Skip to comments.WALLACE ACCUSES J.H. JONES OF OBSTRUCTING WAR EFFORT; RAF DEALS 2,000-TON BLOW TO COLOGNE (6/30/43)
Posted on 06/30/2013 4:07:24 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
The West Point Military History Series, Thomas E. Griess, Editor, The Second World War: Asia and the Pacific
US troops hit New Georgia beaches
Wednesday, June 30, 1943 www.onwar.com
American troop transports approach the islands [photo at link]
In the Solomon Islands... American forces land on several islands of the New Georgia group. Rendova island is targeted, in particular. All the landings are successful. There is heavy Japanese resistance on Vangunu. The American forces engaged for these landings are principally the 43rd Division (General Hester) with naval support by Task Force 31 (Admiral Turner) and land-based aircraft commanded by Admiral Fitch.
In New Guinea... A mixed Australian and American unit known as McKechnie Force lands at Nassau Bay near Salamaua from Morobe. There is heavy Japanese resistance to the landing.
On the Eastern Front... There a numerous small-scale engagements along the entire front.
In Occupied Poland... The commander of the Polish Home Army, Grot-Rowecki, is arrested by the Germans in Warsaw.
June 30th, 1943 (WEDNESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: At the Guildhall ceremony giving him the Freedom of the City of London, Churchill says: “We bear the sword of justice, and we resolve to use that sword with the utmost severity ... to the end.”
He was answering the critics of the “Unconditional Surrender” policy adopted at the Casablanca conference. To those who argue that the policy will stiffen the resistance of the enemy he said: “We must take all those far-sighted measures which are necessary to prevent the world from being again convulsed, wrecked and blackened by their calculated plots and ferocious aggressions.” Churchill believes that if a set of peace terms were drawn up, as the critics suggest, public opinion would demand conditions that would be more repulsive to the Germans than anything indicated by the general expression “Unconditional Surrender.”
Attempts have, in fact, been made to draft a statements of conditions that could be put to Germany. Churchill says that they looked so terrible when written down that they were scrapped at once. He believes that the Allies must completely break the Nazi, Fascist and Japanese tyrannies, but without being moved by “mere lust for vengeance.”
Britain: Signposts are to be re-erected in rural areas of Britain, now that the danger of invasion has receded, it was announced today. Tank traps, anti-tank trenches and barbed wire entanglements will also be removed where they are no longer necessary. Lord Mottisone said that on a windy day at least ten young women had had their frocks ripped on barbed wire within 300 yards of the House of Lords. Anti-tank blockades in the streets were the cause of accidents.
Britain: War production in Britain is at its highest since hostilities began. There are now nearly five million men and women employed in the munitions industries, and output of weapons is at its peak. The biggest of all is the aircraft industry, expanded to 1,600,000 workers, 40% of them women, which is turning out 26,000 planes a year, including 7,000 bombers. Fighting vehicles are being produced at the rate of 7,400 tanks and 24,000 armoured cars this year.
Women now make up 57% of the work-force of the Royal Ordnance Factories and 40% of the engineering industry. It is calculated that 90% of single and 80% of married women of working age are in industry or the auxiliary forces. The remainder are mostly mothers with young children. Over one million people over 65 are working.
Average weekly wages reach £7/8/7 in aircraft factories and £6/18/3 for men (£3/9/10 for women) in engineering. But highly skilled piece-workers fitting aero engines can be earning up to £20 a week or more.
The employment of women has hastened improvements in industrial welfare. Mr. Bevin has recruited factory welfare officers and ordered 5,000 works’ canteens to be set up. Tea-breaks, compulsory for women, have been extended to men, and day nurseries for women workers with young children are being opened by local authorities.
Hours worked have been reduced from the 70 or more a week in 1940, as accidents and fatigue lowered productivity. The maximum recommended is 55 hours a week for men, 50 for women, with one day off a week and one week’s paid holiday a year. Committees have been set up to increase efficiency. Twice-weekly broadcasts of Music While You Work raise production by 15% for the next hour.
Frigate HMS Deane laid down.
Submarine HMS Sleuth laid down.
Frigate HMS Affleck launched.
Rescue tug HMS Flaunt launched.
Destroyer HMS Wakeful launched.
Destroyer HMS Ulster commissioned. (DS)
POLAND: The commander of the Polish Home Army, Gort-Rowecki is arrested by the Germans in Warsaw. Bor-Komorowski replaces him.
