Skip to comments.NAZIS SEIZE VITAL TUNISIAN PASS FROM ALLIES; RUSSIANS SMASH AHEAD IN THE DONETS BASIN (2/22/43)
Posted on 02/22/2013 5:48:09 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Germans Advance (Middleton) 2-3
How Germans Took Pass at Kasserine (Kluckhohn) 3
Gremlins Horrify a Rear Gunner; Try to Shake Tail Off a Fortress 4
War News Summarized 4
Red Army Gains in Stalino Region 5
Biggest U.S. Submarine Lost; 102 in Crew of the Argonaut (Trumbull) 5-6
U.S.-British Talks on India Progress (Matthews) 6
Electric Whiskers Captive Here with 8 Other Italian Generals 7
Sirens Rout Wardens from Beds, but Its No Raid, Just Fort Lee Fire 8
The Texts of the Days Communiques on Fighting in Various Zones 9-10
German Counterattack toward Kharkov
Monday, February 22, 1943 www.onwar.com
Column of Panzer IV tanks of the SS Panzer Corps [photo at link]
On the Eastern Front... Manstein’s launches a counteroffensive to recapture Kharkov. The German 1st and 4th Panzer Armies attack northward on a line west of Krasnoarmeskoye while Army Detachment Kempf, primarily the 2nd SS Panzer Corps, drives south from Krasnodar. Manstein is generally credited with carefully handling his reserves in order to assemble the considerable forces used in the attack. Meanwhile, the Soviet forces in the salient west of Kharkov continue their advance, despite growing shortages of fuel and ammunition. One unit comes within 12 miles of Manstein’s army group headquarters.
In Tunisia... A night battle develops on the front before Thala (during night of February 21-22). Both sides suffer heavy losses. At the same time, an American artillery regiment (led by General Irwin) arrives after an 800 mile march from Oran achieved in 4 days. At dawn the British, with the newly arrived American artillery support, launch a limited counterattack. The German forces pull back in the afternoon. The improved flying weather on this day is generally noted as weighing in the Allies’ favor.
February 22nd, 1943 (MONDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Minesweeper HMS Persian launched.
Rescue tug HMS Allegiance launched.
Frigate HMS Duff laid down.
GERMANY: Hans and Sophie Scholl, Martyrs of the anti-Nazi movement at Munich University, are beheaded by the guillotine. They were instrumental in organizing the resistance group known as the ‘White Rose’. In one of their illegally printed pamphlets, she wrote ‘Every word that comes from Hitler’s mouth is a lie’. The graves of Hans and Sophie Scholl can be seen in the Perlach Forest Cemetery, outside Munich.
The Judge for this trial was Roland Freisler. It started at 1300 and by 1500 the condemned had been executed. (Denis Peck)
U-971 and U-972 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
BULGARIA: Sofia: The government agrees to deport the Jewish population (11,000) people from Thrace and Macedonia to Treblinka.
PORTUGAL: A Boeing 314A seaplane, the Yankee Clipper, approaches the lights of Lisbon while carrying seven USO entertainers. The plane crashes into the Tagus River near the end of its final approach. Two entertainers died - Tamara, a Russian singer, and Roy Rognan of the husband and wife dance team of Lorraine and Rognan. His wife, Jean Lorraine, was among the injured, along with one of the star singers of that time, Jane Froman, plus entertainers Gypsy Markoff and Grace Drysdale. The seventh member, a singer named Yvette, was not injured.
Jane Froman, like all of the injured in the accident, made a valiant and remarkable comeback. Although her right leg was almost torn off, her left ankle crushed, her right arm broken, her back dislocated, and her pelvis cracked, she resumed her career as a night club singer, propped up on a small portable platform. Before she did, though, Jane encountered one of the harsh realities for all of us who were USO entertainers. The USO’s accident insurance provided only a thousand dollars for medical expenses and fifty dollars a week as disability payments for a maximum of fifty-two weeks. According to an article in Time Magazine a year later, Jane’s accident cost her ninety thousand dollars.
“Jean Lorraine, in addition to losing her husband, had seven teeth knocked out, hurt her back, and crushed her right leg. She had been a comedy dancer with her husband, but after the tragedy she became a singing comedienne. She changed her name to Lorraine Rognan to keep her husband’s name alive. She was on crutches for seven and a half months, but she showed the same kind of bravery as the men in her audiences. She entertained at the Hollywood canteen while still on crutches, then went overseas again a year after the accident to fulfil her contract with the USO. Her husband’s death didn’t meet the criteria spelled out in the literature, which said the life insurance was ‘’valid in case of death from all causes except airplane accident or act of war.’ In what surely must have been one of the cruellest blows of all, Time Magazine reported that Jean’s accident cost her fourteen thousand dollars.”
Of the other performers involved in the crash, “Yvette” (21-year old Elsa Harris of Birmingham, Alabama) appeared uninjured but suffered a delayed reaction and collapsed six months later; she eventually recovered and resumed her USO tour. Grace Dysdale, a puppeteer and banjo player, suffered a broken leg and spent three months in hospital. Gypsy Markoff, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, daughter of an Egyptian mother and a Bessarabian Gypsy father sustained multiple injuries requiring no fewer than seventeen operations; her professional return was in April of 1945.
TUNISIA: Rommel breaks off the attack on Sbiba and Thala as British reinforcements start to arrive.
