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RED ARMY IS CLOSING ON VITEBSK; CANADIANS GAIN IN ORTONA FIGHT (12/26/43)
Microfilm-New York Times archives, Monterey Public Library | 12/26/43 | Ralph Parker, Milton Bracker, Charles Hurd, Virginius Dabney

Posted on 12/26/2013 5:42:26 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson

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TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: milhist; realtime; worldwarii
Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
1 posted on 12/26/2013 5:42:27 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Leningrad and Ukraine Offensives – Operations, 2 December 1943-30 April 1944
Allied Advance to Volturno River, Reorganization, and Attack on Gustav Line (17 January-11 May 1944)
India-Burma, 1942: Allied Lines of Communication, 1942-1943
New Guinea and Alamo Force Operations: Clearing the Huon Peninsula and Securing the Straits, 19 September 1943-26 April 1944
Cartwheel, the Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, and Concurrent Air and Naval Operations, 30 June 1943-26 April 1944
The Far East and the Pacific, 1941: Original Allied Strategic Concept, May 1943; Situation in Pacific, 1 November 1943
2 posted on 12/26/2013 5:42:56 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
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William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

3 posted on 12/26/2013 5:43:51 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
Continued from yesterday.

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Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring

4 posted on 12/26/2013 5:45:15 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
200 Towns Taken – 2
Many Nazis Give Up on Gorodok’s Fall – 3
War News Summarized – 3
German Massacre of 15,000 Detailed (Parker) – 4
Battle is Streets (Bracker) – 4
All Units of Defense Here Put on Guard over Holiday – 5
30 Japanese Planes Downed at Rabaul while We Lose 4 – 6-7
Christmas Spirit Lightens Tragedy of World at War – 7-8
German Yule Messages to People Doleful; One Broadcast Stresses Nazis Are in Rome – 9
Texts of the Day’s War Communiques – 10

The News of the Week in Review
The Commander in Chief and the Invasion Commander (photo) – 11
Goals for 1944 – 12
Fifteen News Questions – 13
The Pattern of Winter War along the Russian Front (map) – 14
Germans Still strong along Russian Fronts (Parker) – 15
M’Arthur is an Enigma in Political Shuffling (Hurd) – 17
Southern Bolt is Held Unlikely (Dabney) – 18

5 posted on 12/26/2013 5:46:37 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/dec1943/f26dec43.htm

Duke of York defeats Scharnhorst
Sunday, December 26, 1943 www.onwar.com

HMS York firing a salvo from her main guns [photo at link]

In the Arctic... In the morning the Scharnhorst and her destroyers encounter the 3 cruisers of the covering force for convoy JW-55B. Bey chooses to break off the engagement. At midday the two forces encounter each other again and Bey breaks off the engagement. However, as Scharnhorst retreats the HMS Duke of York, under Admiral Fraser, appears and engages it in a gun dual. The Scharnhorst is reduced to a wreck and sinks. Only 36 of her almost 2000 crew survive. There are now no large German surface ships operational to threaten the Arctic convoys.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces in the area of Kiev capture Radomyshl.

In the Bismarck Archipelago... The US 1st Marine Division lands on New Britain, without incident, after a preliminary bombardment. Task Force 76 (Admiral Barbey) provides naval support along with two other groups of cruisers and destroyers. An American destroyer is sunk by a Japanese air attack.

In Italy... The US 5th Army clears Monte Sammucro and the surrounding hills of German forces.


6 posted on 12/26/2013 5:47:56 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/thismonth/26.htm

December 26th, 1943 (SUNDAY)

ITALY: German defenders are cleared from Monte Sammucro.
It is announced that General Ira Eaker is to command the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, and Doolittle is to take over the 8th Air Force. (Doug Tidy)

ARCTIC OCEAN: Scharnhorst and her escorting destroyers search for Convoy JW-55B, north of Norway. Visibility is poor throughout the morning, the seas are heavy and Scharnhorst ‘s radar is out of order. They find the British cruisers providing distant escort under Admiral Burnett. Admiral Bey breaks off to circle north for the convoy and detaches the destroyers into a scouting line.

