1. #481
    On this day of June 12 1942...

    A dozen B-24 bombers of the 376th Bomber Group flying from Eygpt attack the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Text Reads
    "The Nucleus of the 376th was known as Halverson's Provisional Group.
    The Halpro's, as they were called, were on their way across Africa on a mission to China to bomb Tokyo. Upon arriving in Egypt, their services were needed by the Eighth Army. This was to be a short term load but turned out to be a full time job.
    The first mission by the Group was a 13 plane attack on the Ploesti Oil Fields, June 12, 1942. They struck at the Italian Fleet on June 15.
    The 376th continued their attacks on the Axis with raids on Rommel's supply lines and bases as well as many other strategic targets in the Meditteranian Sea.
    On Nov. 1, 1942, while based in Lydda, Palestine, the Halpro became the 376th Bombardment Group. The 376th followed Rommel's rout and sucessively moved to Abu Sueir, Gambut, Soluch, Benghazi, Enfidaville and finally to Italy.
    Members of the Liberandos have seen it grow from a heroic handful to a full fledged fighting machine under the skillful guidance of COl. K.K. Compton."
    (can't read top line) "...valor have been due to the courage and judgement of the men who have given their lives for their country.Axis hopes fall and the Allies point with pride, "When the Ploesti Raiders Ride Again"


    1st over Ploesti, high altitude 6/12/42
    1st USAF Bombers to hit Italian Fleet, 6/15/42
    1st over Naples, 12/4/42
    1st Rome Raid, 7/19/43
    1st over Ploesti low-level, 8/1/43
    1st over Wiener-Neustadt, 8/13/43
    1st Heavy Bomb Group to be based on European Continent


    We have gone on 2878 sorties, dropped 10,687, 120 lb. bombs, shot down 108 fighters with 66 probable and damaged, hit Italy 62 times, Sicily 26 times, North Africa harbors 45 times, Greece 14 times and lost but 40 planes doing it, for a percentage loss of 1.39%

    376th Bombardment Group(H) AAF
    APO 681
    13 December 1943

    The 200th mission is a crest of glory on a mountain of great accomplishments. Each of you have had a share in building this monument. Such a record pays tribute to the ceaseless work of the ground crews, the diligent supervision of our administrative personnel, and the grim determination of our combat crews.

    With reverance, we pay tribute to those who paid the highest price for their country and us. There is a surging tide of "Esprit de Corps" within this group that can only lead us to greater sucess and glory.

    We have behind us a heritage of heros well done under the circumstances. With such history only greater deeds can be expected until we attain our ultimate goal Victory and take-off on our final mission "home".

    May I extend to each of you my heartiest congratulations and say "You have made me proud to be your Commander."
    K.K. Compton
    Colonel, Air Corps

    Photo's of 376th Bomb Group Aircraft used during WW2

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A 376th Bomb Group Aircraft originally assigned to "C" Flight of HALPRO. Malicious was piloted by Capt. Richard C. Sanders.</span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">2nd. Lts. Frank O. Rutherford - Pilot; Roger S. Bullard - Co-Pilot; Earl M. Kesler - Navigator; Harry Chernik - Bombardier; S/Sgts. James M. Huey - Engineer; James W. VanBibber - Waist Gunner/Radio Operator; Sgts. M. Frank Oberling - Nose Gunner; Clifford P. Fenn - Ball Turret Gunner; Glenn R. Doshier - Waist Gunner; Lawrence V. Davis - Tail Gunner.</span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">On the July 2,1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Veces near Budapest, Hungary, Rutherford's ship took a direct flak hit and burst into flames. Our gunners reported 9 parachutes. Rutherford and Bullard went down with the plane as far as I could tell. I was flying co-pilot with my regular (Morel) crew in the lead ship #42, Flame McGoon, on this mission."</span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Flown by Lt. Frank O. Rutherford. Shot down by anti-aircraft artillery on 7/2/44 at Ferihegy Airfield in Budapest, Hungary. </span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Piloted by Benjamin B. Chase, 512th Squadron. Shot down by fighters during Mission 216 to Steyr, Austria. The plane crashed at St. Valentin, Austria on 2-23-44. This crew was originally a part of the Pomoroy Provisional Group. The Pomoroy Provisional Group had 490 crew members that served as replacement crews for various Bomb Groups in the 15th Air Force.</span>

    Link About the Raid: http://home.att.net/~jbaugher2/b24_9.html

    11/12 June 1942
    Minelaying: 91 aircraft to the Frisian Islands and off Swinemünde. 4 aircraft - 2 Lancasters, 1 Stirling, 1 Wellington - lost.

    12 June 1942
    4 Wellingtons to Essen. 2 aircraft bombed there. No aircraft lost.

    Also HM King George VI and Queen Elizabeth meet training crews who took part in 1,000-Bomber raids. RAF Waterbeach 12 June 1942

    Special Operations

    German Saboteur teams land in America when U-202, after 15 days at sea, submerged during day and racing on the surface at night, made landfall at 11 PM on June 12 1942.

    Shortly after he declared war on the United States on Dec 11, 1941 Adolf Hitler wanted to show Americans that they were not safe inside their borders even so far from the battlefields of Europe. He ordered a sabotage operation against targets inside America and Abwehr, the defence intelligence unit, got the job.

    This was something the Abwehr people had already done in other countries of Europe and were well suited for. They operated a sabotage school near Brandenburg to train operatives.

    The man given the task was the 37-year old Walter Kappe. He knew the United States well, having lived there for 12 years. He was a long-time member of the Nazi party as well (pretty much required for any real career in the intelligence services). The operation was known as Operation Pastorius, named after a German settler in America.

    Kappe found 12 men needed for the job through the files of the Ausland Institute. That institute had organized the return of thousands of Germans from America. 4 men dropped from the group right away but the other 8 were split into 2 groups.

    The first group was manned by John Dasch, 39 who was to lead the team. His 3 members were Ernest Peter Burger, Heinrich Heinck and Richard Quirin. The 2 last named men were both machinists who had been working for Volkswagen.

    The second team was led by Edward Kerling, 32. His 3 men were Hermann Neubauer, Werner Thiel and Herbert Hapt, the youngest man in the 8 man group at 22.

    The assembled group of men arrived in the Abwehr school in early April 1942 where they went into training. On May 23 they got their assignments. Dasch and his team were to destroy the hydroelectric plants at Niagara Falls, the Aluminum Company of America factories in Illinois, Tennessee and New York. A cryolite plant in Philadelphia and the locks on the Ohio River between Louisville and Pittsburgh were also to be bombed.

    Kerling's team should blow up the Pennsylvania Railroad station in Newark, the famous horseshoe bend section on the railroad near Altoona plus other vital railroad parts. They were also to attack the lock and canal installations at St. Louis and Cincinnati and the water supply system for New York City.

    Both teams were to plant bombs in Jewish-owned stores and in locker rooms at major passenger railroad stations to spread fear and panic.

    Kerling's team boarded the U-584 (Kptlt. Joachim Deecke) which left its Brest, France base on May 25, 1942 under the command of Kptlt. Joachim Deecke. The destination was a beach near Jacksonville, Florida. Dasch and his team left Brest, France aboard U-202 (Kptlt. Hans-Heinz Lindner) the next day with the destination of south shore of Long Island, near East Hampton.

    Both teams were to bury their munitions crates on the beach where they could be obtained later and then head inland and set up false identities. They planned to get together in Cincinnati on July 4.

    Each group was supplied with $50,000 to pay for living expenses, travel and the expected bribes. The men themselves were then given $9,000 (5,000 of which was kept by the team leader). This was all real US money and not SS forgeries as in some other cases in the war. Both teams were given a handkerchief that carried the names of contacts and mail drops in America written in invisible ink.

    Each team was supplied with 4 waterproof crates, roughly twice as big as a shoe box each. Three of them were filled wit explosives while the fourth contained the fuses, wires and acid.

    As planned by Abwehr these were only the first 2 teams of many being sent to America, when fully operational Kappe would join his men and lead their activities.

    Dasch's teams was the first to land in America when U-202, after 15 days at sea, submerged during day and racing on the surface at night, made landfall at 11 PM on June 12. Dasch and his men were dressed as German marines to avoid being shot if caught during landing. Two armed sailors from the boat brought the men to shore in a dinghy.

    While the group was burying their equipment and uniforms Dasch went over the next small sand dune to scout out the area. Suddenly he noticed a young Coast Guardsman walking directly to their area. To keep the man from seeing the half-buried boxes on the beach Dasch walked towards him and claimed they were stranded sailors. When he refused the offer to rest in the nearest Coast Guard station, only half a mile away, the young Coast Guardsman became suspicious.

    Dasch knew their cover was blown and he asked the young man about his family status and then offered him a bribe, then increased the amount after the man had rejected the first offer.

    However the young Coast Guardsman did not stay quiet as planned but told his supervisors immediately, turned in the money, and brought some of his mates back to the beach where they spotted the U-202 departing from the beach in the fog. By early morning the Coast Guard had all the boxes dug up from the beach, being in possession of everything the Germans had brought except their clothes and money, and the FBI had been notified.

    The FBI imposed a news blackout and launched the largest manhunt in its history, they had nothing to work with though and the team slipped through their nets into New York City.

    After buying clothes and splitting into two pairs, Dasch and Burger began to talk about the operation and the situation back in Germany they realized their plans were the same; to betray the operation to the Americans.

    The reason for this decision is not quite clear, Dasch probably believed their cover had already been blown by the Coast Guardsman and it would be best to play along to avoid execution. Both men insisted on being anti-Nazis after their capture. Dasch at least could have been telling the truth when he stated that he had planned to scuttle the mission from the very moment he was recruited. Burger probably figured out that once Dasch had voiced his intentions that it would be best for him to play along or to kill Dasch. Burger was not a killer and he agreed to Dasch's plan.

    On June 15 Dasch and Burger made up their plans for their surrender. Dasch would go to Washington D.C. and turn himself in while Burger would keep Heinck and Quirin at bay.