U.S.S.R.: Ukraine: Preparations are being made in the Ukraine for a massive test of strength between the Red Army and the Wehrmacht. Hitler has planned Operation Citadel to break the stalemate on the eastern front by pinching out the huge Russian salient around Kursk. He has amassed a vast army with nearly a million men and 2,500 tanks under the command of General Model and General Hoth. But Stalin, alerted by the “Lucy” spy-ring, has built a deep web of defensive positions.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: US Flying Fortresses attack Palermo and nearby airfields, and bomb Cagliari in Sardinia.
ITALY: Worried that Italy might defect from the Axis after its defeats in North Africa, the Luftwaffe has moved two operational command stations from the Russian front to southern Italy. The move follows Allied air raids on Messina, in Sicily, and Livorno, on the Italian mainland. In London, Winston Churchill talked in a broadcast of Italian speculation about where the coming invasion would land. “It is no part of our business to relieve their anxieties,” he said.
NEW GUINEA: OPERATION CHRONICLE:
A force composed of Australians and Americans lands at Nassau Bay near Salamaua 60 miles south of Lae with its substantial Japanese garrison. It is known as the the McKechnie Force. The move is part of Operation Cartwheel, aimed at giving the Japanese no respite after their defeat at Guadalcanal. The Allies landed soon after midnight, guided ashore by beach lights set up by Australian army patrols. No contact was made with the enemy, sparking speculation that the elusive Japanese are hiding in the hinterland and preparing a counter-offensive.
However, there is a shoot-out involving 28 friendly fire deaths and about 20 wounded. The green book “Operation Cartwheel” says that they were heavily attacked by Japanese. AIF observers reckoned there were no Japanese in the area apart from a couple who may have fired shots from a distance. I.e. the casualties were due to different groups of friendlies shooting each other.
Forces push north and south toward the Bitoi River and Tabali Creek, respectively.
Troops make contact with enemy forces in the Cape Dinga area south of Nassau Bay, after the Japanese III/102 Battalion abandon Nassau Bay and head north without a fight. The Japanese don’t stop until they reach Roosevelt Ridge. Australians open the assault on Bobdubi Ridge and maintain pressure on the enemy in the Mubo area.
B-25s pound Bobdubi Ridge in support of the assault and hit forces at Logui and Salamaua. B-25s also bomb the airfield at Cape Chater on Timor Island.
B-24s and B-17s bomb an airfield at Rabaul, New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago and one heavy bomber scores a hit on a cargo vessel off Cape Gloucester, New Britain Island. (Michael Alexander and Jack McKillop)
Trobriand Islands: At the same time as Operation CHRONICLE, USN’s Task Force 76 lands the 112th Cavalry Regiment on Kiriwana island and the 158th Infantry Regiment on Woodlark Island in Nassau Bay, north-east of New Guinea. No Japanese were on either island. Smaller parties had landed on 23 June on both Woodlark and Kiriwana - where there is already an RAAF radar station - to prepare for the arrival of the main bodies of infantry and engineers. Australians were advised of the other’s presence! Fortunately, good luck and common sense on both sides prevented any “blue on blue” incidents.
1st Battalion, 162d Infantry Regiment lands in Nassau Bay. Air bases to support later stages of the advance to Rabaul are to be built on these islands by US Seabee engineers and construction starts soon after on Woodlark Island.
(Michael Mitchell adds): So far as I am aware, there was only one Australian with the landing force (Capt McBride AIF, a liaison officer from General Savige’s HQ) and his landing craft did not actually make it until the following night, so the landing was actually an all-US affair. However, Australians were on-shore to guide the landing craft in.
I recall the landing craft were supplied by the 532nd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment, part of the US 2nd Engineer Special Brigade. Many were destroyed in the exceptionally high surf (fortunately with no loss of life). This influenced General Blamey’s subsequent decision to discard Nassau Bay as a staging area for Operation Postern (the capture of Lae).
I/162nd Battalion was commanded by Lt-Col Harold Taylor. I believe the battalion earned a Presidential Unit Citation for its subsequent work in the liberation of Salamaua. It is now part of the Oregan National Guard.
“Mackechnie Force” initially referred to the balance of 162nd Regiment (II and III battalions plus attached AAA units and arty). Taylor’s I battalion was detached as part of 17 Bde AIF (u/c Brigadier Moten) but was later restored to Mackechnie Force. Mackechnie Force was briefly referred to as “Coane Force” when commanded by Brigadier Ralph Coane but reverted to its former name on Col Mackechnie’s return on 13 August 1943.
SOLOMON ISLANDS, New Georgia: Operation TOENAILS:
The invasion of New Georgia Island begins with amphibious landings by US Army’s 172d Infantry Regiment of the 43d Infantry Division on Rendova Island.
