Skip to comments.ALLIES CONTINUE DRIVE IN ITALY; BOMBERS HIT BULGARIAN CAPITAL (12/11/43)
Posted on 12/11/2013 4:17:43 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Billboard Top Ten for the Week of December 11, 1943
#1 Paper Doll - Mills Brothers
#2 Pistol Packin Mama - Bing Crosby, with the Andrews Sisters
#3 - People Will Say Were in Love - Bing Crosby, with Trudy Erwin
#4 - My Heart Tells Me - Glen Gray, with Eugenie Baird
#5 - Sunday Monday or Always - Bing Crosby, with the Ken Darby Singers
#6 - Oh What a Beautiful Mornin Bing Crosby, with Trudy Erwin
#7 - Theyre Either Too Young or Too Old - Jimmy Dorsey, with Kitty Kallen
#8 - People Will Say Were in Love - Frank Sinatra, with the Bobby Tucker Singers
#9 Boogie Woogie - Tommy Dorsey
#10 Ill Be Home for Christmas - Bing Crosby
German defenders helped by weather
Saturday, December 11, 1943 www.onwar.com
German 88 gun deployed in Italy [photo at link]
In Italy... The US 5th Army continues its offensive without decisive gains and its momentum is wearing down.
December 11th, 1943 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: A remarkably simple piece of equipment, a “drop-tank” made out of corrugated paper, has started to arrive at US fighter bases in England and has already revolutionized the air war over Europe. Fighters fitted with these British-produced tanks, which carry 75 gallons of fuel, can now escort the American heavy bombers on their daylight missions far into Germany. It is no exaggeration to say that because of these tanks the US 8th Army Air Force has seized the initiative from the Luftwaffe. The newly-introduced Mustang fighters equipped with two of these tanks each can fly 600 miles from their bases and still take on the German fighters at over 400mph.
Sloop HMS Peacock launched.
FRANCE: The USAAF Eighth Air Force’s VIII Bomber Command flies Mission 152: Four B-17 Flying Fortresses drop 800,000 leaflets on Laval, Rennes, Le Mans and Nantes at 2026-2039 hours.
GERMANY: The USAAF raids the U-boat yard at Emden, losing 20 planes but claiming to have shot down 138 German fighters.
The USAAF Eighth Air Force’s VIII Bomber Command flies Mission 151: 437 B-17 Flying Fortresses and 86 B-24 Liberators hit the industrial area of Emden, Germany at 1220-1312 hours; they claim 86-22-23 Luftwaffe aircraft; 15 B-17s and two B-24s are lost. This mission is escorted by 31 P-38 Lightnings, 313 P-47 Thunderbolts and 44 USAAF Ninth Air Force P-51 Mustangs; they claim 21-0-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-47 Thunderbolts and 1 P-51 are lost.
During the night of 11/12 December, 12 RAF Bomber Command Mosquitos bomb the Vereinigte Stahl steel factory at Duisburg.
December 11, 1943:
Field Marshal Rommel and his staff conclude their tour the Danish coast, their special train ending up in the Silkeborg railroad station.
They have been at it for a week and a half now. The staff begins their report for the Fuehrer.
Coastal positions are unimpressive. If this is an indication of the mighty Atlantic Wall, there are serious problems.
First of all, command structures are weak. They are disorganized and de-centralized.
And local defenses have been set up by the local commanders as they see fit, although they at least mostly got along.
If a unit transfers, the next one coming to the area has to take over that defensive plan. Usually, it’s just a matter of “Hold on for dear life, and pray the reinforcements come soon.”
A vain prayer. There is no real mobile reserve in Denmark, and most of the units, Rommel writes, have little transportation or nearly enough equipment.
Many are close to capacity, but the men are usually too green, or too old. A lack of combat experience is in most of the units.
Although the vital, strategic major ports each have a well-rounded defence plan, a good deal of the defensive positions are either incomplete or not even started. And a port is what the Allies will need as soon as possible, if the landing is to have any hope of success.
That day, he writes his wife:
We’re now back from the capital. A few days’ written work and then the job will continue.
You can still buy everything you want here in Denmark. of course the Danes will only sell to their own compatriots. I’ve bought a few things for Christmas, so far as the money went.”
Even field marshals are not lavished with extraordinary incomes.
ITALY : Allied momentum wanes as their attacks in the US 5th Army sector continue with no significant gains.
As American soldiers battle to seize a small Italian town called San Pietro their efforts are being filmed by a crew led by the Hollywood director Major John Huston. Both the US and Britain have sent their film-makers to war - with great popular success.