    One thing that worried Dasch was that while in the Abwehr school Kappe had claimed that the FBI had been penetrated by the Gestapo. He called the FBI in New York City and left a message that he would have information for Hoover in 2 days. He then left for Washington.

    That same day the second team, led by Edward Kerling landed uneventfully on Ponte Verda Beach 25 miles south-east of Jacksonville, Florida. They buried their equipment and then boarded their trains, Kerling and Thiel to Cincinnati and Haupt and Neubauer for Chicago.

    George Dasch turned himself in after arriving in Washington and, after being sent from office to office, he finally found a man, Agent Ladd, who bought the story, albeit after Dasch had dropped $84,000 on his desk. He was not treated as the hero he probably believed he would be but was put through a 13-hour interrogation and debriefing. He revealed where the other members were staying and they were promptly picked up.

    The capture of the second team was a bit more difficult since Dasch only knew that the teams were to meet in Cincinnati on July 4. He did have the handkerchief listing the German contacts in America that he gave to the FBI.

    One by one the men were picked up, Hermann Neubauer being the last one from the second team to be arrested.

    When all the 7 men had been arrested the FBI officially arrested Dasch. To his disappointment they treated him just a guilty as the others. He wished to be kept in the same quarters as the others so they would not know he turned them in.

    Roosevelt ordered that a military tribunal would trial the case, the first time such a tribunal had been set up since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

    The trial last most of July and the prosecution asked for the death penalty, the standard punishment for espionage during wartime. Due to the co-operation of Dasch and Burger it was difficult to sentence them to death. Burger was give life of hard labour while Dasch was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The other 6 members of the teams were electrocuted at the Distinct Jail in Washington D.C. on 8 August, 1942.

    The FBI, fearing more such landings, took appropriate precautions and put out an alert for Walter Kappe and other known men from the Abwehr sabotage school.

    Dasch and Burger were deported to Germany in 1948 after almost 6 years in prison. Dasch was vilified in Germany as Burger blamed him for the death of their 6 partners. Dasch published a book in his defence in 1959 and then disappeared from public life.
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  2. #482
    great stuff woofiedog! as usual you leave me with the headlines.

    12 June


    On the Western Front... Guderian's troops take Chalons-sur-Marne. Here and elsewhere the German advance continues to be very rapid. St. Valery on the Channel coast is taken. A large part of the British 51st Highland Division is captured.

    Captured British Highland soldiers

    In the Mediterranean... A British cruiser and destroyer force shells the Italian base at Tobruk. The main force of Admiral Cunningham's Mediterranean Fleet is in support. An Italian force of cruisers is sent to engage the bombardment group but does not make contact. In a different action off Crete the cruiser Calypso is sunk by an Italian submarine. Turin and Genoa are bombed by the RAF.

    From Moscow... The Soviet government issues an ultimatum to Lithuania demanding territory and the establishment of a new government.

    In the North Atlantic... The German pocket battleship, Lutzow, is damaged by a torpedo attack from a British Beaufort aircraft off the coast of southern Norway. The Lutzow returns to port at Kiel and undergoes repairs until January 1942.

    German pocket battleship, Lutzow

    In Germany... The Berlin civil defense authority warns the population to take immediate shelter during air raids because of the danger posed by heavy high-explosive bombs and mines, noting that failure to do so has caused "a great number of bomb victims."

    In London... Allied governments and representatives from the British sponsored European governments in exile pledge mutual assistance and to not conclude any separate peace treaties with the Axis alliance.

    In North Africa... The British Guards Brigade is heavily attacked by Rommel's forces. The British counterattacks are ineffectual. One hundred British tanks are lost in the actions, leaving only 70 tanks operational. Rommel's forces have twice that number and withdrawal of the British forces is inevitable. The Germans are recovering many of their own damaged tanks, repairing them and putting them back into service.

    In the Solomon Islands... There is a major air battle near Guadalcanal. The attacking Japanese forces suffer heavy losses.

    Anti-Aircraft guns at Guadalcanal fire at Japanese planes

    In North Africa... British King George VI arrives to visit the troops.

    In the Mediterranean... The Italian-held island of Lampedusa surrenders to the Allies. It has been heavily bombarded.

    On the Western Front... A third wave of Allied forces has landed. There are now 326,000 troops, 104,000 tons of supplies and 54,000 vehicles deployed in Normandy, France. Elements of US 7th Corps advance across the Cotentin Peninsula and southwest. Also, the 4th Division is engaged at Montebourg, Crisbecq and near Azeville to the northward drive on Cherbourg. The 5th Corps assists 7th Corps and advances toward St Lo. Caumont is captured and Foret de Cerisy and the Bayeux road are reached.

    In Italy... The British 8th Army reaches Popoli along the Adriatic coast.

    In the Mariana Islands... US naval forces continue attacks on Japanese positions in the island group. They concentrate on Tinian, Saipan and Guam. The Japanese fleets located at Tawitawi and Batjan set sail to counterattack. Admiral Kurita commands a vanguard force while Admiral Ozawa leads the main force. The main force from Tawitawi is sighted and reported by an American submarine. The Japanese have 5 fleet carriers, 2 light carriers, 2 seaplane carriers, 5 battleships as well as several cruisers and destroyers in support. The commander of the Combined Fleet, Admiral Toyoda, realizes that the American forces are numerically superior but he also expects support from the land-based aircraft on the islands. These air assets, however, are being depleted by American attacks.

    In Liberated Italy... Yugoslavian forces withdraw from the disputed port of Trieste. The Yugoslavs urge the New Zealander and Indian troops to also pull out.
    In Britain... In London, General Eisenhower is awarded the Order of Merit and given the Freedom of the City of London.

    In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, many of the Japanese naval infantry cut off in the Oruku peninsula, reduced to a pocket of about 1000 square yards, begin to commit mass suicide to avoid surrender. The US 1st Marine Division captures the west end of Kunishi Ridge during a night attack. The US 96th Division attacks Japanese positions around Mount Yuza and Mount Yaeju.

    In the Philippines... On Luzon, the US 145th Infantry Regiment breaks Japanese resistance at Orioung Pass, occupies the town of Orioung and advances as far as positions overlooking the town of Balite. The Visayan Islands (including Samar, Negros, Panay, Leyte, Cebu, and Bohol), between Luzon and Mindanao, are secured by American forces. American casualties in the campaign have amounted to 835 dead and 2300 wounded. Japanese casualties are estimated to be 10,000 dead.
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  3. #483
    13 June


    On the Western Front... The French forces west of Paris are now retreating to the Loire. The British decide to abandon attempts to rebuild a BEF in France and begin to evacuate the British and Canadian troops which still remain in the country.

    Elements of the BEF arrive in England

    In Washington... Roosevelt signs a new $1,300,000,000 Navy bill providing for much extra construction. Meanwhile, in response to Churchill's pleas in his telegrams to President Roosevelt, surplus stocks of artillery weapons and rifles have been assembled from US government stores. The first shipment now leaves the USA on the SS Eastern Prince for the voyage to Britain. The US Neutrality Laws have been subverted by first "selling" the arms to a steel company and then reselling them to the British government.

    In Vichy France... The Vichy government announces that more than 12,000 Jews have been arrested and are being "interned" in concentration camps because of a "Jewish plot" to hinder Franco-German cooperation. The anti-Semitic laws in Vichy are being extended to include the expropriation of Jewish-owned businesses without compensation.

    In Syria... On the coast the Australian forces begin attacks around Sidon.

    In the Soviet Union... The news agency Tass issues an official denial that there is tension between Germany and the USSR. It states that "there could be no misunderstanding between the two countries."

    In North Africa... In the face of Rommel's superiority in armor and successful attacks the South African and British infantry begin withdrawals from the Gazala Line. At Knightsbridge, the British Guard Brigade withdraws completely.

    British prisioners taken in action around the Gazala Line

    In the Mediterranean... The first German and Italian air attacks occur against the British convoys from Gibraltar and Egypt sent to relieve Malta.

    In the Mediterranean... The Italian-held island of Linosa surrenders to the Allies.

    Allied troops happy after the surrender

    Over Britain... The first German V1 "Flying Bomb" lands in England. Of the 10 V1 cruiser missiles fired, 4 cross the English Channel and 1 lands in London, killing 6 people.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">German V-1 Buzz Bomb
    Development of a New Weapon
    In June 1944, the German army began the use of what would be a very unique, very deadly, and historical weapon called the V1. The 'V' stood for Vergeltungswaffe which meant "vengeance weapon." Better known to Londoners as the "Buzz Bombs" or "doodlebugs," these flying bombs made a very distinct sound as they flew overhead at low altitude, before the timing mechanisms expired, and the bomb fell to earth, and exploded.

    The people of London learned to go about their normal business and walk the streets as these huge 25-foot long, cross-shaped, bombs flew overhead. However, once they heard the engine cut off, it was time to take immediate cover. This was because as they tipped over for the final descent, the imbalance cut off the fuel flow to the engine. The German High Command also initiated the later use of the V2 rocket, which was the first manmade object to reach the fringes of outer space, but the V1 was much more effective as a weapon system against England.

    It was back in October of 1937 that the German Government had decided to open a highly secret weapon development area on a peninsula that stretched out into the Baltic Sea at Peenemunde. This area was suggested by Werner von Braun and Walter Dornberger, Adolf Hitler's two main rocket designers, because it was very secluded and could be separated from the rest of the area with armed security gates.

    Engineers, technicians, maintenance personnel, and all those associated with these projects were forced to move their entire families into this highly secure area. Peenemunde became isolated from the rest of the country, providing schooling for their own children, housing for the families, hospitals, and all other necessities of life, so that no one had to leave this secret and highly secure area. This is where the Germans were developing the bombs and missiles, including the Fieseler Fi-103 V1 flying bomb.


