Skip to comments.NAZI RAID KILLS 34 LONDON PUPILS; DRIVE FOR TRIPOLI NEARS CLIMAX (1/21/43)
Posted on 01/21/2013 5:17:24 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
6. We propose to draw up a statement of the work of the conference for communication to the Press at the proper time. I should be glad to know what the War Cabinet would think of our including in this statement a declaration of the firm intention of the United States and the British Empire to continue the war relentlessly until we have brought about the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan. The omission of Italy would be to encourage a break-up there. The President liked this idea, and it would stimulate our friends in very country.
Winston S. Churchill, The Hinge of Fate
Germans Lose Last Stalingrad Airport
Thursday, January 21, 1943 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces at Stalingrad capture Gumrak Airport. The German 6th Army, in Stalingrad, is now completely isolated. Meanwhile, the Red Army takes Voroshilovsk between Stavropol and Armavir.
From Morocco... The Casablanca Conference: the Anglo-American strategy discussions continue. . A joint Anglo-American statement on strategic bombing is issued to British and US bomber forces in Europe (the Casablanca Directive). The priorities reflect US thinking about precision bombing. The RAF Bomber Command will continue its policy of area bombing.
In New Guinea... Japanese resistance at Sanananda and Giruwa wanes. There are only isolated pockets of Japanese remaining.
Someday when I have about a million years, I’d like to read all this stuff. I didn’t see any mention of Patton. Was this before he took over the American forces in north Africa?
January 21st, 1943
UNITED KINGDOM: London: The first daylight raid on the British capital for six months killed 38 children and six teachers at a girls’ junior school at Catford, in south-east London, yesterday. The school was demolished by a bomb from a German raider that dived out of low cloud before a warning had sounded. Most of the children were aged between five and seven.
Rescue work went on all night under flares. Teachers, soldiers and city workers helped to dig for survivors. “The building just fell to pieces,” said an eye-witness. “After that it was a pitiful sight, passing the dead and injured children.” A Royal Artillery gunner dug with bare hands for his two daughters.
Light cruiser HMS Newfoundland commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U-321 laid down.
U-959 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: The Russians complete the isolation of the German 6th Army with the capture of Gumrak airfield. Hitler cables Paulus: “Surrender is out of the question.”
Voroshilovsk, in the Caucasus, falls to the Red Army.
POLAND: Warsaw: In an astonishing turn of events, Jews here have staged an armed revolt against their captors. A column of deportees heading down Nicka Street to the railway station, and the train to Treblinka, suddenly turned on its Nazi escorts with handguns and grenades.
The Jewish freedom fighters, led by Mordechai Anielewicz, then barricaded themselves into a nearby house, snipers keeping German reinforcements at bay. Eventually the Nazis set the house on fire; the resisters continued shooting to the last bullet. Only one survived the blaze; 12 Germans had been killed.
SS General Jurgen Stroop, ordered by Himmler to liquidate the ghetto by 13 February, is surprised by the strength of Jewish resistance.
He underestimated the bitterness that has been fermenting for the last three years, expressed in the chant: “Jews will live to settle scores, Jews have lived and will endure” and popular songs with lyrics like:
When we had nothing to eat
They gave us a turnip, or a beet
Here, take food, take fleas
Have some typhus, die of disease
Starvation has killed the weakest, and deportations have sent all the older people and most of the children to their deaths, mostly at Treblinka. Those still left behind are mainly stronger, young single men and women who realize that “resettlement” means death. For months the Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa [Jewish Fighting Organisation] has been smuggling arms into the ghetto; now, the moment for using them has come. As well as fighting the Germans, the Jews are also doing battle with the hated force of Nazi-controlled Jewish police, made up of their own people, who have committed atrocities in exchange for meagre privilages.
Today, German grenades hurled through windows were answered by a hail of bullets from every rooftop; the Germans have withdrawn. With their limited resources, it would be unrealistic to expect the Jews to do more than delay their seemingly inevitable fate.
But pride and hope have returned to the downtrodden, persecuted people of the ghetto. As Tuvia Boryskowski says: “The battle on Niska Street encouraged us. For the first time since the occupation we saw Germans clinging to walls, crawling on the ground, running for cover, hesitating before making a step in the fear of being hit by a Jewish bullet. The cries of the wounded caused us joy, and increased our thirst for battle.”
