Skip to comments.GERMANS WREST TWO STREETS FROM STALINGRADíS ARMIES; JAPANESE CRUISER IS BLASTED (9/23/42)
Posted on 09/23/2012 5:55:48 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Australians attacking in New Guinea
Wednesday, September 23, 1942 www.onwar.com
Australian Stuart tanks in New Guinea [photo at link]
In New Guinea... The Australians go on the offensive as more American reinforcements arrive at Port Moresby. The Australian Commander in Chief, General Blamey, takes personal charge. His orders from General Douglas MacArthur are to intensify and invigorate the campaign.
On Madagascar... The British advance and capture the capital city, Tamatave.
In North Africa... German General Rommel flies home to Germany for medical treatment. In his absence, General Stumme takes command, with General Von Thoma leading the armor. As a result of the deaths of many officers in the recent months of fighting, replacement officers, some from the Eastern Front have been brought in. The new officers do not fit in well with the established camaraderie in the Afrika Korps.
On the Eastern Front... In Stalingrad, the besieged Soviets, under General Chuikov mount a minor offensive campaign near Orlovka. The attack makes some progress with very heavy fighting.
September 23rd, 1942
Madagascar: Tananarive, the capitol, is declared an open city and falls to the British troops of the East African 22d Brigade.
LIBYA: A He-111 leaves North Africa for Germany, with Field Marshal Rommel. He is going home for medical treatment. General Stumme takes command in Africa. General von Thoma is in command of the Armor. The newer high ranking brass brought in as replacements for casualities of the Afrika Korps do not fit in very well with the older hands. Rommel’s own choice of Heinze Guderian is ignored.
NEW GUINEA: Australian General Thomas Blamey arrives in Port Moresby to take direct command of the New Guinea forces. Australian Lieutenant General Edmund F. Herring becomes commander, Advance New Guinea Force, succeeding Australian Major General Sidney F Rowell. Despite his position Blamey came into conflict with his commander, General Douglas MacArthur, who has become Australian Prime Minister Curtin’s principle military advisor. United States forces were kept out of the Australian land commanders hands throughout the war in the Pacific but one historian wrote that Blamey’s career was marked by year upon year of wise decisions, stubborn determination to further the interests of Australia, and a deep concern for the well-being of his soldiers.” (Jack McKillop)
On the Kokoda Track, the Australian 14th Field Regiment continues bombarding the enemy. Intelligence estimates that there are 600 Japanese west of Ioribaiwa. (Jack McKillop)
The 128th Infantry of the U.S. 32d Infantry Division reaches Port Moresby by air and is assigned to garrison force under operational control of Australian 6th Infantry Division. (Jack McKillop)
In the air, USAAF Fifth Air Force P-40s, P-39s, P-400s, and B-17s hit tanks, buildings, and airfield at Buna, Wairopi bridge and targets of opportunity on the Buna-Kokoda trail, and Tau-Pota Mission near Goodenough Bay. (Jack McKillop)
Portugese Timor: The reinforcements for Sparrow Force arrive at Betano Bay at 17.45 hrs. Captain Robinson orders Voyager to within 500 yards of the beach, and after anchoring orders the eight army barges hoisted away. The whaler is also lowered and soundings taken around the ship as no chart exists for these waters. Voyager was soon in trouble and at risk of going aground, the captain knew of this possibility and had planned for it but he had to go astern on the port engine and there were at that moment two army barges directly over that propeller, the ship soon went aground aft. (William L. Howard)(188, 189, 190, 191)
BRITISH SOLOMON ISLANDS: On Guadalcanal, the 1st Marine Division begins a limited operation to the west of the Lunga perimeter to eliminate the enemy within striking distance of Henderson Field: the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, is directed to advance along the northern slopes of Mt Austen, cross the Matamkau River, and push west to Kokumbona; the 1st Raider Battalion is to establish a patrol base at Kokumbona at a point where the inland trails intersect the coastal road. (Jack McKillop)
Five SBD Dauntlesses of Marine Scout Bombing Squadron One Hundred Forty One (VMSB-141) arrives at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. These are the first aircraft from Marine Air Group Fourteen (MAG-14) to serve on the island; reinforcements will arrive in small increments until the entire squadron arrives on 6 October. (Jack McKillop)
UNITED KINGDOM: Major General James Harold Doolittle assumes command of the US Twelfth Air Force.
