire - 238
Hurricane - 294
Defiant - 15
Total - 603
Enemy: Fighters - 9 confirmed, 13 unconfirmed; Bombers - 3 confirmed, 4 unconfirmed.
Own: 2 Spitfires 1 Hurricane.
AA claims one Do215 confirmed.
In addition it is now reported that a further four Spitfires are unserviceable owing to enemy action.
191 patrols despatched involving 591 aircraft.
Flying - 1211 Casualties - 30.
All serviceable.
No. 607 Squadron is now operational by day only at Usworth.
Air Intelligence Reports
A Me110 brought down near Goodwood on 21 July belonged to a reconnaissance gruppe and carried a camera in place of cannons.
Home Security Reports
23rd/24th July 1940

General Summary
During the early morning of July 24, enemy bombing attacks were confined to the Scottish areas of East Lothian, Fifeshire, Aberdeenshire and the Glasgow district. Only in the last-named was material damage caused.
During the day, bombs were dropped on Suffolk and Norfolk without effect, but an attack was made on the Walton and Weybridge district, details of which follow.
Enemy bombing attacks during the night of July 24/25 have been negligible.


Detailed Summary
It is now reported that the HE bomb that fell on Montrose at 0043 (23 July) damaged one aircraft considerably and two aircraft slightly.
At 0640 hours, an attack was made by a single enemy aircraft on the Scottish Industrial Estate, Hillington, Glasgow, where 4 HE and 40 Ibs did considerable damage. A small printing and stationary factory was almost destroyed and a sugar and oilcake factory was damaged. Many windows were broken. Casualties were confined to 18 injured, one seriously.
At 1515 hours, one enemy aircraft dropped 18 HE bombs in the Weybridge-Walton-Byfleet district. Six bombs fell near the Wandsworth Gas Company's containers, Walton, causing four slight casualties and broken glass, but production was not affected. Six, of which one did not explode, fell on the Vickers-Armstrong landing ground without causing any damage, and six were dropped at St George's Hill without effect.
Great Yarmouth report two bombs at 1818 hours; these failed to explode.
At 1820 hours, 17 small HE bombs were dropped at Wherstead near Ipswich without causing damage or casualties.

-HH- Beebop
07-24-2005, 11:06 AM
I am liking very much your BoB postings woofiedog. Good job!

24 July

In the English Channel... The steamer Meknes, carrying 1277 French sailors to Marseilles, is sunk by the German motor torpedo boat S-27 off the coast of Portland, England. A total of 383 on board are killed.
The French Line's Meknes

In Bucharest... The Romanian government nationalizes the Astra-Romana Oil Company (part of the Royal Dutch/Shell Oil Company).

Over Occupied France... The Scharnhorst is hit five times by bombs from a force of 15 Halifax bombers while lying in the port of La Pallice. The repairs required will not be complete until 1942. Since Prinz Eugen has been hit earlier in the month and Gneisenau is under repair, this means that none of the German heavy ships in and around Brest are fit for operations in the near future.
A British Halifax bomber

The Scharnhorst
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">From the Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary Campaign Diary 1941
The attacks against the Scharnhorst resumed on the 23rd after she had been moved to La Pallice some 200 south of Brest in preparation for her next Atlantic voyage. The following day, 15 Halifaxes were despatched without escort to La Pallice and met with fierce opposition. Five aircraft were lost, and all of the others were damaged in some way. Five direct hits were recorded on the battleship, but three armour-piercing bombs passed straight through the Scharnhorst without exploding, but causing a large amount of water to flood some areas. The ship was later moved back to Brest where it could be afforded better protection.
Meanwhile at Brest, 79 Wellingtons, also operating without fighter escort, as well as 18 Hampdens and 3 Fortresses with an escort attacked the port and 6 hits were claimed on the Gneisenau. 10 Wellingtons and 2 Hampdens were lost to enemy fighters which had been drawn up by the escorted bombers. This was also the first operational use of the new American-built Fortress.</span>

In the Mediterranean... One of the British transports engaged in Operation Substance is hit before entering Malta. Empty ships from previous trips join Force H for the return to Gibraltar.

In Tokyo... Vichy France agree to the Japanese demands for bases in southern Indochina.

From London... There is Anglo-American agreement on the framework of Operation Torch.

