Skip to comments.ALLIES PLUNGE INLAND IN SALERNO REGION, THREATEN NAPLES BY CAPTURING ISLANDS (9/19/43)
Posted on 09/19/2013 5:19:36 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
As we reached the Clyde decisive news arrived from Alexander.
General Alexander to Prime Minister 19 Sept 43
I can say with full confidence that the whole situation has changed in our favour and that the initiative has passed to us. . . .
I am rejoining my main H.Q. at Syracuse to-morrow.
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
The News of the Week in Review
The Allies Win the First Round in the Battle of Italy (map) 13
Twenty News Questions 14
Allied Offensives Jar Hitlers Fortress Europe (Baldwin) 15-16
Mediterranean Theatre: Six Focal Areas (map) 17
Our Big Job in Italy to Drive Out Germans (Bracker) 18
Tactics Used at Lae Give Speedy Victory (Kluckhohn) 19-20
Answers to Twenty News Questions 20
B-24 bombers raid Tarawa
Sunday, September 19, 1943 www.onwar.com
Over the Gilbert Islands... American land-based Liberator bombers attack the island of Tarawa.
On the Eastern Front... Northeast of Smolensk, Soviet forces capture Yartsevo and Dukovschina.
In Italy... A British 8th Army unit (5th Division) takes Auletta.
In Occupied Greece... At Cephalonia, the Italian “Acqui” Division resists German forces seeking to disarm it.
September 19th, 1943 (SUNDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: Crowds greet Churchill on his return from over six weeks abroad.
FRANCE: The US Eighth Air Force’s VIII Air Support Command flies Missions 63 and 64 against 2 airfields. (1) 18 B-26Bs hit Nord Airfield at Lille at 1139 hours; clouds prevent the 2nd group for bombing. (2) 72 B-26’s dispatched to Merville airfield are recalled due to weather.
U.S.S.R.: Soviet troops on the Smolensk front overrun Yartsevo and Dukhovshchina. The Germans are forced to retire toward the Dnieper River all along the lower front as Priluki, Piryatin, Lubni, Khorol, and Krasnograd fall to Soviet troops fighting east and southeast of Kiev.
YUGOSLAVIA: The British Brigadier Fitzroy Maclean has parachuted into Yugoslavia to join Tito as a military adviser. His arrival confirms Britain’s recognition of Tito’s partisan army as its only reliable ally against the Germans. British arms are to be supplied only to Tito’s force The royalist Chetnik organization is disintegrating rapidly with the collapse of General Mihailovich’s Italian allies. Widespread drunkenness is reported among officers, and mass defections among the men.
ITALY: Auletta and Potenza fall to the British 8th Army.
The US Fifth Army gains firm control of the Salerno plain. In the VI Corps area, the U.S. 45th Infantry Division occupies the high ground overlooking Eboli while the U.S. 36th Infantry Division takes Serre and Ponte Sele.
British Eighth Army Area: The advance northwards by Boforce resumed on the morning of 19 September. Progress was considerably slower than on the previous day; slowed by Teller mines along the route and small rearguard actions conducted by the retreating Germans.
Potenza was reached that same evening and the West Novas mounted a night assault across the river (Basento) against a spirited defence. The Calgarys advanced as far as they could until stopped by demolished buildings and mined roadways. Once the obstructions had been removed under cover of darkness, the advance continued into the town on the morning of the 20th. The Germans hastily retreated.
The capture of Potenza permitted a link up with elements of the British forces in Auletta 30km west of the Canadian positions.
Simultaneous to the approach by Boforce on Potenza, two squadrons from 4 Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, assisting 1 Infantry Brigade made a dash for the sea along the line of the main route between Potenza and Taranto. This detachment made contact with and inflicted heavy casualties on an enemy force at Miglionico which lies approximately halfway between Potenza and Taranto. (Stuart Millis)
US Twelfth Air Force fighter-bombers and planes of other Northwest African Tactical Air Force elements [US and RAF] concentrate on attacking roads and vehicles in the Benevento-Montesarchio-Contursi-Potenza-Avellino areas, and a railway station at Castelnuovo.
German troops are expelled from Sardinia by Italian troops.
During the night of 19/20 September, 39 RAF Liberators of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb a highway bridge at Benevento.
NEW GUINEA: The Australian 2/6th Independent Company takes Kaiapit in the Markham River Valley in Northeast New Guinea in lively fighting and repels repeated counterattacks. Kaiapit is 45 air-miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Nadzab. Kaiapit is needed for the airstrip that is to be constructed there once the Japanese have been driven from the area. Kaiapit became a base for the Australian 7th Division’s advance up the Markham Valley.
USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25 Mitchells and B-26 Marauders attack Finschhafen, Northeast New Guinea, in preparation for Allied landings three days hence.
CENTRAL PACIFIC: 20 US Seventh Air Force B-24s, based on Funafuti Island in the Ellice Islands and Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands, bomb Tarawa Atoll and Abemama Island in the Gilbert Islands and obtain photo coverage of Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll. 1 B-24 is lost to interceptors.
GILBERT ISLANDS: USN carrier-based aircraft attack targets in Tarawa and Makin Atolls and then Task Force Fifteen (TF 15), consisting of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-16) and the small aircraft carriers USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) and Princeton (CVL-23). In addition to attacking installations, photographic reconnaissance missions are flown over reefs, beaches and island defense. TF then retires to Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
Twenty USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb and photograph Tarawa and Abemama Atolls; one B-24 is lost.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: USAAF Thirteenth Air Force B-25s and USN SBD Dauntlesses, covered by fighters, bomb Vila Airfield on Kolombangara Island and a causeway, enemy positions, and ammunition dump at Disappointment Cove on New Georgia Island. Other B-25s bomb and strafe barge centers at Ringa Cove and Webster Coves on New Georgia Island.
EAST INDIES: In the Netherlands East Indies, USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators and B-25 Mitchells fly small strikes against Ambon Island in the Moluccas Islands, Selaroe Aerodrome on Selaroe Island in the Tanimbar Islands, and Penfui (Penfoei) Airfield on Dutch Timor.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators bomb the airfield and surrounding area at Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island.
U.S.A.: Submarine USS Gabilan launched.
Destroyer escorts USS Trumpeter and Straub launched.
Destroyer escorts USS Blessman and Booth commissioned.
ATLANTIC: German submarine U-341 is sunk at 0430hrs southwest of Iceland, in position 58.34N, 25.30W, by depth charges from an RCAF Liberator Mk III, s/n 586, aircraft “A” of No 10 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron based at Gander, Newfoundland, flown by Flight Lieutenant R.F. Fisher and crew. All hands, 50-men, on the U-boat are lost. The aircraft was returning to Gander from Iceland after escorting Prime Minister Winston Churchill in HMS Renown from the Quebec Conference. The U-boat, armed with Gnat acoustic torpedoes, is one of 19 boats in a picket line southwest of Iceland ready for two convoys from the U.K. to North America, slow Convoy ONS 18 and fast Convoy ON 202.
U-532 sank SS Fort Longueil.
Maxwell Taylor's mission to Rome made for some fascinating reading. It's too bad the Italians didn't join us against the Germans, but I can understand why their troops had no stomach for more war, especially against the Germans who had planned for that possibility. Plus, from what I've read there were far more Italian troops outside Italy than in the homeland.
Looks like they’ve cut a road up to it.
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