Skip to comments.REICH SAID TO PLAN TWO-DAY AIR TRUCE IF BRITISH ALSO REFRAIN FROM RAIDING (12/25/40)
Posted on 12/25/2010 6:56:51 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
* What is a layette and why are the storks being investigated? Inquiring minds want to know.
German engine trouble saves convoy
Wednesday, December 25, 1940 www.onwar.com
In the North Atlantic... The German cruiser Admiral Hipper meets and attacks a British troop convoy 700 miles west of Cape Finisterre. The escort for the convoy consists of three cruisers and the carriers Argus and Furious. In the engagement which develops, the British cruiser Berwick is hit but the Admiral Hipper is forced to withdraw to Brest with engine trouble, sinking only one ship on the way. This is the only return for a cruise lasting one month.
December 25th, 1940
London: Churchill gives King George a one-piece “siren suit” as a Christmas present.
Scotland: Two former French Martlet Is (Grumman Model G-36A) in service with the Royal Navy’s No. 804 Squadron at Hatston in the Orkney Islands, shoot down a Junkers Ju 88A that was attempting to bomb the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow. The two pilots of 804 squadron were Lt. Rodney Harold Power Carver, RN (later DSC, MiD) flying Martlet I BJ562 (Code A) and S-Lt. T. R. V. Parke, RN flying Martlet I BJ561 (Code S:7L). This is the first American built fighter aircraft in British service to destroy a German aircraft in the war. (Ron Babuka, Mark Horan)
ALBANIA: The Greek army in Albania spends Christmas at the snow covered Albanian front. A few services are held for front line troops and a convoy of 100 taxis from Salonika which had left a few days earlier arrives bringing Christmas treats for the troops. Liquor and sweets are distributed to as many along the front as possible. Dimitry commented on two nice bottles of liquor which was given to him and his men. They gathered at the wooden shack in a wooded area near their positions and toasted one another. Elsewhere on the front when one of the taxis arrived with its cargo of Christmas goods, the driver (who spoke fluent Italian) offered his services to the Greek officer in command who ordered him to cross the lines with a flag of truce and offer the Italians some liquor and cigarettes. The Italians accepted the gift and the two sides in that area honored a truce on this Christmas Day. (Steven Statharos)
Bethlehem: For the first time in history, Bethlehem is celebrating a darkened Christmas. While Mussolini’s air menace hangs over the city even the windows of the Church of the Nativity have been obscured by blue. At Jerusalem the Stations of the Cross are dark and silent.
Despite the blackout, members of the church are determined to make it a Christmas to remember for hundreds of Empire troops in the city. The Church of the Nativity had been lit from within by a myriad candles, and the traditional sheep are being roasted in the fields near the manger.
LIBYA: From “War Dance” Unit History of the 2/3 Australian Infantry Battalion
16th Brigade, 6th Division, 2nd Australian Imperial Forces.
Location: Outside of Bardia, Libia; Christmas Day 1940.
Five Section, of 17 Platoon had moved out before dawn and taken up our position between the Italian wire and the English Arty “o pip” we were guarding. Christmas Day, -—— but no one mentioned it. It was left to that champion hunk of humanity “Bugs” Logan to break the silence with “I wonder what they are doing at home.” Everybody was probably thinking the same thing, but “Bugs” just happened to think aloud.
We downed our Christmas dinner, one tin of bully beef between two, a packet of dog biscuits each, and a few mouthfuls of salty water, and settled down to wait for darkness and our relief, when we spotted a patrol coming straight towards us, from the direction of our own lines. It turned out to be Cliff Hillier and his section from A Company. Cliff said “you jokers can go back in; we’re here to relieve you.” Normally we would have been delighted, but to be relieved at midday, in the middle of no-mans land was a pretty drack effort.
Fortunately Musso’s mob must have been to full of cognac to see what was going on, so we got back without receiving a stray shell for a Christmas box. We settled down in our holes which were home sweet home when we weren’t guarding the “o pips”, but it was not long before we had a visitor. It was the English sergeant named Black from a Bofors gun crew just over from where we were dug in. He said “Pop, me and the lads were thinking about you, all alone out there, so we threw in and bought you this.” With that he produced seven cans of Barclay’s Beer, seven packets of tobacco and matches, seven packets of biscuits and seven cakes of chocolate. What a gesture —— all the more on an English soldiers lousy pay. “What’s more” said Blackie “we want you all to come over and share our Christmas dinner as soon as it comes up.” It’s not often I am stumped for words, but when I did finally manage to get the lump out of my throat all I could say was “Thanks Blackie, you are a bloody champion.” He replied, “it’s a mighty poor show if you can’t do something for your fellow man at Christmas.”
We shared their dinner over at their gun position; then came back to our own area, feeling downright miserable at not being able to return the wonderful gesture of those champion fellows. Then came the Christmas gift of all, Evan Walker, our platoon commander, who had been left behind on duty in Egypt, appeared in our position, complete with Christmas hampers. Evan announced that he was back with the platoon, and even though there were only seven of us, we persuaded him to give us eight hampers. Blackie had nine men in his gun crew, which meant half a hamper per man. So back we went to repay the “Chooms” hospitality. Sixteen men in a heap, celebrating Christmas, should have made a good target for our opponents, but they didn’t bother resuming the war until later in the night.
