Skip to comments.ALLIES CLASH WITH GERMANS IN NAPLES AREA; INVASION WITH VAST AIR COVER LED BY CLARK (9/10/43)
Posted on 09/10/2013 4:24:36 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Red Army amphibious assault on Mariupol
Friday, September 10, 1943 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces conduct a successful amphibious assault on Mariupol, on the coast of the Sea of Azov. In the Caucasus, a similar landing in the Kuban Peninsula at Novorossiysk meets heavy resistance. In the Donets basin, Soviet forces capture Barvenkovo, Volnovakha and Chaplino.
In Italy... On the Salerno beachhead, the forces of the American 6th Corps advance inland. The forces of the British 10th Corps occupy Montecorvino airfield and Battipaglia. German counterattacks by local divisional forces recapture the British gains before nightfall. German forces south of the beachhead, including those engaging the British 8th Army, withdraw northward to reinforce the forces containing the Allied beachhead at Salerno. Rearguard forces continue resisting Montgomery’s forces.
In the Mediterranean... The Italian fleet, including 5 battleships, arrives in Malta to surrender. Many smaller Italian vessels reach other Allied ports. The island of Castelrosso, in the Aegean Sea, is occupied by British troops. Two British officers are parachuted on to the island of Rhodes to contact the Italian garrison commander, General Campione, about surrendering. Meanwhile, the German garrison on Sardinia begins evacuating to Corsica in transit to the Italian mainland. This operation is completed by September 30th.
In New Guinea... The Australian 7th Division begins advancing from its positions at Nadzab toward Lae. Patrols reach Heath’s Plantation.
In the Solomon Islands... There is heavy fighting on Arundel island. More American reinforcements are sent to the island.
September 10th, 1943 (Friday)
UNITED KINGDOM: Light cruiser HMS Royalist commissioned.
Destroyer HMS Vigilant commissioned.
U.S.S.R.: The Russians land at Mariupol on the Sea of Azov capturing the area. Other unts head across the Desna River in the vicinity of Novgorod Severski.
In the Donets sector the Russians capture Volnovakha and Chaplino. A major engagement begins at Novorossiysk on the Black Sea after landings.
ITALY : The US front at Salerno is quiet and the front is pushed inland.
Most of the German reserves concentrate in the British sector and local counterattacks recapture positions lost that morning.
Other German forces retreat north. They intend to form a defensive line across Italy.
Germans begin to evacuate the garrisons from Sardinia. They will move first to Corsica and then to Italy. There will be some losses to shipping and harassment from small French units that land on Corsica. By the end of September this troop movement will be complete.
Although now firmly established at Salerno, the Allies do not have enough room between the coast and the Germans to allow use of the ports at Salerno and Vietri. The U.S. 36th Infantry Division,sets about capturing high ground from Ogliastro to Albanella. Meanwhile, the British 10 Corps pushes on at Battipaglia to capture Montecorvino airfield while 46 Division is to clear Salerno and the corridors through the Sorrento peninsula. However, at first light the Germans strike first, driving 56 Division out of Battipaglia but Montecorvino airfield is captured by 3 Coldstream Guards and 2/6th Queen’s Regiment, 169 Brigade and Faiano falls without a fight.
On 10 Corps’ left, 46 Division troops end the day in a stalemate with German forces at Cava di Tirreni. At the Gulf’s southern end, the U.S. 45th Infantry Division gets ashore virtually unmolested to support the 36th Infantry Division - most defenders having been moved to the north against 10 Corps. General Clark believes he will soon advance on Naples.
The British Eighth Army reaches the Catanzaro ‘neck’ after an advance of about 100 miles (161 km). General Montgomery wishes to pause here but is reluctantly persuaded to push forward to relieve pressure on the landings at Salerno. 1 Airborne Division’s patrols from Taranto reach Monopoli on the Adriatic Coast and find it clear of Germans, but at Castellanata 10 Parachute Battalion has a sharp engagement in which the Divisional commander, Major-General G. F. Hopkinson, is mortally wounded. 5 Corps troops are now being shipped into Taranto from where they are intended eventually to come under Montgomery’s command.
