Skip to comments.NAZIS STIFFEN IN ITALY, BUT ALLIES GAIN; BERLIN CLAIMS CAPTURE OF ISLE OF KOS (10/6/43)
Posted on 10/06/2013 4:12:09 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Japanese evacuate Vella Lavella
Wednesday, October 6, 1943 www.onwar.com
In the Solomon Islands... The US 25th Division lands unopposed at Vila on Kolombangara. During the night (October 6-7), two Japanese destroyers are sent to evacuate 600 troops from Vella Lavella. Six escorting destroyers are engaged by 3 American ships. Each side loses 1 destroyer and the other American ships are damaged.
In the Bismark Archipelago... Small parties of US troops secretly land around Cape Gloucester, on New Britain Island to reconnoiter.
In Italy... The US 5th Army captures Caserta and advances to the Volturno Rivers and takes Capua. On the east coast, British 78th Division, fighting the German 16th Panzer Division around Termoli, makes progress.
In the Central Pacific... Wake Island is shelled and bombed by Task Force 14 (Admiral Montgomery). There are 6 carriers, 7 cruisers and 25 destroyers involved.
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces continue the effort to establish bridgeheads over the Dniepr River.
October 6th, 1943 (WEDNESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Frigates HMS Narborough and Tyler laid down.
Submarine HMS Spiteful commissioned.
Frigate HMS Nyasaland launched.
GERMANY: U-397, U-1001, U-1002 launched.
U-480, U-1163, U-1223 commissioned.
ITALY: Caserta falls to the US 5th Army, which then advances to the Volturno River. On the east coast British forces begin to prevail around Termoli.
Rome: German troops, some with “shopping lists” from Hermann Göring , are systematically looting the museums and churches of Rome and carrying off priceless works of art to Germany. Manuscripts and old masters are being removed wholesale by the men who came here to “guard” the city against the Allies. And not only works of art are leaving Italy for the Reich: thousands of former Italian soldiers are being rounded up and taken to Germany as forced labourers. As Germany intensifies its control over its former Axis partner, Nazi paratroopers have ringed the Vatican, and one report has claimed that the pope has sent a sealed letter to each of his Italian cardinals to be read only in the event of his arrest.
XII Bomber Command B-17s bomb the Mestre marshalling yard while B-26 Marauders hit a highway chokepoint at Isernia, the highway at Mignano, and road junction at Formia; P-38s strafe Araxos Airfield in Greece; Northwest African Tactical Bomber Force planes on road-blocking missions hit targets at Teano, at Alfedena, between Cassino and Capua, and near Sessa Aurunca; XII Air Support Command P-40s and A-36 Apaches attack roads and vehicles north of the US Fifth Army battle zone and patrol the Naples area. The US Fifth Army reaches the south bank of the Volturno River and Capua falls to British units.
U.S.S.R.: Polar Fleet and White Sea Flotilla: Floating Base “Mayak” - by aviation, in Kuvshinskaya Salma (later raised) (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
Black Sea Fleet and Azov Flotilla: LD “Kharkov”, West to Gelenjik, DD “Vesposchadnii” and DD “Sposobnii”, all lost to aviation. (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
ITALY: The U.S. Fifth Army reaches the south bank of the Volturno River, successfully concluding another phase of the Italian campaign. In the British X Corps area, the 56th Division takes Capua.
In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, the 78th Division gains firm control of Biferno bridgehead at Termoli.
In the air, 49 USAAF Twelfth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb the Mestre marshalling yard with the loss of two aircraft. Meanwhile B-26 Marauders hit a highway chokepoint at Isernia, the highway at Mignano, and road junction at Formia; Northwest African Tactical Bomber Force planes on road-blocking missions hit targets at Teano, at Alfedena, between Cassino and Capua, and near Sessa Aurunca; XII Air Support Command P-40s and A-36 Apaches attack roads and vehicles north of the U.S. Fifth Army battle zone and patrol the Naples area.
GREECE: USAAF Twelfth Air Force P-38 Lightnings strafe Araxos Airfield south of the city of Araxos.
CHINA: 7 Fourteenth Air Force P-40s from Suichwan intercept an attacking force of 27 bombers and 21 fighters; a bomber and a fighter are shot down, and the attackers retire in the direction of Canton without dropping their bombs.