    The idea of the V1 was presented to the German Army by the Argus Motorenwerke and the Fieseler Flugzeugbau companies. They had also built the Fieseler Storch utility aircraft which was powered by an eight cylinder Argus piston engine. They now developed this small, unmanned airplane, that could carry a large warhead, and powered it with a new pulse-jet engine design. The German military was easily sold on the idea and development and manufacturing began immediately. The pulse-jet engine, invented by Paul Schmidt, was a very simple and cost effective method of propelling this flying bomb.

    The only moving part on the engine was a shutter assembly in the front air intake. As air rushed into the engine through the intake and between these dozens of tiny shutters, it was mixed with fuel, and then ignited by a spark plug. The combustion would force the shutters in the front to close and the burst of thrust would be forced out of the back, pushing the missile forward. This process would take place several times per second, creating a very distinctive sound, and enough thrust to propel the bomb at more than 400 mph. After two years of testing and manufacturing these flying bombs, Hitler gave the order to attack England with this new weapon in June of 1944, shortly after the allied landings at Normandy.

    V1's were originally launched from northern France by catapults attached to 157 foot long launch rails, but were eventually also released from airplanes. The tail section of the bombs contained rudders and elevators that were controlled automatically by an electrical compass in the nose and on-board gyros powered by spherical tanks of compressed air. Approximately the first ten percent of each day's launches would contain a small radio transmitter that emitted a signal when the missile approached within thirty kilometers of its intended target.

    Through triangulation, the Germans could calculate the location of each missile, make adjustments on subsequent launches for wind conditions, and therefore improve the accuracy of their aim. The range of the flight was predetermined and set inside the bomb before it was launched. Most missiles fired against London were targeted for Tower Bridge, right in the center of the city. A tiny propeller on the nose of the bomb was attached to the Veeder counter. Every 30 rotations of the propeller would count down one number on the counter. When the pre-set counter reached zero, the bomb was considered to be at its target. The air hose from the servo to the rear elevator was automatically cut, a spring mechanism would snap down the elevators, and the V1 would descend into a steep dive. This had become the world's first cruise missile.

    Between June 1944 and March 29, 1945, a total of 9,251 V1 flying bombs were launched against England. Only 2,419 of them made it to their intended targets. Over 2000 of them had been shot down or knocked off course by Royal Air Force fighter aircraft. Spitfire pilots learned that by placing the wing tip of their fighter plane underneath the V1's outer wing, that this would often upset the missile, tumble the gyros, and send it crashing out of control into the English countryside. An additional 1,971 V1's were shot down by anti-aircraft guns and 278 were snagged by barrage balloons that dotted the approach paths to the south of London.

    Fiesler Fi-103 (V1) Specifications

    Length: 25' 4"

    Wingspan: 17' 6"

    Height: 4' 8"

    Weight: 4800 lbs. Fully fueled

    Engine: Argus As 14 pulsejet
    Thrust: 2.9 kN/660 lbf

    Fuel: 150 gallons of gas
    1 mile per gallon

    Range: Approximately 160 miles from launch site

    Performance: Speed between 360-400 mph
    Flew at altitude of 2000-3000 ft
    Average flight time of 22 minutes

    Armament: 2337 pound war head</span>

    On the Western Front... On the left of the Allied line, the British 2nd Army continues to attack. The 30th Corps regroups its forces. The 7th Armored Division is shift to the right flank and advances to Villers Bocage. A German counterattack forces the division to fall back. To the left, the US 1st Army makes progress towards St Lo and across the Cotentin. Pont l'Abbe is capture in the peninsula. A German counterattack, spearheaded by 17th Panzer Division, toward Carentan is held.

    In Italy... Forces of British 8th Army continue to advance. Narni, between Orte and Terni, is captured. South African forces take Bagnoregio, east of Lake Bolsena.

    In New Guinea... On Biak, American forces reduce the scattered Japanese resistance from caves in the east of the island. US aircraft are operating from Mokmer Airfield.

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

    In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, the Japanese resistance in the Oruku peninsula ends. The US 6th Marine Division records a record 169 Japanese prisoners as well as finding about 200 dead. (This is a large total when compared with previous numbers of Japanese prisoners reported.) The fighting continues to the southeast, especially in the Kunishi Ridge area where a regiment of the US 1st Marine Division suffers heavy casualties. The US 24th Corps uses armored flamethrowers in the elimination of the Japanese held fortified caves on Mount Yuza and Mount Yaeju and on Hills 153 and 115.
    In the Philippines... On Luzon, an American armored column attempts pass through the Orioung Pass, to exploit a breakthrough achieved by the US 145th Infantry Regiment (US 37th Division), but a Japanese counterattack blocks the road.

    In the Greater Sunda Islands... On Borneo, Australian forces enter the city of Brunei.

    In China... Japanese forces prepare to evacuate Liuchow and Kweilin.
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  4. #484
    14 June


    On the Western Front... Paris falls to the Germans. New instructions are issued to the German armies. While most of the armored forces are to continue their advance into the center of the country, Guderian's two corps are to swing east to cut off any attempt by the Maginot garrisons to retreat. Army Group C, General Leeb, attacks and breaks through the Maginot defenses in some places.

    German troops parade through Paris

    In the Mediterranean... A force of French cruisers and destroyers shells the Italian ports of Genoa and Vado.

    From Washington... President Roosevelt freezes all German and Italian assets in the United States.

    In the Mediterranean... The carriers Ark Royal and Victorious fly another cargo of Hurricanes to Malta. Of the 47 sent 43 arrive.

    In the Mediterranean... The two convoys bound for Malta continue to have difficulties. The Harpoon convoy from Gibraltar loses one merchant ship and one of its escort cruisers is damaged. The Vigorous convoy, sailing from Egypt, is attacked by Axis torpedo boats as well and an escort destroyer is sunk and a cruiser is damaged.

    Convoy to Malta under attack

    In the Mediterranean... The Italian-held island of Lampione surrenders to the Allies.

    Italian soldiers surrender to the Allies

    Over Japan... The first raid by American B-29 Superfortress bombers is carried out. A total of 48 planes (of which 4 are lost) make an ineffective strike on the Yawata iron and steel works during the night from bases in China.

    B-29's bomb Japan

    A completely surreal picture of a B-29 cockpit

    In the Mariana Islands... US naval forces conduct bombardments of Saipan and Tinian in preparation for landings on these islands. The two American naval groups, commanded by Admiral Ainsworth and Admiral Oldendorf, include 7 battleships and 11 cruisers as well as 8 escort carriers in support. The battleship USS California is hit by a Japanese shore battery. Extensive mine-sweeping operations are also conducted by American forces.

    On the Western Front... A third corps, the US 19th Corps, is becomes operational between the 5th and 7th Corps. Free French leader, General de Gaulle, visits the beachhead and takes steps to restoring French civilian government in captured territory.

    Over Occupied France... During the night, RAF Bomber Command conducts a raid on Le Havre with 325 Lancaster bombers. The German naval forces on the English Channel suffer considerable loss -- 35 small vessels.

    In Italy... Elements of British 8th Army capture Orvieto, Terni and Todi. Forces of the US 5th Army also advance. The US 4th Corps moves up the Mediterranean coast.

    From London... Admiral Moorse is appointed the new Commander of the British Home Fleet.

    In China... Chinese forces capture the city of Ishan from Japanese forces after a five-day battle. The Chinese forces pursue the Japanese towards Liuchow.
    In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, mopping up operations proceed on the Oroku peninsula. The troops of the US 3rd Amphibious Corps and the US 24th Corps continue to eliminate fortified caves held by Japanese forces on Kunishi Ridge and on Mount Yuza and Mount Yaegu. An American regiment of the US 96th Division reaches the summit of Mount Yaegu, while the US th Division extends its control of Hills 153 and 115.

    In the Philippines... On Luzon, American forces dislodge the Japanese blocking the Orioung Pass. Elements of the US 37th Division, formed into an armored column, advance as far as Echague. From Santiago, other units advance toward Cabanatuan and Cauayan.

    From Washington... The US Joint Chiefs of Staff issue a directive to General MacArthur, General Arnold and Admiral Nimitz to prepare plans for the immediate occupation of the Japanese islands in the event of a sudden capitulation. This order may have been given in light of recent progress on the production of an atomic bomb but this is not stated.

    In Occupied Germany... In Hamburg, British troops capture the former Nazi foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, in a boardinghouse.
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  5. #485
    On this day of June 14 1940...

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">February 5, 1940 Swedish Army pilots
    Cover - Awesome photo of Swedish Army pilots. Americans get hot under the collar as British keep seizing US Mail. German bomber sinks unarmed fishing trawler. Borah's Funeral train. Arizona hunters shoot 55 buffalo. Lenin lies for first entombed portrait. St. John's - Annapolis Maryland. John Roukema from Holland is champion Skater. Frick and Frack from Switzerland are top US Skating comedians. Swiss family Robinson - movie. Brackman's quiet nudes. Brassieres €" Upping of Bosom line increases brassiere sales to $50,000,000. Architects Ball in Chicago. Cose-up €" Mrs. Roosevelt. Lawrence of California wins nobel prize with his Atom-busting cyclotron.</span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">February 19, 1940 Romanian royalty
    King Carol of Rumania and heir Mihai (Romania). Francis Biddle, New Solictor General, passes painting of himself on way to work. British retrieve transport plane down in African River jungle. Worst ice in south€s history choke Mississippi river. Multiple births get off to big start in 1940 €" Short quadruplets of Nauvoo, Alabama; Badgett quadruplets of Galveston, Texas; plus calves, foals and lambs. Truck falls 200 feet off Southern Boulevard viaduct bridge into Normans Kill Creek near Albany, New York. Herbert Hoover rallies US aid for Finns. Confucius Say €¦ Americans go crazy over Chinese Philosopher. Photo essay €" Romania. Debutante Gene Tierney. Gjon Mili photographs ballet dancers at high speed. Bowling. Skiing in New Hampshire, incl. photo of Hannes Schneider teaching and Cranmore mountain skimobile.</span>

