Skip to comments.RUSSIANS SPLIT FOE BELOW ROSTOV, LAND ON COAST TO BLOCK ESCAPE (2/5/43)
Posted on 02/05/2013 5:02:23 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Italian dictator fires foreign minister
Friday, February 5, 1943 www.onwar.com
Mussolini [photo at link]
In Rome... Mussolini dismisses Count Ciano from the Foreign Ministry and takes over responsibility for it himself.
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces capture Stary Oskol and Izyum. In the Caucasus, they make successful landings at Myoshako and are repulsed at Anopa.
February 5th, 1943
Corvette HMCS Forest Hill (ex-HMS Ceanothus) laid down Port Glasgow, Scotland.
Frigate HMS Ettrick launched Sunderland. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: U-867 laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
ITALY: Count Ciano is dismissed as Foreign Minister.
Rome: The first signs of a major crack in the facade of Mussolini’s Fascist Italy began to show today when a tired and bitter Duce sacked his son-in-law, Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italy’s foreign minister since 1936, and two other senior members of his cabinet. Mussolini himself has taken charge of foreign affairs.
Mussolini today is described as no more than a sad shadow of the bombastic, boastful and vain Duce who set out to recreate the grandeur of imperial Rome by engineering excuses to invade soft targets like Albania and Ethiopia - only to see his “empire” snatched from him by Allied troops.
His people are disillusioned. Il Duce promised them victories, not lengthy lists of casualties and prisoners. Morale is low throughout the country, and major strikes have taken place in the industrial north for “bread, peace and freedom.”
With Anglo-American forces converging on Tunisia, he knows that the invasion of Italy cannot be far away and has pleaded with Hitler to sue for peace in Russia after his defeat at Stalingrad and bolster Italy’s shattered army against the Allies.
On the other hand, Count Ciano has been appointed ambassador to the Vatican and many observers believe that the desperate Mussolini has sent him there to negotiate peace with the Allies.
SICILY: Operating as a “wolfpack” - in the style of their U-boat counterparts - British submarines have caused havoc to Axis transports off the Sicilian coast, it was learned today. One unnamed submarine even sailed into the Straits of Messina, risking rocks and the legendary whirlpool opposite the headland of Scylla, to sink a heavy transport under tow by two tugs.
Altogether ten vessels - including an anti-submarine ship - were sunk. The Italian navy was singularly absent.
U.S.S.R.: The Red Army reaches the Sea of Azov at Yeisk, cutting off German troops at Novorossiisk.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Minesweeping trawler HMS Stronsay mined and sunk in the western Mediterranean. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: The motion picture “The Outlaw” premieres at the Geary Theater in San Francisco, California. Directed by Howard Hughes, this western, which was filmed in 1941, stars Jane Russell, Walter Huston and Thomas Mitchell. Very controversial in 1943. (Jack McKillop)
Submarine USS Bream laid down.
Destroyer USS Abner Read commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-617 shadowed a northbound convoy (probably on the XT or XTG route), consisting of four steamers and four escorts from grid CO92 to CO67. At 0802 hours, the U-boat torpedoed and sunk the Henrik and Corona. Corona was hit by one torpedo and 15 minutes later by another on the starboard side. The forecastle deck line split to keel and from keel to about 15 feet from deckline port side. The collision bulkhead was fractured and forecastle deck dropped 12 inches from aft side windlass to stem. All seven Norwegian officers, 40 Chinese crewmen, the Egyptian messboy, six British gunners and 49 army personnel as passengers abandoned ship. The master, 10 crewmen and 11 passengers were picked up by HMS ML-1012. The master, the 2nd mate and three crewmen returned to the lifeboat with the intention of returning to the ship, but on the way back he came across HMS ML-356 and being uncertain of the condition of the ship they decided to board the motor launch. HMS Erica put a boarding party on the Corona, including one Indian stoker from Henrik and later took the survivors on board and brought them to Tobruk. The next day, the Corona was taken in tow to Tobruk and beached. In the afternoon on 24 February, she sank during a storm. On 17 Oct 1947, the ship was refloated and was taken in tow by the tug Lenamill, but sank two days later 20 miles north of Derna. Henrik (Master Johan Sørlie) was probably hit by two torpedoes and sank within 3 minutes about 30 miles east of Tobruk. The launched lifeboat swapped as the vessel sank, throwing the occupants into the water. The survivors clung to rafts or debris until an escort vessel picked them up. Two Chinese crewmembers died, out of a complement of seven Norwegian officers, 33 Chinese crewmembers and six gunners.
