Skip to comments.NAZIS FLEE CLOSING TRAP AT DNIEPER; ALLIES UNLEASH AERIAL FURY IN ITALY (10/22/43)
Posted on 10/22/2013 4:19:34 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
British establish bridgehead over Trigno
Friday, October 22, 1943 www.onwar.com
In Italy... The British 8th Army launches an offensive on the east coast. Elements seize a small bridgehead over the Trigno during the night. Meanwhile, the US 5th Army continues its offensive operations with limited success.
From London... General Laycock becomes the British Chief of Combined Operations.
October 22nd, 1943 (THURSDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Major General Sir Robert Laycock becomes the British Chief of Combined Operations.
NETHERLANDS: During the night of 22/23 October, RAF Bomber Command sends 17 aircraft to lay mines: eight lay mines in the Frisian Islands and seven drop off Texel Island.
FRANCE: About 60 USAAF Ninth Air Force B-26 Marauders bomb Fauville Airfield at Evreux; 140+ others abort missions against other airfields because of bad weather.
GERMANY: Devastating air raids on Kassel, Ludwigshafen, and Mannheim. (Glenn Stenberg)
During the night of 22/23 October, RAF Bomber Command sends 569 aircraft, 322 Lancasters and 247 Halifaxes, to Kassel; 486 aircraft bomb the city. The German controllers are again successful in assessing the target and 43 aircraft, 25 Halifaxes and 18 Lancasters, are lost, 7.6 per cent of the force. The initial “blind” H2S marking overshot the target but eight out of the nine “visual” markers correctly identified the centre of Kassel and place their markers accurately. Although German decoy markers may have drawn off part of the bomber force, the main raid is exceptionally accurate and concentrated. The result is the most devastating attack on a German city since the firestorm raid on Hamburg in July and the results at Kassel would not be exceeded again until well into 1944. The fires are so concentrated that there is a firestorm, although not as extensive as the Hamburg one. Thirty three Lancasters and Mosquitos carry out a diversionary raid to Frankfurt-am-Main The bombing is scattered and one Lancaster is lost. Nine Oboe Mosquitos attack the Knapsack power-station at Cologne and one attacks Dortmund.
It is on this night that an RAF ground radio station in England, probably the one at Kingsdown in Kent, started its broadcasts with the intention of interrupting and confusing the German controllers’ orders to their night fighters. The Bomber Command Official History describes how, at one stage, the German controller broke into vigorous swearing, whereupon the RAF voice remarked, “The Englishman is now swearing.” To this, the German retorted, “It is not the Englishman who is swearing, it is me.”
U.S.S.R.: Moscow: The Russians have cut the railway which provides the Germans with their main escape route from their stronghold of Dnepropetrovsk in the Dnieper Bend. General Malinovsky’s men are now advancing on Krivoi Rog and are threatening to encircle almost a million Germans in the sweep of the river.
The Germans are well aware of the danger facing them. The Berlin correspondent of the Scandinavian Telegraph Bureau reports that the situation is “extremely serious” and that the Germans would be “compelled to retreat to avoid further encirclement.”
German officials quoted by the Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet say that “catastrophe threatens the whole German front in South Russia.” But while the Germans appreciate the threat of the Russian advance there seems to be little that they can do about it except retreat and keep on retreating.
They had confidently expected to hold the Dnieper line. They scattered leaflets telling the Russian soldiers: “Germany has clad the west bank of the Dnieper in concrete and shod it with iron.”
“We have created an Eastern Rampart there, impregnable as is our Western Rampart on the Atlantic Coast. You are being sent to your deaths. Death awaits you at the Dnieper. Stop before it is too late.” But the Russians did not stop. Many of them died, but they crossed the Dnieper.
ITALY: The British 8th Army crosses the Trigno River.
In the U.S. Fifth Army’s VI Corps area, the 133d Infantry Regiment of the 34th Infantry Division takes a road junction south of St. Angelo d’Alife, from which the German rear guards have withdrawn, and prepares to attack the town.
In preparation for a general advance on Rome (the line Pasture-Evasion-Rome), the 78th Division of British Eighth Armys V Corps crosses a battalion over the Trigno River during the night of 22/23 October.
USAAF XII Bomber Command B-26 Marauders bomb railroad bridges north and southeast of Omvieto and B-25 Mitchells hit a railroad bridge south of Grosseto. The XII Air Support Command, along with other elements of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF), hit town areas, highways, vehicles, gun positions, railroad communications, strongpoints, and targets of opportunity at or near San Salvo Teano, Venafro, Cantalupo el Sannio, Isernia, Cassino, Montenero, and Boiano. Aquino Airfield southeast of Rome is also bombed.