From a bad start, Christmas at Bardia built up to a joyful ending. I’ll always remember Blackie and his crew. We never saw them again, and I have often wondered whether they got through O.K. If they did, I hope their fellow men treat them as kindly as they did us back in Christmas 1940
N. “Pop” Morgan
On the 27th of November the 8in cruiser ‘Admiral Hipper’ leaves Germany and passes into the Atlantic through the Denmark Strait. On Christmas Day, 700 miles to the west of Cape Finisterre, she encounters Middle East troop convoy WS5A, one of ‘Winston’s Specials’, escorted by cruisers HMS Berwick and HMS Bonaventure and accompanied by carrier HMS Furious ferrying aircraft to Takoradi. In an exchange of gunfire the heavy cruiser HMS Berwick and two merchantmen are slightly damaged, Hipper is also damaged. ‘Hipper’ retires and soon reaches Brest.
‘Hipper’ is the first of the German big ships to reach the French Biscay ports. (79 and 80)
Merry Christmas! Ya Dork. LOL
I guess if WWII never took a break you ain’t going to either.
I very much appreciate your posts. Particularly, as I am sure it takes more work than the typical posts around here.
Looking forward to reading about the ex-slaves, brothers in Army and the Pope’s call on this day.
If you live in the Felton to Boulder Creek area, please stay safe. Especially with all this rain.
If you need anything let me know. I used live there and went through slides, fallen trees, etc.
Thinking about driving through Ben Lomond tomorrow to see the trees getting shredded by the San Lorenzo River and then heading over to Natural Bridges(well I guess not anymore, lol)
Have a Merry Christmas!
Day 482 December 25, 1940
Admiral Wilhelm Meisel commanding German cruiser Admiral Hipper blows the chance to disrupt British troop convoy WS.5 to the Middle East. Attacking out of the mist and rain at 8.08 AM, Hipper shells troopship Empire Trooper (16 soldiers killed) and freighter Arabistan (just missing a munitions store) but is chased off by corvette HMS Clematis firing her single 4 inch gun and then by cruisers HMS Berwick, Bonaventure & Dunedin. Hipper hits Berwicks rear gun turret (killing 4 of the gun crew) and escapes into the mist undamaged, heading for Brest, France. Aircraft from British carriers HMS Argus & Furious search in vain for Hipper in the bad weather. Later in the day, 150 miles to the East, Hipper sinks unescorted British steamer Jumna with shellfire and 2 torpedoes. Admiral Wilhelm Meisel caps a bad day by steaming away, leaving 111 men to drown including 44 Indian lascar sailors returning home to Calcutta after surviving a previous sinking.
I agree, I really look forward to this feature everyday. It’s great! Merry Christmas!
the Hipper had persistent engine troubles throughout her service.
Thank you for your tireless imputs. I love them as does my family.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.
Again, thank you.
Oooops...My cat, Cody, just sent you his own message upon stepping on the keyboard.
He won’t tell me what it means, but I am sure it is something very loving since he is a loving cat.
Please add me to your list.
Thanks, and Merry Christmas!!!!
And a Merry Christmas to you too!
Thank God we are in America!
Yes, and I wouldn’t want to be in Russia next June, I just have a bad feeling about it.
British ace Douglas Bader receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross. Bader had two prosthetic legs. He would be shot down over France in 1941 and attempt escape from captivity several times.
We're down in the south end of the county, near the mighty Pajaro. I lived on the banks of the San Lorenzo for the storm of January 1982. The banks were submerged to within about 2 inches of our front door for that one. All our neighbors had the river indoors. I don't think this storm is going to approach that one. That was something like 17 inches in 24 hours.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Merry Christmas to you and Cody and all your family.
Isn't government and business monopolies a sign of fascism?I know of people forbidden to use the natural power of a stream flowing through their property because ALL hydropower generation was "lawfully" reserved to the utility companies.Face it ,everyone;the big corporations HATE freedom just as much as any other would -be dictator.
Good story on the slave reunion. Looks like the Germans are again trying to hold out an olive branch to the British.
You are a true treasure on FR........Merry Christmas to you and yours...and a heart felt thanks for these postings.
There was another story a few weeks or months ago concerning a utility customer that paid a judgment to a utility in cash. A reader thought it sounded like the customer was making a protest by complying in that way. It think that one was in Tennessee. Big Electricity apparantly had learned to throw its weight around by 1940.
Oh, I get plenty of rest. In fact, since I do the morning post before I have my coffee you could say I do it in my sleep. Just the same, thank you for your very kind words. What a nice Christmas present!
And thanks to all of you who stop by to read these old articles and share your own special knowledge about the lives and times they cover.
I hope you all had a blessed Christmas and I wish you all peace and prosperity in the coming year. Let's hope that 2011 will be less interesting than 1941.
Whosoever grasps the intimate meaning of the Christmas hymn and has tasted even one drop of the sweet nectar of the truth of love which it contains knows where, amidst the confused succession of events, sufferings and trials of these tempestuous days he may find a haven of safety, and he will refrain as much from undue optimism, which disregards reality, as from the still less apostolic tendency toward cowardly depressing pessimism.
FDR was big on “rural electrification” through projects such as the TVA. But as with every American big-government program, the special interests of private industry got theirs first. The power companies submitted to Federal and state regulation, including that of their rates, in exchange for “legal monopolies,” a fiction which endures to this day.
Of course, the rates are set by a government rate commission (in Indiana, it is the IURC; Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission). They are pretty much in bed with the utilities. On the other hand, if you want to oppose what they want to do, you have to go to the Citizens Action Coalition, which is pretty much an ACORN-type left-wing group beholden to the environmental whackos.