Skip to comments.CHINESE RETAKE TOUNGOO AIRDROME; REINFORCED, BUT FACE RISING PRESSURE (3/28/42)
Posted on 03/28/2012 4:37:35 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
* GSD/Doberman/Afghan ping. (Afghan?)
Commandos raid French port facilities
Saturday, March 28, 1942 www.onwar.com
Damage from the raid at St NazaireIn Occupied France... British commandos stage a raid at St. Nazaire. The dock gates of the port are damaged, however the raid suffers great losses. The damage done however, will prevent German battleship Tirpitz from docking in western France.
March 28th, 1942
AUSTRALIA: P-40 pilots of the USAAF 9th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) based at Darwin, Northern Territory, shoot down three Japanese twin-engine bombers over Darwin at 1310 hours. (Jack McKillop)
The air echelon of the USAAF 28th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) transfers from Melbourne, Victoria, to Cloncurry, Queensland, with B-17 Flying Fortresses; a detachment begins operating from Perth, Western Australia; the ground echelon is in the Philippine Islands. (Jack McKillop)
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS: The Japanese, moving into position for all-out offensive against Bataan, feint against I Corps and push in the outpost line of Sector D on the II Corps front. Increasingly heavy air and arty bombardment of Bataan is lowering efficiency of defence force as well as destroying badly needed materiel. Efforts to run the blockade and supply the garrison with necessary items have virtually failed, and supply situation is growing steadily worse. (Jack McKillop)
BURMA: General Harold Alexander, General Officer Commanding Burma Army, at the request of Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell, Commanding General American Army Forces, China, Burma and India and Chief of Staff of the Chinese Army, agrees to attack on the Irrawaddy River front. Reconnaissance elements of the Burma I Corps clash with the Japanese at Paungde, southeast of Prome. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.A.: Elements of the USAAF’s I Bomber Command that are engaged in antisubmarine operations are placed under operational control of the U.S. Navy’s Eastern Sea Frontier. (Jack McKillop)
Frank Sinatra’s record of “Night And Day” makes it to the Billboard Pop Singles chart. The song is from the motion picture “The Gay Divorcee” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. This is his first single to make the charts and it stays there for 3 weeks and rises to Number 17. (Jack McKillop)
Units of the USAAF I Bomber Command engaged in antisubmarine warfare patrols off the East Coast are placed under operational control of Commander, Eastern Sea Frontier, USN. (Jack McKillop)
TERRITORY OF HAWAII: U. S. Navy codebreakers at Pearl Harbor decipher a message that reveals the Japanese plan a major offensive north of Australia in early May. (Jack McKillop)
FRANCE: The Resistance unit Francs-tireurs et partisans is created.
St. Nazaire: OPERATION CHARIOT: The “Normandie” dry-dock, the biggest in occupied Europe, vital to enemy warships such as the TIRPITZ, is a flooded ruin after an extraordinary night in which the destroyer HMS CAMPBELTOWN (ex USS Buchanan DD-191) was converted into a delayed action bomb and rammed onto the dock gates at 20 knots.
Commandos then swarmed on shore to sabotage other key parts of the dock. One demolition party had just 90 seconds’ start on its own charges, placed 40 feet below ground. At 11.30 this morning, about 12 hours after the start of the operation, when over half of the Combined Operations raiders were dead or captive, the destroyer blew up, killing more than 380 Germans exploring the ship. The base is now only usable by submarines, whose facilities remain untouched.
The operation was precisely planned and well-executed. But its success was due in a large part to the heroism of the men involved. Some 611 men went into action (345 Royal Navy; 257 Commando; four doctors; three liaison officers and two journalists) of whom 169 were killed - 104 from the navy and 200 captured.
The naval forces were commanded by Cdr. Robert Edward Dudley “RED” Ryder, RN, while the Army commandoes were led by Lt-Col. Augustus Charles Newman, the Officer Commanding Number 2 Commando, both on board MGB-314.
The plan called the RN force to boldly sail up the Loire estuary at night and penetrate into St. Nazaire harbour, at which point HMS Campbeltown, modified to carry 9,600 pounds of delayed action high explosives (24 x 400 pound depth charges encased in concrete), and under command of Lt.Cdr. Stephen Halden Sam Beattie, RN, would ram the forward caisson of the Normandie dock at high-speed, and scuttle herself. Immediately thereafter the commandos carried on board Campbeltown, the MGB, and 12 of the the motor launches, would land at three separate locations, push ashore, and destroy the various harbour installations used in operating the dock. After this was accomplished, the commandoes would re-embark on the small craft and run for home.
A flotilla of 17 motor launches and two other small craft joined the trip up the Loire estuary. Only four would return. Surprise was lost and only one launch would put its men ashore. Some local residents thinking it was a full-scale invasion, joined in the fighting against the Germans.