    14 June 1940,
    German troops, 6th German Army, enter Paris, France. General Frere (French 7th Army) leaves Paris without fighting and von Studnitz leads the 87th Infantry Division in ints triumphal entry march. The western allied forces completely lost control over the European continent.
    In Brest, France, British General Brooke orders Canadian forces to withdraw from France.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">March 11, 1940 French sentry
    Poilu, a French soldier on sentry duty behind the Maginot line. Last agony of fighting Finland is wrapped in the beauty of snow. Vivien Leigh wins an €œOscar€ for her Scarlett. Anzacs arrive in Egypt to join Allies in near East. Fenske wins indoor mile championship as Cunningham takes a spill. British Democracy respects conscientious objectors. Photo essay €" The French Front : 2,000,000 men in arms wait. Photo essay €" Spring styles. Joachim von Ribbentrop €" close-up. Sports €" Beagles. Clarence Capes is best Skate Sailor. Life goes calling on Jean Arthur in Hollywood. Speech school at Northwestern teaches students how to talk. Pictures from the Album of J.P. Morgan, Sr. A Prep school houseparty at St. Andrew€s School, Middletown, Delaware.</span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">April 29, 1940 Winston Churchil
    Britian€s warlord, Winston Churchill. Wonderful set of photos showing how trick photos are set up. Great two page ad with many photos showing the actual construction of Red Cross shoes by the US Shoe Corporation. Germany and Britain push a desperate race against time into Norway. Lake Shore limited train wreck near Little Falls, New York kills 30, injures 100. British farmers plough their fields by night. British bluenoses crack down on wartime nudity. Reliefers in Pittsburgh rebel against Pennsylvania milk act. Photo essay €" World sea power. Close-up €" Erich Raeder. Electron microscope magnifies invisible world 25,000 times. Girl swimmers from New York set new World€s record. Wrestlers wear strange costumes for a new gag. Boys€ battle in Waterbury, Connecticut.

    Spain declares not belligerents.
    Spain sends a 3,000-man force to occupy the former international city of Tangier, a port of Morocco.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">May 6, 1940 Royal Air Force Gunner
    Aerial Gunner, Englishman. British land in the Fjords of Norway. Sweden stays neutral. Shirley Temple wears her first long dress. Columnist Pegler puts the finger of the law on George Scalise. Moe Annenberg pleads guilty to tax evasion. €œPin-up pictures€ grace British magazines. How a few thousand Nazis seized Norway, by Leland Stowe. Photo essay €" Land of France. Bare knees €" modern living. Girls fencing €" sports. Medicine : Birth control, South Carolina uses it for public health. Contraception is outlawed in only 2 states, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Misadventures of radio€s €˜erbert Pinwinkle. Pictures put Susie among the cat immortals. Life goes to a Box social in Hudson, Michigan with special feature on Margaret Walker. </span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">May 20, 1940 French general
    General Mazime Weygand, soldier of France. Total war starts, Parachute troops rain down behind Dutch-Belgian lines, First radio photos of German Blitzkrieg, Billy Bishop recruits, Syria - photo essay, Jounceless railroad car, Summer styles, Hypnotizism, Drake relays Carnival, Warren Wheelock, Champion smoke-ring blower.</span>

    On the morning of June 14, Parisians awaken to the sound of a German-accented voice announcing via loudspeakers that a curfew was being imposed for 8 p.m. that evening - as German troops enter and occupy Paris.
    German troops marched into Paris in the early hours of this morning as French and allied forces retreated.
    The enemy met no resistance as it entered the capital, which was declared an open town yesterday by the city's French military governor, General Hering.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">May 27, 1940 German invader
    German soldier. Hitler's great new weapon. Nazi bombing at Namsos and Andalsnes. Dive Bomber - Germany's most destructive weapon plummets on targets €" Junkers 87. Very nice color Coca-Cola ad with baseball players. King Victor Emmanuel of Italy. Photo essay - 50,000 airplanes - US to multiply fleets and factories. Yellow fever control €" US health service watches Miami Clipper port. Life goes to a sports marathon. Life in the Gustavir line. Movie €" Our town. Good manners for caddies are outlined by PGA€s new charts of etiquette (golf). Awesome color Jantzen swim suit ad! </span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">June 10, 1940 Emperor Hirohito
    Hirohito emperor of Japan on horseback. Cattle branding. Battle of Flanders. Refugees. Nazi fifth column and allies active in Mexico. My escape from Norway by Sigrid Undset. Nazis mop up Norway. Royal Air Force. Nylon €" women hope new yarn will halve their stocking bill. Mountain funeral of Mrs. Elizabeth O€Dell of Howard€s Quarter, Tennessee. Close-up €" Hirohito. Theatre €" Louisiana Purchase. Sculptor Milles weds two great rivers in new St. Louis fountain. R.A.F. fliers €" feature with lots of photos. </span>

    French troops withdrew to avoid a violent battle and total destruction of Paris. They are believed to have taken a new line of defence south of the city.

    The Germans advanced from the north-east and north-west and shortly afterwards tanks rumbled past the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs Elysees to the Place de la Concorde.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">June 24, 1940 Italy's Army chief
    Italy€s Army chief, Marshal Rodolfo Graziani. Willkie Boom is Republican sensation as convention nears. Two years too late France asks for US planes. Nazi bombings prepare Paris for a surrender. R.A.F. squadron leader writes of sky fighting over Dunkerque. US mobilizes aid to Allies. Photo essay €" Philadelphia prepares for Republican homecoming. Archbishop Spellman of New York. Home life of a Robin family. Margie Hart strips for 40 cents as the poor man€s Garbo. Chicago scientist Melvin H. Knisely invents new technique to solve secrets of circulation. All-American college girls. Girls bounced out of bed at the €œDe-Bunk-Her€ €" World€s Fair. Pictures €" how the US might be invaded. Life goes to a Tip Topper party. Nice color Coca-Cola ad with girl in swimsuit. Nice B&W Mercury 8 car ad with Painted desert. </span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">July 1, 1940 Red Cross meeting
    Red Cross girl, Martha Jean Bailey of Jackson Heights, New York. Two Mexican generals fight it out for the Presidency. German bomb strikes down the name of Franklin Roosevelt. In bitter defeat, Paris buries its dead. England prepares to resist invasion. Louis wins eleventh fight in three years. American engineer Alexander Willis brings back revealing photographs of USSR. London closes Italian restaurants. Poster reveals what Germans think about America. Photo essay €" Life presents eight new houses for US 1940. Close-up €" €œCap€ Rieber. Movie €" All this, and heaven, too. University of Chicago Professor studies multiple births. New figure flattering suits of wool take shiver out of bathing. High foul makes spectators cringe at Yankee stadium. Red Cross meeting. </span>

    Government retreats

    All shops and businesses in Paris have been closed and shuttered and there are unconfirmed reports the French government has now left Tours, in central France, and gone further south to Bordeaux.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">July 8, 1940 Admiral Stark
    Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold R. Stark. Revolutionary battlefields mark our fight for freedom, Fort Ticonderoga, Brandywine, Saratoga, Monmouth, Morristown, Yorktown. Aerial photos of New York City. US aviation gets 318 new mechanics as graduates of Manhattan High School of Aviation Trades. German troops enter Paris. Collapse of France. Debutantes are previewed as €œLittle Season€ gets underway. Photo essay €" Republication convention. Admiral Byrd€s Antarctic expedition finds 900 miles of new coastline. Sargent College girls learn how to improve health of nation. Alfred Vanderbilt€s Belmont makes horse racing popular. Mary Lyman gets university degree. Powdered blood serum solves problem of Battlefield surgeons. Roller-skate dancing starts Bloomers fad. A party at Robert Ripley€s. Color ad for Prem (a canned ham). </span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">July 22, 1940 U.S. tank commander
    U.S. Tank Commander Captain Clayton J. Mansfield. America opens its homes to first refugee children. Inhalators fail to revive six children slain by deranged mother. Germany supervises last grim days of Third French republic. 100 die in €œfree€ Mexican election. Mr. and Mrs. Willkie look over Washington. Italo Balbo is mourned by loyal in Italy and San Francisco. Nation discovers it is smart to be patriotic. Economic consequences of a German victory by Walter Lippmann. The German language. Photo essay €" America needs men for National Defense. Pretty Pat English trains lions. U.S. Army doctors investigate punishment a pilot takes in flight. Mary Lewis, career woman. Vanderbilt€s spinnaker is ripped by blustery Sou€wester. Camera shows how Hubbell throws a curve. Life flees from France. Color Mobil gas ad with a race horse, by Ronald McLeod. </span>

    The enemy has been advancing toward Paris since they took Dunkirk ten days ago, forcing a huge evacuation of the port, resulting in thousands of allied deaths and casualties.

    As the Germans approached, the French premier Paul Reynaud broadcast an appeal for all free men to come to the aid of France.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">August 19, 1940 Army training
    U.S. trains parachutists at Hightstown, New Jersey. Photo series of aerial skywriters. Two American towns get ready to fight for the USA: Hamilton, Ohio and Lexington, Massachusetts. Pink girl gets conked. Anti-conscriptionists slow up National Defense progress. English child €œshoots€ Churchill as policemen kill crank. Britain€s night fliers raid Germany. Survivor€s pictures show sinking of former American ship by Nazis. Photo essay €" River Rouge, Ford plant is cross-section of rearming America. Great Drapo (Alphonse Berge) designs dress in 20 seconds. Osteopathy€s cure-by-manipulation is attacked by regular physicians. Alice Van wins powder puff derby at Agua Caliente. Boating on the Thames. Great color Schenley Whiskies ad with Swallows in a boat. Really cute color half-page ad for Squibb dental cream. </span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">September 16, 1940 Flight Across America
    Jessie Woods of Memphis spinning plane propeller. Worst Airline crash in history, Mysterious torpedo blows up Greek cruiser, Battle of Oran, Bempsey family, Flight across America - photo essay, Paris under Swastika, Heart diseases, Pat Laursen in National Skeet Champion. </span>

    British troops arrived south of Paris and began fighting, with their French counterparts, day and night to stem the advance of the Germans.

