Skip to comments.GERMANY ADMITS THE LOSS OF SMOLENSK; ALLIES OPEN NAPLES DRIVE, TAKE 3 TOWNS (9/25/43)
Posted on 09/25/2013 4:57:42 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
(a) is continued from yesterday. (c) is continued from September 13.
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
#1 - Sunday Monday or Always - Bing Crosby, with the Ken Darby Singers
#2 Paper Doll - Mills Brothers
#3 Youll Never Know - Frank Sinatra, with the Bobby Tucker Singers
#4 - Pistol Packin Mama - Al Dexter
#5 - In the Blue of the Evening - Tommy Dorsey, with Frank Sinatra
#6 - I Heard You Cried Last Night - Harry James, with Helen Forrest
#7 - All or Nothing At All Harry James, with Frank Sinatra
#8 Youll Never Know - Dick Haymes, with the Song Spinners
#9 - Sunday Monday or Always - Frank Sinatra, with the Bobby Tucker Singers
#10 In My Arms - Dick Haymes, with the Song Spinners
* Caption: Capt. Ralph N. Priest reads verses from the Bible while Private Ramero Sababia listens in their foxhole on New Georgia Island.
Dont let the Freedom From Religion Foundation hear about this or Capt. Priest could wind up in the brig.
Red Army retakes Smolensk
Saturday, September 25, 1943 www.onwar.com
Soviet infantry crossing a water obstacle [photo at link]
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces capture Smolensk and Roslavl. To the south, German forces are retreating behind the Dniepr River under pressure from Soviet forces.
In London... There is a Cabinet shuffle. Atlee becomes Lord President of the Council, Sir John Anderson Chancellor, Lord Cranbourne Dominions Secretary and Lord Beaverbrook Lord Privy Seal.
In Algiers... A Lend-Lease agreement is signed by American and Free French representatives.
In the Solomon Islands... The Japanese begin to evacuate the garrison on the island of Kolombangara.
September 25th, 1943 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Due to the death of Sir Kingsley Wood, Chancellor of the Exchequer two days ago, Churchill shuffles his cabinet. Attlee is Lord President of the Council, Sir John Anderson is Chancellor, Lord Cranbourne is Dominions Secretary and Lord Beaverbrook is Lord Privy Seal.
Four hundred free Germans met in London to form an anti-Hitler movement similar to the Moscow Free German Committee.
Corvette HMS Thorlock laid down.
Frigates HMS Inglis and Inman laid down.
NETHERLANDS: During the night 25/26 September, seven RAF Bomber Command Stirlings lay mines in the Frisian Islands.
FRANCE: The US Eighth Air Force’s VIII Air Support Command flies Mission 71: 68 B-26B Marauders hit Longuenesse Airfield at St Omer at 1717-1718 hours without loss.
Paris: Benoit-Guyod notes in his diary that he went down the rue de Rivoli, and at the level of the Magasins du Louvre, “I noticed that these buildings had been damaged where a fire had started on the upper floors. This came from the crash of an English twin-engined bomber, shot down in flames the previous night by anti-aircraft fire. I followed the crowd on to the rue Saint-Honoré. There surrounded by a cordon of police, the remains of an enormous plane could be seen lying in the middle of the thoroughfare... The public stared but made no comment at all.”
GERMANY: During the night of 25/26 September, four each RAF Bomber Command Mosquitos bomb Cologne and Düsseldorf without loss.
U-318, U-481, U-482 and U-924 launched.
U-364 was damaged in a collision with the tug Werner on the river Elbe.
U.S.S.R.: Smolensk and Roslavl fall to the Soviets of General Popov’s Bryansk Front. This is perhaps the most important success of the Russian Army since the end of the Battle of Kursk. The general German retreat from here south has been forced by the Russians. It has been ordered to stop at the Dniepr River. The retreat, long urged by Manstein, is too late to be of great value to the Germans.
Describing the action which liberated Smolensk after several days of heavy fighting, Moscow says that Popov’s men broke into the northern suburbs and drove the Germans back street by street until the city was cleared. The Germans admit that Smolensk has fallen, but claim that it was evacuated by their rearguard in the face of advancing Russian forces “after completing the most important and necessary measures and demolition of important military installations.”
Berlin Radio says that bad weather prevented the Luftwaffe from intervening in the battle and that “the German formations were faced with the extremely difficult task of holding their positions against the numerically superior enemy.”
Roslavl, 37 miles south-east of Smolensk, has also fallen to the Red Army, and fighting is now raging along a 300-mile front on the eastern approaches to the Dnieper.
Stalin has promised to award Russia’s highest decoration, the Hero of the Soviet Union, to any soldiers who force crossings of the Dnieper, and there are reports that small bridgeheads have been established in the Rzhintsev/Kanev region, south of Kiev. It is likely that these bridgeheads have been made by Cossack horsemen who specialize in river crossings, swimming their horses across at night, above and below German strongpoints, and then attacking from the rear.