At 0834 is detected by the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk from a distance of 30,000 meters (32,800 yards). Shortly afterwards the light cruisers Belfast and Sheffield of “Force I” (Vice-Admiral Burnett) also obtain contact. At 0924, the Belfast opens fire on Scharnhorst from 11,900 meters (13,000 yards), and is followed by Norfolk at 0930. Scharnhorst replies with her after turret but obtains no hits. Scharnhorst is hit by two 20.3cm projectiles from HMS Norfolk. One shell strikes the battery deck but fails to explode. The other hits the foretop and disables the radar apparatus (FuMo 27). Scharnhorst turns away southeast at 30 knots and then north again. Visibility improves somewhat near noon and action with the British cruisers resumes. Shortly after 1200, Scharnhorst runs once again into the cruisers of “Force I”, this time re-inforced by four destroyers from the convoy escort, MUSKETEER, MARTCHLESS, OPPORTUNE and VIRAGO, and opens fire at about 1230 with her main and secondary batteries. In this second engagement, the HMS Norfolk is hit twice by 28cm shells. Turret “X” is put out of action after a hit in the barbette, while another shell disables the radars and kills seven men. The Sheffield is hit by splinters. At 1241, believing she is receiving fire from a battleship, Scharnhorst turns away south and ceases fire. At 1617, the battleship Duke of York of Force II (Admiral Fraser) obtains radar contact with Scharnhorst from 42,500 meters (46,480 yards), and after closing the range to 10,900 meters (11,920 yards) opens fire at 1648. Being without radar Bey is surprised. Almost immediately the Scharnhorst is hit by a 35.6cm projectile in turret “Anton” which is put out of action. Another shell from Duke of York demolishes the hangar. At 1657, Belfast and HMS Norfolk open fire. Scharnhorst is repeatedly hit but manages to increase the distance with “force II” to 19,600 meters (21,435 yards). At 1820, a 35.6cm projectile passes through Scharnhorst ‘s upper belt and reaches the No.1 Boiler room (section IX) that becomes a total loss. The speed drops to 22 knots. At 1850, the destroyers of “Force II” close on and obtain one torpedo hit on Scharnhorst ‘s starboard side and three more on the port side. Speed drops to 20 knots. Duke of York and Jamaica open fire again at 1901 from 9,600 meters (10,500 yards) obtaining numerous hits. Scharnhorst still fires back with turrets “Bruno” and “Cäsar” but obtains no hits. At 1912, the cruisers of “force I” open fire. Thereafter cruisers Jamaica and Belfast launch all their torpedoes, and destroyers Musketeer, Opportune and Virago 19 more. The Scharnhorst finally capsizes and sinks at 1945.

Only 36 of her crew of 1968 survive. (Mark Horan and Navy News)

U.S.S.R.: The Soviets capture Radomyshl and over 150 other places in the Kiev salient.

ITALY: In the U.S. Fifth Army’s II Corps area, some elements of the 36th Infantry Division clear Morello Hill; others take responsibility for Hill 730. The Sammucro hills are now completely cleared of German troops. In the VI Corps area, the 8th Rifle Regiment of the 2d Moroccan Division attacks Mainarde ridge, north of the Atina road, unsuccessfully.

USAAF Fifteenth Air Force B-26 Marauders bomb marshalling yards at Prato, Empoli, and Pistoia. .

SOLOMON ISLANDS: The 1st Marine Division, under General Rupertus, begins landings near Cape Gloucester on New Britain. Naval support is provided by Admiral Barbey’s US naval TF 76. The landing, over difficult terrain, succeeds and the Marines defeat a few small Japanese attacks during the first night.

On Bougainville, seven USAAF Thirteenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells, with 34 fighters, attack the Cape Saint George area and 25 B-25s attack the bivouac and supply area at Kahili. New Zealand (PV-1) Venturas on reconnaissance bomb Chivaroi and Faisi Islands.

BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: After preparatory naval gunfire and aerial bombardment, during which Japanese observation from Target Hill, commanding the landing beach, is masked by smoke, Task Force BACKHANDER, commanded by Major General William H. Rupertus, Commanding General 1st Marine Division, and consisting of the 1st Marine Division (—), reinforced, begins the main invasion of New Britain at Cape Gloucester at 0746 hours. The Marines are landed by the Seventh Amphibious Force under Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barbey. Forested, swampy terrain is more formidable than the surprised Japanese, who offer only light opposition. The 7th Marine Regiment establishes a beachhead, clearing. Target Hill, and is passed through by the 1st Marine Regiment. General Rupertus establishes his command post ashore. Successful secondary landings are made by the reinforced 2d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, at Tauali, southwest of the airdrome, and by elements of the 2d Engineer Special Brigade on Long Is land. A Japanese force reaches positions northwest of the Arawe main line of resistance.

During retaliatory Japanese air strikes on Cape Gloucester, USN destroyers USS Lamson (DD-367), Shaw (DD-373), and Mugford (DD-389) are damaged by dive bombers; and tank landing ships USS LST-66 is damaged by a horizontal bomber. USN destroyer USS Brownson (DD-518) is escorting landing craft during the landings at Cape Gloucester. At about 1442 hours local, Brownson is hit by two bombs from a Japanese “Val” dive bomber (Aichi D3A, Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber). The bombs strike to starboard of the centerline, near number two stack. A tremendous explosion follows and the entire structure above the main deck as well as the deck plating, is gone. The ship lists 10 to 15 degrees to starboard and settles rapidly amidships with the bow and stern canted upward. The wounded are placed in rafts and at 1450 hours the order to abandon ship is given. The amidships section is entirely underwater at that time. There is a single ripple like a depth charge explosion and the ship sinks at

1459 hours about 6.5 nautical miles (12 kilometers) north of Cape Gloucester in position 05.20S, -148.25E. One hundred eight of her crew are lost.

