Skip to comments.ROMMEL GAINS IN DRIVE TO SPLIT ALLIES; 850 LOST ON 2 OF OUR SHIPS IN ATLANTIC (2/23/43)
Posted on 02/23/2013 5:09:20 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Germans Threaten Flank of Soviet Advance
Tuesday, February 23, 1943 www.onwar.com
German tanks moving up around Kharkov [photo at link]
On the Eastern Front... The Soviets capture Sumy and Lebedin northeast of Kharkov. Meanwhile, to the south, the German counteroffensive begins to make progress. The German 48th Panzer Corps attacks toward Barvenkovo.
February 23rd, 1943 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: De Gaulle asks General Giraud to declare a Free French Republic in North Africa.
U-53 (TypeVIIB) is sunk in the North Sea in the mid Orkneys, position 58.50N, 02.58W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Gurkha. 42 dead (all hands lost). (Alex Gordon)
Escort carrier HMS Thane laid down.
Destroyer HMS Venus launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: U-298, U-1010 laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: At 1250, the unescorted SS Fintra was torpedoed and sunk by U-371 NE of Algiers. The master, 21 crewmembers and one passenger were saved. Seven crewmembers and five gunners were lost.
U-443 sunk in the Mediterranean near Algiers, in position 36.55N, 02.25E, by depth charges from the British escort destroyers HMS Bicester, Lamerton and Wheatland. 48 dead (all hands lost). (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: The first USN Curtiss Wright C-46 transport is delivered to LaGuardia Airport in New York City. (Jack McKillop)
Destroyer escorts USS Bunch, Canfield, Cloues, Deede, Elden laid down.
Light cruiser USS Biloxi launched.
Minesweepers USS Astute, Augury, Barrier, Bombard launched.
CARIBBEAN SEA: At 2217, U-202 fired a spread of four torpedoes at Convoy UC-1. The first struck the Murena and the second the British Fortitude; both tankers were able to continue their voyage, though in a damaged condition. The third torpedo failed and the last hit the Empire Norseman, which had been already damaged by U-382 was later sunk by a coup de grâce from U-558. At 2221, U-202 fired the stern torpedo and sank Esso Baton Rouge. The torpedo struck Esso Baton Rouge in station #43 on the starboard side between the engine room and aft bunkers. The explosion carried away the bulkhead between the tanks and the engine room, filled the latter compartment with burning oil, killed one officer and one man on watch below and stopped the engines. Debris flew over 50 feet in the air and one armed guard was killed. As the ship started to settle by the stern, the eight officers, 35 men and 25 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) abandoned ship in three lifeboats, after three rafts were carried away, because the ship still had headway. Within 90 minutes all survivors were picked up by sloop HMS Totland. The tanker finally sank by the stern about 0400 the next morning. Two crewmembers and one armed guard, all seriously burned from flaming oil, were treated on the sloop and put ashore at Antigua on 4 March. The remaining survivors were transferred to the Dutch steam merchant Maaskerk and arrived in Trinidad on 6 March. At 2345, the drifting wreck of the Empire Norseman was sunk by a coup de grâce from U-558. The master, 41 crewmembers and eleven gunners from the Empire Norseman were picked up by HMS Totland, transferred to the Dutch merchantman Maaskerk and landed at Trinidad. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: The German Falke acoustic torpedo scores its first operational success when a U-boat sinks a tanker from convoy UC-1.
U-522 (Type IXC) is sunk in the mid-Atlantic south-west of Madeira, Portugal, position 31.27N, 26.22W, by depth charges from the British coastguard cutter Totland. 51 dead (all hands lost). (Alex Gordon)
At 0735, U-186 fired a spread of three torpedoes at Convoy ON-166 about 310 miles south of Cape Race and observed one hit after 2 minutes 32 seconds on the ship in station #12, the Hastings, which was erroneously reported as Hassop. A second hit, after 2 minutes 35 seconds was possibly on the same ship, which sank within seven minutes. After 2 minutes 41 seconds a third hit was heard but not observed. At 0740 hours, U-186 fired a spread of two stern torpedoes and heard two detonations on different targets, but only the Eulima was hit, the second detonation being a depth charge from USCGC Spencer. At 1130 hours, the drifting wreck of the Eulima was sunk by a coup de grâce and gunfire from U-186. The master, 52 crewmembers and nine gunners from the Eulima were lost. The third officer J. Campkin was taken prisoner by U-186, landed at Lorient on 5 March and taken to the POW camp Milag Nord near Bremen. A lookout on the Hastings spotted a torpedo just before it struck the port side at #5 hold. The explosion flooded the engine room, sprung bulkheads between the #4 and #5 holds, destroyed the steering gear and cut the power of the ship. The ten officers, 31 crewmembers, 20 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, two .30cal and four 20mm guns) and one passenger on board began to abandon ship in three lifeboats and two rafts. The ship sank stern first after 7 minutes. One officer and eight crewmen were lost. The remaining survivors were picked up after 20 minutes by corvette HMCS Chilliwack and landed at St John’s.