NEW GUINEA: In North East New Guinea, the Australian 2/17th Battalion is fighting at Kumawa, between Finschhafen and Sattleberg. Elements of the Australian 7th Division take Dumpu with unexpected ease and it will become a staging field for fighters.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: ALAMO (U.S. Sixth Army) Scouts land at Cape Gloucester, New Britain Island, for reconnaissance.
Fifth Air Force B-25s sweep along coastal areas of New Britain Island and through islands to the north and west, bombing and strafing targets of opportunity.
The US 25th Division lands unopposed at Vila on Kolombangara.
* The Battle of Vella Lavella takes place at night when three USN destroyers (Captain Frank R. Walker) intercept and attack six IJN destroyers, three destroyer transports and small armed craft (Vice Admiral Ijuin Masuji) some 12 miles (19.3 km) off Marquana Bay as they attempt to evacuate land forces from Vella Lavella, in what proves to be the last surface engagement in the central Solomons. Three U.S. destroyers are damaged: USS O’Bannon (DD-450) in collision with destroyer USS Chevalier (DD-451); USS Selfridge (DD-357) by torpedo fired from either of Japanese destroyers HIJMS Shigure or HIJMS Samidare; and USS Chevalier by torpedo from Japanese destroyer HIJMS Yugumo. USS Chevalier is scuttled by destroyer USS Lavallette (DD-448) tomorrow. Torpedoes from USS Chevalier and USS Selfridge sink Japanese destroyer Yugumo.
* In the air, 8 Thirteenth Air Force P-39s and 8USNF4U Corsairs strafe barges off the west coast of Choiseul Island. 24 B-25s and 14 P-38s carry out a low-level strike against Kahili Airfield on Bougainville Island, damaging or destroying several parked aircraft.
Action in the central Solomons comes to a close. Elements of the 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, make an unopposed landing on Kolombangara Island during the morning. U.S. casualties during the central Solomons campaign total 1,094 killed and 3,873 wounded. The counted Japanese dead, except on Vella Lavella Island, total 2,483. The campaign yields Allied forces four airfields (Munda, Ondonga and Segi on New Georgia Island and Barakoma on Vella Lavella Island) within range of Bougainville Island, the next objective.
CANADA: Minesweeper HMCS Oshawa launched. Yard oiler HMCS Dundalk commissioned.
Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio: Dale Harriman completes his first week of training. He is shipped out with no indication of where he is going. The next morning, after spending the night on the train, he raises the blind on the Pullman car, the first thing he sees is a large sign, “Fort McClellen, Alabama, Infantry Replacement Training Center.” (Glen Boren)
Destroyer escorts USS Hissem and Holder laid down.
Escort carrier USS Ommaney Bay laid down.
Destroyer escort USS Herzog commissioned.
Destroyers USS Richard P Leary and Heywood L Edwards launched. Escort carrier USS Solomons launched.
"Vladka Meed, who used this false identification card of Stanislawa Wachalska to live on the Aryan side of Warsaw, utilized her position on behalf of the ghetto's Resistance movement.
Besides procuring guns for the ZOB fighters, she helped smuggle Jews out of the ghetto and found shelter for them.
The heroics of Meed and others like her were critical to the success of Resistance movements in Warsaw and other Polish ghettos."
"They have moved since July 12, in some areas of the front, at a rate of 3.5 miles a day; in others the rate of advance has been about 1.3 miles a day.
"The Germans in the first summer of their invasion of Russia advanced in the first ten days of the campaign twenty to twenty-seven miles daily; during the entire summer and fall of 1941 the enemy averaged an advance of 3.7 to five miles a day.
In 1942, at the start of their great summer offensive, the Germans averaged eleven miles a day, although this was greatly slowed later."
In short: in 1943 the Germans are retreating at roughly the same rate they advanced in 1941 & 1942.
Yep. Dates, starting points and stopping points can be analyzed differently but in dividing the war between Germany having overall strategic initiative in Russia versus Soviets having overall strategic initiative, both sides were roughly equal. Germany had the general initiative for 25 months between 6/41 and 7/43 while the Soviets had it for 21 months between 8/43 and 5/45.
When one does this analysis based on the German-Russian line on June 20, 1941, the Germans can be said to have run out of Russia significantly faster than they advanced into it.
Both sides have to deal with the same weather, same terrain, and are basically using the same technology. These things, plus the limits of one’s own logistic tether, have as much to do with the rate of advance as do enemy resistance.