U-267 was attacked in the North Atlantic by escorts with depth charges. The boat was damaged so severely that a return to base was necessary. (Dave Shirlaw)
"On October 29, 1942, in the midst of huge operations in Poland and the Soviet Union, the Germans deported 3000 Jews from Sandomierz, Poland, to the Belzec death camp.
On November 10, 1942, those Jews not swept up in the local Aktionen were lured into a temporary ghetto at Sandomierz by German promises of safety from deportation.
It was all a lie, as 6,000 laborers at Sandomierz were killed in early 1943.
In this photo, 20-year-old Yitzchak Goldman and seven other Jews are forced to pose for a German cameraman while laboring in front of a German office building."
"Awaiting deportation to Auschwitz, a young girl squeezes her face into the narrow space between the train doors for a last look at her surroundings.
Beginning in February 1943, trains left the Westerbork, Holland, camp every Tuesday morning.
The trains carried to the East their cargo of 2,000 to 3,000 Jews each.
Told they were being sent to do forced labor in Germany, most deportees suspected otherwise.
Monday nights were filled with terror and dread, as people waited to see if they were among those to be deported."
"E. Baskin, a radio operator for a Ukrainian partisan group, listens intently to a broadcast by the Soviet Information Bureau.
Partisan units throughout Europe and particularly in the Soviet Union relied on radios to send and receive information.
In addition, the ability to intercept German military broadcasts helped them to both evade capture and plan attacks against the enemy."
When did the 6th army finally surrender?? It was a shame because they had ample opportunities to make a fighting withdraw but Hitler wouldn’t allow it and condemned 100’s of thousands of the finest soldiers in the world to death by starvation and exposure in Russian gulags. I know they were our enemy also but what a waste of human life.
Paulus was made a Field Marshall on January 30th, 1943 (Hitler’s way of telling him to commit suicide as no German FM had ever been been captured alive before). Paulus was captured in his his Stalingrad bunker (the basement of a bombed out department store) the next day and was forced to surrender to the Soviets. All German troops ended fighting by February 2. 90,000 German troops were marched into captivity. Less than 6000 ever returned to Germany about ten years after the war ended. Many froze to death being marched to POW camps in Siberia.
The Soviets encircled Stalingrad on November 19th just as the brutal Russian winter was setting in. My own guess is that that the Sixth Army had no more than two weeks at most to break out of the trap. All of Hitler’s top military minds including Field Marshall von Manstein pleaded to allow a break out. But the morphine addicted RM Goering talked Hitler into keeping the entrapped army in the Stalingrad pocket arguing that the Luftwaffe could keep them supplied via an airlift-—this despite the fact that the awful winter conditions made such flights next to impossible. Hitler, too, was being supplied with an ample cocktail of bizarre drugs provided to him by his personal physician, the notorious quack Dr. Morell at the time, which no doubt impaired his decision making abilities, pumping him up with an air of invincibility, although more rational and sober minds studying the maps all agreed that a break out was necessary to save the 6th Army. But Hitler would have none of it and allowed the army to suffer a grisly fate which proved to be the decisive turning battle of WWII and which also encouraged many German officers to plot against Hitler which culminated in the July 20th 1944 Bomb Plot. By then, many Allied strategists, had come to believe that Hitler’s constant strategic blundering was their greatest asset and gave up on their own assassination attempts on him.
A moment of prayer and silence here for that poor girl in the photograph in #8.
“U-617 shadowed a northbound convoy “—
—U-617 after she ran aground in late 1943.
“U-267 was attacked in the North Atlantic by escorts with depth charges. The boat was damaged so severely that a return to base was necessary.”—
—Survived to the end of the war after participating in 16 wolfpack operations and was scuttled in early May 1945.
Missed this one:
” U-867”—Sunk in Sept. 1944 by aerial depth charge in the North Sea.
Seventeenth Army still has a source of supply, but can’t be feeling very good about the pocket they now find themselves in.