Over Germany... Hamburg is bombed by RAF Bomber Command during the night (July 24-25). About 780 bombers drop 2300 tons of bombs. This raid is the first time that "window" is used by the RAF. It consists of strips of metal foil dropped from supporting aircraft to confuse German radar by giving false echoes. It is very successful at this time.
Results of the mass bombings of Hamburg

In Rome... The Fascist Grand Council meets for the first time since December 1939. The debate and voting suggest the Mussolini is no longer in control.

In Sicily... The US 45th Division captures Cefalu, on the northern coast. Inland, American units advance on Nicosia.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of the 1st Belorussian Front capture Lublin. Elements of the 1st Ukrainian Front overrun the site of the Majdanek Concentration Camp.
German prisoners marched past corpses in Majdanek

In the Mariana Islands... The US 5th Amphibious Corps (General Schmidt) lands on Tinian. The US 2nd Marine Division first conduct a feint landing in the southwest, while the 4th Marine Division establishes a beachhead in the northwest. The American force numbers 15,600 men. Task Force 52 (Admiral Hill) provides transport. Fire support is provided by battleship groups commanded by Admiral Oldendorf and Admiral Ainsworth. The Japanese forces on the island number 6200 under the command of Colonel Ogata and Admiral Kakuta. Napalm is used for the first time in the Pacific during the defense of the beachhead against Japanese attacks.

On the Western Front... Attacks of "Operation Cobra" by US 1st Army forces are scheduled to begin but are postponed due to poor weather and the consequent lack of air support.

In Occupied Germany... The Potsdam Conference continues. Churchill, Truman and Stalin confer on politics and strategy, in a town near Berlin. President Truman informs Stalin that a new and powerful weapon is now available for use against Japan but does not elaborate on the kind of weapon. He also authorizes the use of atomic bombs on Japan. Stalin is believed to be aware of the atomic bomb project, through the Soviet espionage network in the United States.

In Paris... Paul Reynaud and Edouard Daladier, former premiers of France, and Albert Lebrun, the former president, testify against Marshal Petain at his trial for treason.

In Japan... British and American carriers continue attacks. There are 15 American and 4 British carriers available for air operations against targets in the Inland Sea area, including the naval base at Kure and Kobe. Some 1600 planes are engaged. In addition, there is an Allied naval bombardment during the night (July 24-25) aimed at Kushimoto and Shionomisaki. It is estimated that more than 100 Japanese ships are sunk.

Over Japan... The Osaka-Nagoya area, the second largest population center in Japan, is bombed by 600 B-29 Superfortress bombers.

In Malaya... British naval and air units begin three days of attacks on Japanese troop positions and transportation targets on the west coast.

07-25-2005, 10:01 AM
On this day of July 25 1940...


25 July 1940,
A US decision to limit its exports of oil places an immediate and continuing problem with the Japanese who have come to rely on foreign supplies. Their stocks dwindle from this day and cause them to look to the Dutch East Indies and Malaysia.

July 25, 1940: Italy bombs the British naval base at Alexandria and the base at Haifa.


25 July 1940 New fighting over the Channel. No.54 Sqdn, flying Spitfires, has to be pulled back to recuperate and receive replacements.

25 July 1940 England

Weather: Fine day with haze in the Straits of Dover. Winds north-westerly and light.
Day: Convoys and shipping in the Channel raided.
Night: Minelaying in the Firth of Forth and Thames Estuary. Reconnaissance over Bristol and Channel area.
Enemy action by day
Enemy activity by day was again concentrated on attacks on shipping and convoys in the Channel, the major engagement taking place off Dover. A few raids penetrated inland and dropped bombs without inflicting any serious damage.

North and North-East

A meteorological flight was plotted in the Wick area at 0730 hours. A WT [wireless/telegraphy - radio] intercept suggested that this flight had a dual purpose, reference being made to "dropping carried out" at 0704 GMT. Later a He111 was shot down between the Orkneys and Kinnaird's Head. In the evening, an unidentified raid was plotted over Scapa.

East and South-East

During the early morning, an attack was made on a convoy off Spurn Point. This raid was intercepted and the He111s are claimed as probable casualties. Another attack was made on this convoy in the evening but no damage is reported.