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Mimico (ex-HMS Bulrush) commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Submarine USS Crevalle launched.
Destroyer escorts USS Coolbaugh, Cooner, Darby, Eldridge, Enright, Francis M Robinson, J Douglas Blackwood, Schmitt, Solar, Weber laid down.
Minesweeper USS Scrimmage laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Smartt, Seid, Walter S Brown, William C Miller launched.
USS Iowa, the lead ship of the last class of American fast battleships, is commissioned.
Submarine HMS L-23 arrived Philadelphia for refit.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 2220, U-606 (Type VIIC) attacked Convoy ON-166 and torpedoed three ships, the Empire Redshank, Chattanooga City and Expositor. The U-boat was lost after the attack. The Chattanooga City (Master Robert C. Forbes) was struck by one torpedo in the centre of #4 hold. The explosion bodily lifted the ship out of the water, blew off the hatch covers of the #3 and #4 holds, tore deck booms away and probably severed the main shaft. She quickly listed to starboard and settled rapidly. The order to abandon ship was given two minutes after the hit and water reached the well deck one minute later. The ship sank by the stern in about 15 minutes. The ten officers, 27 crewmen and 21 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 12pdr and six 20mm guns) cleared the ship in four lifeboats and one raft. They were picked up three hours later by HMCS Trillium. The armed guard officer and ten of his men were transferred to the USCGC Spencer and landed in Argentia, Newfoundland on 27 February. The remaining survivors were landed at St John’s on 26 February. At 23.50 hours on 22 February, the badly damaged Empire Redshank (Master John Houston Clinton) was sunk by gunfire by the Canadian corvette HMCS Trillium after the corvette had picked up the master, 39 crewmembers and seven gunners. The survivors were landed at St John’s. Expositor was struck by one torpedo on the port side at the #3 hatch, causing the boiler to explode. The ship took an immediate list to starboard and then righted herself after settling by the stern. Most of the eight officers, 31 men and 21 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in, two .50cal, two .30cal and four 20mm guns) abandoned ship in the single undamaged lifeboat and three rafts. Seven officers, 27 men and all armed guards were picked up by corvette HMCS Trillium. One officer died on the corvette and an engineer later in a hospital in St John’s. Three hours after the attack, the corvette blew off the stern of the freighter with depth charges, but the ship remained afloat. U-606 sunk in same action at 47.44N, 33.43W, by depth charges from the USCGC Campbell and destroyer ORP Burza. 36 dead and 11 survivors. (Dave Shirlaw)
At 0436, U-92 fired three FAT torpedoes at Convoy ON-166 and reported two ships sunk and a third as damaged, but the first and third FAT struck the NT Nielsen-Alonso in station #25 and the remaining torpedo missed. The ship was hit on the port side between engine and boiler room, the main engine was flooded, two port lifeboats destroyed and three men on watch below were killed. The crew soon abandoned her in four lifeboats. At 0729, U-753 fired two coups de grâce at the abandoned NT Nielsen-Alonso and hit her with one torpedo amidships, but the ship stayed afloat while the U-boat was chased away by a corvette. The survivors observed this attack, were later picked up by USCGC Campbell and transferred to ORP Burza, which scuttled the wreck at 1300 at 48°N/34°W and landed them in St John’s on 27 February. (Dave Shirlaw)
Whilst escorting convoy KMS.8, Flower class corvette HMS Weyburn strikes a mine laid by U-118 and sinks 4 miles W of Cape Spartel at 35 48N 06 02W. HMS Wyvern is damaged by her exploding depth charges whilst attempting to rescue survivors. (Alex Gordon)(108)
MS Roxborough Castle sunk by U-107 at 38.12N, 26.22W.
Motor tanker Thorsholm damaged by a mine laid on 1 February by U-118 15 miles off Cape Espartel. The vessel was towed to Gibraltar. (Dave Shirlaw)
The scene from “Patton” when the General is touring the battlefield at Kasserine after the Allied loss is one of the most visually stunning and emotional scenes ever laid on film.
Agree. It’s just one of the many scenes in that movie that you couldn’t remake today, since it shows Arabs stripping the soldiers’ bodies.
The voice-over of his letter to the dead soldier’s father, and the winter prayer, are also emotional show-stoppers.
And his comment on looking through binoculars at Rommel’s troops that he’s about to devastate with artillery: “What a hell of a waste of fine infantry.”
"Germany's allies played an important role in the perpetration of the Holocaust.
This agreement is signed by Bulgarian Commissar for Jewish Affairs Aleksander Belev and German Plenipotentiary SS Haupsturmführer Theodor Dannecker.
It is concerned with the deportation of 20,000 Jews from Thrace and Macedonia, newly annexed by Bulgaria, to Eastern Europe.
Upon arriving in Occupied Europe, the Jews were murdered by the Nazis."
"Janine Putter, a refugee child from France, lights one of the memorial candles at a protest prayer service held in New York's Mecca Temple on February 22, 1943.
More than 3,000 children from 518 religious schools in the New York area attended the event to protest the treatment of children in Nazi-occupied Europe."
"Resistance against the German invaders was especially strong in the Soviet Union, where the Nazis pursued barbarous occupation policies.
These five Soviets were hanged in Kharkov.
The signs around their necks read, "Punishment for blowing up mines."
Such acts of sabotage played a role in the turning of the tide on the Eastern Front and the eventual defeat of the Third Reich."