Skip to comments.U.S. FLIERS POUND NAPLES AND ANTWERP; 700 R.A.F. PLANES RIP KIEL NAVAL BASE (4/6/43)
Posted on 04/06/2013 6:50:49 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Winston S. Churchill, The Hinge of Fate
Axis reserves hold up British advance
Tuesday, April 6, 1943 www.onwar.com
British artillery fires in the desert [photo at link].
In Tunisia... In the morning, following the silent advance of the British 4th Indian Division during the night, a follow-up attack is launched. It proves poorly coordinated and draws in the Axis reserve (the German 15th Panzer and 90th Light Divisions) during the day.
April 6th, 1943 (TUESDAY)
ITALY: RAF Liberators, under IX Bomber Command control, bomb the Naples area. (Jack McKillop)
SICILY: Ninth Air Force B-24s hit the ferry and slips at Messina harbour. Northwest African Air Force B-17s bomb the docks and ships at Trapani. (Jack McKillop)
NORTH AFRICA: General Montgomery’s attacks which began last night at Wadi Akarit are making good progress. The attack is led by the Br. 4th Indian Division. Defending units are mostly Italian Infantry plus the 15th Panzer and the 90th Light.
Follow up attacks this morning are badly coordinated and the battle does not continue as well as it started for the British.
For Italian Alpine troops high in the hills overlooking the Wadi Akarit, the nightmare came on a starless night. Sentries knew nothing of the assault by the 4th Indian Division until they felt the cold steel of Gurkha kukris against their throats. In a few hours more than 4,000 Italians had surrendered. The Indian encirclement - over a wide mountainous area - was an overwhelming success. Below on the plains, the 50th and 51st Infantry Divisions of the Eighth Army began their assault an hour before dawn and succeeded in breaching the German defences. Now was the time for the armour of X Corps to exploit the infantry’s success.
The attack has been delayed however, and German Panzers have counter-attacked, forcing the infantry back.
TUNISIA: Pte. Eric Anderson (b.1915), East Yorks Regt., a stretcher-bearer, brought in three men under fire and was killed tending a fourth. (Victoria Cross)
TUNISIA: Lt-Col. Lorne MacLaine Campbell (b.1902), Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, led a daring advance - across a minefield and an anti-tank ditch - to form a bridgehead. (Victoria Cross)
TUNISIA: Ninth Air Force B-25s fly 2 missions against concentrations in the Oued el Akarit region, scoring hits on buildings, tanks, and numerous vehicles. P-40s fly escort, fighter sweep, and strafing operations, attacking guns, vehicles and personnel as the British Eighth Army begin their assault on Oued el Akarit from which the enemy begins withdrawing during the night.
During the night of 5/6 April, Northwest African Air Force Wellingtons bomb the dock and shipping at Tunis. During the day, B-25s and P-38 Lightnings attack shipping in the Straits of Sicily. Two forces of B-17s bomb a convoy further west, near Zembra Island and hit a convoy off Bizerte sinking a German freighter and damaging an Italian transport which is later beached to prevent her sinking. B-25s and A-20 Havocs attack landing grounds and airfields at Enfidaville, La Fauconnerie, and El Djem. La Fauconnerie bears the brunt of the attacks and is well covered. Fighters escort the bombing raids, fly reconnaissance missions, and attack scattered enemy movement. (Jack McKillop)
BURMA: 6 Tenth Air Force B-24 Liberators attack Pazundaung bridge, damaging the southern approach. (Jack McKillop)
NEW GUINEA: Fifth Air Force B-25s bomb the town area and AA positions at Salamaua while individual B-17s bomb Finschhafen. (Jack McKillop)
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Individual B-17s bomb Gasmata while another strafes Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island. (Jack McKillop)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Thirteenth Air Force F-5 Lightning photo reconnaissance aircraft note 114 Japanese bombers and fighters on Kahili Airdrome on Bougainville. There were 40 aircraft on the airfield yesterday. (Jack McKillop)
If Field Marshal General Erwin Rommel [who is long gone from Africa - HJS.] decided to attempt a German "Dunkerque" and if the campaign went as well as could be expected for the British, American [sic] and French, the North African war conceivably could be ended in six to eight weeks, military observers believe.
I'll bet you a B-17 with flight crew that it won't take that long.