From about 1127 hours, when a large raid was plotted approaching Dover from the Calais area, attacks interspersed by reconnaissances continued in waves against Dover harbour and shipping until 1930 hours. Bombs were dropped in the harbour and near a RAF experimental station. Ships in convoy and naval units are reported to have been hit. The first attack at 1207 hours was directed against Dover harbour and plotted as 50+ aircraft. This was quickly followed up by an additional raid of 40+ - probably the escorting fighters. Three and a half squadrons of our fighters engaged the enemy. Later, an attack of two or three waves of some 12+, 20+ and 30 aircraft was made on a convoy off Dover at approximately 15-minute intervals. Fighters again intercepted and inflicted casualties. No sooner had the tracks indicate that these raids had returned to France than other enemy aircraft commenced to congregate behind Gris Nez and a further attack on the convoy was made. Large formations of enemy aircraft continued to be plotted in the Channel up to 1930 hours.

During the period of these attacks, our fighters successfully accounted for 14 enemy aircraft confirmed and an additional 11 probable against a loss of only four Spitfires. In addition, AA claim one confirmed enemy casualty.

Ten or eleven fast coastal motor boats with fighter escort were spotted by a pilot of No 111 Squadron off Gris Nez in the afternoon.

South and West

In the early morning, two raids approached Portland but turned back - possibly on hearing the volume of our fighter's RT engaged in escorting naval units. Later, two raids of 30 and 12+ approached Portsmouth and three fighter squadrons were despatched to meet them. These raids approached the Needles and then moved westward towards Portland; trawlers were reported to have been bombed. Our fighters intercepted and shot down six enemy aircraft with the loss of one Spitfire. A later raid off Portsmouth was intercepted and one enemy aircraft was confirmed as being shot down and another is probable.

In the afternoon, two raids - probably of single aircraft - crossed the coast near Poole and were intercepted in the Stroud area. One Hurricane was shot down by a Ju88 which in turn was shot down by a training aircraft and the other enemy aircraft was accounted for by AA fire. Bombs were dropped at about this time near Cowley, Gloucestershire, and near South Cerney but no damage is reported. Later a raid of 12+ approached Ventnor, but turned south on the despatch of our fighters.


The usual Gris Nez patrols were reported between 0900 and 1100 hours. These raids totalling 15+ aircraft were unusually active north of Cherbourg between 1200 and 1230 hours.

By night
Several raids started from the Cherbourg district and crossed the coast of Dorset en-route for the Bristol Channel and South Wales but no bombing has been reported from this area. AA claim an enemy aircraft shot down in flames near Milford Haven.

There appeared to be considerable minelaying activity in the Firth of Forth (where some 28 were also dropped into the sea) and the Newcastle area. Harwich and Lowestoft were also visited by raiders, bombs being dropped at Bungay (Norfolk) and near Harlestown. Minelaying was also being carried out in the Thames Estuary and the Downs by approximately ten aircraft.

Two aircraft appeared off Trevose Head and were tracked down the west coast of Cornwall and faded south west of Land's End. These aircraft may have laid mines in the Bristol Channel.


Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 25 July 1940
Blenheim - 56
Spitfire - 234
Hurricane - 316
Defiant - 25
Gladiator - 8 (1 Flight only)
Total - 639
Enemy: Fighters - 14 confirmed 11 unconfirmed; Bombers - 11 confirmed 3 unconfirmed. 1 unknown aircraft type also confirmed as shot down.
Own: 5 Spitfires 1 Hurricane.
AA claims 3 confirmed in the above totals.
171 patrols despatched involving 684 aircraft.
Flying - 1237 Casualties - 30.
All serviceable.
No 141 (Defiant) Squadron is now operational by day and night at Prestwick.
Air Intelligence Reports
Chance-Vought dive-bomber aircraft (ex French Air Force) were operating against shipping on the 24th July. One or probably two were shot down.
Home Security Reports
24th/25th July 1940.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Dennis Fire Fighting Trailer Pump.
Widely used in W.W.II, the pump could be easily
manoeuvred around rubble and bomb
craters. It took six fire crew to operate,
spraying out 500 gal. per minute.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Denis Samuel "Sam" Posten </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Canadian Corp of Firefighters in England During WWII
The following feature on Canadian Fire Fighters in England during WW II is based on photographs and articles provided by Kathy Posten. Kathy discovered the photographs, taken by her father, Sam Posten, while he was stationed in England during WW II as a member of Corps of Canadian Fire Fighters, #4 Company, and wished to share them with you, in recognition of her father and the other men and women who contributed to the war effort in the Corps of Canadian Fire Fighters in England. Most of you will be aware of enormous damage resulting from the "blitz" bombing of the cities of England, particularly London and Plymouth, during WW II. The damage from the bombs and the resulting fires is clearly seen in the following photographs, a personal account of the images seen by Sam Posten, who, armed with a Brownie camera, had created this historical record. At the time of this writing, Sam is 86 years old and unfortunately, has suffered memory loss of this period in his life. As such, many of the locations of the photographs and the names of individuals pictured are unknown. If you recognize any of the individuals or the locations of these photographs, or have any other information to contribute in this regard, we would love to add it to this feature (email The Webmaster)
Denis Samuel "Sam" Posten
by Kathleen Posten

