Skip to comments.CHURCHILL ARRIVES FOR TALK WITH ROOSEVELT; FOE CUT OFF ON CAP BON PENINSULA COLLAPSING (5/12/43)
Posted on 05/12/2013 5:17:29 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)
German commander in Tunisia gives up
Wednesday, May 12, 1943 www.onwar.com
General von Arnim surrenders [photo at link].
In Tunisia... General von Arnim surrenders to the Allies. Italian General Messe is promoted to Field Marshal by Mussolini in hopes of encouraging him to continue fighting.
In the Solomon Islands... Admiral Ainsworth leads 4 cruisers and 7 destroyers in two groups to shell Vila and Munda. American ships lay more mines near New Georgia Island.
In Washington... The Trident Conference. Roosevelt and Churchill meet to discuss strategy. The Americans seek a commitment to an invasion of western Europe. The British seek a commitment to an invasion of Italy and possibly the Balkans.
How the Churchill excerpt ended up in the side by side format I don’t know. I scanned it as four separate images in a vertical presentation. Anyway, read them left-right, left-right - HJS.
May 12th, 1943 (WEDNESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Axis forces in North Africa surrendered. British Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Attlee, formally announced end of the North African Campaign.
Sloop HMS Pheasant commissioned.
HMC ML 095 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: East Prussia: Rastenburg: Hitler downgrades the defence of Sicily, giving priority to Sardinia and the Peloponnese.
U-550, U-983, U-984 launched.
U-426, U-978 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: Polar Fleet and White Sea Flotilla: SKR-31 (ex-RT-43 “Ribets”) - sunk by aviation, close to cape Zip-Navolok (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
ITALY: Mussolini promotes General Messe to Field Marshall in hope of inspiring him to hold out.
French seize Monte Facti. The British XIII Corps achieves two small bridgeheads over the Rapido River.
Rome: Grand Admiral Dönitz arrives on a mission to boost Italy’s contribution to the Axis effort.
NORTH AFRICA: General Von Arnim surrenders to the Allies in Tunisia.
PACIFIC OCEAN: USS Pickerel left Pearl Harbor for her seventh war patrol off the eastern coast of northern Honshu on 18 March 1943. She topped of fuel at Midway on 22 March and was not heard from again. She was reported overdue on 12 May when she failed to return to Midway. It is possible that she was lost on 3 April 1943, off the Shiranuka Lighthouse, on the northern tip of Honshu by an attack by Japanese minelayer Shirakami and auxiliary subchaser Bunzan Maru. (Dave Shirlaw)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Admiral Ainsworth with a US naval force of 4 cruisers and 7 destroyers shells Vila and Munda in the Solomons, and lay mines off New Georgia.
The bombardment of Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island and Vila Airfield on Kolombangara Island takes place on the night of 12/13 May. (Jack McKillop)
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: On Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands, the Americans advance from three directions. The Northern Landing Force advanced on two fronts; the Provisional Scout Battalion, which landed on Beach Scarlet in Austin Cove, moves southward and approaches the Japanese rear but they are fired on and pinned down for three days. By1830 hours, the second advance, by the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment advancing southward from Holtz Bay, overruns the Japanese front line on Hill X and then faces counterattacks resulting in hand-to-hand combat.
At 0900 hours, the Southern Landing Force begins a two pronged attack from Massacre Bay towards Jarmin Pass but fail to gain ground due to fog in the hills concealing Japanese positions.
During the day, the battleships USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) and USS Nevada (BB-36) bombard Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor. As the USS Pennsylvania turns away, the Japanese submarine HIJMS I-31 fires torpedoes that miss.
Two U.S. destroyers attack the submarine for ten hours before finally sinking her. A second submarine, HIJMS I-35, attacks the light cruiser USS Sante Fe (CL-60) but the torpedoes miss and the submarine is sunk by two U.S. destroyers.
