Skip to comments.AXIS REMNANTS POUNDED ON CAP BON AND IN SEA; 25,000 SURRENDER TO AMERICANS NEAR BIZERTE (5/11/43)
Posted on 05/11/2013 5:46:11 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Special Guest Map The Conquest of Tunis: May 6-12, 1943 (from The Hinge of Fate, by Winston Churchill)
*This is the first of twelve parts between now and May 22.
British offensive in Burma ends in defeat
Tuesday, May 11, 1943 www.onwar.com
British soldier on a jungle trail [photo at link].
In Burma... The British 26th Division pulls back from Maungdaw. This marks the end of the British Arakan campaign. They have suffered 3000 killed and seriously wounded. The Japanese have experienced less than half that number of casualties in the campaign. Furthermore, British morale is low and the health of the troops is poor.
In the Aleutian Islands... The US 7th Division (commanded by General Brown) lands on Japanese occupied Attu Island. Admiral Kinkaid’s Task Force 16 supports the operation. The supporting naval forces include 3 battleships, 1 escort carrier and numerous cruisers and destroyers. Once ashore, the American troops encounter difficulties advancing inland due to Japanese resistance and difficult terrain.
May 11th, 1943 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Great Yarmouth: A daylight raid by 20 German bombers kills 26 girls staying at an ATS hostel.
Corvette HMCS Kenogami departed Londonderry with EG B-4 and Convoy ON-183. The convoy arrived safely at New York City on 25 May. (Dave Shirlaw)
U-875, U-1234 laid down.
U-856 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Allies end a three-day aerial bombardment of the Italian island of Pantelleria.
BURMA: The British pull the 26th Division back from Maungdow.
Generals Irwin and Lloyd are relieved.
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: The US 7th Division lands on Attu in the Aleutian Islands, helped by dense fog to gain surprise.
Jack McKillop adds: Operation LANDCRAB, the invasion of Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands begins. At 0309 hours local, the submarines USS Narwhal (SS-167) and USS Nautilus (SS-168) rendezvous off the north coast of Attu and land scouts of the 7th Infantry Scout Company. The actual unopposed invasion by the 17th and 32d Infantry Regiments, 7th Infantry Division, begins in the afternoon.
At 1530 hours local, the Northern Force lands on the north side of Holtz Bay and pushes southeast; the Southern Force lands at Massacre Bay at 1620 hours and pushes north. By 2200 hours, the Northern Force is 0.5 miles (805 m) from a hill dominating Holtz Valley while the Southern Force has secured a beachhead in Massacre Bay.
The operation is supported by the U.S. Navy’s Task Force 51 consisting of the battleships USS Idaho (BB-42), USS Nevada (BB-36) and USS Pennsylvania (BB-38; the auxiliary aircraft carrier USS Nassau (ACV-16) with Composite Squadron Two One (VC-21) and Marine Observation Squadron One Hundred Fifty Five (VMO-155) embarked; eight destroyers; plus the transports and escorts which included two Royal Canadian Navy Flower-class corvettes, HMCS Dawson and HMCS Vancouver.
The Northern Force is supported by the heavy cruisers USS San Francisco (C-38 and USS Wichita (CA-45); the light cruiser USS Louisville (CL-28) and four destroyers. The Southern Force is supported by the light cruisers USS Detroit (CL-8), USS Raleigh (CL-7), USS Richmond (CL-9) and USS Santa Fe (CL-60) plus five destroyers.
Both ships bombard Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor.
Aircraft of the Eleventh Air Force also support the invasion. Eleven B-24s and 12 B-25s fly five missions against the island.
CANADA: Minesweeper HMCS Fort Frances laid down Port Arthur, Ontario.
Trawler HMS Anticosti commenced refit Louisbourg , Nova Scotia. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Washington: Churchill arrives with military staff for “Trident”, talks with Roosevelt on Allied strategy after North Africa.
Escort carrier USS Kasaan Bay laid down.
Frigate USS Muskegon laid down.
Destroyer USS Braine commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
PANAMA: Naval Operating Base (NOB) Balboa is renamed to Naval Station, Balboa. (Jack McKillop)
SS Tinhow sunk by U-181 at 25.15S, 33.30E.
At 2340, the Nailsea Meadow was torpedoed and sunk by U-196 40 miles south of Port St Johns, Cape Colony. Two crewmembers were lost. The master, 34 crewmembers and seven gunners were picked up by the SAAF crash launch R 6 and landed at East London on 12 May.
At 2000, U-402 attacked Convoy SC-129 about 300 miles NW of the Azores and claimed two ships sunk (Antigone and Grado) of 9000 tons. Three crewmembers from the Antigone were lost. The master, 35 crewmembers and seven gunners were picked up by British rescue ship Melrose Abbey and landed at Gourock on 20 May. All hands abandoned Grado, 16 of them were picked up by British rescue ship Melrose Abbey and the remaining men were picked up by the escort vessels.
U-528 sunk in the North Atlantic SW of Ireland, in position 46.55N, 14.44W, by depth charges from an RAF 58 Sqn Halifax and by depth charges from sloop HMS Fleetwood. 1 dead and 45 survivors.
Destroyer HMS Hesperus depth charged the U-223 to the surface and then rammed her on 11 May. 2 men were lost overboard; U-359 rescued one of them and transferred him back to U-223 on 14 May as she had managed to escape the destroyer. U-223 returned to port on 24 May but did not sail again until 14 Sept while being repaired. [Matrosengefreiter Heinz Hoog].
At 0441, the Fort Concord, a straggler from Convoy HX-237 was torpedoed and sunk by U-456 about 350 miles north of the Azores. The master, 28 crewmembers and eight gunners were lost. The Chief Officer J.B. Tunbridge, 17 crewmembers and one passenger (DBS) were rescued by HMCS Drumheller and landed at Londonderry. On 18 May, U-103 sighted a raft with five survivors from the Fort Concord and took J. Oxton, the 15 years old ships boy and the second engineer Huxley as prisoners on board. They gave the food and water to the remaining three survivors (two Indians and a Japanese) and left the area, but these men were never found.
Intensely interesting thread, as always. Thanks.