Skip to comments.PRESIDENT ORDERS MINERS TO CONTINUE WORK OR HE WILL INVOKE WAR POWERS; LEWIS SILENT (4/30/43)
Posted on 04/30/2013 4:24:15 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Germans deceived by British corpse
Friday, April 30, 1943 www.onwar.com
HMS Seraph [photo at link].
In Spain... As part of a deception plan for the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky), the British submarine Seraph releases a corpse into the sea off the Spanish port of Huelva hoping it will be picked up and the papers carried passed on to the Germans. The body purports to be that of a Major Martin of the Royal Marines and he is carrying letters from General Nye, Vice-Chief of the British General Staff, and Admiral Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations, to Eisenhower, Alexander and Cunningham referring to Allied plans for an invasion of Greece. The Germans do receive the information and it contributes to their lack of appreciation of the true Allied strategy.
In Tunisia... The Germans retake Djebel Bou Aoukaz. Farther north, the American gain a foothold on Hill 609. Alexander decides to switch veteran units from the British 8th Army to join a renewed attack between Bou Aoukaz and Ksar Tyr.
From London... The Polish government in exile drops its call for a Red Cross enquiry into the Katyn massacre in an attempt to reestablish relations with the USSR.
April 30th, 1943
UNITED KINGDOM: London: In an attempt to improve relations with the USSR, the Polish government in exile withdraws its request for a Red Cross inquiry into the Katyn massacre.
More people were killed or injured on the roads last year than the total casualties of the UK armed services in the first two years of war. On the battlefields 145,012 people died in those two years, while road casualties last year alone reached 147,500, despite a drop in the number of private cars on the road from two million in 1939 to a mere 718,000 by this year. Leslie Hore-Belisha, who introduced beacon crossings as a road safety measure when he was minister of transport, gave the figures in a speech at Blenheim.
London: The potential threat of a German long-range rocket offensive on England is now receiving top priority in government circles. On 11 April the war office submitted a report to the chiefs of staff. It concluded that the Germans were developing a rocket 95 feet in length, carrying a 1.25 ton warhead and having a range of 130 miles. The prime minister was told that the RAF’s photographic interpretation unit at Medmenham, near Henley-on-Thames, ordered to check all air photographs covering areas within 130 miles of London and Southampton.
On 20 April, Duncan Sandys, Churchill’s son-in-law and parliamentary secretary to the ministry of supply, was appointed to head a committee to review all evidence of German long-range rocket development. Mr Sandys thinks that the Nazis must have a special base.
A check of air photographs revealed that Peenemunde, on the Baltic, was a likely spot. Medmenham unearthed photographs taken by a bomber pilot on a raid against Kiel in May 1942, which revealed much building and mysterious earthworks. Some photographic sorties were immediately launched. On 22 April a Mosquito took photographs of the area. One of these revealed an object projecting from the seaward end of a building. In the next frame, taken four seconds later, the object had vanished and in its place was a puff of smoke. The British did not realize it, but the photographs show the 21st experimental firing of an A4 rocket. Nevertheless, the Sandys Committee has concluded that Peenemunde is an experimental station dealing with projectiles and explosives. If rockets are being developed there it will be a while before they are operational. Peenemunde is to be kept under observation and every effort made to establish its role.
Frigates HMS Lossie and Parret launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
EUROPE: Approximately 1.3 million forced labourers from occupied countries are now working as slaves for Germany.
GERMANY: U-1020, U-1170 laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
POLAND: An International Medical Commission team drawn from German-occupied countries is today spending its third day in Katyn, compiling a report on the 4,143 bodies so far exhumed from a mass grave for murdered Polish officers. The massacre, which seems likely to be the work of Stalin’s agents, has caused turmoil amongst Polish exiles. The Union of Polish Patriots in Moscow has accused the London-based Polish government in exile of co-operating in a Hitlerite provocation.
U.S.S.R.: Doroshich: Hungarian Honved guards herd sick and invalided male Jews into an infirmary, which is then padlocked and torched. Any escapees are shot. Around 800 Labour men are burned alive. (Russell Folsom)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Excited German intelligence chiefs cannot believe their luck. Top-secret British documents indicating the Allies’ next move in the invasion of Europe have been found in a briefcase attached to the body of a British officer washed up on a Spanish beach, near the port of Huelva. A letter from Lord Louis Mountbatten to General Eisenhower indicates that Sardinia, not Sicily as assumed, is the area selected for the invasion of Europe.
What the Germans do not know is that they are the victims of an elaborate hoax, gruesomely codenamed ‘Operation Mincemeat’. The body of “Major Martin” is believed to be that out of a down-and-out Londoner who died of pneumonia in an East End hospital. He was carried in an insulated canister and put into the sea by submarine HMS SERAPH. The briefcase was handed to the British consul, but not until the Abwehr had finished with it.