    The RAF has spent the past few days bombing German convoys, supply columns, mechanised units and lines of communications.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">October 28, 1940 U.S. Navy
    U.S. Navy sailor Joseph John Timpani of Cranston, Rhode Island. This is a US Navy special issue. Nice full color Oldsmobile ad with yellow car and Hydra-Matic drive. Nice full-color Chrysler DeSoto ad with green car and horse. 13 articles on the U.S. Navy including €¦ Nurses accompany fleet to sea. Seapower €" weapon of freedom by Walter Lippmann. USS Constellation is Navy€s oldest ship. Naval war college. US Naval air arm is world€s best. Fashion designers find new style ideas in Navy. Sailors€ album. A party for Lana Turner and the Navy.</span>

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">November 4, 1940 Voters' rally
    Political rally in San Diego, California. Democracy €" 50,000,000 voters. 11 articles pertaining to the Presidential campaign. First uncensored pictures of Paris under Germans. California town stands on it€s head €" Elsinore, California. Photo essay €" the new Hollywood, stars now live quietly and raise children. Whitson brothers do Acrobatic miracles. Game birds in color. Reducing machines €" weight loss. Pictures €" football skill. Very nice International truck ad in Maroon. A Halloween with Doris Dudley in White Plains, New York. </span>

    All the bridges behind enemy lines from Rouen to Mantes have been destroyed by the RAF to stop the enemy bringing up material and reserves.

    German aircraft responded with air raids east of Paris and at Evreux and Mantes, west of the capital.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">December 2, 1940 Ballonist
    James Grow, air technician with Goodyear - hot air balloon. Feuds of American Labor leaders, Salvation army buries eight poison-pancake victims, Balloon Crew, Machine tools are prelude to defense program, Avila Camacho - president of Mexico, Radio city Rockette, Bill Stern picks best football players, Philadelphia charity ball.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">December 16, 1940 Greek soldier
    Greek Evzone soldier. German plane crashes on English downs. President Roosevelt sails in Caribbean. Ribald €œTobacco Road€ has seventh birthday on Broadway. Narvik Norway. London's Oxford Street still does business under bombs. California's Barbara Moffett. Flickers of revolt among the conquered comfort Great Britain. Photo essay €" Refugees, the children of Europe are America€s wards. Close-up : Boston€s congressman George Holden Tinkham. Basketball with the Long Island University team. Elsa Maxwell turns slapstick comedian. Christmas cards are painted by America€s top artists. Nightgowns. Girls at Russell Sage College prepare for war emergencies. Pictures €" legs are hard to photograph. A Head Dress party in Philadelphia at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Big two page color ad for Schenley Blends.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">December 30, 1940 British in Egypt
    British army column of soldiers in Egypt. Roosevelt devises plan to make America non-fighting ally of Britain. America posts the Statue of Liberty. Britons push Italians deeper into Libya. Navy plane crashes in Long Island Sound, kills James Stanley Tyler. Close-up : B.G. De Sylva. Fred Astaire plots new routines. A weekend at Smith College. Popular Calendar art, including pin-ups. Photo essay €" Life looks back on a year of Europe€s war. Life presents a collection of Currier & Ives in color. A wealth of new colors lure women from dull hues €" this is kind of a €œright color to wear for your coloring€ article, in color.
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  6. #486
    -HH- Beebop... I enjoyed reading the stories about the Vampire Jet and the V-1 Flying Bomb.
    Great Photo coverage also... Thank's
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  7. #487
    On this day of June 15 1940...

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Entrance to Ft. Douaumont today. </span>

    German panzers take Verdun and its mighty forts in a single day at a cost of only 200 men.
    German forces of the 7th Army cross Rhine and break into the Maginot Line above Strasbourg. Weygand refuses to surrender French Army on its own. 30,600 British and Canadian troops are evacuated from Cherbourg, Brest and St. Malo.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ft. Douaumont's 155mm gun turret. </span>

    The enemy's northern front had collapsed; a general rout was in progress everywhere. Infantry divisions and mobile units vied with each other in covering vast distances. Symptoms of the dissolution of the opposing armies, which were unable to withstand the terrific pressure, increased by the hour.
    On June 14, Colonel General Ritter von Loeb's Army was thrown into action. In two days of heavy fighting against powerful fortifications, Colonel General von Witzleben's Army, strongly supported by artillery, broke through the Maginot Line, France's reputedly impenetrable wall. The enemy's northeast line, already threatened from the rear, was thus again split in two, and what little remained of the enemy's belief in his ability to resist was shattered.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ft. Douaumont's 75mm turret and an observation dome</span>

    The eastern French front met a similar fate when, on June 15, General Dollman's Army (Artillery) stormed the formidable Upper Rhine fortifications in an attack near Colmar and forced its way into the Vosges Mountains.
    Fighting in perfect coordination with the Army, the Air Force helped materially in achieving the quick break through the Maginot Line south of Saarbruecken, and later near Colmar and Muelhausen.
    Whenever weather permitted, Stuka and fighter units attacked and silenced the fortifications with heavy bombs.
    Anti-aircraft units also gave the attacking infantry highly effective support. Simultaneously, other Air Force units helped mobile troops force their way ahead to Besancon and the Swiss border.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">In the main tunnel of the fort. </span>

    An Unprecedented Rout

    After June 15, the campaign became a rout such as has never been seen before, from the sea coast to the Meuse.
    After the fall of Paris, French columns, in retreat to the south and southwest along the whole German front line, were attacked again and again by German fliers. Dogged pursuit on land and from the air frustrated the French plan to take up new positions below the Loere River.

    Our divisions-inspired by victory and the reparation, at last, of the wrongs of Versailles-rolled on over the ruins of the defeated French army.
    Not even the fortress of Verdun, the symbol of French resistance in the World War, was able to hold out. It fell on June 15.

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The rear of Ft. Vaux today. </span>

    French Airforce

    On 10 May 1940, the operational units of the French Air Force committed to the Western Front were heavily outnumbered. The low rate of operations in the French Air Force compared to that of the Germans increased by a factor of four the French inferiority in the air during the first month of the battle.
    By mid-June, however, the Luftwaffe was exhausted. It had lost 40 percent of its aircraft. Its flyers had been operating above hostile territory without navigational aids and with the certainty of capture in the event their aircraft were disabled. The air and ground crews were working from captured fields at the end of lengthening supply lines.
    The French, on the other hand, had conducted much less intensive flight operations, were able to recover the crews of disabled aircraft, were falling back on their logistical bases, and were bringing new units on line with brand new aircraft every day.
    By 15 June, the French and German air forces were at approximate parity with about 2400 aircraft each, but the French were operating from their own turf, and they had the support of the RAF. Mastery of the air was there for the seizing, but on 17 June the French air staff began to order its units to fly to North Africa.
    The justification put forth by the air staff was that the army was destroyed and could not protect the airfields.

    An examination of which units were ordered to North Africa and which were left behind reveals much about the motivation behind the evacuation.
    The units flown to North Africa were those regular air force squadrons with the most modern and effective aircraft--all of the squadrons equipped with the Curtiss 75A (10), Dewoitine 520 (10), Amiot 354 (8), Bloch 174 (18), Farman 222 (4), Douglas DB-7 (8), and Martin 167 (10), plus most of those with the Lioré et Olivier 451 (12 of 18).
    Those left behind included all of the air force reserve units--47 observation squadrons and 12 fighter squadrons--and all of the units closely connected with the army (the observation squadrons, the 10 assault bomber squadrons, and 7 night fighter squadrons converted to the ground assault role).31

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Ossuary at Douaumont.
    The Ossuary at Douaumont (actually near the site of Thiaumont) is a grim reminder of the battle fought here during the First World War in 1916, adjacent to the French cemetery and surrounded by various monuments.
    It has three main vaults with rounded ends, which have slots to resemble pillboxes. A tall central tower dominates the structure.
    It was built by contributions from all the Allied nations, on some of the most fought-over ground of the battle.
    Underneath it lie the remains of 150,000 Germans and Frenchmen, collected from all over the area.
    On the curved walls of the vaults are carved the names of the French missing.
    I followed a sign toward a memorial chapel on the site of the village of Douaumont. I thought I might see ruins, but there was not the slightest trace of the village itself. Nine villages were pounded into dust in the course of the battle.
    I later passed a cross-shaped memorial to the village of Fleury, but did not stop. I knew there would be nothing else there.
    The museum is a joint French and German one. It is well worth a visit to see the equipment with which the battle was fought. </span>

    Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwo...e_verdun.shtml
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  8. #488
    This will conclude my postings on the Battle for France 1940.
    Although there is still the Surrender Signing and Etc... the Main Story has been told.
    I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have researching the information.
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  9. #489
    thanks woofiedog. great coverage of the battle of france btw and those life covers........

    15 June


    On the Western Front... Strasbourg and Verdun are taken in the converging German advance on the Maginot defenses. On the Channel coast evacuations begin from Cherbourg. In the next three days 30,630 British and Canadian troops are evacuated from the continent without loss.

    German soldiers examine the fortifications at Verdun

    In Washington... Another Navy bill passes into law. This provides for a much expanded air corps, with 10,000 planes and 16,000 more aircrew.

    In Lithuania... Kaunas and Vilna are occupied by Soviet troops.

    In North Africa... A major British offensive, Operation Battleaxe, begins. The aim is to relieve Tobruk. Wavell is still reluctant to attack, largely because the tanks which recently arrived on the Operation Tiger convoy have had many mechanical faults and the time taken for repairs means that the troops have had a very short training period. Although the two divisions involved, 4th Indian and 7th Armored, are both experience formations, they are not at full strength and have been further weakened by changes in command. General Beresford-Pierse is in charge of the attack. Three columns are sent forward, one to Halfaya Pass, one to Fort Capuzzo along the edge of the escarpment and one inland to Hafid Ridge. The attack of Matilda tanks is beaten off at Halfaya by the emplaced 88mm guns, and without tank support the infantry there can achieve nothing. A force of lighter cruiser tanks similarly loses heavily at Hafid Ridge. Some success is achieved at Capuzzo, however. The German radio intelligence gives them excellent tactical information and their dispositions of 5th Light forward and 15th Panzer watching Tobruk are more than adequate. On the whole Rommel is content to defend on the first day and, indeed, by the end of the day the British tank losses already leave them at a disadvantage.