The Russians point out that the Germans have not yet been able to hold a river line, and do not expect them to hold the Dnieper. But the Russians also have their problems. A paratroop drop on the western bank has met with disaster.
GREECE: The Italian Navys torpedo boats Francesco Stocco, Enrico Cosenz and Giuseppe Sirtori are scuttled on Corfu Island in the Ionian Islands when German troops invade.
ITALY: General Bernard Montgomery begins regrouping the British Eighth Army to strengthen the eastern flank. 5 Corps, which is to include the 5th, 1st Airbourne, and the Indian 8th Divisions, is initially to remain in the Taranto area while 13 Corps, with the 78th Division on the right and the Canadian 1st Division on the left, continues an advance. 5 Corps is later to move forward behind 13 Corps and secure its left flank.
In the air, the USAAF Twelfth Air Force dispatches about 90 B-17s to bomb the Bologna marshalling yard; 14 others attack the Bolzano railroad bridge; B-25s and B-26s bomb airfields at Pisa, Lucca, and Bastia/Borgo, a highway at Mignano, a road junction at Maddaloni, and railroad and road bridges at Cancello Amone, Caiazzo, and Ponte; USAAF and RAF fighters attack Serino (causing a roadblock), troop concentrations at Sarno, gun positions, troops, and vehicles near Nocera, Aquino airfield, a storage dump north of Foggia and a dredger at Termoli.
During the night of 25/26 September, 49 RAF bombers of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber Group) bomb the highway at Formia.
Salerno: CSM Peter Harold Wright (1916-1990), Coldstream Guards, took charge of an assault on a hill after losing most officers. He silenced three gun posts in securing the position. (Victoria Cross)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA:U-667 shot down RAF Wellington, Squadron 179/F in the Gibraltar Straits.
Minesweeper USS Skill sunk after being torpedoed by U-593 south of Capri, Italy.
ALGERIA: U.S. and the Free French representatives sign a Lend Lease agreement at Algiers.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: USAAF Thirteenth Air Force B-25s join USN TBF Avengers and SBD Dauntlesses in attacking gun positions in the areas around Vila airfield on Kolombangara Island and Disappointment Cove on New Georgia Island.
The Japanese begin to evacuate Kolombangara. The garrison has been isolated by the island hopping campaign of the US.
NEW GUINEA: The 162d Infantry of the U.S. 41st Infantry Division, having successfully completed its mission, begins the return trip to Australia. The 20th Brigade, Australian 9th Division, continues the battle for Finschhafen and consolidates its bridgehead across the Bumi River. In the Markham River Valley, the Australian 2/14th Battalion, with part of a battery of the 2/4th Field Regiment, lands at Kaiapit.
In the air, USAAF Fifth Air Force dispatches nearly 40 B-17s, B-24s, and B-25s to bomb installations and supply lines from Bogadjim to villages on the Ramu and Markham Rivers; A-20 Havocs and RAAF aircraft pound positions near Finschhafen as the Australian 9th Division pushes south. The air crews scare the dickens out of the men of the 2/6th Independent Company by dropping their auxiliary fuel tanks within 100 yards (91 meters) of their position.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25s bomb and strafe AA positions at Rein Bay on New Britain Island.
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Summerside completed foc’sle extension refit Saint John.
Frigate HMCS Lanark laid down Montreal, Province of Quebec.
U.S.A.: President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the resignation of Under Secretary of State Summer Welles and the appointment of Edward R. Stettinius as his successor. He also announced the formation of the Office of Foreign Economic Administration under Mr. Leo Crowley, to include Lend-Lease Administration, Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation, and the Office of Economic Warfare.
Saratoga Air Group is reformed as CVG-3.
Destroyer escorts USS John J Powers and O’Toole laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Gillette and Marsh launched.
Submarine USS Flasher commissioned.
Destroyer escort USS Greenwood commissioned.
The escort aircraft carrier (CVE) USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60, ex Astrolabe Bay) is commissioned at Astoria, Oregon. She is the 25th CVE in commission. (Jack McKillop & Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: At the end of the Battle of Convoys ONS-18 and ON-202, 20 U-boats have sunk 36,422 tons of merchant shipping and three escorts; British ships sank three U-boats and damaged a further three.
U-387 set a ground reconnaissance team ashore on Spitzbergen (north coast of Alexandraland)
The grossly unqualified Stettinius would be a disaster at the State Department. Cordell Hull was in failing health, causing a leadership vacuum. One of Stettinius' proteges would be Soviet agent Alger Hiss.
Monty is “regrouping”??? From what? He hasn’t yet faced serious opposition.
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