Skip to comments.ALLIES SWEEP FORWARD IN ITALY; NAZIS ATTACK KOS IN DODECANESE (10/4/43)
Posted on 10/04/2013 6:18:14 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Free French liberate Corsica
Monday, October 4, 1943 www.onwar.com
Free French troops arriving in CorsicaIn the Mediterranean... On the island of Cos the Germans complete their operations and take 1400 British and 3150 Italians prisoner. Meanwhile, on the island of Corsica, Free French forces enter Bastia and complete their occupation.
In New Guinea... Australian forces capture Kumpu as they advance into the Ramu Valley from the Markham Valley.
In the Arctic... German shipping off the Norwegian coast, near Bodo, is attacked by aircraft from the USS Ranger, operating with the British Home Fleet. The battleships HMS Duke of York and HMS Anson provide support. Four German freighters are sunk and 7 badly damaged.
From London... Admiral Pound resigns his post as First Sea Lord because of ill health. His replacement is Admiral Andrew Cunningham. (Admiral Fraser decline the offer of this position.)
In the Solomon Islands... The Japanese complete the evacuation of Kolombangara. About 9400 men of General Sasaki’s garrison force have been safely left the island on ships under the command of Admiral Ijuin. About 1000 men and a number of small boats have been lost to American interventions (primarily destroyers).
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces continue the effort to establish bridgeheads over the Dniepr River.
October 4th, 1943 (MONDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Admiral Pound resigns as British First Sea Lord due to ill health. Admiral Fraser refuses the position, and it is accepted by Admiral Andrew Cunningham.
In England, the Eighth Air Force’s VIII Air Support Command and VIII Bomber Command fly missions.
* VIII Air Support Command Mission 79: 25 B-26B Marauders are dispatched to Nivilliers Airfield at Beauvais and Fauville Airfield at Evreux, France; they return to base without bombing.
* VIII Bomber Command Mission 108: 4 targets in Germany and a diversion are flown. 12 B-17 Flying Fortresses and 4 B-24s are lost. Escort is provided by 223 P-47 Thunderbolts; they claim 19-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft.
- 104 B-17s are dispatched to the Wiesbaden industrial area; 15 aircraft hit Wiesbaden and 77 hit the industrial area at Frankfurt at 1059-1105 hours; they claim 19-3-15 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17s are lost.
- 37 B-17s bomb Frankfurt at 1110-1111 hours; they claim 18-8-22 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-17s are lost.
- 115 B-17s are dispatched to the Saarlautern industrial area; 67 hit Saarlautern and 38 hit Robinson Airfield in St Dizier, France at 1136-1148 hours; they claim 37-7-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-17s are lost.
- 47 B-17s bomb the Sarreguemnines and Saarbrucken marshalling yards at 1133-1139 hours.
- 38 B-24s fly a diversion; they claim 13-6-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-24s are lost.
* VIII Bomber Command Mission 109: 4 B-17s drop 240,352 leaflets over Paris between 2257-2307 hours.
Frigate HMS Goodall commissioned.
FRANCE: Ajaccia, Corsica: The liberation of Corsica is complete. The losses amongst the communist guerrillas and the Fighting (Free) French regular troops have been light - partly because the Germans were not seriously fighting to hold on to the island.
Fighting between the German garrison, reinforced by troops from Sardinia, and communist guerrillas has been going on since the Italian surrender. Regular Free French troops under General Henri Martin arrived 20 days ago, with only a few hundred landing each night. Furnished with motor and mule transport by the Italian troops on the island, his men seized the island’s spine, pushing the Germans back to their bridgehead at Bastia, from which they withdrew today.
The Germans had no intention of holding Corsica; their concern was purely to secure an orderly withdrawal. Under Commander von Liebenstein, who had organized the German evacuation of Sicily, they brought out 26,000 men, 3,200 vehicles, 5,000 tons of stores and 1,200 PoWs, in a movement described by the German News Agency as “an operational and organizational masterpiece.”