At 0210 one of the four diesel engines broke down in rough weather and the Winkler in position 63 of the ON-166 reduced to 8 knots for repairs. She had become the last ship of the convoy and was damaged at 0714 by a FAT torpedo from U-628. The ship spent about 1 hour to rescue survivors from the Norwegian tanker Glittre (The tanker was damaged in the same attack from U-628 and was later sunk by U-603). At 0800 corvette HMS Dianthus arrived, ordered the Winkler back to the convoy, picked up the survivors and followed. At 0842 three torpedoes from U-223 struck the ship and sank her within 45 seconds, taking 14 crewmembers and 5 Armed Guards with her. HMS Dianthus got Asdic contact but was unable to drop depth charges, because U-223 dove under the survivors. So she picked up 32 survivors (19 crewmembers and 13 Armed Guards) and landed them at St John’s three days later.
At 0331, U-303 sank the drifting wreck of Expositor by a coup de grâce.
At 1438, the unescorted and neutral SS Kyleclare was hit by two torpedoes from U-456 and disappeared in the explosions.
At 0741, SS Athelprincess, a straggler from Convoy UC-1, was hit by two torpedoes from U-522 and sank west of Madeira. One crewmember was lost. The master, 42 crewmembers and seven gunners were picked up by sloop HMS Weston, transferred to destroyer USS Hilary P. Jones and landed at San Juan, Puerto Rico.
At 0714, U-628 fired FAT torpedoes at Convoy ON-166 in grid BD 4564. One torpedo damaged Winkler, which was later sunk by U-223 and another struck Glittre on the port side in the engine room. Glittre became a straggler and was sunk by two torpedoes from U-603 at 0842 the same day. Two men died in the engine room and the cook was killed in his cabin. The survivors were picked up by HMS Dianthus.
Convoy rescue ship SS Stockport torpedoed and sunk by U-604 at 45N, 44W.
U-522 sunk in the mid-Atlantic SW of Madeira, Portugal in position 31.27N, 26.22W, by depth charges from sloop HMS Totland. 51 dead (all hands lost).
And on the left side of the front page: FDR price controls and rationing. Or more accurately, FDR price controls which caused FDR rationing. Obama’s dream for America.
"In March 1943 4,000 Jews from Bulgarian-controlled Thrace in Greece were rounded up and sent to their deaths at Treblinka.
A week later another 7,000 Jews from nearby Macedonia in Yugoslavia were shipped to a tobacco company, whose buildings were converted into a concentration camp (pictured).
The Jews were kept there a few weeks, then sent to Treblinka.
“world’s first acoustic homing torpedo”
The T4 Model was the adjunct of the earlier T3 model in nearly every way. The T4 was not an ordinary straight-running torpedo, however; it was the world’s first acoustic homing torpedo. It ran at 20 kt (37 km/h) for 7500 m and was introduced in March 1943.
In early 1933, Germany started development and testing of acoustic homing mechanisms for torpedoes. From the outset of submarine warfare, submariners had dreamt of being able to aim and fire torpedoes without surfacing or using a periscope. The periscope gives away the location of a submarine, and a hull-penetrating periscope greatly weakens a submarine’s pressure hull and limits the depths to which it can dive. U-boats also had to come to very shallow depths to use their periscopes, generally about 15 m, leaving them greatly exposed to bombing, depth charging, and even gunfire.
With the introduction of Falke, U-boats could remain more deeply submerged and fire at convoys with nothing to give away their position but the noise of their screws. Rather than aiming with a periscope, the torpedo could be roughly aimed at a sound contact as detected by a U-boat’s hydrophones, and the homing mechanism could be trusted to find the target without the need for precise aiming.
Falke worked much like a normal straight-running torpedo for the first 400 m of its run, after which its acoustic sensors became active and searched for a target. The sensitive sound sensing equipment in Falke required the torpedo be as quiet as possible, hence it ran at only 20 kt (37 km/h); in addition, the firing U-boat was forced to stop its motors. Falke was intended to home on merchant targets, however, so its slow speed was not a great hindrance.
Only known to have been fired in action by three U-boats, U-603, U-758, and U-221, although regarded as successful, resulting in the sinking of several merchants, and its performance rated satisfactory, Falke was rapidly phased out of service. It was replaced by the G7es/T5 “Zaunkönig” (referred to by the Allies as GNAT, for German Naval Acoustical Torpedo), which was faster and better able to home onto the sound of fast moving warships as well as merchant traffic.
Though its period of operational service was brief, Falke was a proof of concept for the acoustic homing torpedo. Its introduction occurred only two months before the U.S. Navy achieved its initial combat success with the Mark 24 FIDO “mine.”
Stalin: Shut up!! He was only concerned about his dictatorship. It didn’t matter how many Russians died. And now he wanted us to invade Europe ASAP. Well, we cared about our soldiers’ lives. We were not going to throw men into a meat grinder and lose millions of them just to make it easier on him.
It was bad enough that England and the US were listening to him as much as they did. We were supporting Stalin with materials and they would not be doing as well as they were without what we gave them.
We had fronts in Europe, Africa, China, Burma, the Pacific, and the Atlantic Ocean just to mention a few and he is whining because we don’t sacrifice ourselves on his alters of war.
I’m glad Stalin did not show up at the last confab that FDR and Churchill had. He may have bullied them into doing something to hurt our war efforts.
They don't yet know the full extent of the horror.