To add authenticity, “Major Martin” carried a picture of his girlfriend “Pam”, a receipt for an engagement ring, a tailor’s bill, theatre ticket stubs and a stiff letter from his bank manager. He will be given a military funeral and a death notice in The Times.
NORTH AFRICA: German Armour leads in retaking Djebel Bou Aoukaz but sustains heavy losses.
INDIA: For two weeks they have been arriving, gaunt figures trickling across the Chindwin river to the safety of British India. They are survivors of the first Chindit expedition behind enemy lines in Japanese-occupied Burma. Just over 2,000 of the original 3,000-strong force had made the return trip by yesterday, although 600 are so emaciated by nearly three months jungle warfare that they may never fight again.
The Chindits are pioneers of what their commander, Brigadier Wingate, calls “long-range penetration”. Both the concept and its founder are still controversial within Regular Army ranks. As a plus there have been the Chindits’ success in putting the Mandalay/Myitkyina railway out of action for four weeks and the intelligence acquired. Negatively, the Chindits were forced to withdraw and Japan retains control of Burma. Wingate, though, says that the expedition proves that the Allied soldier given training, can take on the Japanese at jungle warfare with success.
AUSTRALIA: Minesweeper HMAS Cootamundra commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
CANADA: Corvettes HMCS Algoma and Calgary returned St. John’s from UK with Convoy ON-179, (51-ship convoy from Liverpool to in New York which arrived safely on 6 May 43) and from support of Operation Torch, North African Landings.
Minesweeper HMCS Bayfield arrived Halifax from Esquimalt via refit Baltimore, Maryland.
Minesweepers HMCS Ingonish, Lockeport and Guysborough arrived Halifax from Esquimalt.
Submarine USS Bang laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Savage and Vance laid down.
Destroyer USS Baldwin commissioned.
Destroyer escort USS Buckley commissioned.
Minesweeper USS Pursuit commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Another major sea battle is about to begin over the slow-moving westward bound convoy ONS-5. The Germans spotted the convoy yesterday 500 miles east of the southern tip of Greenland and sank one of the 42 merchant ships. Admiral Dönitz is now assembling a pack of 51 U-boats to strike at it before it reaches St. John’s, Newfoundland. He can afford to: the U-boat fleet is now at a record level of 240 operational submarines.
But British code breakers have discovered the German plans, and yesterday five destroyers set off from St. John’s to reinforce the convoy’s escort. All available Royal Canadian Air Force Catalinas are also being prepared for air support.
The stage is set for a battle royal, and the outcome may well be decided by the weather. Already the gale force winds are making it difficult for the convoy to stay together. And the escort leader, the destroyer HMS Duncan, has used so much fuel that she has had to sail home.
Survivors tell tales of hellish journey.
How Allied closed the “Black Gap”.
Newer technology turns the tables.
The U.S. Navy turns over responsibility for convoys sailing between Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and the UK to the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy. (Jack McKillop)
At 2256, U-515 fired two stern torpedoes at Convoy TS-37 about 130 miles SW of Freetown and observed hits after 58 and 59 seconds. The first ship was seen sinking fast and another broke in two after being hit under the bridge. At 2257, one torpedo was fired, which struck a freighter amidships after 52 seconds. A fourth torpedo fired one minute later struck another freighter amidships, which exploded. At 2259, a fifth torpedo was fired and struck after 1 minute a ship, which immediately sank. A sixth torpedo fired at 2301 hit a freighter after 1 minute 30 seconds, but the sinking could not be observed. Henke claimed five ships of 31,000 tons sunk and another of 6,000 tons probably sunk. However, only four ships were hit and sunk, the Corabella, Bandar Shahpour, Kota Tjandi and Nagina. One passenger from the Bandar Shahpour was lost. The master, 61 crewmembers, eight gunners and seven passengers were picked up by trawler HMS Birdlip and landed at Freetown the next day. Nine crewmembers from Corabella were lost. The master, 30 crewmembers and eight gunners were picked up by Birdlip and landed at Freetown the next day. The third officer Aarts and five crewmembers from the Kota Tjandi were lost. Two crewmembers from the Nagina were lost. The master, 100 crewmembers and ten gunners were picked up by Birdlip and landed at Freetown. (Dave Shirlaw)
How ‘Major Martin’ wound up in Spain:
“On the battlefields 145,012 people died in those two years, while road casualties last year alone reached 147,500, despite a drop in the number of private cars on the road from two million in 1939 to a mere 718,000 by this year.”
Yikes!!! Currently the US has about 40,000/yr road fatalities with 300 million population v. UK’s 50 million or so in WWII, IIRC.
I found a chart from the Parliament web site that gives highway fatalities for 1942 as 6,926. It shows total casualties as 148k. I suspect the etherington contributor mixed his apples and oranges.