Skip to comments.NAVAL BATTLE RAGES OFF NEW GEORGIA ISLAND; GERMANS OPEN OFFENSIVE NORTH OF KHARKOV (7/6/43)
Posted on 07/06/2013 5:46:41 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
German armies advancing on Kursk
Tuesday, July 6, 1943 www.onwar.com
A column of Panzer IVs of SSLAH at Kursk [photo at link]
On the Eastern Front... The battle of Kursk continues. In the north the German 9th Army has advanced about 6 miles into the first Soviet defensive line. In the south, the forces of Army Group South have penetrated 10 miles into the Soviet defenses. There is heavy rainfall on the southern battlefield.
In the Solomon Islands... A second Japanese destroyer, from the force that delivered troops to New Georgia, is sunk by air attack. The fighting on New Georgia continues along the Barike River.
In the Aleutian Islands... An American force (4 cruisers and 4 destroyers) led by Admiral Giffen bombards Japanese positions on Kiska Island.
July 6th, 1943 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Heroic Greece received many tributes from Compton Mackenzie in his new book, Wind of Freedom.
It was her epic resistance to the Germans after she had beaten the Italians that delayed for precious days Hitler’s onslaught on the Soviet armies. But not only Greek soldiers were magnificent. So was - and is - the populace.
In Athens, a dusty city, there have long been scores of young boys who dart out from under the tables in the restaurants and insist on polishing the boots of customers. Even from their mob there emerged a hero worthy of a place among those of ancient Greece. As British prisoners were being marched through the streets, a crowd encouraged them with cheers and the V-sign. Very angry, a Nazi officer ordered them away in vain - and then fired a revolver over their heads.
Suddenly, a youthful bootblack rushed forward and, baring his breast, shouted, “If you want to shoot, shoot here!”
The German officer put his revolver back in its holster, and - shook the boys hand.
Hannen Swaffer, Daily Herald.
GERMANY: U-1105 is laid down.
U-676, U-677 and U-1191 are launched.
NORWAY: U-629 sets up an automatic weather station on Bear Island.
U.S.S.R.: The fighting at Kursk continues. The German “Elefant” assault guns are unable to live up to expectations due to effective Soviet infantry attacks.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Submarine HMS SARACEN sinks the Italian merchant TRIPOLI (1166 BRT) near the island of Monte Cristo.
At 1005, the Shahjehan in Convoy MWS-36 is torpedoed and damaged by U-453 NE of Benghazi, Cyrenaica. The ship is taken in tow but sinks tomorrow at 32°55N/21°10E. One service personnel is lost. The master, 77 crewmembers, 20 gunners and 229 troops (military, naval and RAF personnel) are picked up by HMS St Monance and the river gunboat HMS Aphis and landed at Benghazi.
INDIAN OCEAN: At 0825, the JASPER PARK is torpedoed and sunk by U-177 SSW of Cap Sainte Marie, Madagascar. Four crewmembers are lost. The master, 44 crewmembers and six gunners are picked up by destroyers HMAS QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH and landed at Durban.
JAPAN: The USN submarine USS Permit (SS-178) sinks a Japanese merchant cargo ship off the west coast of Hokkaido.
NEW GUINEA: The 3d Battalion, 162d Infantry, part of the U.S. 41st Infantry Division’s Coane Force, goes ashore at the Nassau beachhead and begins a period of active patrolling. The 2d Battalion, 162d Infantry, takes over positions vacated by the 3d Battalion at Morobe.
SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC: Shortly after midnight, the ships of Task Group 36.1, three light cruisers and four destroyers, shell Vila on Bougainville Island, Kolombangara Island and Bairoko Harbor on New Georgia. This is in support of US Army troops and the First Marine Raider Battalion landings at Rice Anchorage on New Georgia Island in the Solomon Islands.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: The IJN dispatches ten destroyers, seven of them carrying troops and supplies bound for Vila on Kolombangara Island. The USN had been alerted to their voyage yesterday and Task Group 36.1 under Rear Admiral Walden L. Ainsworth, consisting of the light cruisers USS Helena (CL-50), USS Honolulu (CL-48) and USS St. Louis (CL-49) and four destroyers, is positioned off the northwest corner of New Georgia Island to meet them. What ensued has been called The Battle of Kula Gulf. The first contact is made at 0106 hours local by radar in the IJN destroyer HIJMS Nizuki. TG 36.1 begins firing at 0157 hours and destroys the Japanese destroyer. However, two other IJN destroyers had fired torpedoes and USS Helena is struck by a torpedo at 0203 hours local and loses her bow back to No. 2 turret; within three minutes, she is struck by two more torpedoes and she sinks. During the battle, six other IJN destroyers are damaged including HIJMS Nagatsuki which grounded near Bambari Harbor and is demolished by USAAF B-25 Mitchells during the day. Both sides begin a general retirement but not before the Japanese landed troops at Vila. During the night, both sides have destroyers in the area attempting to rescue survivors; one Japanese and two American. Around 0500 hours, HIJMS Amagiri and USS Nicholas (DD-449) exchange torpedoes and then gunfire; Amagiri is hit and retires, leaving the USN to rescue survivors of USS Helena. The USN lose a light cruiser and 168 men; the Japanese lose two destroyers and 300 men. 850 Japanese troops land.