In the event, the wooden hulled, petrol engined motor launches proved to be too entirely too vulnerable to German defensive fire - ten being sunk. Of the 12 troop carrying MLs, only three were able to land their commandoes - of the remainder, four were sunk and the other five forced to retire with their commandoes still aboard. Regardless, not of the craft that remained were able to remain in the harbour long enough to embark the commandoes that did get ashore. Amazingly, however, the commando parties that did get ashore managed to destroy all of the key objectives, the Normandie pump house, and both caisson winding houses. Realizing that there was to be no return to the UK, the commandoes then attempted, in large, unsuccessfully, to fight their way inland and escape into the French countryside. However, it was not until next morning when the delayed action charges on HMS Campbeltown belatedly exploded, totally destroying seaward facing caisson and opening the dock to the sea that the raid could be judged a resounding success.
Admiral Mountbatten, commanding Combined Operations, sought a second destroyer to retrieve the raiders but was overruled.
The force was one destroyer [HMS Campbeltown, ex. USS Buchanan (DD-191)] , one Fairmile “C” motor gun boat [MGB-314], one motor torpedo boat [MTB-74], five torpedo equipped and eleven non-torpedo equipped Fairmile “B” motor launches [MLs 156, 160, 177, 192, 262, 267, 268, 270, 298, 306, 307, 341 (aborted), 443, 446, 447, 457] carrying 624 personnel (356 RN, 263 Army, 3 foreign, and 2 civilian). This was supported by one submarine beacon ship [HMS Sturgeon], and a support force of two Hunt class destroyers [HMS Atherstone and HMS Tynedale].
Besides the ten MLs and MTB lost in the harbour during the attack, on the return voyage one further ML was, after an epic but one-sided fight, sunk in action with the German torpedo boat Jaguar, and subsequently three more, as well as the MGB, were scuttled after having their crews removed to the British covering force destroyers. Casualties included 169 killed (103 RN, 66 Army and 212 prisoners of war (79 RN, 133 Army). Five of the Army commandoes did manage to evade German forces and eventually returned to the UK via Spain. The epic nature of the raid can be easily seen in the awards granted to the participants, which totalled:
5 Victoria Crosses: Ryder; Beattie; AB William Alfred Savage, RN (MGB-314); Newman; Sgt. Thomas Frank Durrant, RE (1 Commando) [fight with Jaguar]
4 Distinguished Service Orders
17 Distinguished Service Crosses
11 Military Crosses
4 Conspicuous Gallantry Medals
5 Distinguished Conduct Medals [DCM viz DSM above]
24 Distinguished Service Medals [DSM correct above]
15 Military Medals
51 Mentioned in Dispatches
The French also awarded 6 Croix de Guerre’s (CdeG) and 2 Chevaliers of the Legion d’ Honour.
(Mark E. Horan)
St. Nazaire: Lt-Cdr Stephen Halden Beattie (1908-75) steamed HMS CAMPBELTOWN into the port gates under withering close-range fire and scuttled her as planned; many crew died. (Victoria Cross)
St. Nazaire: Cdr. Robert Edward Dudley Ryder (1908-86), commanding the naval force, led HMS CAMPBELTOWN in, and helped to take off her crew before escaping under an intense German barrage. (Victoria Cross)
St. Nazaire: AB William Alfred Savage (b.1912) fired his unshielded pom-pom gun aboard Cdr Ryder’s motor gun boat with great coolness until he was killed. (Victoria Cross)
St. Nazaire: Sgt. Thomas Frank Durrant (b.1918),Royal Engineers, fired his Lewis gun aboard a launch in spite of wounds from which, in captivity, he died. (Victoria Cross)
St. Nazaire: Lt-Col. Augustus Charles Newman (1904-72), Essex Regt, led the troops on the raid. Ignoring his own safety, he inspired his men until they were surrounded and captured. (Victoria Cross)
During the night of the 28th/29th, 14 RAF Bomber Command aircraft fly leaflet missions, nine over Paris and five over Lens. (Jack McKillop)
NETHERLANDS: During the night of the 28th/29th, individual RAF Bomber Command Blenheims bomb Schipol and Soesterburg Airfields. (Jack McKillop)
GERMANY: Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop asks Japanese Ambassador to Germany Count Oshima to secure a Japanese attack on Russia simultaneously with Germany’s “crushing blow.” The Japanese would attack at Vladivostok and Lake Baikal but the Japanese take no action. (Jack McKillop)
During the night of the 28th/29th, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 234 aircraft,
146 Wellingtons, 41 Hampdens, 26 Stirlings and 21 Manchesters to attack Lübeck; 204 attack the city. This raid was the first major success for Bomber Command against a German target. The attack was carried out in good visibility, with the help of an almost full moon and, because of the light defenses of this target, from a low level, many crews coming down to 2,000 feet (610 meters). The force is split into three waves, the leading one being composed of experienced crews with Gee-fitted aircraft; although Lübeck was beyond the range of Gee, the device helped with preliminary navigation. More than 400 tons (363 metric tonnes) of bombs are dropped; two thirds of this tonnage was incendiary; 191 crews claimed successful attacks. German sources show that 1,425 buildings in Lübeck are destroyed, 1,976 are seriously damaged and 8,411 are lightly damaged; these represented 62 per cent of all buildings in Lübeck. The casualties in Lübeck were 312 or 320 people killed (accounts conflict), 136 seriously and 648 slightly injured. The attacking force loses 12 aircraft, seven Wellingtons, three Stirlings, a Hampden and a Manchester. Other targets hit during the night include individual attacks on Emden, Heligoland, Husum and Sylt and two aircraft bomb Kiel. (Jack McKillop)
INDIA: New Delhi: India is to be the first non-white country in the British Empire to have Dominion status - after the war. The announcement was made by Sir Stafford Cripps, the lord privy seal, who is visiting India. he warned that the offer is conditional on “wide acceptance”, and, by implication, on support for the war.
