Skip to comments.RUSSIANS BREAK BRYANSK LINE; ALLIES SPEED UP BLOWS ON ITALY (8/28/43)
Posted on 08/28/2013 4:23:02 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
#1 - In the Blue of the Evening - Tommy Dorsey, with Frank Sinatra
#2 Youll Never Know - Frank Sinatra, with the Bobby Tucker Singers
#3 - All or Nothing At All Harry James, with Frank Sinatra
#4 Youll Never Know - Dick Haymes, with the Song Spinners
#5 - I Heard You Cried Last Night - Harry James, with Helen Forrest
#6 - It Cant Be Wrong - Dick Haymes, with Song Spinners
#7 - Sunday Monday or Always - Bing Crosby, with the Ken Darby Singers
#8 Paper Doll - Mills Brothers
#9 Comin In on a Wing and a Prayer - Song Spinners
#10 - Pistol Packin Mama - Al Dexter
Germans take total control in Denmark
Saturday, August 28, 1943 www.onwar.com
Danes riot against the German ultimatium [photo at link]
In Occupied Denmark... The Danish government resigns in protest to a German ultimatum. The German commander, General von Hanneken, assumes control of the governing of the country.
August 28th, 1943 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Frigate HMS Cranstoun launched.
Sloop HMS Lark launched.
Frigates HMS Dacres and Tees commissioned.
Destroyer HMS Venus commissioned.
Over the NORTH SEA, Douglas DC-3-268, msn 2133, registered SE-BAF by Sweden’s AB Aerotransport, is shot down by a Luftwaffe fighter while enroute from the UK to Sweden. All 7 people aboard the DC-3 are killed.
GERMANY: Yet another month of devastating bombing by the Allies is drawing to a close. On 1 August the USAAF wreaked havoc in the Ploesti oilfields in Romania; on 17 August the RAF hit the secret rocket-testing centre at Peenemunde; and last night more than 3,000 people died in a raid on Nuremburg.
The German propaganda machine has given up minimising the damage, and instead newspapers publish instructions and advice to the beleaguered German people. Headlines such as “Protect your property and your life” or “Equipment for air-raid protection and self help” have become commonplace. Citizens in high-risk areas are advised to send valuables to relatives for safe-keeping and to equip their shelters with as much water as possible to extinguish fires. But with some 300,000 people a month now being bombed out of their homes, good advice is simply not enough.
U-1166 and U-1167 launched.
DENMARK: The Danish government refuses German demands to declare a state of emergency and execute saboteurs. The Germans oust the government and King Christian X threatens to abdicate causing angry Danes to attack German units in Copenhagen and other towns. (John Nicholas and Jack McKillop)
ARCTIC OCEAN: The German submarine U-639 is sunk at 1030hrs in the Kara Sea north of Mys Zhelaniya, in approximate position 76.40N, 69.40E, by torpedoes from the Soviet submarine S 101. All hands on the U-boat, 47-men, are lost.
U.S.S.R.: Polar Fleet and White Sea Flotilla: RS “Shkval” - mined close to Vaigach Is.(Sergey Anisimov)(69)
BULGARIA: Sofia: The death of King Boris, often spoken of as “Hitler’s pathetic dupe”, has been followed by anti-German demonstrations in Sofia and calls for a general strike throughout Bulgaria. Despite an official statement that the king died of heart failure and double pneumonia, many Bulgarians believe that he was murdered on Hitler’s orders.
Boris threw in his lot with the Germans after seeing Hitler at Berchtesgaden in November 1940. But most of his subjects remained hostile to the Germans and, in spite of his king’s efforts, the king was unable to raise “volunteers” for service in Russia.
Reports surfacing in Switzerland say that Hitler demanded full mobilization of Bulgaria, the building of extra defence lines along the Turkish frontier and a free hand for the Gestapo in the country. Boris, it is said, decided to abdicate rather than give in. He was then shot by one of his bodyguards. Under Bulgarian law, the king has the right to appoint three regents before his death. The fact that Boris did not do so suggests that either he was unconscious for some time before his death, or he died suddenly.
ITALY: Italian Torpedo Boat Lince is sunk in Taranto by British submarine HMS Ultor. (Jack McKillop
Northwest African Strategic Air Force B-17s bomb the marshalling yard at Terni; B-26s hit the Aversa marshalling yard and Sparanise; and B-25s hit the Cancello Arnone marshalling yard. P-40s fly intruder missions over Sardinia, bombing and strafing industry and town area. Northwest African Tactical Air Force light and medium bombers attack railroad facilities at Lamezia and Catanzaro, Italy; fighter-bombers hit road and rail junctions, and marshalling yards at Castrovillari, Cosenza, and Catanzaro.
