Skip to comments.ROMMEL THROWN BACK IN MARETH AREA; RUSSIANS SMASH ON TOWARD VYAZMA (3/9/43)
Posted on 03/09/2013 5:21:43 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
SS troops attacking Kharkov
Tuesday, March 9, 1943 www.onwar.com
German train brings supplies for the offensive near Kharkov [photo at link]
On the Eastern Front... Hausser’s SS Panzer Corps begin to attack Kharkov from the west and north. To the south of the city, the Soviet 25th Guards Division holds the town of Taranovka against attacks of the German 48th Panzer Corps.
In Tunisia... Rommel leaves Africa for the last time. On his way home he meets Mussolini in Rome and Hitler in East Prussia. Neither is persuaded to withdraw the Axis forces from Africa.
In New Guinea... There are heavy Japanese attacks on Wau.
March 9th, 1943 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Submarine HMS Taciturn is laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: U-365 is launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: The SS troops of General Paul Hausser counter-attack to the north and west of Kharkov.
NORTH AFRICA: Field Marshall Erwin Rommel departs from Tunisia, for Germany. He meets with Mussolini in Rome and then with Hitler.
NEW GUINEA: Japanese aircraft attack the Allied stronghold at Wau.
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Wetaskiwin completes a refit in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Destroyer escorts USS Foreman, Harveson, Slater and Earl K Olsen laid down.
Destroyer USS Hailey launched.
Destroyer escorts USS Fessenden and Hopping launched.
Escort carrier HMS Nabob launched Tacoma, Washington. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: A man is lost overboard from U-653. [Bootsmaat Walter Mayer]
Submarine U-83 is sunk south-east of Cartegena, by a British Hudson aircraft which drops three depth charges. All 50 of the U-Boat crew are lost. (Alex Gordon)
At 2235, U-405 attacked Convoy SC-121 and observed two hits from starboard on a ship that sank. The ship hit was the Bonneville, which was the ship of the convoy commodore R.C. Birnie in station #81. Among the 36 dead were the master, the commodore and his staff of seven men, several of them froze to death on rafts or in lifeboats. Four of the seven survivors were picked up from a capsized lifeboat by the rescue ship Melrose Abbey and one other man was picked up from a raft by the same vessel. The landing craft HMS LCT-2341 was also lost as the ship sank.
At 2226, SS Malantic in station #102 of convoy SC-121 was torpedoed by U-409. One torpedo struck on the starboard side at the #1 hatch. A violent detonation occurred 15 seconds later, blowing out the wheelhouse windows. The engines were secured and the eight officers, 25 crewmen, 13 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four 20mm and two .30cal guns) and one passenger abandoned ship in rough seas immediately in the two port lifeboats because the starboard boats were destroyed. The vessel gradually settled by the head and sank during the night. At 0230, British rescue ship Melrose Abbey picked up one man in the water and found the lifeboat of the master with eleven survivors, but one man fell overboard and drowned. He had been keeping the lifeboat secured to the rescue ship. When it was his turn to board, he was so exhausted he lost his balance and fell overboard. One of the ships officers went after him and almost lost his own life doing so. When the other lifeboat was found it capsized when it came alongside, drowning several men. In all, three officers, 16 crewmen, five armed guards and the passenger were lost. The survivors were landed at Gourock the next day.
At 2241, U-409 fired torpedoes at Convoy SC-121 south of Iceland and observed a hit on a tanker and assumed a hit on a second ship after a second detonation was heard but not observed. However, only motor tanker Rosewood was hit, caught fire and broke in two. Both sections were scuttled by gunfire by USCGC Bibb on 11 March in 58°30N/20°31W. The master, 32 crewmembers and nine gunners were lost.
SS Tabor sunk by U-506 at 37.30S, 23.15E.
At 0306, 0307 and 0310, U-510 fired torpedoes at Convoy BT-6 about 200 miles NE of Paramaribo, Dutch Guyana and reported four ships sunk. In fact, Kelvinbank was sunk and George G. Meade, Tabitha Brown and Joseph Rodman Drake were damaged. George G. Meade in station #34, which was designated as rescue ship for this convoy, was hit by one torpedo and was slightly damaged. All eight officers, 33 men and 25 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in and five 20mm guns) on board survived. During the next two and one-half hours she picked up 32 survivors from the Kelvinbank. The Liberty ship was later towed to Paramaribo, arriving on 10 March. After some repairs she went to New York, arriving on 2 April, via Trinidad and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After permanent repairs were made, she returned to service. On 9 Jan 1943, the George G. Meade left Bombay for Capetown. On 9 February, she left for Bahia, arriving on 25 February. It was planned to load bauxite at Paramaribo. The only slightly damaged Joseph Rodman Drake arrived at Paramaribo on 10 March.