The US Marine Corps’ 4th Raider Battalion landed at Segi Point on Vangunu Island off the southeast coast of New Georgia on 21 June and then marched overland to seize Viru Harbour on the southeast coast of Vangunu.
They are landed by the USN’s Task Force 31 (Admiral R. K. Turner), supported by land-based Allied aircraft. Subsidiary landings take place at other points in the New Georgia area, these being two companies of the 169th Infantry Regiment on two small islands bracketing the passage through the coral reef to the future landings on New Georgia.
USAAF, USMC, USN and RNZAF fighters cover the landings. Today the USAAF has the following fighters available: 72 F4F, 65 F4U, 47 P-40, 17 P-38 and 12 P-39.
At 1100 hours, 16 Mitsubishi A6M Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters, Allied Code Name “Zeke,” attack the beachhead; USMC F4U Corsairs intercept, claiming 15 shot down over and around Rendova.
USN F4F Wildcat pilots shoot down a Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber , Allied Code Name “Betty,” at 1035 hours and two “Zekes” at 1110 hours.
At 1530 hours, 24 torpedo carrying Navy Type 1 Attack Bombers, Allied Code Name “Betty” carrying torpedoes escorted by 25 Mitsubishi A6M Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters, Allied Code Name “Zeke” attack the invasion fleet as it retires towards Guadalcanal; all available fighter aircraft are vectored and USMC F4Us,USN F4Fs and AA down all the “Bettys” as they attack vessels however one Betty launched a torpedo that strikes the flagship, the attack transport USS McCawley (APA-4), amidship in the engine room, killing 15 of her crew and severely damaging the vessel leaving her without power. The ship is taken under tow but at 1640 hours, all the crew except the salvage party is taken off.
At 1730 hours, 30 IJN fighters attack the invasion force and the McCawley is strafed but not damaged.
At 2023 hours, the ship is struck by another torpedo and sinks in 30 seconds.
The following day, is was learned that six USN PT boats had torpedoed an “enemy” transport in Blanche Channel, after having been informed there were no friendly forces in the area.
At 1730 hours, about 30 “Zekes” and Nakajima E8N Navy Type 95 Reconnaissance Seaplanes return to the assault area; USAAF P-38 and P-40 pilots and USMC F4U pilots claim 18 of these shot down.
B-25s and USN SBD Dauntlesses bomb Munda Airfield on New Georgia. A B-24 strike on Kahili, Bougainville Island aborts because of bad weather. (Jack McKillop)
Samoa: Uvea Island in the Wallis Group: Marine Scout Bombing Squadron One Hundred Fifty One (VMSB-151) gives up the last Curtiss SBC-4 Helldiver in operation use in the United States military. (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: Frigate HMCS St Pierre laid down Lauzon Province of Quebec. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Washington: The US has spent $71,000 million on defence - 93% of all government expenditure - in the last twelve months. Revenue in the same period was just $21,000 million.
On this date, the USN has 18,493 ships and craft and 2,207,720 personnel consisting of 1,741,750 sailors; 310,994 Marines; and 154,976 Coastguardsmen.
Destroyers USS Blue, McGowan and McNair laid down.
Destroyer USS Halsey Powell launched.
Destroyer escorts USS Joseph E Campbell and Richey launched.
Heavy cruiser USS Boston commissioned.
Destroyer USS Caperton commissioned.
Destroyer escort USS Weber commissioned. (DS)
Martinique: Admiral Georges Robert, the Vichy high commissioner, for the French West Indies, asks for US military help to avoid bloodshed and organize the colony’s transfer to the Fighting French. (Glenn Steinberg)
The p7 photo of a u-boat being attacked shows the attacking airplane had at least one of it’s landing gear down. My guess is it was to slow the plane down and allow for a better strafing run.
Erwin Harry De Spretter, subject of the p1 article about Nazi spies could have been given the death penalty but instead got 30 years.
The Curtis SBC-4 Helldiver, not to be confused with the later SB2C Helldiver, was a biplane with a top speed of 203 knots (on a good day). It was armed with two .30 machine guns and could carry 1000 pounds of bombs.
Imaging going up against a Zero in one of those things.
Like most tail draggers, the rear wheel of the Halifax was not retractable.
That fellow Wallace sounds like a loose cannon, wonder if he'll be around for another FDR administration?
He’s definitely not in step with FDR’s minister of information control. He would probably be dead already working under Obama.
The narrator stated as facts the following:
None of the familiar US names were mentioned in this particular context: Joe Rochefort, Eddy Layton or Arthur McCollum.
But if this is correct, then those have to be the people who "knew but didn't tell".