    Matilda tanks advance across the desert

    German 88mm gun

    On special trailer
    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">THE GERMAN 88-MM. MULTIPURPOSE GUN
    The German 88-mm. multipurpose gun, which was used so effectively in the Battle of the Omars, was designed primarily as an anti-aircraft weapon, but like all German antiaircraft guns, it may also be employed against ground targets. The high muzzle velocity and resultant striking power of this weapon make it particularly effective against armored targets and fortified gun positions, even at considerable ranges. Using H.E. and armor-piercing ammunition, it is employed with deadly effect against medium and heavy tanks. Mobility, which is a prerequisite of an antitank gun, is secured either by a self-propelled carriage or by a special trailer drawn by a tracked prime mover (see cover design and fig. 13).

    The barrel is jacketed, with an easily detachable breech ring, a supported, interchangeable A tube (the rifled part of the tube), and a removable guide ring. It is 16 feet long and has 32 rifling grooves. The breech is semiautomatic and self-cocking, opening when the barrel runs out after the shot has been fired, ejecting the cartridge case, and at the same time compressing the striker spring.

    The carriage consists of a mounting built into the platform of the chassis, the upper carriage with a protective armor shield, a buffer fitted into the barrel cradle, a hydropneumatic recuperator fitted above the barrel, two balancing springs to distribute the excess weight of the barrel and cradle, and the traverse and elevator gear.

    The standard German antiaircraft sight, modified to give range readings in meters rather than elevation angles, is normally used, but the armor shield also has a loophole for the wide-angle (emergency) sight. With the telescopic sight, the line of sight is parallel to the axis of the barrel when both deflection and range drums are set at zero. Since, however, the sight is 28 inches to the right of and 8 inches below the barrel, the aiming point must be taken low and to the right if direct hits are to be obtained.

    The elevation field is determined by fixing an attachment on the sextant from minus 3 to plus 15 degrees. The traverse field is limited by the upper carriage striking agaimst the armor of the driver's seat. It is 151 degrees to the right and 181 degrees to the left, or a total traverse of 332 degrees.

    The 88-mm. unit, which is under divisional control for tactical purposes, goes into action from the ammunition line. Here the ammunitions trucks are left, and the battery commander, chief of section, and driver reconnoiter the assembly point, gun position, and observation post, The gun is driven to the assembly point, usually within 225 yards of the gun position, in march order, and the crew prepares it for action when that command is given at the assembly point.

    Rules on the selection of a firing position are as follows: the angle of impact should be not greater than 60 degrees; the range should generally not exceed 1,100 yards; the gun level most slope downward with the wheels nearer the target lower (the gun level varies from minus 3 to plus 15 degrees from the horizontal of the muzzle); the position should be concealed and as near to the target as possible to insure maximum accuracy and surprise in opening fire; the field of fire must be prepared, if necessary, by sawing through trees and branches; the lanes of approach and withdrawal must be as firm, level, and wide as possible.

    The prime mover can knock down trees up to 3 inches in diameter, and the self-propelled carriage can level 5-inch trees. The minimum widths, which must be considered in choosing lanes of approach and withdrawal, are: with barrel at right angles, 20 feet; with side supports in rest position, 16 feet; and with side supports in march position, 10 feet. If narrow points have to be negotiated on the way to the firing position, the side supports are not put down until these points are passed, nor is the barrel swung free until there is sufficient room. At all times, however, the barrel, with its armored shield, is directed toward the enemy.</span>

    In Syria... A counterattack by the Vichy French forces succeeds in retaking part of the town of Marjayoun and some nearby positions. However, both to the west on the coast, where Sidon is taken by Austrialian forces and to the east in the approaches to Damascus, where Kiswe falls, the Allied advance is still going well.

    In North Africa... The South African infantry retreating from the Gazala line narrowly misses the German 5th Panzer Division which blocks the main road east of Tobruk. The 21st Panzer Division reaches Sidi Rezegh.

    In the Mediterranean... The convoy from Gibraltar on its way to Malta (Operation Harpoon) continues with only a close escort of cruisers and destroyers. It is attacked by an Italian force and subjected to heavy air attacks as well. Two destroyers and three merchant ships are sunk. Only two merchant ships reach Malta. The convoy from Egypt fares no better; air attacks sink two destroyers and damage a cruiser. Of 11 merchants ships only 6 are still afloat. Word arrives of the approach of the Italian battleships Littorio and Vittorio Veneto escorted by destroyers and cruisers. Consequently, the convoy turns back to Egypt. Allied aircraft locate and damage the Littorio and an allied submarine sinks the Italian heavy cruiser Trento. Many of the Axis planes that are used in the action are from North Africa and their temporary withdrawal gives some respite to the British 8th Army in North Africa.

    In Germany... The world's first jet bomber/reconnaissance aircraft -- the Arado Ar234 -- is flight-tested at Rheine, near Munster.

    more Arado pics: http://www.luftwaffepics.com/lar2341.htm

    <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Arado Ar 234 Blitz

    The German Arado 234 was the very first purpose-built jet bomber. While the Ar-234 had very little influence on the outcome of World War II, being much too late and too few in number, it had influence on later aircraft designs.


    The Ar-234 was originally conceived in early 1941 by an engineering team under Professor Walter Blume, director of the Arado aircraft company. The design project was codenamed E370, and was in response to a German Air Ministry requirement for a fast reconnaissance aircraft.

    The E370 was to be a sleek, high-winged aircraft with a pair of Junkers Jumo 004 turbojets, one under each wing. The Air Ministry wanted a range of 2,150 kilometers (1,340 miles), and so to reduce weight, Arado proposed that the E370 would take off on a wheeled tricycle trolley that would be left behind after take-off, and land on skids at the end of the flight.

    Skids would also be built under the engines to prevent them from being damaged on landing. The pilot would be able to steer the nosewheel of the take-off trolley, while the main wheels would have hydraulic brakes, controlled by the cockpit rudder pedals.

    Arado projected a maximum speed of 780 KPH (485 MPH), an operating altitude of almost 11,000 meters (36,000 feet), and a maximum range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles). The range was a little less than what the Air Ministry wanted, but they liked the design anyway, and ordered two prototypes. The aircraft was given the military designation Ar-234. Additional prototypes would be ordered presently.

    The two prototypes were largely complete before the end of 1941, but the Jumo 004 engines weren't ready, and wouldn't be ready until 1943. In February 1943, Arado finally got a pair of Jumo 004As. However, these engines were only cleared for static and taxi tests. At the time, Messerschmidt had priority for engine deliveries, and Arado had to accept what they could get.

    Flight-qualified engines were finally delivered late that spring, and the Ar-234 made its first flight on 30 July 1943. The initial flights went smoothly, except that on the first two takeoffs the parachutes that were intended to soft-land the take-off trolley didn't deploy, and the trolley was wrecked in both cases.

    By September, four prototypes were flying. However, back in early July, even before the first flight, the Air Ministry had been seriously considering building a bomber version of the Ar-234. Orders were placed for two prototypes of such a bomber variant, with the designation Ar-234B.

    Since the aircraft was too slender to carry the bombs internally, the bombs would have to be carried on external racks. This made the skid-landing scheme impractical, and so the bomber would have conventional tricycle landing gear.

    The skid landing scheme had proven conceptually flawed anyway. Skid landings were a rough and doubtful proposition, and once an Ar-234 had landed, it was effectively immobile for the twenty minutes it took to jack it up and put it back on its trolley. With Allied air attacks increasing over the Germany, skid landing made the aircraft far too vulnerable to destruction on the ground.

    The Ar-234 program suffered a tragic setback when the second prototype crashed due to an engine failure on 2 October 1943, killing its pilot. Nonetheless, Adolf Hitler and other top-ranking Nazis saw a prototype on static display at an airshow in East Prussia in late November and were very impressed. The program was given the highest priority.

    Work intensified on a prototype of the Ar-234B variant, while four more trolley-mounted Ar-234 prototypes were completed. The fifth prototype incorporated new Jumo 004B-0 engines, which had the same thrust rating of 840 kilograms (1,850 pounds) as the Jumo 004As used in the first four prototypes, but weighed 90 kilograms (200 pounds) less. The seventh prototype was similar.

    The sixth and eighth prototypes were intended to study powerplant schemes to be used on advanced versions of the aircraft to follow the Ar-234B. They were both powered by four 800 kilogram (1,760 pound) thrust BMW 003 turbojets. The BMW 003 had less thrust than the Jumo 004B, but the BMW engines were much lighter, and increased the overall thrust-to-weight ratio of the aircraft.

    The sixth prototype had the four BMW engines in separate nacelles, while the eighth prototype clustered them in pairs under each wing. The paired nacelle scheme proved more satisfactory than the four separate jets, which led to aerodynamic troubles.

    All the prototypes starting with the third had provision for rocket-assisted takeoff. A rack was fitted under each outer wing to carry a bottle-shaped Walter 109-500 rocket, powered by hydrogen peroxide and sodium permanganate. Each rocket weighed about 280 kilograms (617 pounds), and was capable of generating 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of thrust for 30 seconds.

    The rockets were dropped by parachute after the Ar-234 was airborne. The aircraft incorporated a scheme of pressure switches that sensed whether the rocket units were delivering thrust or not. If one did not generate thrust, the other was automatically shut down to prevent it from slewing the aircraft around.

    The ninth prototype was the first Ar-234B, with a built-in undercarriage, and first flew in March 1944. By this time, production lines were being set up to build the aircraft in quantity, and the first of 20 pre-production Ar-234Bs came off the line in June.