Denis Samuel "Sam" Posten was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, on July 24, 1914. He is the son of Dumitru R. and Floarea, Postelnicu, "Dan and Florea, Posten," who came to Canada as Romanian emigrants in 1911. They settled in Regina, where they owned and operated a corner grocery store. He has three brothers and three sisters, and one stepsister. He attended public and collegiate school in Regina and after graduation was employed as a butter and ice cream maker with the T. Eaton Co. Ltd.

From August 1940 to May 1942, Sam Posten was in reserve army training with the Second Battalion of the Royal Regina Rifle Regiment, as a Rifleman. On June 6, 1942 in Ottawa, he enlisted with the Corps of Canadian Fire Fighters. Despite having no previous fire fighting experience, he was taken on "Strength of the Corps," on June 8, 1942, with the rank of Junior Fireman. On August 26, 1942 he was posted to Station 19A-1L in Plymouth, England, from H.Q. London, for basic training. After basic training he received a service promotion to the rank of Firemen on December 8, 1942. He received a promotion to Senior Fireman on June 8, 1943, and to Leading Fireman on June 8, 1944.

The Corps of Canadian Fire Fighters in England began to demobilize in December of 1944 and Sam Posten returned home in January, 1945. He was officially discharged from service on March 6, 1945. Sam returned to his former life and on Nov. 10, 1951, in Regina, married Mary Eva Glasser from Prelate, Saskatchewan. They have two children, Denis and Kathleen. From the age of 65 to 85 he was employed with the Corps of Commissionaires, working at the National Defense buildings of HMCS Queen and the Regina Armory.

Like many people who have directly experienced the horrors of war, Sam Posten does not talk about them often, except around Remembrance Day with comments like, "War was HELL and I hope you never have to go through it!" He has occasionally mentioned the bombing Blitz on Plymouth and London, and all of the damage that was done. He recalls the air raid sirens and the sounds of the bombs - "sort of a wired whistling sound, both would start shivers down your back and the hairs on your neck to stand up." Of his view of the role of fire fighters in England during WWII, he says, "we worked long and hard, like crazy fools sometimes." (see diary entries by Sam Posten in "The Destruction" section)

Canadian Firefighters in Britain
reprinted from FIRE 1943 Overseas Edition

The Corps of Canadian Fire Fighters was formed subsequent to a visit to Britain in the summer of 1941 by the Rt. Hon. William L. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, who assured the British Government that Canada would be only too willing to assist in the Battle of the Blitzes with a corps of Canadian firemen. It was at first the intention to have the corps come over as a branch of the Canadian Army, and be recruited under the Department of National Defense. Later, however, it was deemed advisable that inasmuch as the Fire Service in Great Britain was operating as a civilian organization the Canadian contingent, too, should be a civilian body. Major-general L.R. La Fleche, DSO, the then Associate Deputy Minister National War Services, was charged with the responsibility of providing a firefighting corps representative of the Dominion for duty in Great Britain with the National Fire Service of that country. On January 30, 1942, the Canadian Cabinet Council ratified, by Order-in-Council, the appointment of Flight-lieutenant G.E. Huff, MM, Royal Canadian Air Force, who was at that date fire prevention officer No. 2 Training Command, Winnipeg, as commanding officer. In normal times he commanded the fire department of Brantford, in Ontario, which force he had entered in 1919, but, on the outbreak of war he had been granted leave of absence, for the duration of hostilities, so that his fire engineering skill might be at the disposal of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

On February 16, 1942, he reported to Ottawa, seat of the Dominion Government and without delay began the task of banding together the various units which now constitute the Corps of Canadian Fire Fighters. It was decided that the corps should be truly representative of all parts of Canada and with this thought in mind, the commanding officer asked his brother fire chiefs from coast to coast for aid in enrolling the personnel. The response by those Canadian fire chiefs was magnificent; it resulted in very successful recruiting, and at no cost to the Canadian Government. Coincident with the announcement of the first "blitz" raids on England, countless numbers of professional firemen, and civilians alike, had volunteered their services to the British Fire Service, through the medium of the Canadian Government, and had been prepared to give up their positions, leave their homes, families, and all that was near and dear, to assist in the battle. However, it was not until the formation of the Corps of Canadian Fire Fighters was finally approved by Order-in-Council on March 3, 1942, that their dream began to materialize.