During the night of 22/23 October, 47 bombers of the RAF No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb the railroad bridge at Guilianova.
USAAF bombers use Italian airfields for the first time to launch attacks on targets in Austria.
GREECE: Whilst engaged in diversionary tactics associated with the landing of stores on Leros Island, Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea, the Greek escort destroyer RHS Adrias (L 67, ex-HMS Border) strikes a mine laid by the German minelayer Drache. The destroyer loses her entire bow and when the British escort destroyer HMS Hurworth (L 28) comes to her aid, Hurworth strikes a mine and is sunk about 54 nautical miles (101 kilometers) east of Kalimnos on Kalimnos Island, Dodecanese Islands in position 36.59N, 27.06E. Eighty survivors come ashore in Turkey and are soon repatriated. RHS Adrias is declared a constructive total loss and is scrapped in 1945. (Alex Gordon)(108)
USAAF XII Bomber Command B-25 Mitchells bomb Eleusis Airfield, 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Athens.
BURMA: A USAAF Tenth Air Force B-25 Mitchell strike against a railroad bridge on the Ye-u branch line over the Mu River between Ywataung and Monywa fails to damage the structure. This raid marks the final assault of the year on this bridge.
NEW GUINEA: In Northeast New Guinea, 20+ USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25 Mitchells carry out a low-level attack in the Wewak area, sinking two small freighters, and strafing barges and airplanes while Madang is strafed by four P-39 Airacobras and two Australian
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Forty six Australian (P-40) Kittyhawks hit Gasmata Airfield on New Britain Island.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: The I Marine Amphibious Corps directs the 2d Parachute Battalion of the 1st Marine Parachute Regiment, Fleet Marine Force, to land at Voza on Choiseul Island during the night of 27 October, to conduct a diversionary raid and, if feasible, establish a permanent base there.
On southern Bougainville Island, Kahili Airfield and the surrounding areas are attacked by 22 USAAF Thirteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators, 30+ P-39 Airacobras and P-40s and about 160 USN fighters and dive bombers; other USN aircraft bomb Kara Airfield. Eighteen B-24s and USN airplanes hit targets in the Choiseul Island area and a single B-24 claims hits on an aircraft carrier northwest of Buka Island.
PACIFIC OCEAN: 0400 hours: USS Grayback (SS-208) sinks an armed merchant cruiser at 26-30 N, 125-05E. (Skip Guidry)
CANADA: In Labrador, the German submarine U-537 arrives at Martin Bay, tasked with setting up an automatic weather station. The weather station consisted of various measuring instruments, a 150-watt transmitter and ten canisters containing batteries weighing 220 pounds (99.79 kg). For the next day, the crew of the submarine manhandles the equipment ashore via rubber boats and the station is set up 400 yards (366 meters) inland on a 170-foot (52 meter) hill.
The submarine departs by 1740 hours local the next day and the weather station begins operating normally. However, a few days later, the frequency used by the weather station was apparently jammed although nobody has claimed credit for it and there is no evidence that the Allies knew about the station.
Frigate HMCS Matane commissioned.
Minesweeper HMCS Portage commissioned.
U.S.A.: The Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) approve the plan, submitted by General Henry H “Hap” Arnold, Commanding General U.S. Army Air Forces, and the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), to create a new Air Force (the Fifteenth) in Italy from part of the Twelfth Air Force to be used in strategic bombing against Germany as well as in support of ground operations.
The USN escort aircraft carrier Keweenaw (CVE-44) is transferred to the British under Lend-Lease as HMS Patroller (D 07); she is the 26th escort aircraft carrier transferred to the Royal Navy. The ship is returned to the USN on 13 December 1946.
Minesweeper USS Incessant launched.
Destroyer escort USS Foreman commissioned.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-68 sank SS Litiopa.
I love Patton’s God of Battles poem.
I see on p2 that Wotan is unimpressed with the Nazis naming their Dnieper line after him.
"A Swedish policeman accompanies a newly arrived Danish-Jewish refugee to the welfare office in Rebslagergade, Sweden.
Swedish participation was critical to the success of the rescue operation.
Not only did the government proclaim its willingness to accept all Jewish refugees from Denmark, but the Swedish Red Cross helped save the approximately 500 Danish Jews who were deported to the Theresienstadt camp/ghetto in Czechoslovakia."
"The heroic actions of the Danish people during the autumn of 1943 saved nearly all of Denmark's Jews from certain death in Nazi concentration camps.
"After the Germans occupied the country in 1940, the Danish government resisted Nazi pressure to hand over its Jews. In 1943, however, the Danes intensified resistance, prompting a harsh Nazi reaction.
Imposing martial law, the Germans in October began to arrest and deport Danish Jews.
