Skip to comments.800 U.S. BOMBERS HIT FRANKFURT; RAF DEALS BERLIN ANOTHER BLOW (1/30/44)
Posted on 01/30/2014 4:34:42 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
30 January. A Japanese walked right into Sel outpost and surrendered. His regiment had gone inland, trying to by-pass Saidor by inland track. His physical condition was so bad he didnt think he could make it. He weighed 75 pounds.
Major General H.W. Blakeley, USA, Ret., The 32d Infantry Division in World War II
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
Our Raid a Record (Graham) 2
One Fort of Group Mixes with Nazis (Anderson) 3
War News Summarized 3
14-Mile Advance 4
Americans Shelling Cisterna; British 20 Miles from Rome (Bracker) 5
Worlds Greatest Warship is Launched in Brooklyn (Baldwin) 5-6
The New Battleship Missouri Adds 45,000 More Tons to Our Sea Might (photo) 7
Anger over Japanese Atrocities Almost Doubles War Bond Sales * 8
Roosevelt Board is Negotiating to Save Refugees from Nazis 9
Soviet Autonomy Troubles Allies (MacCormac) 9
Tokyo Radio Calls U.S. Troops Yellow 9
The Fifth Army Advances Inland from Their Beachheads (photo) 10
Dewey Gaining in Popularity, Survey of Republicans Shows (Gallup) 12
They Really Sacrifice (by John E. Bierwirth, first-time contributor) 12
Has Votes to Win, Lucas Declares 12
6 Italian Parties Urge Abdication 12
The Texts of the Days Communiques on the War 13-14
Latest War Casualties 14
The News of the Week in Review
The Fronts 16-17
The Vast Battleground of the Pacific (map) 18
Fifteen News Questions 19
The Way the Nation Feels (cartoons) 20
A War without Quarter Forecast in Pacific (Baldwin) 21-22
The Battle of Italy Enters a New Phase (map) 23
Main Front in Italy Still at Gustav Line (Bracker) 24
Answers to Fifteen News Questions 24
Git up Them Stairs! (Cartoon) 25
* Mission accomplished.
Allies attacking at Anzio
Sunday, January 30, 1944 www.onwar.com
Anzio in the midst of the fighting [photo at link]
In Italy... At Anzio the Allied offensive begins. There are heavy losses and no gains against the German defenses. To the south, along the German-held Gustav Line, the US 5th Army continues attacking. The British 5th Division (part of 10th Corps) breaks through the line and captures Monte Natale. Around Monte Cassino, the US 34th Division (part of 2nd Corps) holds its bridgehead on the west bank of the Rapido River.
In Ceylon... The British battleships Queen Elizabeth and Valiant, and the battle cruisers Renown with the aircraft carriers Illustrious and Unicorn arrive in Colombo. An additional battleship and carrier are already on station here, along with an increasing number of submarines.
In the Marshall Islands... US Task Force 58 continues the bombardment of Kwajalein, Roi, Namur and Eniwetok. There are 7 battleships involved and 400 bombing sorties are flown.
January 30th, 1944 (SUNDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Frigate HMS Stayner commissioned.
GERMANY: U-1014 is launched.
ITALY: USAAF aircraft attack Luftwaffe targets in the Po valley.
At 0100 outside Salerno, while attached to the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, a part of the U.S. VI Corps, the 1st, 3rd and 4th Ranger Battalions participated in an attack on Cisterna. The 3rd Division’s mission was to seize Cisterna, cut Highway 7, be prepared to continue on to Velletri and if all went well, interdict Highway 6 at Valmonte. The 1st and 3rd Rangers were to infiltrate between German strongpoints and sneak into Cisterna where they would hold the town while wreaking havoc behind German lines easing the way for the main attack an hour later by the 15th Infantry and the 4th Rangers.
A 3rd Division reconnaissance report stated that the road to Cisterna was lightly held by elements on the Hermann Göring Division. Indeed, that was true the day before the attack but General Lukas, VI Corps commander, had postponed the attack for 24 hours in order to allow the UK 1st Infantry Division and CCA to complete preparation for their attack on the left flank of VI Corps.
The 1st and 3rd Rangers entered a ditch for their approach to Cisterna. Not long afterwards the battalions lost contact with each other. Soon after a German tank spotted the Rangers and had killed the commander. Soon after crossing the LD the 4th Rangers ran into heavy German resistance where none had been expected. The ditch gave cover to the other battalions until 1.5 miles short of Cisterna. The remainder of their approach had to be made across open fields. During the delay ordered by Lukas the Germans had moved many units into the area in front of Cisterna. The plan called for the Rangers to be in Cisterna before dawn but they were still 800 yards short of the town at first light. When the Rangers were hit by the newly arrived Germans they were in a column formation making it impossible to conduct fire and manouvre. The Germans surrounded the ditch cutting off a retrograde movement. In the end only six Rangers of the 1st and 3rd Battalions made it back to Ranger headquarters. The remainder were casualties. (Jay Stone)(265, p.160)
WAKE ISLAND: Chet Smith, a PB2Y Coronado pilot and his crew make their first mission over this island.