This was the opportunity for which personnel of the Canadian Fire Service and civilians alike had been waiting since first hearing of the magnificent work done by the British Fire Service during the Battle of Britain. The response to the first announcement was spontaneous as is proved by the fact that the corps has representatives from the nine Canadian provinces and 107 Canadian municipalities, in the East from Halifax to Vancouver in the west, a distance of almost 4,000 miles. At no time was there any shortage of applicants. Even to-day there is a long waiting list of candidates on file.

Members of the corps received a complete medical examination prior to reporting at Ottawa and, upon arrival, a final medical examination was given, including inoculation and vaccination, similar to the Canadian Active Service Forces. After being enrolled in small groups, the members began preliminary training in Ottawa during the time they were waiting to be supplied with uniforms and equipment prior to embarkation for overseas.

The advance party arrived in Great Britain by air on May 24, 1942-Victoria Day, a Dominion holiday, and the first contingent arrived exactly one month later. Completing its training - the trailer pump to the Canadian firefighter in the Dominion is essentially a British appliance - this first contingent assumed active duty on August 1, 1942.

The final contingent arrived on December 19, 1942, and, six weeks later, was in its operational stations. Thus the corps was formed, organized, and operating in Britain in less than 12 months from the date of Chief Huff's reporting at Ottawa.

For the purposes of pay and allowances, medical care, hospitalization, dental treatment, pension for disability and death, members of the corps have the same rights as if they were members of the Canadian Active Service Force; while for operational duties they are an integral part of the NFS. They man their own stations in four key cities on the south-west coast of England. They are under their own officers, and the corps has its own administrative headquarters in the London region.

Seventy per cent of the officers and men of the corps are professional firefighters vitally interested in gaining experience which will benefit them upon their return home. Every endeavor has been and is being made to have them attend advanced courses of instruction in the NFS schools and college. They undergo physical training courses at Royal Marine barracks and personnel are attending army and industrial schools on war gases and so forth.

The corps is unique in that, for the first time in history, a group of professional firemen has left its own country and volunteered to operate, in its own profession, in a theatre of war.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">H. J. Lambert, S.C.O. & Sam Posten</span>




General Summary
With reference to the report of 24th July, it is now reported that a further six HE bombs one one unexploded were dropped in the Glasgow area in open fields by an aircraft which had arrived without being plotted. This was at 0640 hours on the 24th July. On the previous day an unidentified aircraft was over Glasgow and not plotted until over the city.
There has been very little enemy activity over the land, but extensive raids have been made on convoys in the Channel in the neighbourhood of Dover.

Detailed Summary
At 1530 hours bombs were dropped off St Catherine's Point (Isle of Wight) which struck a steamer beached there on 21st July.
Bombs were dropped at Dover Harbour but no damage was done, and at Swing Gate aerodrome near Dover, where posts at the aerodrome were machine-gunned, windows and fences were damaged but no casualties have been reported.
Bombs were also dropped near South Cerney aerodrome, Cowley (Gloucestershire) and Scarning (Norfolk) but all fell in fields and no damage has been reported.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The 109s coming at us from above as we still struggled for height ? Way* being hit and falling away out of sight [he was dead]. I remember the 109 attacking me from the port side, my trying to turn in towards him, the loud bangs of his cannon-shells striking my Spitfire as he hit me from an almost full deflection angle; and even through the pounding fear that I felt, admiring his marksmanship. A few seconds later, with my aeroplane miraculously still answering apparently normally to the controls, finding myself behind two Me 109s, aligning my sight on one, pressing the gun button ? and the guns failing to fire; then diving out of the fight to return to base.?
F/L B.H.(Wonky) Way 54 Squadron Hornchurch
Pilot Officer D.R.Turley-George 54 Squadron RAF </span>

After this days fighting, 54 Squadron Hornchurch was north for a brief rest. They had been constantly in action for the past three weeks, had flown in excess of 800 flying hours, had 506 operational sorties to their credit, had lost five experienced pilots and had twelve of their aircraft destroyed.
The tactic here was to meet the bombers head on at full throttle then as they dispersed they pulled upwards to meet the oncoming Bf109's. The tactic worked, and both fighters and bombers withdrew. With 64 Squadron and 111 Squadron returning to refuel, the German formation, strengthened by another staffel circled and returned to the convoy. Here they sank a further five merchantmen and seriously damaged four others. (Only 2 out of 21 were to reach their destination of Portland.)