Rochefort & Layton were in Hawaii, McCollum in DC.
Of course, we've debated this at great length, and established there is no documented "smoking gun" proving if Roosevelt himself knew in advance.
But it's most interesting to note how Brits are willing to claim they "knew but didn't tell," and say the same is true of "low level" US intelligence.
Considering the hew & cry raised in the past over similar suggestions, it'll be interesting to see if this one provokes comment.
Fortunately, Wallace was replaced by Truman as the Vice Presidential nominee in the 1944 election.
"The enthusiastic advocates of Douhet will say that, if the numbers of bombers are magnified, Sicily and Europe can become Pantelleria. Perhaps. But what is enough? Throughout the history of war men have said, 'Give me enough and I shall defeat the enemy' - enough elephants, enough cavalry, enough archers, enough spearmen, enough rifles, enough guns, enough tanks. Today it is enough planes. But there has never been 'enough' of any one arm; victory has always been achieved in the final analysis by a combination of all arms, all weapons working in a perfect team."
This sort of reminds me of Victor Davis Hanson.
Thanks. Guess I should have read the article's caption.
Apparently, a later version of Halifax from that shown in the photo did have a retractable tail wheel.
Are depth charges effective against a surfaced submarine?
I’m not sure that Coastal Command got any of the later planes. They might have all ended up at Bomber Command. But we’ve exceeded my knowledge base at this point, and if someone has real information as opposed to my conjecture, I’ll yield the point.
If set to go off shallow enough, it should work. Since most aircraft and blimps spotted U-Boats near or on the surface (when they spotted them at all) they tended to set the charges to go off at a fairly shallow depth.
Makes sense. I've learned more about the Halifax today than I previously knew so, I'm in no position to comment further.
I think depth charges are generally less effective at shallow depths but if the charge is set to go at a relatively shallow depth and the depth charge lands close enough, the shock effect could at least damage the outer hull area sufficiently to prevent the u-boat from submerging. If the charge goes off even closer, it may be able to rupture the pressure hull.
I don't know if depth charges contained a sufficiently large quantity of explosive that if they went off directly beneath the hull of a surfaced u-boat the hull would snap in a manner similar to that of modern non-contact torpedoes.
I also don't know if aerial depth charges could use contact fuzes but given the low altitude of release, aircrews might have been understandably reluctant to release a contact fuzed explosive that might blow them out of the air.
If you follow the evidence, the show's sources would be RECOLLECTIONS 30 years later about what these messages supposedly said. None of the revisionists---not one---has ever been able to produce a single Japanese sailor or officer who would testify that ANY transmission was made. That's all it would take---one eyewitness, yet not a single one has ever been found.
I was satisfied before that our conspiracy theory folks were stretching too little data over too large a subject.
There’s just no “smoking gun” to prove their case.
This particular TV show was called, if i remember, “Secrets of WWII” and focused on contributions from Bletchley Park code breakers.
Likely they stretched the facts a bit.
And I suppose if you compared it to other shows like “Ancient Aliens” it’s no more exaggerated than those...
Well, what bugs me (and I’m sure it bugs Jacobsen) is that no one has ever discussed this stuff with him, and he has a dozen articles on it. Also, even though it’s old, the book “Pearl Harbor: Final Verdict” by Clausen and Lee revealed stuff NO ONE has ever addressed. Clausen had clearance for MAGIC-—something none of the congressional inquiries had, or, at least, could reveal. So witnesses were constantly lying or changing stories because they couldn’t reveal MAGIC. Clausen found, among other things, that Gen. Short reversed the “alert” codes at Pearl in July of 41 and never told Marshall or the War Dept. “1=high” and “3-low” became JUST THE OPPOSITE. So when Washington asked if Pearl was on level 1 alert, Short told them yes . . . meaning to him, the lowest level. But Washington thought it was on the highest level!
It’s very interesting that Baldwin basically took on Doolittle and the Air Force on this one. He shows a lot of journalistic integrity, in sharp contrast to today’s NYT.
That said, it is clear people in the know thought that Japan was preparing attacks somewhere, they just didn't know where or when. Had I been in a high position I would have guessed the Philippines and/or Guam. Still, Pearl had an official war warning from Washington, they could have been better prepared.
It shocked everyone in Washington that Kimmel and Short had known that a Japanese midget sub had been sunk IN PEARL just two nights earlier. That alone should have been full alert warning, as those did not get from Japan to Hawaii on their own!
I know it came as a shock, but for crying out loud the rest of the world had been at war for a couple of years already. It's one thing for civilians to live in a dream world that we can stay out of it, but the professionals should have had some sense.