The USAAF dispatches a P-39reconnaissance sortie over Kiska and Rat Island but it encounters poor weather and turns back. On Attu, an air-ground liaison B-24 watches US forces land on beach “Red” while another B-24 drops supplies. Seven attack missions flown by 10 B-24s, 12 B-25s, and 24 P-38s bomb and strafe assigned Attu targets. Four barges are set afire in the western arm of Holtz Bay. (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: The first production Consolidated Cansos (Catalinas) come off the Canadian Vickers line in Cartierville. (23)
Corvette HMCS Ville de Quebec arrived Gaspe to join Quebec Force. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: The Trident Conference begins in Washington, DC. Churchill and Roosevelt meet until the 25th of May. They decide on a target date of May 1, 1944 for D-Day in northwest Europe. The US forces in the Pacific receive no restrictions on operations. British General Morgan, as Cossac, is choosen to head the Allied buildup of forces in preparation for the 1944 cross channel operation.
USS LST-176 is commissioned. Built by the Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company, Evansville, Indiana. Her first commanding officer is Lt. John A. Salt USCGR. (Skip Guidry)
Destroyer USS Carysfort laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Jenks, Cofer and Kephart laid down.
Escort carrier USS Corregidor launched.
Destroyer escort USS Sellstrom launched.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-456 is almost certainly sunk in a diving accident, in position 46.39N, 26.54W, while facing the British destroyer HMS Opportune after being badly damaged by a FIDO homing torpedo from an RAF Liberator Mk. IIIA of No. 86 Squadron based at Aldergrove, Co. Antrim, Ireland. All 49 hands on the U-boat are lost. (Jack McKillop)
U-89 sunk in the Northern Atlantic, in position 46.30N, 25.40W by an RN 811 Sqn Swordfish from HMS Biter, destroyer HMS Broadway and frigate HMS Lagan.
U-186 sunk north of the Azores, in position 41.54N, 31.49W, by depth charges from destroyer HMS Hesperus.
U-223 was rammed by HMS Hesperus in the North Atlantic and badly damaged. U-377 and U-359 assisted the boat, which could no longer dive, and U-223 reached base on 24 May.
U-405 had to return to base due to technical difficulties.
The Canadian-built, British-registered cargo ship Fort Concord (7,130 GRT) was damaged by U-456 KptLt. Max-Martin Teichert, Knights Cross, CO, and later sunk by U-403, KptLt. Heinz-Ehlert Clausen, CO, north of the Azores, in position 46.05N, 025.20W. Fort Concord was proceeding from New York City to Liverpool, as part of the 46-ship convoy HX-237. She was loaded with 8,500 tons of grain and 700 tons of military stores. Thirty-seven of the 56 crewmembers, DEMS gunners, and passengers onboard were lost. The survivors were rescued by the Canadian Flower-class corvette Drumheller and were landed in Londonderry. Records show that HX-237 arrived in Liverpool on 17 May 43 without having lost any ships, indicating that Fort Concord was sunk after straggling behind the convoy. Fort Concord was a North Sands-class freighter built by Davie Shipbuilding and Repair Co., Ltd., at Lauzon, Province of Quebec. She was completed in Nov 42. Fort Concord was one of 90 North Sands-class freighters built in Canada for American order under the Hyde Park Declaration and subsequently provided to Great Britain under the Lend-Lease Agreement. Larrinaga Steamship Co. Ltd., of Liverpool, managed the ship for the British government. Twenty-two of these ships were sunk and another eight were damaged.
At 0313, the unescorted and zigzagging Cape Neddick was hit by two torpedoes from U-195. The first torpedo struck aft at the #3 hatch on the bilge keel but did not explode. The other torpedo struck the #2 hatch. The explosion threw a sheet of flame and a column of water higher than the bridge and ripped a hole of 25 by 30 feet into the side. The ship rolled first to port, then to starboard and finally settled on an even keel. As the ship headed into the direction of the U-boat, the armed guards began firing all guns (the ship was armed with one 3in, one 4in and eight 20mm guns). The most of the eight officers, 43 men and 25 armed guards were ordered into two boats and three rafts, as the Cape Neddick began to settle by the head and the water reached the foredeck. After the ship stopped, the deck cleared of water and the master and six volunteers from the engine room reboarded the vessel. They got the ship under way and proceeded away from the area on a zigzagging course at 04.42 hours. Just as the vessel got under way a torpedo pass ahead. The gun crew fired three rounds into the direction of U-195, but never sighted the U-boat. 15 hours later she came back and picked up the men in the boats and rafts. The cargo was shifted and on 16 May she arrived safely at Walvis Bay, South Africa. All hands survived, but several men were injured, even not serious. After temporary repairs, the Cape Neddick proceeded to Capetown, unloaded her cargo and returned to the USA, where permanent repairs were made and returned to service.