AVM Keith Park was all in favour of attacking the bombers "head on". He maintained that they were very vulnerable from the front, very poorly armed, had very little armour protection and often flew in tight formations which meant that they had very little chance of maneuvering for fear of hitting another bomber. "Attack the ones in front" he urged, "If you shoot them down, the formation will break up in confusion, then you can take your pick."
But such tactics could be dangerous. It called for accurate shooting and one must pull away sharply to avoid collision. ACM Hugh Dowding would not approve such tactics, it was too dangerous for our young pilots to adopt, but many brave and skillful pilots responded to Keith Parks instruction.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I will say, the old Hun certainly tried hard, but they did not like that head-on business. One could see the leader carrying on straight, but the followers wavering, drawing out sideways to the flanks, and in some cases just plain leaving the formation. </span>

1455hrs: Dover. Spitfire P9451. 64 Squadron Kenley. (Lost at sea)
F/O A.J.O.Jeffrey. Killed. (Was last seen crashing into the Channel) (Body washed up on Dutch coast)
1500hrs: Off Dover. Spitfire R6707. 54 Squadron Rochford. (Lost at sea)
F/Lt B.H."Wonky" Way. Presumed drowned. (Shot down by Bf109 and crashed into Channel)
1540hrs: Hawkinge Airfield. Spitfire R6693. 610 Squadron Biggin Hill. (Aircraft destroyed)
S/L A.T.Smith. Killed. (Crashed and burnt out after stalling on landing. Previously in combat with Bf109)
1745hrs: Off Folkestone Kent. Spitfire L1035. 64 Squadron Kenley. (Lost at sea)
Sub/Lt F.D.Paul. Died of Injuries. (Shot down by Bf109, captured by Germans but died 30.7.40
1810hrs: Dover. Spitfire R6816. 54 Squadron Rochford. (Aircraft destroyed)
P/O A.Finnie. Killed. (Hit by gunfire from Bf109 and crashed at Kingsdown, nr Dover)
2345hrs: Porthtowan Cornwall. Spitfire P9493. 234 Squadron St Eval. (Aircraft destroyed)
P/O G.K.Gout. Killed. (Crashed just outside town. Circumstances not known)

Air War's Greatest Aces

The Guadalcanal campaign was to end the careers of numerous JNAF aces, including Saburo Sakai, who after scoring his 60th victory was severely wounded by Douglas SBD rear gunners on August 7, 1942; Junichi Sasai (27), killed on August 26 by Marion E. Carl (an 18-victory ace of Marine squadron VMF-223); and Toshio Ota (34), who downed his 34th victim on October 21 and then was killed by Frank C. Drury (a six-victory Marine ace of VMF-212). From then on, the fortunes of the Japanese air arms, whose losses were irreplaceable, began a steady decline.

By 1944, few of the "old hands" were still fighting. Nishizawa, Japan's official ace of aces, claimed his 87th victim over Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944, but he was shot down and killed the next day while being transported in the Philippines from Cebu to Luzon. Tetsuzo Iwamoto, with 14 victories the leading JNAF ace over China prior to Pearl Harbor, survived the war with an estimated total of 80, only to die of illness. Sakai, despite the loss of an eye, returned to combat, added four more to his score and survived. Another survivor was the leading JAAF ace of World War II, Satoshi Anabuki of the crack 64th Sentai (fighter regiment), who scored 51 victories over China and Burma, mostly while flying Nakajima Ki.43 Hayabusas.

The first Allied pilot to become an ace was a PZL P-11C pilot of the Polish 142nd Eskadra, Stanislaw Skalski, when he downed two Henschel Hs-126s on September 3, 1939. A Junkers Ju-87 the next day brought his total to six victories in four days. Making his way to Romania, France and finally England after Poland fell, Skalski fought in the Royal Air Force and eventually became a wing leader -- and, with a total of at least 21 victories, Poland's leading ace as well as her first.