USAAF 336th Fighter Squadron transferred to a satellite base, Great Sampford, Essex. (Jack McKillop)
RAF No. 85 Squadron gives up its Douglas Havoc I night fighters. (22)
Destroyer HMS Wrangler laid down.
Submarine HMS Tudor launched.
Corvettes HMCS Louisburg and Woodstock arrived Humber from Convoy HX-207 for refit and fitting with extra AA armament. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: Thousands of German parents are today marking an unhappy anniversary in the lives of their children: two years ago today a decree by Adolf Hitler increased the power of the authorities to order the evacuation of city children to youth camps in the countryside. Paramilitary exercises form part of the daily routine in the camps, which are run by the Hitler Youth organization to indoctrinate young children in the ways of National Socialism. Thousands of young people are now spending several weeks a year away from home - and from their parents’ influence - on “holidays” of this kind in school camps or youth hostels.
At 0605hrs a man was lost overboard from U-177. [Bootsmannmaat Erwin Henning]
U-271 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-255 was attacked by Catalina U from 210 RAF Squadron in AE 25. She was so heavily damaged by two depth charges that she had to return to base.
U-505 was attacked by the freighter Antonius with gunfire. The boat crash dived.
U-125 sank SS Bruyère.
U-211 sank SS Esso Williamsburg.
U-515 sank SS Henke Lindvangen and damaged SS Henke Antinous.
U-582 sank SS Vibran in Convoy ON-131.
U-617 sank SS Athelsultan and SS Tennessee in Convoy SC-100. (Dave Shirlaw)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA:U-561 was forced to return to her base in the Mediterranean due to technical problems . (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: German Army Group B continues to make slow progress in Stalingrad against bitter opposition. Army Group A assembles an assault force for a drive on the Black Sea port of Tuapse. The Soviets begin a counterattack in the Orlovka district of northwestern Stalingrad. Stiff resistance by the Germans allows this 3 day attack to make slight gains. (John Nicholas and Jack McKillop)
Wendell Willkie, 1940 U.S. Republican presidential candidate, confers with Stalin and calls for a second front at the earliest possible moment.
Wendell Wilkie left from Mitchell Field, Hempstead, Long Island, New York, on 26 August 1942 on a 50-day trip around the world to more than a dozen countries. This trip included stops at battle zones in Africa, the Soviet Union and China, which he reported on in a radio speech to the nation soon after he returned and in a best-selling book, “One World”, published in 1943. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.A.: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Weather causes a US Eleventh Air Force mission abort to Kiska Island; photo reconnaissance over Attu Island confirms it’s abandonment by the enemy; aUSNPBY Catalina escorted by 2 P-38 Lightnings lands off Amchitka Island with a scouting party which determines that the island is unsuited as an airfield; the P-38s also bomb a radio shack and sink a submarine at Amchitka Island. (Jack McKillop)
TERRITORY OF HAWAII:The movement of the 72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) to the South Pacific Area on 18 September, plus subsequent movement of other squadrons of the 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy) to the SOPAC, makes it difficult for the US Seventh Air Force to maintain the minimum force of 35 heavy bombers considered necessary for the defence of the Hawaiian Islands; this situation is relieved by 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy), which stops in Hawaii while en route to the Southwest Pacific, and by the 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy), which is assigned to the Seventh Air Force for a time.
Washington: At a meeting in the office of Henry Stimson, the secretary of war, today it was decided to put the armed forces in charge of plans for a new secret weapon - the “atomic bomb.
The essence of the decision was that the scientists, who were led by Dr. Vannevar Bush, a former vice-president of Massuchusetts Institute of Technology, dropped their objections to work on the atomic bomb being carried out by the military. In return, the military agreed to give the bomb top priority.