Participating in the expulsion of the Germans are patriots, Battalion du Choc (shock battalion), Moroccan Goums, the knife-wielding irregular troops, of the 4th Moroccan Mountain Division, and a small U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) party.
During the night of 4/5 October, four RAF Bomber Command Stirlings lay mines in the River Gironde.
GERMANY: Frankfurt bombed by Allies around the clock. (Glenn Steinberg)
During the night of 4/5 October, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 406 aircraft, 162 Lancasters, 170 Halifaxes, 70 Stirlings, four Mosquitos and three USAAF Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses to attack Frankfurt-am-Main; 357 aircraft bomb the city. Ten RAF aircraft, five Halifaxes, three Lancasters and two Stirlings, are lost, 2.5 per cent of the force; one B-17 is also lost. This was the last RAF night-bombing raid in which American aircraft took part, but individual B-17s occasionally carry out bombing flights in following weeks Clear weather and good Pathfinder marking produces the first serious blow on Frankfurt so far in the war, with extensive destruction being caused in the eastern half of the city and in the inland docks on the River Main. Fifty seven Lancasters carry out a diversionary raid to Ludwigshafen without loss but the marking and bombing are scattered. Other targets hit are: five Mosquitos bomb the Knapasck power station at Cologne, four Mosquitos hit Cologne and one each attack Aachen and Mannheim. The Mosquito attacking Aachen is carrying out the first operational trial of the G-H blind bombing equipment but the trial is not successful.
Capt. Walker M. Mahurin, 63d FS/56 FG, USAAF, achieves ace status when he downs three Bf 110s (raising his score to six e/a destroyed) near Duren, Germany between1132 and 1140 hours. Mahurin goes on to shoot down 19.75 German plane, one Japanese plane, 3.5 Mig 15s in Korea for a total of 24.75 destroyed. (Skip Guidry)
U-294 and U-923 are commissioned.
Poznan: In an address to the SS, Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer-SS, has spoken frankly about the Jews.
“Among ourselves,” he said, “this once, it shall be said quite frankly; but in public we will never discuss it. I am talking about the evacuation of the Jews, the annihilation of the Jewish people ...”
“Most of you must know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying side by side, or five hundred or a thousand. To have stuck this out and - apart from a few cases of human weakness - to have kept our integrity, this is what has made us hard. In our history, this is an unwritten and never-to-be-written page of glory....
“We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us ... We do not in the end want to be infected by this germ. I will not see so much as a septic spot appear or gain hold. Wherever it may form, we will cauterize it ...”
The organizing of some prisoners for slave labour and the inflicting of gruesome medical experimentation on others can also be attributed to him. Consequently, it is little wonder that he could so blithely say, “Whether or not 10,000 Russian women collapse from exhaustion while digging a tank ditch interests me only in so far as the tank ditch is completed for Germany.”
NORWAY: The USS Ranger, operating off the north coast of strikes German shipping off Bodo. Four freighters are sunk and seven are heavily damaged. Escorts are provided by the British Home Fleet.
Operation LEADER, the only USN carrier operation carried out in northern European waters during WW II, causes “appreciable losses” to two convoys off the Norwegian coast and to shipping in the harbour of Bodo, Norway. The task force, consisting of RN ships and the USN aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4), reach the launch position off Vestfjord before dawn completely undetected. At 0618 hours, Carrier Air Group Four (CVG-4) in USS Ranger launches 20 SBD Dauntless dive bombers of Bombing Squadron Four (VB-4) and an escort of 8 F4F Wildcat fighters of Fighting Squadron Four (VF-4). One division of dive bombers attacked the 8,000-ton freighter SS LaPlata, while the rest continued north to attack a small German convoy.
They severely damaged a 10,000-ton tanker and a smaller troop transport and sink two of four small German merchantmen in the Bodö roadstead. A second attack group of 10 TBF Avengers of Torpedo Squadron Four (VT-4) and six Wildcats of VF-4 destroy a German freighter and a small coaster and bomb yet another troop-laden transport. Three Ranger planes were lost to antiaircraft fire. In the afternoon, USS Ranger is finally located by three German aircraft, but her combat air patrol shot down a Junkers Ju 88 and a Heinkel He 111 and chase off the third.