During the months of quiet stalemate following the Polish campaign called the "Phony War," all was not quiet over the Western Front, as the Luftwaffe clashed with French and British units. On March 26, 1940, Edgar J. Kain, a New Zealander of No. 73 Squadron who had scored three earlier victories, became the first RAF ace when he downed two Me-109Es. On May 27, "Cobber" Kain's score stood at 17, but when he took off for England on June 6, his Hawker Hurricane crashed while he was doing a farewell slow roll over Echemines airfield, and he was killed.

Amid the overall debacle of the Battle of France, French fighter pilots -- joined by exiled volunteers from Czechoslovakia and Poland -- fought fiercely and produced a number of aces. The most successful, Edmond Marin la Meslée, was credited with 16 victories while flying an American-built Curtiss H-75A. Later, flying a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, Marin la Meslée was killed by anti-aircraft fire on February 4, 1945.

Following the French capitulation on June 16, 1940, thousands of pilots from German-occupied countries fought on in the RAF. Between August and November 1940, the Battle of Britain gave the RAF fighter pilots plenty of opportunities to add to their scores. The leading Allied ace of the battle was a Czech serving in a Polish Hurricane unit, Flt. Sgt. Jozef Frantisek of No. 303 Squadron, who was credited with 17 German aircraft before his death in a flying accident on October 8. Among many other Battle of Britain heroes was Colin Falkland Gray, a Supermarine Spitfire pilot of No. 54 Squadron who downed 16 1/2 German aircraft between May and September 1940. Later serving over Tunisia and Sicily, Gray brought his total to 27 and two shared by July 25, 1943, to earn honors as the leading ace from New Zealand.

Curiously, the most famous RAF aces did not really emerge from the Battle of Britain, but from the multitude of reciprocal cross-Channel raids that took place in the following three years. Among them were James E. "Johnny" Johnson, whose total of 38 made him the leading British ace, and the legendary Douglas Bader, whose loss of both legs in a prewar accident did not prevent him from downing 24 German aircraft before being shot down and taken prisoner on August 9, 1941. Another prominent ace from that period came from the neutral Republic of Ireland: Brendan Finucane had joined the RAF in 1938 and brought his score up to 32 by July 15, 1942, when machine-gun fire from a German gun position on the French coast disabled his engine. "Paddy" Finucane tried to ditch in the Channel, but perished when his Spitfire sank.

While the Channel duels took place by day, British night intruders raided German airfields as Luftwaffe bombers were returning from nocturnal sorties over England. Later, RAF night fighters strove to foil their German counterparts and thus protect British nocturnal bombing raids on the Reich. The most successful night intruder was also the leading Czech ace, Karel M. Kuttelwascher, who scored 20 victories while flying a Hurricane with No. 1 Squadron. The most successful RAF night pilot, Branse A. Burbridge, obtained 20 of his 21 victories at night, flying de Havilland Mosquitos in No. 85 Squadron -- including four German night fighters downed during a single sortie on November 4, 1944.

Some of the most prominent aces of the British Commonwealth fought over other far-flung battle fronts. The RAF's ace of aces, South African€"born Marmaduke Thomas St. John Pattle, flew Gloster Gladiator biplanes and later Hawker Hurricanes over the North African desert and Greece, quickly bringing his total to 51 before being killed over Eleusis Bay by two Messerschmitt Me-110s on April 20, 1941. Canada's leading ace, George F. Beurling, got all but two of his 31 1/3 victims flying Spitfires in defense of the island of Malta in 1942. Australia's top ace, Clive R. Caldwell, gained 19 victories, plus three shared, over North Africa flying Curtiss Tomahawks with No. 250 Squadron and Kittyhawks with No. 112 Squadron. Taking command of 1 Fighter Wing of the Royal Australian Air Force, he flew a Spitfire to add eight Japanese aircraft to that total in 1943.

Although Thorsteinn Elton Jonsson came from neutral Iceland, his mother was English and that, combined with a thirst for adventure, led him to join the RAF in April 1940. He subsequently flew a Spitfire over North Africa in 1942-43 and a North American Mustang III over Normandy in 1944, downing eight German aircraft to become Iceland's only ace.

Several French aces flew with the RAF, including Jean-François Demozay (21) and Pierre Clostermann, who claimed 33 victories but whose confirmed score may actually have been only 11. Among the leading aces from other countries who flew to national prominence in the RAF were Norway's Svein Heglund (15 1/2), Denmark's Kaj Birksted (10 1/2) and Belgium's Comte Yvan G.A.F. du Monceau de Bergendael (8).