An interesting aspect to all this is looking at what difference it would had made even if they were on the proper alert in Hawaii. I did a study of the layout and number of assets that Short had at his disposal to protect Oahu and was pretty surprised by what I found.
Two of the primary flak positions on Oahu that were designated to protect the harbor itself only existed on paper. These were supposed to be the new 90mm flak guns of which none had been delivered to Hawaii by the time of the attack. There were only 82 3-inch guns on the island and twelve of those were in positions that never even saw a Japanese aircraft.
A more effective anti-aircraft weapon for the low level aircraft would have been the 37mm guns. These were being used before the U. S. adopted the 40mm Bofors. There was only 144 slated to be positioned in all of Hawaii, the bulk of which were to be on Oahu. Of those only 20 had been delivered. More interestingly though was that the ammunition for the 37mm guns did not arrive until December 5th, 1941. So the small number of crews for these guns would have had no time to get proficient with them.
Even .50 caliber machine guns were in short supply. The approved defensive plan called for 308, but they only had 109. Both Bloch and Short had sent communications calling for at least 500 of these to effectively defend the island if not more.
Finally, there are the air assets. The P-36s and P-49s on the island were not a match for even the Japanese torpedo bombers much less the Zero. Of the twelve P-40Cs and eighty-seven P-40Bs thirty five were playing the role of “hanger queen” and were not even in condition to fly.
I’m not big on going into “what-if” history, but I think if General Short had issued the proper alert which would have had gun prepped with ammo, and planes in the sky, the outcome would not have been significantly different.
Others have pointed out that had Admiral Kimmel received advanced warning of the Japanese attack, the US battleship fleet would have sailed out to meet them, and since both its aircraft carriers were far away, would likely have been sunk -- but this time in depths from which no recovery was possible.
So damage to the US battleship fleet, instead of being temporary and repairable would be permanent, irreparable.
Of course, as it turned out, those old battleships didn't make much difference, long term...
Generally true about the battle wagons, although all returned to service (except, obviously, the Arizona) and several saw combat in the invasions of islands (one was effectively retired, I think).
Admiral Kimmel himself was the first to make that assessment. He went even further to say that it probably would have been worse for the attacking Japanese to have arrived at and Pearl Harbor devoid of ships.
In some of his first testimony he stated that it would have been a bigger disaster had the Japanese arrived, and with no fleet to attack, turned on the dry docks and fuel depots at the naval base. This would have forced the fleet to withdraw to the continent essentially giving up the central Pacific. This is another reason why the failure of Nagumo to launch a 3rd strike, which would have targeted these assets, was a critical error in the attack.
As for the battleships, you’re right, they were no longer main players anymore. But in a way, the temporary loss of them in this attack forced the U. S. Navy towards this evolution in naval fighting. All of the battleships attacked at Pearl went on to fight the Japanese with the exception of the Arizona, and the Oklahoma which was re-floated and then decommissioned (I don’t count the Utah since it was already re-designated as a target ship).
America as a whole was much better prepared for war in 1941 than 1939, but that's not saying much considering where we started.
I think the biggest problem we had in 1941 was we were trying to be all things to everyone and we really were not ramped up industrially to do that just yet.
We had lend-lease aid going to Britain, and in late 1941 made a similar agreement with Stalin to do the same. The First Moscow Protocol was actually mostly filled by the British because the American production was unable to keep up with the amounts promised to the Soviets that year (and 1942 as well).
Then we were trying to fortify our bases against attack. Hawaii was not the only base that needed work. Panama had a wish list as did Midway, Guam, the new bases acquired from the British in the Caribbean and other locations as well. Then to top it all off MacArthur convinced Marshall that the Philippines could be defended if he was given priority on materials. This made the situation for defending Hawaii almost impossible.
One interesting problem this cause for General Short was that it created a catch-22 for him in acquiring even simple raw materials. He was told to make up for deficiencies in his government provided supplies of lumber, and concrete by buying these items from local vendors. However, local vendors could not get their stock orders filled because it required these materials to be attached to a government order in order to get priority on the limited shipping in the Pacific (Short could not do this, it had to come from Washington). Projects like building hardened hangers at Hickman didn’t even get started as a result of the logistical SNAFU.
The idea that the Philippines was defensible against the Japanese seems laughable. I suppose you could talk yourself into believing it at the time, because that was before the Japanese seized Hong Kong and S.E. Asia.
And in fact, by 1941 we had been sending a lot of our stuff to England and the USSR to keep them from getting overrun. There is evidence that a significant number of tanks outside Moscow in the winter of 1941 were American and British-—and you can bet they didn’t all get there in two weeks!
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