    However, ambitious plans for massive production of new variants had to be scaled back. During the last week of February 1944, the Allies pounded German aircraft factories and seriously damaged production capacity. While the "Big Week" raids had spared Arado production facilities, as they were too far east and out of range, the following reshuffling and dispersal of production meant that resources originally planned for building new types of aircraft had to be reserved for manufacturing existing types.

    That same March, the fifth and seventh prototypes were equipped with cameras and handed off to a special Luftwaffe reconnaissance unit for operational readiness tests, in preparation to fielding the Ar-234B. The Allied invasion of France was to then give the aircraft an excellent opportunity to prove themselves. Allied fighters were doing such a good job of protecting the Normandy beachhead from German reconnaissance aircraft that Wehrmacht commanders were completely in the dark about enemy intentions.

    The Ar-234, with its high speed, seemed likely to penetrate Allied fighter screens, and on 25 July the two aircraft left Germany for France. One had to turn back, but the other arrived safely, only to wait a week for the take-off trolley, rocket booster units, and other kit to arrive by truck.

    The first operational flight took place on 2 August 1944, when Leutnant Erich Sommer took his Ar-234 on a reconnaissance flight over the beachhead, cruising at about 740 KPH (460 MPH) at above 9,200 meters (30,000 feet). Two Rb 50/30 aerial cameras were mounted in the rear fuselage, each canted 12 degrees from the vertical in opposite directions. At operating altitude, they took one set of pictures every 11 seconds, imaging a swath almost 10 kilometers wide across the direction of flight.

    Sommer came and went unhindered. Altitude and speed kept him safe, and in fact he wasn't even detected. The images he returned showed a buildup of more than 1.5 million men and a matching amount of supplies and weapons.

    That day the second Ar-234 finally arrived, and over the next three weeks the two machines flew 13 more missions without interference from Allied defenses. They returned high-quality intelligence data, but they only confirmed in detail what the Wehrmacht ground commanders knew only too well: the Germans were being beaten by an overwhelmingly superior adversary.

    The results of this became apparent to the jet pilots, when they were forced to withdraw to Holland in early September. This did not take them out of harm's way; their airfield at Volkel was plastered by 100 Royal Air Force (RAF) Lancasters in a daylight raid on 3 September 1944. The Ar-234s were then withdrawn back to Germany. By this time, Ar-234Bs were available for operational use and the prototypes were no longer needed.

    Ar-234 in operation

    The Ar-234B could be configured either as a bomber or reconnaissance aircraft. It weighed about 5.2 tonnes (11,464 pounds) empty, and about 8.43 tonnes (18,850 pounds) fully loaded. Maximum bomb load was about 1.5 tonnes, carried externally. When used as a reconnaissance aircraft, the AR-234B carried a pair of 300 liter (79 US gallon) drop tanks in place of the bombs.

    The powerplants consisted of a pair of Junkers Jumo 004B turbojets, with 900 kilograms (1,980 pounds) thrust each. Maximum speed without bombs or drop tanks was 740 KPH (460 MPH) at 6,100 meters (20,000 feet), but the speed dropped to as low as 660 KPH (410 MPH) with external loads. The prototypes had actually been a good 30 KPH faster than the Ar-234B, due to the more slender fuselage allowed by the lack of landing gear.

    Tricycle landing gear was fitted. As the Ar-234 landed at high speed, it had a drag chute as standard equipment; it was one of the first aircraft to do so. The rounded nose of the aircraft was covered with plexiglas, giving the pilot an excellent view to the front, but no view to the back except through a periscope. The periscope, which was not provided in the Ar-234 prototypes, also served as a sight for dive-bombing attacks.

    There was no ejector seat. The pilot got into and out of the aircraft through a transparent hatch on top of the cockpit. Getting out of the Ar-234 in an emergency was not a trivial task.

    The Ar-234 handled very well at all speeds and was capable of all aerobatics. The worst operational problem was the unreliability of the Jumo 004B engines, which required overhaul or replacement after about ten hours of operation. The brakes also tended to wear out after about three landings and so had to often be replaced.

    The fuel consumption of the Jumos varied widely with altitude. At 10,000 meters, it was a third of what it was at sea level. This meant that for low-altitude bombing missions, the operational radius of the aircraft was only about 190 kilometers (120 miles), while in high-altitude reconnaissance operations the range was as much as 720 kilometers (450 miles) with the drop tanks.

    When operated as a bomber, the Ar-234 could be used in shallow dive attacks, low-level horizontal attacks, or high-altitude horizontal attacks. In shallow dive attacks, the pilot would drop from about 5,000 meters to under 1,500 meters, aiming the bombs through the periscopic sight that stuck up above the cockpit.

    In low-level horizontal attack, used only when the target was obscured, the pilot simply flew level and dropped the bombs when it seemed appropriate. Results were not generally very impressive.

    High-altitude horizontal attacks were particularly interesting. Since the Ar-234 was a single-seat aircraft, the pilot had to double as the bombardier, and did so with the help of a sophisticated Patin autopilot system. The pilot would fly to within about 30 kilometers of the target, engage the autopilot, swivel the control column out of his way to the right, and then lean over and sight the target through the Lotfe 7K bombsight.

    The bombsight was linked to the autopilot. As long as the pilot held the target in the crosshairs, the autopilot would change the aircraft's heading accordingly, and then the bombsight would automatically drop the bombs at the right moment.

    In principle, the Ar-234B had a pair of fixed rearward-firing 20-millimeter guns for protecting its tail, with the pilot sighting the guns through the periscope. Not only did the pilot have to be his own bombardier, he was his own tail gunner as well. However, in practice the guns were not always fitted and were never an important feature of the aircraft.

    The Luftwaffe conducted reconnaissance operations with the new Ar-234Bs through the fall, including some reconnaissance missions over England, beginning in October, to determine if the Allies were preparing a follow-up amphibious landing in the Netherlands. Despite the activity, it wasn't until 21 November 1944 that Allied pilots reported spotting an Ar-234B, when P-51s escorting bombers over Holland observed one of the jets overflying their formation. Detected, the German pilot immediately applied power and disappeared.

    Bomber sorties did not take place until Christmas Eve, when nine Ar-234Bs, each carrying a single half-tonne bomb, took off from a German airbase single file to attack Liege in Belgium, in support of the Wermacht's ground offensive then underway in the Ardennes. Such attacks continued until the weather became too nasty in early January to allow operations to be safely continued.

    An inventory of Ar-234s at that time indicated 17 of them in service, with 12 configured as bombers and 5 as photo-reconnaissance machines. This quantity was surprisingly small, since 148 had been delivered to the Luftwaffe by the end of 1944. The small number of the aircraft in service was almost certainly due to the disruptions caused by Allied air attacks on German industrial and military infrastructure.

    The continuous, harrassing presence of Allied airpower made operations increasingly risky. When 18 Ar-234s were relocated to a new airfield in early January 1945 and came in to land, they were bounced by Spitfires who shot down three of them and damaged two others, killing two German pilots.

    Nonetheless, as the weather improved again, Ar-234s performed as many sorties as they were able, attacking targets in the low countries and mounting a large number of attacks in the defense of Aachen, Germany, on 21 February 1945.

    On 24 February, an Ar-234B suffered a flameout in one of its engines and was forced down to a hard landing by an American P-47 Thunderbolt fighter near the village of Segelsdorf. The jet was captured by the advancing Allies the next day. It was the first example of the type to fall into Allied hands largely intact.

    Pilots found the Ar-234 pleasant to fly, but engine flameouts were a problem, particularly as increasing fuel shortages meant the engines had to be run on inappropriate grades of fuel. With proper fuel, the engines could be relit below 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) and at speeds between 400 to 500 KPH (250 to 310 MPH); otherwise, it was impossible to do so. Once a flameout occurred, the pilot had to shut off fuel to the engine, since it would flood and become an extreme fire hazard.

    Pilots new to jets often had troubles understanding the long take-off run and high landing speed, leading to a high accident rate. One unit obtained a two-seat Me-262 jet trainer to familiarize Ar-234 trainees, and the number of accidents fell off considerably.

    While the Ar-234 was conducting reconnaissance and bombing operations in defense of the Reich, the type was still being modified and improved.

    One enhancement was a field modification. A few Ar-234Bs were pressed into service as night fighters by being fitted with FuG 218 "Neptun" radar, featuring nose-mounted aerials, and a belly pack containing two 20 millimeter guns. The radar operator was crammed into the fuselage behind the wing. There is no evidence that any of these few improvised Ar-234B night fighters ever scored a kill.

    The experiments with the BMW 003 engine performed with the 6th and 8th Ar-234 prototypes, as well as with an Ar-234B that was also fitted with the paired BMW 003 installation, also led to a next-generation variant, the Ar-234C.

    The Ar-234C was fitted with four BMW 003's, each rated at 800 kilograms (1,760 pounds) thrust, clustered in pairs on each wing. It had a raised canopy to give better visibility, and incorporated many small aerodynamic improvements. The result was a much faster aircraft, with a maximum speed of 870 KPH (540 MPH).

    The first prototype Ar-234C had flown back in October 1944. Once production lines were tooled, in principle all further Ar-234 production would be based of different variants of the Ar-234C. These variants included reconnaissance, bomber, night-fighter, and "general-purpose" variants, with orders in the thousands. The BMW 003 had not been refined to the point where it was very reliable, but given the military situation they had to be used anyway.

    The failed Ardennes offensive had eliminated the last German capability to seriously take the initiative in the West, and since that time they had remained on the defensive. Their defense was seriously breached on 7 March 1945, when the Americans seized the Ludendorf Bridge over the Rhine river at the town of Remagen.

    While German demolition specialists had attempted to destroy the bridge, it remained usable, though badly damaged. Reichsmarshall Goering ordered it to be destroyed at all costs, and over the course of the next ten days, Ar-234Bs flew several sorties in attempts to take it down. The jets failed, with losses to themselves. On 17 March, the bridge finally collapsed, but the Allies had obtained a solid foothold on the east bank of the Rhine and had built pontoon bridges to flood men and supplies into the Reich.