During the day, 35 USMC TBF Avengers and SBD Dauntlesses attack Japanese positions at Bairoko on New Georgia Island, in support of ground troops. The 169th and 172d Infantry Regiments of the Infantry Division are now on New Georgia I. The 172d closes along the Barike River and the 169th, starts toward the river from Zanana. The Japanese repulse attacks against their road block on the Munda Trail. The troops of USMC Lieutenant Colonel Harry Liversedge, Commanding Officer Northern Landing Force, reaches and crosses the Tamakau River.
Heavy bombers begin a series of strikes against enemy airfields on Bougainville Island, the next objective in the Solomons. During the evening, 13 USAAF B-24 Liberators attack Kahili Airdrome on Bougainville, seven B-24s attack Buka Airdrome and six B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb Ballale Airdrome.
A USN PB4Y-1 Liberator of Bombing Squadron One Hundred Two (VB-102) based at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands, piloted by the squadron commander, Lieutenant Commander Bruce A. Van Voorhis, attacks Japanese-held Kapingamarangi Island in the Greenwich Islands, Solomon Islands. [The Greenwich Islands are located about 81 nm (150 km) east of Guadalcanal.] Van Voorhis and his crew made six low-level bombing runs against a radio station and several strafing runs against three sea-planes and shipping in the lagoon until it was shot down by three “Pete” seaplanes (Mitsubishi F1M2, Navy Type 0 Observation Seaplane) and crashed in the lagoon with no survivors. For his action, Van Voorhis was awarded the Medal of Honor; the co-pilot was awarded the Navy Cross and all other crewmembers were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. All awards were made posthumously.
US Marine SBD Dauntlesses and TBF Avengers attack Japanese defenses at Bairoko on New Georgia Island. Navy F4F Wildcat pilots shoot down four Mitsubishi A6M Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters, Allied Code Name “Zeke,” over the Kula Gulf during the morning hours.
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: US naval forces, under Rear Admiral Robert C. Griffin, bombard Japanese positions on Kiska in the Aleutians. Participating are four cruisers and four destroyers. This attack will continue for the next several days.
This is Task Group 16.7 consisting of the heavy cruisers USS Louisville (CA-28), USS San Francisco (CA-38)) and USS Wichita (CA-45); the light cruiser USS Santa Fe (CL-60); and two destroyers. Combined, they fire 312 rounds of 8-inch (203.2 mm), 256 rounds of 6-inch (152.4 mm) and 1,158 rounds of 5-inch (127.0 mm) shells. Two other destroyers are on anti-submarine patrols and do not take part in the bombardment.
Two B-24s and two P-40s of the Eleventh Air Force on three weather reconnaissance missions report Kiska Island overcast, and take photos of Segula Island. Six B-24s bomb Main Camp on Kiska. Eight B-25s abort a radar run over Kiska Island when one has engine trouble and the others fail to locate.
A USN PV-1 Ventura Pathfinder returning to base in Alaska, sights a submarine which crash-dives immediately.
NORTH ATLANTIC: At 1959, the HYDRAIOS is torpedoed by U-198 and sunk by a coup de grâce at 2017.
U.S.A: Destroyers USS Melvin and Porter laid down.
Frigate USS Eugene launched.
Destroyers USS Hall, Heermann, William D Porter commissioned.
"Warily gazing out at the photographer, Dutch children in the Kallenburg district of Amsterdam huddle together for warmth and comfort.
As the years of Nazi occupation wore on, conditions worsened for all civilians, and especially for the most vulnerable, children and the elderly. Photographer Emmy Andreisse, a member of the Dutch Resistance, recorded conditions in the Netherlands under the occupation."
Myth #1 of Kursk: It was the “greatest tank battle ever.” It is true that both sides possessed more tanks than on any other battlefield before or since. This battle also saw the debut of the Panther and the first full use of the Tiger, tanks that will be among the most feared of the war.
However, other than the two day tank battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk was not really a battle where swarms of tanks banged away at each other. Instead, from the Soviet standpoint, Kursk was more or less a battle fought with infantry and artillery. The infantry occupied trench systems, bunkers and redoubts, surrounding anti-tank gun strongpoints, in front of which were extensive belts of mines, all of which was backed up by artillery. The Soviet tank armies and tank and mechanized corps are in reserve, waiting to seal off a penetration or to be committed when the Germans have been exhausted. The first line of defense is the infantry and artillery, and they will carry the brunt of the fighting most days.
While the Germans will inflict staggering casualties on these units, Kursk will be victory of infantry and artillery over armor.
Another note on Kursk for day one:
Von Manstein’s two armies (4th Panzer under Hermann Hoth and Army Det. Kempf) will gain more ground than Model’s 9th Army attacking from the north. While von Manstein has more panzers than Model, he is also using different tactics. Von Manstein has his panzers in the front line, and is trying to use massed panzers in a wedge formation to drive through what he knows are formidable defenses. Model has his infantry divisions in the front, and the plan is for the infantry to blow a hole in the Soviet defenses and then pour the panzers through them. In 1941 or even 1942, this would have worked. But by 1943, the German infantry is too weak, to few in number, and the Soviets are too well prepared. The infantry is getting bogged down in the Soviet defensive system and taking terrible casualties, which cannot be replaced.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.