ITALY: 100+ XII Bomber Command B-17s bomb the Pisa marshalling yard and Bolzano bridges; B-25 Mitchells and B-26s attack the airfield at Argos, road defiles at Terracina and Isernia, a highway overpass at Mignano, and shipping at Bastia; Northwest African Tactical Bomber Force aircraft hit road and rail junctions on the main road north from Capua; XII Air Support Command fighter-bombers hit trains, roads, railroads, and vehicles near Isernia, Avezzano, Pescara, and Isolella. The Allies now have complete control of Corsica.
GREECE: In the Dodecanese Islands, the Germans overrun Kos Island. Loss of this island, site of the only Allied air base in the Aegean Sea, endangers Samos and Leros.
A total of 1,388 British and 3,145 Italian troops are taken prisoner. Italy had signed an armistice with the Allies on 8 September and the Italian troops are now fighting on the British side. On 11 September, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler gave the order to execute all Italian officers who are captured. The officer in charge of the Italian troops is Colonel Felice Leggio. He, and 101 of his officers, are marched to a salt pan just east of the town of Kos and there, shot in groups of ten. They are buried in mass graves. When Kos is returned to Greece after the war, the bodies are dug up and transported back to Italy for burial in the Military Cemetery at Bari.
Twenty eight USAAF Twelfth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb Tatoi Airfield in Athens without loss.
CHINA: 17 Japanese bombers and 25 fighters attack Kweilin Airfield. The bombs, dropped from 20,000 feet (6,096 m), fail to hit the target. Fourteenth Air Force fighters fail to make effective contact with the force.
NEW GUINEA: In North East New Guinea, Dumpu is captured by Australian troops as they advance into the Ramu River Valley from the Markham Valley. Meanwhile, the Australian 20th Brigade continues fighting towards Sattelberg. (Thanks Mike Mitchell for the clarification)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: 23 Thirteenth Air Force B-24s, covered by 16 P-38 Lightnings and several USMC F4U Corsairs, bomb Kahili Airfield on Bougainville Island; 20-30 fighters intercept, and a running battle occurs between Bougainville and Vella Lavella Island; US fighters and bombers claim 9 IJN fighters downed; no American losses are suffered. Four P-39Airacobras and 4 F4Us sink 18 barges in a strike along the west coast of Choiseul Island; the P-39s are especially effective because of their nose cannon.
9,400 men under General Sasaki evacuate Kolombangara Island in the Solomon Islands. US destroyers are foiled in their attempts to stop this movement by Admiral Ijuin’s fleet.
Short of food and ammunition, Japanese forces today abandoned Kolombangara, their last stronghold in the New Georgia group of islands in the central Solomons, according to reports from Allied coastwatchers, the undercover observers based on Japanese-held islands who have provided valuable intelligence during this campaign.
For the past 24 hours Japanese ships have struggled to evacuate the remnants of the 10,000-strong garrison which had defended Vila airfield, Japan’s last airbase in the central Solomons. During today’s fighting Allied aircraft and warships claim to have harassed enemy craft over a wide area, downing 12 Japanese planes and sinking 27 enemy craft. US losses are put at 1,094 killed and 3,874 wounded, against 2,483 Japanese dead.
A communiqué issues by Allied HQ South-west Pacific claimed that the Japanese evacuation of Kolombangara was the direct result of the Allied decision to bypass the island and let the Japanese there “wither on the vine”. A spokesman for Admiral Halsey said that the Allied occupation of Vella Lavella, to the north of Kolombangara, several weeks ago had effectively cut Japanese supply lines into Vila.
With the Allies now firmly in control of the central Solomons the way is now open for the next phase of Operation Cartwheel, an attack on Bougainville, the largest island in the Solomons.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25 Mitchells bomb and strafe barges, small craft, and villages in the Vitu Islands.