US Ninth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb a satellite airfield at Foggia. US Twelfth Air Force’s XII Bomber Command medium bombers hit railroad and road junctions and road net in the Castelnuovo-Pescopagano-Cassino-Capua-Formia areas; B-17 Flying Fortresses attack the Ariano intersection and highway bridge (and bridges and roads in the area), bridges near Botena and over the Tiber River southwest of Rome, and roads, buildings, and railroad facilities at Isernia; XII Air Support Command and RAF airplanes of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force blast heavy road movement north from Lauria and cover beachheads in the Salerno area as the British Eighth Army increases pressure on its front in an effort to prevent the Germans from concentrating against the US Fifth Army’s Salerno beachhead. During the night of 10/11 September, B-25 Mitchells hit communications centers at Corleto, Perticara, Auletta and Saptri.
During the night of 10/11 September, 49 RAF Liberators of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb the highway junction at Formia and USAAF Twelfth Air Force B-25 Mitchells hit communications centers at Corleto, Perticara, Auletta and Saptri.
Rome: German reaction to the Italian surrender was predictably swift. Within hours of Eisenhower’s announcement of the Italian surrender, General von Vietinghoff, the commander of the Tenth Army, today moved paratroopers and a Panzer division to occupy Rome.
Five Italian divisions stationed around Rome appeared ready to defend the city, but capitulated quickly as the German commanders put Operation ACHSE (Axis) into force. Ironically, the Americans had been preparing a division-strong airborne landing in the city - but cancelled the operation when Marshal Badoglio protested.
German troops occupy Milan and Rome taking over the protection of Vatican City.
Minelayer HMS Abdiel which is bringing in supplies and a holding force after the announcement of the Italian armistice, is sunk in the port of Taranto by German GS type magnetic mines laid the previous evening by MFP478 and S54 and S61. There are 48 casualties amongst the crew plus 120 soldiers. (Alex Gordon)(108)
MALTA: “Be pleased to inform Their Lordships that the Italian Fleet lies at anchor under the guns of the Fortress of Malta.” With these words Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, the commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, signalled to the admiralty the total surrender of the Italian navy. Flying black flags of surrender and escorted by ships of the Royal Navy, units of the Italian fleet are anchored off Valetta’s Grand Harbour. More ships are heading for Gibraltar and other Allied ports, removing the naval threat in the Mediterranean.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Allies occupy the Dodecanese island of Castelrosso.
EGYPT: Major General Ralph Royce takes command of U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME) replacing Lieutenant General Lewis Brereton who is departing for England to reconstitute the USAAF Ninth Air Force.
BURMA: US Tenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells again bomb Gokteik Viaduct; the approaches are battered but the viaduct remains usable.
SINGAPORE: The Italian submarine Reginaldo Giuliani is taken over by the Germans.
Other Italian submarines COMMANDANTE ALFREDO CAPPELLINI (I-503) and LUIGI TORELLI (I-504) are seized by the Japanese before being given to the Germans as UIT24 and UIT25 respectively. (Henry Sirotin)
NEW GUINEA: In Northeast New Guinea, the Australian 7th Division relieves the U.S. 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment at Nadzab and begins a drive eastward toward Lae. The Japanese at Lae are thus threatened from both the east and west. The Australians begin a general advance into Salamaua and by evening, Japanese defenses south of the Francisco River have collapsed.
The Australian 7 Division, having been flown to Nadzab in US Fifth Air Force C-47 Skytrains, begins a push east toward Lae.
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Stettler launched Montreal, Province of Quebec.
Minesweeper HMCS St Boniface commissioned.
Corvette Matapedia arrived Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for emergency repairs.
Minesweeper HMCS St Boniface following her transit to Halifax and workups, she was assigned to EG W-5, later, W-4 of the Western Escort Force, both times as the Senior Officer’s flagship.