Colonel Leslie Groves, promoted to brigadier-general today, has been made “managing director” of the project, and left the meeting to go to Tennessee to inspect a site for a gigantic secret atomic “factory”.
President Roosevelt was warned in October 1939 by emigre European scientists, led by Albert Einstein, that if the USA did not build an atomic bomb the Nazis might do so first. Earlier this month an American army officer quietly arranged to secure for the US the entire output of the Shinkolobwe mine in the Belgian Congo, the world’s biggest source of the metal uranium, needed to make the atomic bomb.
Told of his assignment, Colonel Groves said that he would rather go overseas. “If you do the job right,” he was told by his superior, “it will win the war.”
Baseball, Larry French of the Brooklyn Dodgers pitches a brilliant one-hitter, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0 for his 197th career win. After a brief relief stint on 26 September, he joins the U.S. Navy, and rises through the ranks retiring as a captain in 1969.
Larry MacPhail, the 52-year-old Brooklyn Dodger president, also announces today that he is quitting at the end of the season to reenter the army. (Jack McKillop)
Destroyer USS Troubridge launched.
Aircraft carrier USS Lexington launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
Reply #3 notes that PT boats will soon be arriving in the Solomons. JFK?
Thanks for the continued posts of your dad’s letters. I enjoy them a lot.
In the coming months and years he may reconsider his assertion that 7 day a week [stateside] guard duty is about as tough a job as you can find. He may even long for the good old days in the MP unit in Oakland.
"This badge of a Jewish policeman in the Czestochowa (Poland) Ghetto was issued by the local Jewish Council.
When the ghetto was liquidated in September 1942, nearly 40,000 Jews were deported to the Treblinka death camp.
This massive operation spawned a resistance movement that engaged in successful operations against the German Army."
"The liquidation of the Czestochowa (Poland) Ghetto in September 1942 prompted the officials of the Generalgouvernement to issue a decree about harboring Jewish escapees.
Jews who left the Jewish Quarter without permission were subject to the death penalty.
In addition, persons who offered escaping Jews shelter, funds, or food were also subject to death.
Given, however, that the Jewish population was already targeted for extermination, the stern warning was directed primarily at the gentile population."
It’s very interesting to see that the rookie-veteran dynamic existed even between units that hadn’t seen any combat yet.
I just finished scanning thru my Dad’s old letters he had written to my yet-to-be Mom.
He wrote her religiously & almost daily once he joined the Coast Guard on April 7, 1942. In his letter he wrote on Sept 7, 1942 he stated he was “about to spend his first night aboard his ship” — (USS Arthur Middleton).
After that letter there is a large time gap - the next letter I can locate is dated Feb 12,1943.
I can only presume during that gap his ship & crew went thru some serious sea drills before his ship & others headed for the Aleutian campaign in early January 1943.
I know he & his crew went thru a terrible ordeal between those dates, but he doesnt write of them - maybe due to censors? His ship hit rocks off of Amchitka & got a hole knocked in it. The captain of the ship ordered everyone to abandon ship.
I asked my Dad about that event and he told me he, “doesnt remember anything.” I’m sure it was more than a traumatic experience for a country boy who never learned to swim to have to jump into the icy waters of the north Pacific. The next thing he remembers is being at Dutch Harbor with most of his crew.
I know the Middleton was eventually patched up and towed back to Washington state before my Dad eventually rejoined her & his crew and a new captain....
My Dad’s letters to my Mom didnt speak much in detail about the war experiences. I’m thinking he didnt want to get her too worried...i dunno.
Description of the Battle of Midway:
Glenn Miller joins the Army:
Glenn Miller mentioned his band’s new movie, “Orchestra Wives,” in the broadcast. It opens today in New York’s Roxy theater. Crowther will check in tomorrow with a review. I won’t give it all away, but I don’t think the Academy will be giving a lot of consideration to “Orchestra Wives” for Best Picture of 1942.
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