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: U-301 sunk in the Mediterranean west of Bonifacio, in position 41.27N, 07.04E by torpedoes from submarine HMS Sahib. 45 dead and one survivor. (Dave Shirlaw)
FRENCH MOROCCO: The Casablanca Directive concerning the strategic bombing of Europe is issued. This directive directs the US 8th Airforce to continue daylight bombing. The British came to Casablanca determined to push the Americans into joining their night bombing campaign. General Eaker presented two papers for Churchill’s consideration. The item that might have caught his attention: “8. American could ignite obscure targets by day, which the RAF could fight at night by the light of the fires.” (with Jack McKillop)
NEW GUINEA: US and Australian troops join up at Sanananda.
U.S.A.: New York: Jewish leaders have received a plea from the Warsaw Ghetto-dwellers, who say that they are “poised at the brink of annihilation”. It says:
“We notify you of the greatest crime of all times, about the murder of millions of Jews in Poland ...”
“Brothers - the remaining Jews in Poland live with the awareness that in the most terrible days of our history you did not come to our aid. Respond, at least, in the last days of our life.”
WAVES arrive at Seattle NAS (Naval Air Station) Sand Point. (Dave Shirlaw)
Destroyer escort USS Sloat launched.
Aircraft carrier USS Yorktown launched.
Destroyer USS Eggesford commissioned.
Patton is not in Tunisia at this point. Eisenhower will bring him to the party in late February, putting him in command of II Corps.
Anyway to ping me when you get to those news articles?
Great as always, Homer.
I find it fun today that perhaps the most interesting piece of reading is at the end — the review of the classic “Guadalcanal Diary”, which is required reading for any serious student of the era.
I’m getting a lot of mileage out of “Guadalcanal Diary.” First I excerpted the entire book beginning July of last year. Then in December there was an item about its upcoming publication. Today we have this mini-review, with the official New York Times Book Review-review this coming Sunday (or Thursday, if you insist on using 2013 time.) In October look for the review of the film version.
Having read it, I just marvel at the dedication you’ve shown to this process. Thanks for it.
Also curious to see how the ‘official’ review reads later this week.
I did not know the Germans were still carrying out daylight raids on London. They must have been costly and not very effective by this time. Not to mention a waste of resources needed elsewhere.
Interesting contrast with the article on burying the German aircrew with full honors, including swasitka flags, right next to the article on the damage they wrought. I dont think the Gemans will be burying allied aircrews the same way in the near future. Its all part of the brutal journey from light to heavy duty in the war. And where did the Brits get those swastika flags?
I see that in the assaults in the Leningrad corridor, the Soviets are using special formations of Storm Troops. I doubt the men of those special formations, more likely known as Penal Battalions, consider themselves elite units. They are expected to atone for their crimes with their blood.
I see that the alleged sinking of the Haruna on Dec 11, 1941 is still being claimed...
"Hans Nelson and Hildegard Neumann were among the Nazis stationed at the Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, camp/ghetto located just outside of Prague.
Their wholesome, clean-cut appearances belie the nature of their work.
As ghetto superintendents, the two contributed to the deaths of thousands of Jews imprisoned at Theresienstadt."
"Throughout the first half of 1943, Theresienstadt guards Nelson and Neumann functioned as parts of an elaborate system that deported Jews from Germany, Austria, and the Protectorate to the camp/ghetto."
The Haruna was sunk many times, according to various Allied claims. And in reality, she was never “sunk.” She took a prolonged pummeling in many naval-air actions, and her wreck was finally abandoned in shallow water in the Etajima Bight roadstead.
But on today’s date, 70 years ago, Haruna is swinging at anchor in Truk Lagoon with her longtime running mate in BatDiv 3, IJN Kongo. Both will sortie soon with flattops Junyo, Zuikaku and Zuiho, and several cruisers and destroyers, in Operation KE. It’s the cover operation for the evacuation of Guadalcanal.
I note in the article Anthony Eden hinting that the Allies might bomb Rome to retaliate for Axis bombing. Then again, they might not. I bet that is laying the groundwork for the announcement to follow the Casablanca conference regarding the "unconditional surrender" of Germany and Japan, but omitting Italy. We've already seen that Churchill hopes to peel Italy from the other Axis nations in this way.
We certainly had some interesting diplomatic dealings with Hitler’s satellites. The United States never declared war on Finland. Not sure if we declared war on Romania and Hungary, but I’m guessing we did. Otherwise, the Ninth Air Force raid on Ploesti would have the same international legal standing as the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor.
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