“Lieutenant Commander Connolly led the first group over the target in a stepped up ‘V’ formation. Our plane’s radar altimeter indicated altitude below 50 feet.
“I asked the bow turret gunner, ‘How much return fire?’ He said, ‘Very little.’ From the waist hatch, ‘Moderate fire.’ The tail gunner answered, ‘All hell broke loose.’” (224)
PACIFIC: USN Task Group 38.3 conducted a pre-dawn air attack on Engebi Island.
During the night, we moved up to Engebi island and launched a pre-dawn attack. 8 to 10 “Betty” aircraft were caught on the ground and set on fire.
One was caught starting to taxi out for take-off but did not make into the air. The airfield was ruined. (Glen Boren, aboard the USS Bunker Hill)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-364 Listed as missing in the Bay of Biscay as of January 31, 1944. No explanation exists for its loss. 49 dead (all hands lost). (Alex Gordon)
Whilst escorting convoy JW.56B, destroyer HMS Hardy is struck by a torpedo fired by U-278 (Kapitanleutnant Joachim Franze) and her magazine explodes. She then has to be scuttled with a torpedo fired by HMS Venus. There are 40 casualties. Location: South of Bear Island at 73 37N 18 06E. (Alex Gordon)(108)
At 0346 and 0354, U-957 fired two Gnats at the escorts of the Convoy JW-56B and heard two detonations, which were claimed by Schaar as hits on two destroyers, but they were end-of-run detonations. At 0357, U-278 fired a Gnat that struck HMS Hardy. This hit was observed and claimed by U-957 and also by U-472, which had fired a Gnat at 0357 hours, but missed KNM Stord. At 0420, U-957 fired a spread of three FAT torpedoes at two corvettes, which laid stopped (probably the destroyer HMS Venus rescuing survivors from the torpedoed destroyer HMS Hardy) and heard one detonation after four minutes, but no destroyer had been hit at this time. Hardy had been seriously damaged and had to be sunk by a coup de grâce by HMS Venus. This detonation was heard by U-601, which thought that her Gnat, fired at 0524 had hit this destroyer. The U-boat then crossed the sinking position of Hardy and sighted an oil slick and debris.
U-314 (Type VIIC) is sunk in the Barents Sea southeast of Bear Island, Norway, at position 73.41N, 24.30E, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Whitehall and Meteor. 49 dead (all crew lost). (Alex Gordon)
Submarine USS Becuna launched.
Destroyer escort USS Gaynier launched.
All that's missing is the phrase "with impunity." I liked the part of Truman's speech where he says the Japanese are struggling mightily to replace their losses, but cannot match the production of American shipyards. He might have added "and they know it, too."
“In Ceylon... The British battleships Queen Elizabeth and Valiant, and the battle cruisers Renown with the aircraft carriers Illustrious and Unicorn arrive in Colombo.”
The battleship Queen Elizabeth had previously been sunk (in shallow water) by Italians! This event was kept secret at the time and may not have been reported in the NY Times (Did I miss it?)
“The Raid on Alexandria was carried out on 19 December 1941 by Italian Navy divers, members of the Decima Flottiglia MAS, who attacked and disabled two Royal Navy battleships in the harbour of Alexandria, Egypt, using manned torpedoes.”
Doolittle is now in command of 8th Air Force and is changing fighter tactics. Fighters will range ahead of the bomber formation to engage and clear enemy fighters. The story I was told by the guide at the Museum of WWII Aviation was that Doolittle was inspecting a field and saw a poster that said stay close to your bombers. He ordered it removed and told his pilots he wants the Germans engaged before they get to the bombers. I verified Doolittle changed tactics but don’t know about the story. Nice story, though.
I’m surprised it took so long to change tactics. I thought that question had been answered once and for all during the Battle of Britain in 1940 when the Luftwaffe fighter pilots wanted to seek out RAF fighters but Goering ordered them to stick with the bombers.
On the theory that you should consider any military decision by Goering or Hitler the wrong decision? :-)
I note the symbols for the doomed Ranger battalions advancing toward Cisterna. That is an awful story that shows the immense responsibility borne by commanding generals. General Lukas seems to have been afflicted with the hesitation blues from the day of the initial landings at Anzio. Was the Anzio disaster a direct result of a couple hospitalized soldiers on Sicily getting slapped around?
Just why the details of these latest and most embracing of Japan's revolting barbarities were announced last week is not by any means clear.
We might get a hint from the page 8 article about the spike in war bond sales. I know that by 1945 funding for the war was a worrisome issue for the Roosevelt administration. Maybe they already see it coming.
There is that. But also because of how the combatants learn from mistakes made on both sides and revise doctrine quickly. I guess you learn to focus on the vital things when people are shooting at you.
I couldn’t say for certain that Patton would have led this landing, but I would say almost anyone could have done better than Lucas.
When you look at the line of advancement at Cisterna on this map the problem becomes evident right away. We have infantry battalions rolling right into two armored divisions that have established themselves on the high ground. This has become a no win situation. It really is amazing that they weren’t pressed all the way back into the sea.
Well, yesterday’s article claimed that we had finally given up on Red Cross inspections or allowing food or parcels to POWs, and thus there was no further reason to hold the story.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.