Supporting the landings, over 270 USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25 Mitchells. B-24 Liberators, and A-20 Havocs attack the area between the Cape and Borgen Bay from 0714 to l614 hours. P-38 Lightnings, P-40s, and P-47 Thunderbolts claim over 60 Japanese aircraft shot down over the invasion area. Captain Thomas B. McGuire, Jr., flying a P-38H, shoots down three “Val” dive bombers (Aichi D3A, Navy Type 99 Carrier Bombers) over the invasion beaches. He cuts cards with a second pilot for the credit for shooting down a fourth “Val” and loses. McGuire now has 16 victories.

MARSHALL ISLANDS: Sixteen USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators, staging through the Gilbert Islands, bomb Wotje Atoll while P-39 Airacobras fly reconnaissance and strafing missions over Mili Atoll.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 0725, the unescorted SS Chapultepec was spotted in hazy weather by U-530 about 90 miles NE of Cristobal. The tanker’s acoustic torpedo detector noticed the torpedo fired but seconds later struck just abaft the stem. The explosion destroyed the forepeak tank and damaged nearby compartments. The ship immediately began a series of short zigzags at full speed and then returned to normal pattern after ten minutes. The tanker settled by the head, but the cargo was shifted until the vessel was on even keel. On the afternoon of the 26 December, the tanker arrived at Cristobal and discharged her cargo the next day. Two men of the ten officers, 43 men and 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) on board reported injuries. The Chapultepec later steamed to Galveston for dry-docking and repairs.


7 posted on 12/26/2013 5:49:03 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

Merry Christmas


8 posted on 12/26/2013 5:49:05 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson; Clive; exg; Alberta's Child; albertabound; AntiKev; backhoe; Byron_the_Aussie; ...
To all- please ping me to Canadian topics.

Canada Ping!

9 posted on 12/26/2013 5:56:33 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (I'd give up chocolate but I'm no quitter)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_North_Cape

The Battle of the North Cape was a Second World War naval battle which occurred on 26 December 1943, as part of the Arctic Campaign. The German battlecruiser Scharnhorst, on an operation to attack Arctic Convoys of war matériel from the Western Allies to the USSR, was brought to battle and sunk by superior Royal Navy forces—the battleship HMS Duke of York plus several cruisers and destroyers—off Norway’s North Cape.

The battle was the last battle between big gun capital ships in the war between Britain and Germany. The British victory confirmed the massive strategic advantage held by the British, at least in surface units.


10 posted on 12/26/2013 7:27:45 AM PST by abb
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

“Christmas Spirit Lightens Tragedy of World at War”

Only if you didn’t read the paper that day.

“Thomas Jefferson’s full works to be given to the nation”

Well that is cool. Too bad people didn’t read his thoughts on debt and public banks.

“Shortage of pork in 2 months likely”

Muslims don’t care, heartless bas...

page 2

200 towns and 600 prisoners taken in a day! Now that was a Russian Christmas present.

page 3

Gorodock!!

page 4

Another German massacre, who’d have thunk it?

House to house fighting on Christmas, reports from Algiers and citing Cairo Radio about battles in Italy, heh.

page 5

All east coast home guard on alert? They thought there would be an attack on the holiday. Okay, someone fire the editor who wrote “Christmas Spirit Lightens Tragedy of World at War”

page 6

30 fewer Japanese planes for the cost of 4
on the road to Tokyo (a lot of really short roads between large expanses of water)

page 7

“Christmas Spirit Lightens Tragedy of World at War”

You are on my crap list dude!

page 8

Knitted helmets, Trayvon would have loved one

Americans in Britain had turkey!

page 9

Bad weather gives Reich Yule rest from Bombing

(That explains the headline? traitors!)

Dewey has quiet Yule

Resting up for his big defeat of Truman

page 10

radio chatter

page 11

Stuff we already told you about and we think you need reminded about.

page 12

FDR sets out his goals for 2014... I mean 1944

page 13

A quiz to make sure you are paying attention

page 14

A map

page 15

Germans remain strong on Russian front

page 16

cartoon making fun of Goebbels

page 17

Thinking about the possibility of McArthur running for President. Ain’t he a bit busy??

page 18

“But many Democrats point to signs of independence”

Those were the days, where the D’s pretended not to treat their President like a messiah, at least in public.


11 posted on 12/26/2013 10:50:13 AM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: GeronL; Homer_J_Simpson
LOL!

200 towns and 600 prisoners taken in a day! Now that was a Russian Christmas present.

I bet they didn't have those 600 prisoners by press time.

12 posted on 12/26/2013 11:14:18 AM PST by fso301
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To: fso301

ouch


13 posted on 12/26/2013 11:27:48 AM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: Squawk 8888

Canadian troops in the house to house fighting in Ortona.

14 posted on 12/26/2013 1:39:14 PM PST by colorado tanker
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