At 2228, the Sandanger, a straggler from Convoy HX-237 due to thick fog, was hit amidships, in the pump room and in #6 tank by three torpedoes from U-221 and caught fire immediately. Some survivors tried to abandon ship in boats and rafts but they died in the burning sea. After the tanker broke in two, the stern sank while the burning forepart remained afloat. Because of the fast combustion, an area of low pressure was created, which caused a very strong wind to blow in along the water from the high pressure area outside of the flames, and this wind split the flames on the starboard side in two. This phenomenon saved the 19 survivors in the only intact lifeboat. They rowed for 40 minutes through this area away from the flames that burned just a few feet above their heads and behind them. The tanker sank completely about 90 minutes after the hits, but the fuel burned for several hours on the water surface. 20 crewmembers, including the master and all deck officers were lost. The survivors set sail and were spotted several times by aircraft, one of them dropped a portable radio transmitter that made it possible that they were picked up on 22 May by HMCS Kootenay and landed at Londonderry the next day.
The Brand was separated from Convoy HX-237 in thick fog and was torpedoed by U-603. 36 crewmen and seven gunners abandoned ship in three lifeboats. The vessel sank after seven minutes, taking two crewmen and one gunner with her. The lifeboats set sails for Ireland, but were picked up the same day by corvette HMCS Morden. A Swordfish aircraft had been sighted in the afternoon and it had probably guided the corvette to the boats.
U-311 shot down an RAF 206 Sqn Fortress.
U-230 shot down an RN 811 Sqn Swordfish in Convoy HX-237.
"General Jürgen Stroop gained notoriety for brutally suppressing the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of April-May 1943.
In recognition of his services to the Third Reich, Stroop was awarded the Iron Cross First Class. p "In April 1943 Stroop (pictured, left) was ordered to remove the remaining 56,000 Jews from Warsaw and to crush the revolt that had recently broken out.
He approached the task with ruthless efficiency.
More than 2000 SS and army units descended upon the ghetto and systematically destroyed it building by building.
His detailed report of his activities attests to his cold-blooded callousness.
On May 16 Stroop reported that the 'operation' was complete and that 'the Jewish Quarter of Warsaw is no more.'
"Stroop was sentenced to death by a Polish court of law and executed on September 8, 1951."
"A Finnish battalion of the Waffen-SS returns home from action on the Soviet front.
This Freiwillige (volunteer) unit was one of the many non-German groups that joined the Waffen-SS.
Their anti-Russian attitudes were exploited by the Nazi regime for the benefit of both the war effort and facilitation of the "Final Solution.""
"A family interned in the Marzahn Gypsy camp in Germany awaits its fate.
Large-scale deportations to Auschwitz began in February 1943, when a "family camp" for Gypsies was established at the Birkenau killing center.
The appalling conditions condemned thousands to death, while Josef Mengele conducted ghastly "medical experiments" on Gypsy twins."
The Fountainhead was my introduction to Ayn Rand, loved it and went on to read most of her other books.
Our NYTimes book reviewer - Orville Prescott -- seems to "get" Rand's writing intensity, though not so much her reasons for it.
But who knows, possibly her future books will help enlighten the poor soul. ;-)
Or, maybe not. This is, after all, the New York Times.
On June 4, 1943 the New York Times ran a story on Zygelbojm's suicide, and included the entire note. It will be reproduced here next month.
This is a real look into the past.
I could read old newspapers all day.
A book about architecture.
Hanson Baldwin was a great war correspondent. He obviously had studied military organizations and tactics carefully. Baldwin was right on the mark today. The cross-Channel invasion could have been a disaster without the bloodying and training the military services got in North Africa.
"Never in the history of human conflict have so few been commanded by so many." LOL!
It looks like the military headshrinkers are on the path to identifying what we would later call PTSD from the veterans of Guadalcanal.