Yesterday Cripps spent over two hours with the Congress leader, Mahatma Gandhi, an uncompromising pacifist. The meeting was hardly the dialogue that Cripps expected. The exasperating Gandhi has taken a vow of silence and spoke not a word.
Tomorrow Cripps will talk to Mohammed Jinnah, the pro-Allied leader of the Moslem League. No-one wants Cripps to fail more than Winston Churchill, who only sanctioned Cripps’ offer under pressure from the US and often states that he is not fighting the war to preside over the dismemberment of the British Empire.
I like the moslem mendicant tokyo spy ring story.
I like the moslem mendicant tokyo spy ring story.
"The first deportations of Jews from France to Auschwitz begin."
"Fritz Sauckel is named chief of manpower to expedite recruitment of slave labor."
"Ustasa soldiers pose with the severed head of one of their victims.
The Ustasa (Insurgents) was a Fascist movement centered in Croatia.
Relatively few in number before the war, the Ustasa members came to dominate Croatia after the Nazi conquest of Yugoslavia.
Infamous for their cruelty, they murdered not only Jews but also Serbs, Gypsies, and their political opponents."
Does anyone know when the first NY Times story about Japanese from the West Coast being sent to camps appear?
A quick search of my index yielded, “Inland California May Get Aliens,” by Lawrence E. Davies on February 4. Davies is the Times’ San Francisco correspondent. On March 25 he even had an article datelined Manzanar, Calif.
Ustasha: Written up at least twice for cruelty to prisoners. By the SS.
I just read the captions on the photos on pgs 10 & 11 for the first time. I see that the primary weapon is the same in both - a 75mm gun. And you could say it is a mobile artillery piece in both cases. The main difference is the source of mobility. One is a major polluter while the other has just a small carbon footprint. My guess is that after they submitted a Enviromental Impact Report on the M-1 they were forced by the EPA to scale back. The result of the redesign is what we see on page 11.
Good point. Though one is a howitzer and the other is a cannon, they are pretty much the same weapon. It looks like the howitzer is definitely more environmentally friendly. I would worry though that PETA might get wind of how we are overworking those poor horse by making them tow that heavy weaponry.
I tried a search to learn the difference but got conflicting results. Are you referring to barrel length and/or angle? I always thought howitzer a strange word but never looked into its origin.
Per page 8 on Homer's Oct 31, 1941 thread, plans were well underway prior to the commencement of hostilities
The rubber tires and lack of apron point to an M8 variant designed for air drop and mechanized transport. http://www.ww2airborne.net/463pfa/index.html?http://www.ww2airborne.net/463pfa/packhowitzer75mm.html
That a pack animal has it under tow does point to an environmentally conscious commander.
I would worry though that PETA might get wind of how we are overworking those poor horse by making them tow that heavy weaponry.
Yes. The commander's explanation that he ordered his men to use horses and mules would not work with PETA. PETA would demand that his men dismount and pull the gun themselves.
It's all about the angles. It's a little something I picked up when I was reading about Germany's weapon development prior to World War I. A cannon is a direct fire weapon. It is designed to have a very low angle of trajectory to deliver a high velocity round onto the target. Not very effective for entrenchments. The howitzer on the other hand is better suited for indirect fire and with its steeper angle of trajectory can drop rounds into an entrenched position better than a cannon can. Then for the next step in the process we have the mortar which basically is a shorter range weapon that can drop munitions almost straight down on someone's head.
Here’s the latest on the fed’s latest project..
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