SARDINIA: USAAF P-40s fly intruder missions bombing and strafing industry and town area.
NEW GUINEA: In Northeast New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force A-20 Havocs and B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb Japanese installations at Lae and barges in the Lae-Salamaua area while 26 B-25 Mitchells attack shipping in Hansa Bay located on the north coast between Madang and Wewak sinking two vessels.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: US Thirteenth Air Force B-25s and P-40s, and USMC F4U Corsairs bomb and strafe barges, buildings, and personnel in the Sigolehe Island-Barora Ite Island area.
ELLICE ISLANDS: Elements of 2 USN Seabee battalions and the 7th Marine defence Battalion land on Nanomea Island, only 400-miles (644 km) from the Japanese-held Gilbert Islands. Work immediately begins on an airfield.
CANADA: HMC ML 106 commissioned.
U.S.A.: U-107 had laid mines off Charleston, then this morning sighted freighter ALBERT GALLATIN, under escort of blimp K-34. The sub fired three torpedoes which hit but did not detonate (which seems surprising this late in the war, when I think the problems with German torpedoes had been solved). K-34 held her under while GALLATIN escaped. An Army Air Force B-25 sighted the sub and attacked, dropping four depth charges which missed. Eastern Sea Frontier headquarters sent out eleven ships to search for the U-boat, and K-34 stayed aloft to home them in. The search continued for several days but U-107 escaped. (Keith Allen)(68)
Destroyer escort USS Finch launched.
Destroyers USS Norman Scott and Robinson launched.
Submarine USS Dorado commissioned.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-302 sank SS Dikson.
U-107 sank SS Albert Gallatin.
Nice to see Sedgwick and the NY Times have that whole “outdated” Islamic unity thing figured out.
“U-1166 and U-1167 launched.”
Neither one sunk or damaged an allied ship during the war.
One of the more successful U-boats which sank 39 ships and damages several others until it was sunk in 1944.
That was a very savage war of attrition, but one in which the Russians could afford the losses.
Nice war stories today about ASW in the Atlantic.
I posted that excerpt to give a sense of the savagery and intensity of the fighting in southern Ukraine during the summer of 1943. This intense level of combat has been going on continuously since July 5. Soviet 1st Tank and 5th Guards Tank Armies have twice been destroyed, and will be reconstituted yet again.
The German divisions have been reduced to burned-out skeletons. They waited too long to decide to withdraw to the Dnieper. Now, there are no prepared defenses there to fall back to, they don’t have the mobility to beat the Soviets there, and most importantly, even if they did, they just don’t have the men to defend that line. Or any line, for that matter.
Are there any numbers as to what percentage of German soldiers who invaded Russia in 1941 made it back to Germany alive?
This would be very difficult to assess. The Germans kept much better records than the Soviets, but they were pretty sketchy the chaos of the last year of the war. There were also a lot of men taken as POW’s, who were not repatriated until 1955. A lot of Germans died in captivity.
Also, a number of German soldiers fought in the east and fell in the west. There is also the problem of the wounded, for which the numbers range from five to seven million. The problem with the wounded is that a good number were rehabilitated and returned to combat, often not with the same unit as before. Some were wounded a second time. So you have the following different possibilities:
Wounded, never returned to combat.
Wounded, returned to combat, survived.
Wounded, returned to combat, KIA.
Wounded, returned to combat, wounded again, never returned to combat.
Wounded, returned to combat, wounded again, returned to combat, survived.
Wounded, returned to combat, wounded again, returned to combat, KIA.
There is the possibility of “double counting” the wounded and the wounded/KIA.
Having said that, the most common figure I’ve seen for German combat deaths is 3.2-3.5 million. I’ve seen numbers as high as 5 million, but that seems an outlier. I would assume the far greater number of those men fell in the east.
Germany sent 3.2 million men into the USSR in June 1941, the strength of the Ostheer declined steadily from that point onward.
I would say that the odds of being in a combat unit that invaded the USSR in June 1941, and surviving unwounded until May 1945, were remote. Maybe 1 in 10. The odds of surviving the war, period, were probably one in two. But that’s a very rough guess.
I was in Germany in the 70's with some buddies and we went into a hobby shop. We spoke no German and the owner did not speak English. By pointing at model kits he learned we were "panzertruppers." Turns out he had been a tanker too, on the Eastern Front. At least that's what he said, maybe he didn't want to offend Americans.
He probably spole the truth, but maybe not the whole truth.
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