Reacting spontaneously, Danes alerted and hid the Jews, helping them to the coast and organizing secret passage across the sea to Sweden (pictured).
\ The unassuming Danish rescuers included police, fishermen, and members of church and social organizations.
"Over the course of three weeks, the Danish people transported more than 7,200 Jews and almost 700 of their non-Jewish relatives to safety aboard Danish fishing vessels.
The Nazis did capture 464 Jews, whom they sent to the Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, camp/ghetto.
Aid continued, nonetheless, as the Danish public sent food parcels to their Jewish countrymen imprisoned in Theresienstadt.
Just before the conclusion of the war, in spring 1945, negotiations rescued most of these Jews through an agreement that transferred many Scandinavian nationals from concentration camps to Sweden."
"Stanislaw Szmajzner, 16, participated in and helped to organize the revolt at the Sobibór death camp in October 1943.
After the uprising, Szmajzner was one of the prisoners who successfully escaped and joined forces with Russian partisans.
He was one of three members of his particular group to survive the war."
"Ernst von Weizsäcker was a career diplomat who loyally served the Nazi regime.
His career followed the path of his mentor, Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop.
Weizsäcker served as chief state secretary from the time that Ribbentrop was appointed foreign minister until 1943, when he was named as the ambassador to the Vatican."
"At six-week intervals in 1943, a truck dispatched from Auschwitz traveled to Dessau, Germany.
It returned with hermetically sealed tin canisters of Zyklon B, the commercial name for the bluish hydrogen cyanide pellets that asphyxiated more than a million Jews in the Auschwitz killing center.
"A powerful pesticide developed during World War I, Zyklon B was used to combat contagious disease by fumigating lice-infested buildings.
At first it served those purposes at Auschwitz, where overcrowding, malnutrition, and poor sanitation made dysentery, typhoid fever, and especially typhus constant threats.
By late summer 1941, however, the Nazis experimented with Zyklon B on Soviet POWs.
They found that the compound's vaporizing pellets offered a particularly reliable and efficient way to advance the 'Final Solution.'
"Two German companies--DEGESCH, a subsidiary of I.G. Farben, and Tesch and Stabenow Company--profited immensely by supplying Zyklon B to the SS.
They even modified it for Auschwitz by removing the special odor that ordinarily warned people about their product's deadly presence.
"In 1942 Auschwitz used 8.2 tons of Zyklon B.
The tonnage for 1943 was 13.4.
Most of it was poured through small rooftop openings into gas chambers packed with Jews.
Once exposed to air, the pellets produced lethal gas.
Minutes later, after panic-filled screams, the human victims were dead."
"In a family portrait reflecting happier times, Leone Biondi and Virginia Piperno are photographed with three of their six children. October 1943 marked a new stage in German control over Italian affairs following the German occupation of northern Italy.
Orders were issued to round up and deport the Jews of Rome, and on October 18 approximately 1000 were sent to Auschwitz.
Thanks to the intervention of their Italian friends and neighbors, many Jews were able to hide and to escape capture, some in Catholic churches and monasteries.
The Biondis were not so fortunate; the entire family perished at Auschwitz."
Last night here was the season's first frost, leaves are in full fall colors, on fields and roads run huge combines with grain bins on rubber tracks.
Seems like over half the crops are harvested, so far.
Some fields have livestock eating the leftovers.
On others, huge eight-wheel tractors pulling disks for winter crops.
Doubtful if Ernie Pyle would find all this exciting enough, but for many people, it's as close to the good life as you'll find in this one.
I drive past those same fields every year to Turkey Run State Park on Indiana 47. Mrs. henkster’s family has an annual reunion there. We used to take US 36 to visit her grandma in Rockville.
What brings you out that way?
I would have thought that waiting that long would have allowed the Nazis to regroup and possibly counterattack the Allies in the Italian region or at least allow the Nazis to concentrate their forces against the Russkies on the eastern front since nothing much was happening on the western front.
Me too. I'm not too sure that as salty and foul-mouthed as he might have been, in his heart of hearts Patton might have been a born-again believer. I hope so.
God bless those Danish and Italians who helped these Jews.
Weather station Kurt today, in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa:
This was the only German military operation on the North American mainland. So far as is known, it was not detected until the 1970's.
The Germans' lack of weather data particularly hurt them with respect to the Normandy landings. Weather in that region generally moves from Northwest to Southeast. The Germans did not know about the brief break in the weather that Ike used to make the D-Day landings, and assumed there would be no invasion during the rainy, stormy weather.
All my travels are work related, and all my work is more-or-less a break from "retirement".
Sometimes it keeps me going steadily, other times, well, not so much... ;-)