Between 0604 and 0611, U-510 fired torpedoes during a second attack at Convoy BT-6 about 175 miles north of Cayenne, French Guyana and again reported four ships sunk. The convoy became unorganized after the first attack because all ships performed evasive maneuvers. In fact, the Mark Hanna and James Smith were damaged with Thomas Ruffin and James K. Polk were damaged and later declared a total loss. James K. Polk in station #23 was struck by one torpedo on the port side amidships. The explosion knocked out all six sides of the #3 deep tank, extensively damaged the #5 double bottom tank, damaged the engine room, wrecked pumps and piping, carried away the radio antenna and sprung the carriages of the two large guns. One of the armed guards was crushed to death by a lifeboat, which was blown from its davits by the explosion. Two crewmembers were injured. The ship began to settle by the stern until only three feet of freeboard remained. The seven officers, 37 crewmen, 18 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and four 20mm guns) and three passengers remained on board, until they were taken off by USS PC-592 and taken to Port of Spain. Only the master and seven volunteers stayed and rigged tarpaulins on the foremast and mizzenmast. They sailed the vessel 360 miles until a British tug towed her to Trinidad, arriving on 17 March. The badly damaged vessel was towed to Mobile in December 1945 and declared a total loss. Six deaths reported on Thomas Ruffin. Mark Hanna in station #33 was struck by one torpedo on the port side at the #5 hold. The explosion opened a hole of 40 to 30 foot in the port and several smaller holes in the starboard side. Booms fell, the deck buckled, the hatch cover flew off, the rudder jammed and the shaft broke, but there were no casualties among the 41 crew members and 25 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, five 20mm and two .30cal guns). The ship steered towards the also disabled James Smith and the master ordered the men in the two port lifeboats to abandon ship and to return after the collision, but the ships did not collide and the boats drifted away. The 33 men in them were later picked up by the American submarine chaser USS PC-592 and landed at Trinidad on 13 March. The remaining crew helped to get the vessel under tow and arrived in Trinidad on 17 March. On 23 May, the Mark Hanna left Trinidad in tow after temporary repairs, arriving in New Orleans on 12 June for permanent repairs. She returned to service on 29 September. James Smith in station #73 was struck by one torpedo on the port side at the #5 hold. The explosion blew a large section out of the side and bottom of the ship and disabled the steering gear, knocked down the radio antenna and damaged the propeller shaft. Five armed guards and six crewmen sleeping on the tarpaulin cover of the #5 hatch died. The survivors among the eight officers, 34 crewmen and 16 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in, four .50cal and two .30cal guns) calmly abandoned ship in four lifeboats after the engines were secured. After daybreak two of the boats returned to the vessel and reboarded her, while the occupants in the other boats were picked up by USS PC-592, which later came to the ship, whose bow lay out of the water. On 12 March, the remaining survivors on board were ordered by the commander of the submarine chaser to abandon ship, but the James Smith did not sink and the master, three crewmen and the armed guard officer again reboarded her. They stayed with the ship as rescue tug HMS Zwarte Zee towed her to Trinidad. The men on the submarine chaser were landed at Trinidad on 16 March. The vessel was later towed to New Orleans, where she was repaired and returned to service on 10 Aug 1943 1943 - At 2136, U-530 sank a lone vessel with a torpedo and two coups de grâce. The ship was probably SS Milos, which was reported missing after straggling from Convoy SC-121.
At 2206, SS Puerto Rican was hit by one torpedo from U-586 about 100 miles NE of Iceland. The ship was straggling from Convoy RA-53 since two days due to heavy weather and was at the time of the attack about 25 miles behind the convoy. The torpedo struck on the starboard side aft of the #5 hatch and caused the ship to sink on even keel in 15 minutes. The eight officers, 32 crewmen and 25 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in, four 20mm, four .50cal and two .30cal guns) tried to abandon ship in the four lifeboats and the rafts in rough seas and 30° below zero weather. They only managed to launch one boat because the others were frozen in their chocks. This boat capsized when the after fall failed to release and all occupants fell into the sea, where most of them quickly froze to death in the 21° water. Eight men eventually swam to a doughnut raft and six later transferred to a large provisioned raft. In the following two days all these men except one froze to death or washed off the raft. The sole survivor, a fireman wearing a lifesaving suit, was picked up on 12 March by HMS St Elstan and landed in Seydisfjordur, Iceland. From there he was taken to a hospital in Reykjavik aboard troop transport USS Gemini, arriving on 16 March. He eventually lost both feet and most of the fingers of both hands.
At 1843 and 1844, U-596 fired torpedoes at Convoy KMS-10 and observed one hit after 1 minute 59 seconds and then heard another detonation after 2 minutes 55 seconds, probably on a more distant ship. A third torpedo detonation and a boiler explosion were also heard. In fact, the first torpedo damaged the Fort Norman and the third the Empire Standard. (Dave Shirlaw)
"Even under the conditions that existed at Belzec, Jewish prisoners tried to maintain some remnant of their prewar religious practices.
These kiddush cups, found in the camp, were used to celebrate the Sabbath.
Such rituals were illegal in the camp, and the punishment for practicing them was death.
Jews, however, still felt the need to practice their religious rites, especially under such trying circumstances.
"Henning von Tresckow was a major general in the German Army who joined the opposition movement against Hitler.
While serving on the Russian front, Tresckow became convinced that the campaign was destined for failure and that Hitler had to be removed from power.
He was involved in the failed attempt on Hitler's life in March 1943 that took place in Smolensk, Russia; a bomb made of plastic explosives and disguised as bottles of brandy failed to detonate after being placed aboard the Führer's private plane.
After the plot to kill Hitler in July 1944 also failed, Tresckow took his own life."
Well, that set the tone for the Russian Front fighting.
IIRC, the order was eventually rescinded because once they learned the Germans were shooting prisoners, Soviet resistance strengthened significantly.