Like the German Luftwaffe and Italian Regia Aeronautica, the Soviet V-VS (Voyenno-Vozhdushny Sily, or Red Army Air Force) had sent airmen to participate in the Spanish Civil War, several of whom became aces. Other Soviet fliers gained experience over China in the late 1930s and in the undeclared war with Japan over Nomonhan in Mongolia in June-September 1940. Unfortunately for the V-VS, much of the expertise they had to offer was lost in Josef Stalin's paranoid purges of the Soviet officer corps in the late 1930s and early 1940s. As a result, the V-VS suffered from a qualitative disadvantage against the Finnish air force in 1939-40, and against the Luftwaffe when Germany invaded Russia on June 22, 1941.

Amid horrendous losses, a few talented individuals rose to prominence. Most famous was Aleksandr I. Pokryshkin, who was flying the mediocre Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 when he downed an Me-109E of JG.77 near Jassy on June 23, 1941. Surviving the war with 59 victories -- 48 of which were scored flying a Lend-Lease Bell P-39 Airacobra -- Pokryshkin won the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union three times, as well as the American Distinguished Flying Cross.

Another special case from the war's early days was Aleksei P.P. Marasyev, who downed his seventh victim, a Junkers Ju-52, in April 1942, before being shot down by a flight of 10 Me-109s. Marasyev emerged from the wreckage of his Yakovlev Yak-1 with both legs crushed, and over the next 19 days he crawled back to Russian lines. By the time he was found by partisans and evacuated, gangrene had set in and both legs had to be amputated. With a determination worthy of Douglas Bader, however, Marasyev mastered both artificial legs and aircraft. Flying Lavochkin La-5s, he achieved a final score of 19.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Rolf-Günther Hermichen Major </span>

Rolf-Günther Hermichen was born on 25 July 1918 at Wernigeroge. After finishing pilot school Leutnant Hermichen was posted to 6./ZG 1 to fly Bf 110s. He shot down his first enemy aircraft on 10 May 1940 during the French campaign. He had recorded four victories by the time of the French capitulation.
With the same unit, but renamed 9./ZG 76, he took part in the Battle of Britain. Hermichen shot down his fifth victim on 12 August 1940. On 25 April 1941, 9./ZG 76 was redesignated 6./SKG 210. Hermichen took part in Operation Barbarossa with the unit undertaking numerous fighter bomber and ground attack missions.
He also recorded three aerial victories during his time in Russia.
Oberleutnant Hermichen joined III./JG 26 on 1 November 1941. He was assigned to 7./JG 26. In March 1942 he was Adjutant to Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26, Hauptmann Josef Priller (101 victories, RK-S), on the Western Front.
On 1 May, he became Staffelkapit¤n of 3./JG 26. His score stood at 13 victories. Over Dieppe on 19 August 1942 he achieved his 17th and 18th victories. On 6 December he achieved his 20th victory.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 11 Hptm. Hermichen climbing out of his Fw 190A-7 "black angle triangle" after combat mission. March 1944 Rotenburg/W. </span>

After moving with I./JG 26 to the Eastern front in January 1943, he added eight Soviet fighters to his tally. I./JG 26 relocated back to the Channel front in June.
Hauptmann Hermichen was appointed temporary Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26 on 15 June 1943. He relinquished command to Hauptmann Klaus Mietusch (75 victories, RK-EL, killed in action 17 September 1944) on 4 July 1943.
He returned to 3./JG 26 as Staffelkapit¤n. On 16 October 1943, Major Hermichen was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 11 based at Husum.
On 20 February he shot down four B-24s , on 6 March he shot down three B-17s and on 8 March again shot down four four-engined bombers in 20 minutes. He was very sucessful against Viermots... On 26 March 1944, after his 61st victory, he was awarded the Ritterkreuz.
His 64th, and last, kill was over a P-51 on 24 April. He ended operational flying in May. In the dying days of the war he became Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 104. With this unit he was awarded the Eichenlaub on 19 February 1945 (Nr 748).

Rolf-Günther Hermichen flew 629 combat missions and shot down 64 enemy aircraft, 11 of them he downed flying the Bf 110.
On the Western front he shot down 53 enemy aircraft, including 26 four-engined heavy bombers.

Link: http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/01UKAV/roundels/RAF_ROUNDELS.htm

-HH- Beebop
07-25-2005, 05: