Skip to comments.FORTRESSES BAG 34 PLANES IN RAID AND FIGHT AT TRIPOLI; FOE DRIVEN BACK IN CAUCASUS (1/14/43)
Posted on 01/14/2013 4:30:57 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
John Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945
Roosevelt and Churchill Meet in Morroco
Thursday, January 14, 1943 www.onwar.com
Roosevelt and Churchill in conference [photo at link]
In Morocco... The Casablanca Conference. Churchill and Roosevelt, accompanied by their Chiefs of Staff, meet to discuss Allied strategy. Americans believe the British are not doing enough in the war in the Pacific while the British believe the Americans are lacking commitment to the agreed upon “Germany-first” strategy.
In North Africa... The personnel of the 21st Panzer Division are withdrawn from Rommel’s defensive line and sent to Gabes to re-equip. They are to be used to defend Tunisia from the western attack.
On the Eastern Front... In Stalingrad, Red Army forces capture Pitomnik airfield, which has been used by the Luftwaffe to supply the 6th Army. Soviet forces are advancing past the Chervlennaya and Rossoshka rivers. To the northwest, forces of the Soviet Voronezh Front continue to advance.
In the Solomon Islands... A small number of Japanese reinforcements land near Cape Esperance to prepare positions to cover the planned evacuation.
January 14th, 1943
UNITED KINGDOM: To counter a “serious increase” in U-boat operations, the RAF switches its bombing campaign from industrial targets to U-boat bases in France, attacking Cherbourg and Lorient.
BELGIUM: Eight USAAF Eighth Air Force Spitfire Mk Vs carry out three Rhubarbs (a small number of aircraft attacking ground targets usually in bad weather) and engage Fw 190s west of Ostend. They claim two Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed. (Jack McKillop)
FRANCE: During the night of 14/15 January, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 122 aircraft, 63 Halifaxes, 33 Wellingtons, 20 Stirlings and six Lancasters, in the first of eight area attacks on the French port of Lorient which is being used as a U-boat base; two Wellingtons are lost: 103 aircraft bomb the target with the loss of two aircraft.. This was No 6 (RCAF) Group’s first bombing operation, with nine Wellingtons and six Halifaxes being dispatched. One Wellington of No 426 Squadron, RCAF, is the group’s first loss; Pilot Officer (USAAF 2nd Lieutenant) George Milne and his crew, five Canadians and an Englishman, all died when their aircraft is lost in the sea. The Pathfinder marking of the target was accurate but later bombing by the Main Force was described as bwild.b In other missions, 41Bomber Command aircraft lay mines off Bay of Biscay ports: 13 lay mines in the Gironde River Estuary, seven off Lorient, six off Brest, four each off La Pallice and St. Nazaire, two off Bayonne and one off St. Jean de Luz. Thirteen other bombers drop leaflets over France. (Jack McKillop)
GERMANY: During the day, RAF Bomber Command sends six Halifaxes on a cloud-cover raid to Leer but only one aircraft bombs through a gap in the clouds. (Jack McKillop)
U-965 and U-966 are launched.
U-958 is commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: The Russians take Pitomnik airfield; the German forces at Stalingrad now have only one airfield, Gumrak, connecting them by air with German forces outside the Stalingrad pocket.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Italian submarine R.Smg. Narvalo is attacked by an RAF Beaufort Mk. I or II of No. 39 Squadron based at Shallufa, Egypt, and sunk by destroyers HMS Pakenham (G 06) and Hursley (L 84) southeast of Malta. The sub is returning to Italy from a supply mission to North Africa. Aboard are 11 British officer POWs; eight of them go down with the sub along with 28 Italian sailors. (Jack McKillop)
FRENCH MOROCCO: The Casablanca Conference Begins.
Casablanca: The two men meeting in the heavily-guarded compound at the Hotel Anfa, are known as Admiral Q and Mr. P. In fact, they are President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill; with their military advisers, they are planning the next moves against the Axis powers.
The original intention had been to hold a “Big Three” conference, but Stalin said that he could not leave the country; the fighting on the Stalingrad front, he said, demands “my constant presence near our troops”. Stalin rounded off his letter to Roosevelt with a reminder that the president and Mr. Churchill had promised to open a second front in Europe by spring 1943.
But the US and Britain are keen to exploit the imminent Allied victory in North Africa by striking across the Mediterranean, probably at Sicily although some favour Sardinia, and knocking Italy out of the war. The planned assault on north-west Europe will almost certainly be delayed as the combined chiefs of staff say that there are as yet too many logistical problems. Italy, however, could be tackled this year and, the British say, would divert German forces from Russia.
On the last day of the conference they express regret that Stalin is unable to attend. (Gene Hanson)
Casablanca: Two French generals, each claiming to speak for France, have finally met in a villa in a suburb of Casablanca where the Allied leaders are now meeting. Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Fighting (Free) French in London, agreed to talk to Henri Giraud, based in Algiers, only after intense pressure from Churchill.
De Gaulle loftily rejected an invitation from Roosevelt to come to Casablanca; he considered it an insult to be invited by an American to visit French Morocco. At length he gave way, but even then it was some hours before he agreed to meet Giraud, who was staying in the next villa. Churchill told him that if he persisted in his obduracy he could find himself abandoned by the British, upon whose goodwill he is entirely dependent.
De Gaulle, who has been the symbol of French resistance since the collapse of 1940, deeply mistrusts the conservative and anti-republican Giraud. For his part, Giraud, who escaped from a German prisoner-of-war camp last year, rejects de Gaulle claim to be the sole leader of the Fighting French and refuses to co-operate in joint military operations. After a two-hour meeting the two generals agreed on one point only: to keep in touch.
Franklin Roosevelt became the first president to travel on official business by airplane when he flew from Miami, Florida, to Casablanca. Crossing the Atlantic by air, Roosevelt flew in a Pan American Airways Boeing 314, msn 1992, registered NC18605 and named “Dixie Clipper.” The secret and circuitous journey began on 11 January, when the plane departed Miami, Florida with a “Mr. Jones” on the manifest. Roosevelt flew on the B 314 to Gambia where he boarded a USAAF C-54 Skymaster for the flight to French Morocco. The trip was repeated in reverse at the conclusion of the conference. (Jack McKillop)
LIBYA: XXX Corps, British Eighth Army, moves forward in preparation for an assault on the Buerat line and drive on Tripoli. (Jack McKillop)
RAF (B-24) Liberators, under the operational control of the USAAF Ninth Air Force’s IX Bomber Command, hit Tripoli, Tagiura and the supply dump at Misurata. (Jack McKillop)
NEW GUINEA: In Papua New Guinea, Major General George Vasey’s Australian 7th Division, launches an offensive to intercept the Japanese withdrawal from the trail junction. While the U.S. 163d Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Division, pushes south to block escape routes, the Australian 18th Brigade quickly clears Japanese remnants from the Junction and joins forces with the U.S. 163d Infantry Regiment on the Sanananda and Killerton trails. Final mop up is left to the Australian 2/7th Cavalry Regiment and 39th and 49th Battalions. The 2/6th Battalion, 17th Brigade, “Kanga Force” begins an air movement from Port Moresby to Wau. (Jack McKillop)
In Papua New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force A-20 Havocs strafe the Labu area and small boats in Sachsen Bay. B-25 Mitchells bomb the fuel dump and other supplies along the beach in the vicinity of Voco Point near Lae. In Northeast New Guinea, B-24 Liberators carry out single-plane attacks on Madang and Finschhafen. (Jack McKillop)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Fresh IJA troops land at Cape Esperance on Guadalcanal to act as a rearguard unit to cover the evacuation and prepare the evacuation beaches. These 750 soldiers are from replacement troops for the 230th Regiment and are designated the Yano Battalion. Another 100 soldiers accompany a mountain gun battery. This unit is commanded by Major Yano Keiji. Lt. Col. Imoto of the 8th Area Army bears the orders to the 17th Army for withdrawal from Guadalcanal.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb Gasmata on New Britain Island. (Jack McKillop)
PACIFIC OCEAN: Submarine U.S.S. Gudgeon (SS-211) lands men and equipment near Catmon Point, Negros, Philippines.
Submarine U.S.S. Pike (SS-173) is damaged by bombs and depth charges off Ichie Saki, Honshu. Pike returns to base.
Submarine U.S.S. Searaven (SS-196), on her sixth patrol moving through the waters around the Palaus, attacks a Japanese convoy between the Palaus and the Philippine island of Mindanao. Searaven fires a total of four torpedoes. All torpedoes hit targets. Two hit the sole escort, XSC Ganjitsu Maru #1(216T), and two strike A-AK Shiraha Maru (5682T) [some sources name the vessel Shirahane Maru (5693T)]. They sink in position 09°12’N, 130°38’E. (Chris Sauder)
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Norsyd laid down Quebec City, Province of Quebec.
Corvette HMCS Sackville arrived Liverpool, Nova Scotia for refit. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Destroyer escort USS Atherton laid down.
Aircraft carrier USS Independence commissioned.
Minesweeper USS Swallow commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded in combat and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress)
It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake.
The tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet the tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.
A number of aircrewmen died of farts. (ascending to 20,000 ft. in an unpressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%).
The Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in mid-air (they also sometimes cleared minefields by marching over them). "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army" - Joseph Stalin
When the US Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore was 3 complete Coca Cola bottling plants
Among the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.
Following a massive naval bombardment 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska. 21 troops were killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there had been Japanese on the island.
Most members of the Waffen SS were not German
During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong British officers objected to Canadian infantrymen taking up positions in the officer's mess. No enlisted men allowed you know
I happened to find these at the end of a little pdf file I downloaded-not sure how true they are but they are interesting.
Including former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, notoriously.
“A number of aircrewmen died of farts. (ascending to 20,000 ft. in and unpressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%).”
Some reader commentary from Snopes:
“There might be a grain of truth in there, but there is a lot of technical inaccuracy.
To start with, the atmospheric pressure at 20,000 feet is only a little less than half of the pressure at sea level. When you go that high, it doesn’t make the pressure of the gasses in your guts increase, it just reduces the counterpressure applied by the atmosphere on the outside of your body. A lot of the containment pressure of the intestinal gasses is applied by the mechanical restraint of the gastro-intestinal tissues and musculature, not by the atmosphere. So, yes, the pressure of the gasses in there does cause your guts to rumble a bit as the counterpressure is reduced. But, no, they are not expanding by any 300%.
But I can say from firsthand experience that farting is an important thing for high-altitude flight. When I took the Beale AFB altitude chamber ride to 25,000 feet, it felt like there was a gale in my pants. The instructors are careful to warn you to eat carefully before the ride, and also to instruct new students in the slouching posture that allows for unimpeded fartage.
In AFUspeak, I’d label this one Fb - probably nobody died of farting, but maybe one or two died of _not_ farting. And they probably had the really greasy stuff for breakfast.”
According to Wikipedia.com, Waldheim was drafted into the Wehrmacht (Army) early in 1941. There is no mention of membership in the SS, Waffen or otherwise.
"Scheduled to leave Luków, Poland, at 10:44 a.m. on August 28, Fahrplananordnung 586's "Resettlement Special Train" pulled 25 freight cars.
Its scheduled arrival time at the Treblinka death camp was 2:52 p.m.
The empty train left Treblinka at 5:22 p.m.
By then, 2,500 Jews--the train's cargo--had been gassed.
This transport was not the largest to reach Treblinka.
"The Reichsbahn, the German railroad network, played an essential part in the 'Final Solution.'
Working with Adolf Eichmann and the SS, Reichsbahn officials organized the Sonderzüge (special trains) that sent Jews from all over Europe to their deaths at Belzec, Chelmno, Sobibór, Majdanek, Treblinka, and Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Even amid the war's demands and shortages, these trains had high priority.
They usually reached their destinations as scheduled.
"Herded like cattle into freight cars--with 80 to 100 or more persons packed into a single wagon--the Jews were still ticketed as passengers on miserable journeys that could last for days.
The SS used money and property seized from Jews to pay for fares--one-way."
"Millions of Jews were deported to their deaths in cattle cars such as this.
Up to 100 human beings were crammed into spaces that measured 31'6" x 14' x 13'2".
The journey to a concentration camp was an unimaginably terrifying experience.
Once the doors were sealed, the occupants were deprived of water and proper sanitation facilities.
Thousands of people died en route and others went insane.
On more than one occasion, parents and children engaged in lethal struggles for a crust of bread or a drink of water.
The terror and disorientation were heightened by the fact that the Jews had no notion of where they were going."
From what I have been able to find, Waldheim was lieutenant and a staff officer in the Wehrmacht. I do not think he had much power or authority nor could be classified as a major criminal.