U.S.A.: The First and Fourth Air Forces are relieved from their assignments to the US Army’s Eastern and Western defence Commands respectively and hereafter serve primarily as training organizations for fighter units.
Frigate USS Grand Rapids launched. Destroyer USS Hickox commissioned.
Other Italian submarines COMMANDANTE ALFREDO CAPPELLINI (I-503) and LUIGI TORELLI (I-504) are seized by the Japanese before being given to the Germans as UIT24 and UIT25 respectively.
I didn't know that they had Italian subs there. Had they fled from the fallen African colonies? I'll have to do some reading.
I see that it was converted to a cargo boat and sailed from Europe.
The Germans planned quickly and poured troops into Italy. The British and Americans have been urging Mussolini’s overthrow for years but were not ready to act quickly when it actually happened.
The Italian Subs were somewhat effective in the Med.
Rommel said Italian army had good troops led by lousy Generals. When the Italians were under German command they fought pretty good.
The Germans were lucky they were up against Mark Clark. Clark was one of the worse commanders we had. I heard that Clark couldn’t go into Texas because at Monte Cassino he had the Texas Division slaughtered in useless attacks.
September 10, 1943:
"Majdanek, a concentration and death camp near Lublin, Poland, became operational in October 1941.
Before Soviet troops liberated the camp on July 24, 1944, nearly 500,000 persons from 28 countries were imprisoned there.
Majdanek's death toll reached 360,000--mostly Soviet POWs, Poles, and Jews.
Sixty percent died from starvation, disease, and exhausting labor.
The others were executed, often on arrival.
Those victims included thousands of Jews who were murdered in Majdanek's seven gas chambers.
"In late October 1943, prisoners were ordered to dig three huge trenches in the camp's southern sector.
These preparations were for Erntefest (Harvest Festival).
At Majdanek's morning roll call on November 3, Jews were separated from the other prisoners, sent to the trenches, and shot.
Dance music blared from the camp's loudspeakers to drown out the screams and machine-gun fire.
The murders continued until nightfall.
'Bloody Wednesday' left 18,000 Jews dead in Majdanek's trenches.
"Intended to prevent Jewish prisoner revolts, Erntefest went beyond Majdanek.
Jewish prisoners at other camps in the Lublin district--8,000 to 10,000 at Trawniki and 15,000 at Poniatowa--also were shot on November 3.
It remained Majdanek's distinction, however, to be the most deadly site of the Germans' largest one-day killing operation against the Jews."
"Human skeletons cover the ground outside the crematorium at the Majdanek camp in Poland.
Approximately 145,000 people died in the seven gas chambers, which began operating, utilizing Zyklon B, in 1942.
Many others died from starvation, dysentery, or shootings.
The small crematorium proved incapable of handling the great influx of bodies, and so a large new one was constructed in September 1943."
Page 12, ad for restaurant. Supper including desert and appetizer with Maine lobster entree: $1.50.
“Other Italian submarines COMMANDANTE ALFREDO CAPPELLINI (I-503) and LUIGI TORELLI (I-504) are seized by the Japanese before being given to the Germans as UIT24 and UIT25 respectively.”
The only two Naval units to serve in all three major axis power navies during the war per wiki.
Nice article on the Hellcat. Of course we didn’t publish that we’d captured one more or less intact in the Aleutians. Still, it’s an impressive feat to go from design to operating aircraft in such a short period of time.
And even if the Japanese had a copy of one, what are they going to do about it? They simply don’t have the ability to design and produce anything better than the Zero that quickly. Even if they did, they don’t have the manufacturing capacity to make enough of them, the raw materials to build them, the gas to put them in the air, or the trained pilots to fly them.
We were already winning air battles with the Wildcat. With the Hellcat, the Japanese are well and truly screwed.
According to a post earlier this week Ike had to order Clark not to evacuate his HQ.
I see Monty is proceeding at his usual snail’s pace.