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Swansea commissioned.
Frigate HMCS St Catharines arrived Halifax from builder Esquimalt, British Columbia.
U.S.A.: Destroyer escort USS O’Flaherty laid down.
Minesweepers USS Strategy and Strength laid down.
Destroyer escort USS Janssen launched.
Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five record “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t (Ma Baby)” on Decca Records.
* North of the Azores, aircraft of Composite Squadron Nine (VC 9) in the escort carrier USS Card (CVE-11) attack three German submarines, U-264, U-422, and U-455, rendezvousing with a Milch cow, U-460. U-460 and U-422 are sunk, in positions 43°13’N, 28°58’W, and 43°18’N, 28°58’W, respectively by F4F Wildcats and TBF Avengers. All hands are lost on U-422 and there are 2 survivors of the 64 aboard U-460. This action in the central Atlantic allows convoy UGS 19 to pass through the vicinity unmolested by U-boats.
* Southwest of Iceland, German submarine U-279 is caught on the surface and sunk by depth charges from a USN PV-1 Ventura of Bombing Squadron One Hundred Twenty Eight (VB-128) based at NAF Reykjavik, Iceland. The sub sinks in position 60.40N, 26.30W with all hands (48 men).
* U-389 (Type VIIC) is sunk southwest of Iceland, at position 60.51N, 28.26W, by depth charges from a British B-24 Liberator aircraft (Sqdn. 120/X). 50 dead (all crew lost). (Alex Gordon)
U-596 sank SS Marit in Convoy XT-4.
U-539 shot down RAF Liberator aircraft (Sqn 120/V.) Lost with this aircraft was Wing Commander R M Longmore, the commanding officer of the 120 Squadron.
RAF Hudson aircraft (Sqn 269/S) attacked U-731. The commander and 5 more men were wounded and the boat was damaged. The boat did not have to abort its patrol.
Using bases in the Azores, Allied aircraft are able to cover areas previously out of reach of their patrols.
Thanks for the post—many memories here.
I was 11 years old when all of this was taking place. I remember asking my mother “What’s in the paper when there is no war?”.
I also enjoyed the small piece about the Japanese soldiers from Hawaii-—I had the pleasure of meeting one of them a few years ago.
A friend’s neighbor is a woman who came to the U.S. from Germany after the war. She was a young teenager during the war, and had an older brother who “fell in the East.” One time when he was home during leave, he told her parents “we can’t lose this war. If they find out what we have done, they will kill us all.”
Interesting that they are talking about the Nisei fighters in Italy. The 442nd RCT didn’t ship overseas until 1944. I wonder whether this is just a separate group.
It sounds like the 100th Inf. Batt. It originated as the Hawaiian N.G.
The unit entered combat on 29 September 1943, near Salerno in Southern Italy. The unit fought well as they advanced 15 miles in 24 hours for a week against strong enemy resistance and taking on casualties allowing them to gain their first major victory by taking Benevento, an important rail center and road intersection. The 100th even had to cross the twisting, wet, and muddy Volturno River three times taking on heavy German machine gun fire and rocket launchers before driving the German force even further north. But this would end up being a walk in the park compared to their next objective. The Nisei soldiers had gained respect from their fellow soldiers but also the enemy as well and in turn gained respect for the German fighting force. However, the deciding factor of who was the more superior fighting force and demanded the most respect would take place at the Gustav Line at Monte Cassino.
"Pictured is a child prisoner of the Jugendschutzlager (Youth "Protection" Camp), located in the Lódz (Poland) Ghetto.
The Jugendschutzlager, for non-Jewish Poles, was established in December 1942.
About 10,000 children passed through its gates; most were subsequently killed at Chelmno and Auschwitz. "
When the 442nd was sent to Italy, the 100th was reassigned to be one of its battalions. The 100th is going to see some very tough combat in the upcoming months.
I can't believe I almost missed this item concerning one of the founding fathers of rock 'n roll.