Desert Victory, the film of the Eighth Army’s advance from El Alamein to Tripoli, Libya, is acknowledged as the outstanding documentary of the war. Since its release in March of this year it has attracted huge audiences at home and abroad. It was filmed at the front by 26 cameramen of the Army Film and Photographic Unit, under Major David MacDonald, who once worked in Hollywood. Seven of his camermen were killed or missing and four more taken prisoner. The awesome artillery barrage that begins El Alamein stuns audiences. Miles of film were edited by Captain Roy Boulting. Mr Churchill sent the film to President Roosevelt and Marshal Stalin, who ordered it to be shown to the Red Army.
The Crown Film Unit showed a documentary of a day and night in the life of a dockland fire station at the height of the Blitz, laconically titled Fires Were Started. All roles are taken by real firemen and the direction by Humphrey Jennings is truthful and tragic. This year also saw two dramatized documentaries: The Gentle Sex, Leslie Howard’s last film, about a mixed bag of girls joining the ATS, and a story of women directed to an aero engine factory, Millions Like Us, by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat.
The Hollywood director John Ford is shooting movies of the US Navy in action in the Pacific. He was wounded while filming The Battle of Midway (and awarded a Purple Heart). And Captain Clark Gable has been in England making a documentary which follows a bomber crew.
USAAF Twelfth Air Force P-40s and A-36 Apaches attack Anzio, Nettuno, Viticuso, San Vittore del Lazio, Pontecorvo, Acquafondata, the railway siding at Arce, tracks and junction north of Ostia, and railway between Ostia and Lido di Roma. Weather causes abandonment of B-25 Mitchell operations.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Frigate HMS Cuckmere is torpedoed by a Gnat from U-223 while escorting convoy KMS-34 and has to be towed to Algiers, where she is found to be beyond repair. Location: off Algiers at 36 56N 03 01E. (Alex Gordon)(108)
INDIA: New Delhi: Admiral Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command, issues a directive ordering the integration of the USAAF Tenth Air Force and RAF Bengal Command into the Eastern Air Command (EAC). All Allied air forces in southeast Asia are under command of Air Chief Marshal (USAAF General) Sir Richard Peirse as Allied Air Commander-in-Chief.
CHINA: Fourteen USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells and ten P-40s attack Shihshow and Ansiang and three B-24 Liberators bomb Hankow airfield. Nine P-40s intercept about 30 Japanese airplanes over Nanchang shortly after the Japanese force bombs Suichwan; the P-40s claim ten aircraft shot down.
BURMA: In the British Fourteenth Army’s IV Corps area, advance elements of the 268th Brigade reach Indaw.
EAST INDIES: In the Netherlands East Indies, USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb Makassar on Celebes Island and Balikpapan, Borneo.
NEW GUINEA: In Northeast New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force , B-25 Mitchells and B-26 Marauders hit bivouacs and other installations near Fortification Point and in the Finschhafen area. .
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25 Mitchells bomb and strafe the Borgen Bay area on New Britain Island.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: On Bougainville, 16 USAAF Thirteenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells, in two waves, attack Kahili and several other B-25 Mitchells hit Arigua Plantation. Over 20 B-24 Liberators bomb the village and wharf area at Tsirogei and eight P-39 Airacobras bomb Tonolai. Several aircraft on armed reconnaissance, operating individually or in small flights, attack targets of opportunity scattered throughout Bougainville and the Shortland Island area. Allied night fighters carry out a strike on a Japanese bivouac along the Jaba River; others hit Buka and Bonis.
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Lasalle launched.
U.S.A.: The (Nat) King Cole’s Trio’s record of “All For You” makes it to the Billboard Pop Singles chart. This is their first single to make the charts and it stays there for 1 week reaching Number 10.
Destroyer USS Evans commissioned.
Escort carrier USS Cape Esperance laid down.
Destroyer escort USS John C Butler launched.
Escort carrier USS Kadashan Bay launched.
Minesweeper USS Recruit launched.
I don't have this song on my list for either 1943 or 1944. Don't know the reason for this inconsistency.
“In mid-1943, O’Hare commanded Fighting Squadron Six (VF-6), flying F6F “Hellcat” fighters from the aircraft carrier Independence during raids against Japanese bases in the central Pacific. In November, as Air Group Six commander on USS Enterprise, O’Hare participated in the Gilbert Islands invasion. On 26 November 1943, O’Hare volunteered to lead a night interception mission against enemy aircraft attacking his task group. His plane was apparently shot down in the ensuing aerial battle, and Lieutenant Commander O’Hare was lost. In memory of the fallen aviator, Chicago’s Orchard Depot Airport was renamed O’Hare International Airport in September 1949. Edward H. O’Hare is listed on the “Wall of the Missing” at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Honolulu, Hawaii.”
Page 1, Influenza story. One in Ten in Washington state are down with mild symptoms.
Today they’d call that a pandemic and bring out the National Guard.
The Butler is another destroyer that will see action at Leyte Gulf.
In the past few weeks I have quietly noticed the launching of USS Kalinin Bay, Fanshaw Bay, and some others. They will be the jeep carriers that Butler and her sisters will bravely protect.
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