    The last Ar-234s were delivered early in March. At the end of the month, demolition teams destroyed the main Arado plant to deny it to the advancing Soviets.

    A total of 210 Ar-234Bs and 14 Ar-234Cs were delivered to the Luftwaffe, but with Germany in chaos, only a handful ever got into combat. A final inventory taken on 10 April 1945, indicated 38 in service, including 12 bombers, 24 reconnaissance aircraft, and 2 night fighters.

    These aircraft continued to fight in a scattered and ineffective fashion until Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945. Some were shot down in air combat, destroyed by flak (sometimes their own), or bounced by Allied fighters when they came in to land. Others performed their missions and then fled too fast for enemy fighters to follow, to land and then wait for scarce fuel to be found so they could fly other missions.

    After the fall

    The end of the war terminated a number of interesting Ar-234 development efforts.

    A number of different variants of the Ar-234C were in the planning stage, including a two-seat night fighter. There was also design work under way for two-seat Ar-234D bomber and reconnaissance variants, to be powered by a pair of 1,300 kilogram (2,860 pound) thrust Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojets, and for a series of Ar-234P two-seat night fighter variants, with a variety of different powerplant options.

    One particularly fascinating Ar-234 variant was under construction when the Allies overran the factory building it: a "crescent-wing" Ar-234, consisting of an Ar-234B fuselage mated to a concave-curved swept wing, and powered by a pair of BMW 003R combined-turbojet-rocket engines. The BMW 003R combined a turbojet with a liquid-fuel rocket that could give three minutes of enhanced power for take-off or climb. The prototype was scrapped, but the crescent-wing idea was resurrected up by the British and fielded in the 1950s on the Victor V-bomber.

    Another curious development was the "Deichselschlepp", or "air trailer", in which a winged fuel tank with its own undercarriage would be towed behind the Ar-234, with a tube that provided both a linkage to the trailer and a fuel feed back to the Ar-234.

    Plans were made to similarly tow a Fieseler Fi-103 flying bomb (better known as the V-1 buzz bomb) or a winged SC 1400 bomb. In the case of the Fi-103, it was decided instead to mount the flying bomb on a cradle on the back of the Ar-234 that would hydraulically lift the aircraft above the bomber before launch.

    Once the shooting stopped, a race began to collect the rewards of victory. Ar-234s were scattered all over Western Europe, and the British obtained about a dozen of them. The Soviets apparently only recovered one. For whatever reasons, the Ar-234 had been primarily used in the west.

    Four Ar-234s were buttoned up with an assortment of other advanced German aircraft and shipped to the USA on the "jeep" carrier HMS REAPER. Three were given to the US Army Air Force and one to the US Navy, though the Navy's aircraft turned out to be in permanently unflyable condition.

    One of the three obtained by the USAAF was put through intensive tests at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and ultimately handed on to the Smithsonian Institution's Air & Space Museum, where it is now prominently on display. It is likely the only Ar-234 that survives to this day.


    As a bomber, the Ar-234 was something of a failure. It could not carry enough of a bombload to match the destructive power of the big heavy bombers that were smashing the Reich. However, as a reconnaissance aircraft it proved able to bring back intelligence from airspace denied to prop-driven aircraft.

    There were also a number of innovations in the Ar-234 that would be seen in later aircraft. The skid landing scheme interestingly foreshadowed the American Lockheed U2 reconnaissance aircraft. Though the U2 did carry main landing gear, the wings were supported on take-off by small wheels on outriggers called "pogos" that fell off after takeoff, while the wingtips had skids for landing.

    Similarly, the autopilot-bombsight linkup was a primitive version of the systems installed in modern single-seat strike aircraft like the F-117 Stealth fighter, which largely flies itself over the target while the pilot guides its bomb.</span>

    In the Indian Ocean... The disguised German raider Michel sinks a Norwegian ship west of Australia.

    In the Mariana Islands... American landing on Saipan (Operation Forager) begin with a three hour air and naval bombardment (by Task Force 52). Elements of the US 5th Amphibious Corps (General H M Smith) come ashore with a force of 67,500 men, to the north and south of Afetna Point. The main American units engaged are the 2nd Marine Division (Watson) and 4th Marine Division (Schmidt). The two beachheads fail to link up immediately, but the American forces do advance inland. The Japanese garrison consists of the reinforced 43rd Infantry Division (General Saito), as well as naval contingents (Admiral Nagumo), numbering about 30,000 men.

    In the Philippine Sea... Admiral Clark leads two groups of US carrier forces raiding Iwo Jima, Chichi Jima and Haha Jima. The Japanese carriers are sighted by US patrols heading through the San Bernardino Strait while some of the Japanese battleships are seen east of Mindanao.

    On the Western Front... A fourth American corps is add to the US 1st Army. The US 8th Corps becomes operations on the Cotentin Peninsula. Meanwhile, elements of the US 7th Corps capture Quineville.

    Over Occupied France... RAF Bomber Command attacks Boulogne with 300 Lancaster bombers, sinking 14 small warships and other vessels.

    In New Guinea... On Biak Island, the Japnese conduct an unsuccessful counterattack. On the mainland, farther east, Australian forces occupy Hansa Bay.

    On the Eastern Front... The Finish 4th Corps falls back, to positions before Viipuri, under pressure from the Soviet 21st and 59th Armies (both part of the Leningrad Front).

    Over Japan... The first B-29 Superfortress raid on Japan is conducted. Bombers from the US 20th Air Force in China attack Yawatta on Kyushu.


    In Liberated Burma... Mountbatten addresses the victory parade in Rangoon. American OSS units complete mopping up operations in the Shan Mountains area.

    Admiral Mountbatten reviews the troops in the victory parade in Rangoon, the capital of Burma

    In China... Chinese forces advance along a broad front in Kwangsi Province.

    Over Japan... US B-29 Superfortress bombers drop 3000 tons of bombs on Osaka.

    In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, Marines suffer heavy casualties and are unable to advance on Kunishi Ridge. The US 1st Division, already short of troops, is attached to the US 2nd Marine Division. Forces of the US 24th Corps continue operations to eliminate Japanese positions on Mount Yaeju and Mount Yuza.

    In the Philippines... On Luzon, Filipino guerrillas seize Cervantes in the north. Meanwhile, the US 37th Division continues to battle forward in the Cagayan valley, eliminating a Japanese strong point about 3 miles from Santiago, near Cabanatuan.

    In the Greater Sunda Islands... Australian forces secure the islands of Labuan and Muara, off Borneo.

    In Britain... Parliament is dissolved by King George VI, in anticipation of the first general election since 1935.
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  10. #490
    16 June


    In France... Reynaud has lost the support of his Cabinet and resigns. Petain is chosen to replace him.

    [I]Marshall Petain

    In London... France asks Britain to be released from the obligation not to make a separate peace. In return the British make an offer to establish a state of union between the two countries, but this rather wild scheme is rejected by the French.

    On the Western Front... Dijon is taken and to the east Guderian's units have reached the Saone. The Maginot Line is breached near Colmar in Alsace. On the Channel coast there are more evacuations. From St. Molo during the next two days 21,474 Allied troops are taken off and from Brest 32,584. The evacuations from St. Nazaire and Nantes take three days and carry 57,235 away but over 3000 are lost when the Lancastria is sunk by German bombers.

    In Vilnius... A new, pro-Soviet, government is installed in Lithuania.

    From Moscow... Similar demands are made of Estonia and Latvia.

    In North Africa... Nominally the British attack continues but the initiative has passed to the Germans. The British 7th Armored Brigade loses heavily in a running battle with the German 5th Light Division while 4th Indian Division has to fight hard to hold off 15th Panzer Division. Halfaya remains in German hands.

    In Syria... The Vichy French counterattacks continue. El Quneitra is retaken.

    From Washington... President Roosevelt orders that all German and Italian consulates in the country should be closed, along with the offices of other German agencies.

    In North Africa... The British forces abandon El Adem. The is now no chance of forming a front west of Tobruk.

    German column advances after battling the British

    In the Mediterranean... The German U-boat U-205 sinks the cruiser HMS Hermione on its way back to Egypt, escorting the aborted convoy to Malta.

    In the Solomon Islands... US fighters from Henderson Field claim to have shot down 93 Japanese aircraft from a force attacking shipping assembled for operations against New Georgia Island.

    In the United States... Operation Husky. The first convoys bound for the invasion of Sicily leave port.

    In Italy... British 8th Army forces continue to advance. The 10th Corps captures Spoleto and penetrates to Spoligno. Forces of the US 5th Army take Grosseto.

    On the Western Front... The forces of British 21st Army Group continue to advance along the entire front. Elements of the US 1st Army, advancing westward, cross the Douvre River and capture St. Saveur in the Cotentin Peninsula. British King George VI visits the troops in Normandy.

    In the Mariana Islands... US battleships, under the command of Admiral Ainsworth, shell Guam. The invasion of the island is deferred, however, because of the approach of the Japanese fleet. On Saipan, the elements of US 5th Amphibious Corps link the two beachheads by capturing Charan Karoa and Afetna Point. There is substantial use of artillery by the Japanese and American counter battery fire in addition to the infantry combat.

    In the Philippine Sea... Admiral Clark leads two groups of US carrier forces raiding Iwo Jima, Chichi Jima and Haha Jima. The Japanese fleets link up and refuel. US patrols make two sightings.

    In Brussels... Belgian Premier Achille van Acker and his cabinet resign in protest against the contemplated return of King Leopold III.

    In Occupied Germany... At the Dachau concentration camp, nearly 2500 people have died, mainly of typhus, since the camp was liberated on April 29th.

    In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, Mount Yuza is captured by the US 381st Infantry Regiment. Fighting continues on the south of the island. At sea, the Japanese air offensive against American ships slackens, but the Japanese still sink 1 destroyer and damage 1 escort carrier.

    In the Caroline Islands... British naval units bombard the Japanese base at Truk
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