Skip to comments.VAST U.S. ARMADA FIGHTING IN MARSHALLS; LANDING UNCONFIRMED; WAKE ISLE BOMBED (2/1/44)
Posted on 02/01/2014 5:30:23 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
John Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945
1 February. Outpost at Sibog attacked at 0330 by an unknown number of Japanese. Enemy withdrew after throwing three grenades and firing eight shots. No casualties.
Major General H.W. Blakeley, USA, Ret., The 32d Infantry Division in World War II
Allied gains around Cassino
Tuesday, February 1, 1944 www.onwar.com
In Italy... The forces of US 5th Army continue operations against the German defenses of the Gustav Line. The 34th Division gains some ground north of Cassino, around Monte Maiola.
In the Marshall Islands... American operations against the Kwajalein Atoll continue. On Roi US forces are mopping up. There is heavy fighting on Namur. US Task Force 52 (Admiral Turner) provides naval support for the landing of the 7th Infantry Division (General Corlett) on Kwajalein. Here, the Americans overrun a third of island, despite heavy Japanese resistance.
On the Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces capture Kingisepp and continue their advance to within 1 mile of the former Estonian border. Forces of German Army Group North conduct successful local counterattacks between Luga and Utorgosh.
February 1st, 1944 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: The Germans are eagerly monitoring the activities of the 1st US Army Group, stationed in Yorkshire and Norfolk. They have identified the training grounds, orders of battle and the invasion target - Calais, directly across the Channel.
There is just one problem. The 1st US Army Group does not exist. Like the Twelfth British Army, it is a phantom army created by the British and Americans to mislead the enemy as to where the landing in Europe will really be made.
Other bogus plans, passed on by a German agent who has been turned to work for the Allies, include Operation Fortitude North (an assault on Norway); Graffham (on Sweden); Zeppelin (on the Black Sea coast of Romania). A tricky one for the enemy is Operation Royal Flush: the map that has fallen into their hands could be of the coastline of Sweden, Spain or Turkey. These elaborate deceptions have led the Germans to scatter their armies across Europe to cover the “threatened” invasion points.
A genuine intelligence success has left the Germans grinding their teeth with frustration. They monitored a Churchill and Roosevelt telephone conversation on some forthcoming military operation. It ended, with the Germans none the wiser about the subject, when Roosevelt said: “Well, we’ll do our best. Now I’m going fishing.”
Britain: After two years of suits without pockets and trousers without turnups, followers of fashion can go to the tailor today and order whatever fripperies their hearts desire. Mr. Hillier, the secretary of the Bespoke Tailors’ Guild said today: “Popular opinion has killed the austerity suit. Nobody liked it.” The limits on pleats and buttons on women’s clothes are also removed.
FRANCE: After months of political squabbling, French Resistance leaders have taken a major step towards creating a more efficient and unified oragnization to fight the German occupying forces. A newly-formed central committee, known as COMIDAC, will liaise between the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) and the National Resistance Committee (CNR) created by Jean Moulin in 1943. two members of the new body represent all the factions within the Resistance.
COMIDAC’s charter, which was approved today, defines its role as being a centralized command for all the armed forces of the Resistance - including communists, Gaullists and others who have been fighting independently of each other. This action committee is more appropriate for setting up clandestine operations on short notice than was the FFI command structure.
However, the move has not been welcomed by the Central Intelligence and Military Action Bureau based in London, or by the Algiers-based General Intelligence Directorate. These groups see the decision as a new sign of the desire of the internal Resistance movements for more independence.
GERMANY: U-1008 commissioned.
U.S.S.R.: Destroyer HMCS Huron arrived Kola Inlet with convoy JW-56B.
ITALY: Alton W. Knappenberger, a Pennsylvania farm labourer, single-handedly disrupts a German attack near Cisterna di Littoria, a market town with a mediaeval castle about 30 miles from Rome. Armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle, Knappenberger is credited with killing 60 German soldiers over a two hour span this day. MOH
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: U-453 rammed and sank sailing vessels Salem, Himli, Agia Paraskevi in the Eastern Mediterranean.
INDIAN OCEAN: U-168 turned back for base at Penang because the I WO was suffering from appendicitis.
MARSHALL ISLANDS: Glen Boren notes in his diary:
Up early again and send our first strike at dawn. On board ship, we are told that the troops are getting ashore with few casualities and are consolidating as they go. We are not getting many details but they seem to be doing better than in past landings.
We launch two more support strikes during the day. Not a lot to report on for today, being stuck aboard ship, it is hard to get a lot of info. unless the skipper puts it out on the PA..
Busy day for tomorrow.
US seventh Infantry/25th Marine Division lands on Kwajalein/Roi/Namur. (Michael Ballard)
On Roi Island, Pfc Richard B. Anderson, United States Marine Corps throws himself onto an unexploded grenade to save three other marines. (MOH)
HM LST 3501-3517 ordered from Canadian yards.
HMC MTB 726 commissioned.
MAC ship SS Gadila commissioned.
Destroyer escorts USS Thornhill, Gunason, Currier commissioned.
Destroyer USS Buck laid down.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: An unknown U-boat shoots down an RAF 172 Sqn Wellington.
BEGINS 3D YEAR AS BASE
Manhattan Beach Station of Coast Guard Marks Date
“The third year of Manhattan Beach Training Station in Brooklyn, largest Coast Guard training base in the United States, will begin today. In the two years of its existence, more than 50,000 men have been trained there, it was announced yesterday.”
I wonder if this is where Sister Jay went to CG training during the war. The notice says “men,” but maybe that’s a generalization.
"For some Jews in the Occupied Netherlands, simply to hide from the Nazis was a gambit that worked--as it did for this elderly couple, Coen and Ella van Eekeres-Jünge, who hid in this tiny Amsterdam basement.
Discomfort and inconvenience were the least of the perils associated with hiding; the primary residents of the building had to be completely committed to the safety of their Jewish guests and cognizant of the grave risks to themselves.
Also, they had to be wary of antisemitic neighbors and even relatives, as well as the inevitable snooping of Nazi authorities."
Back in the late 90s I got to go to Kwajalein a couple of times for an extended stay.. on Kwaj, you couldn’t see much of the remnants from the war, but I flew out to another island, Roi Namur and got to spend the day touring some of the undisturbed brush there. Lots of Japanese bunkers that were hit heavy by the US Naval guns. It was something to see.
Thanks for mentioning the Church in France.
I long thought Archbishop Roncalli had much to do with that, since he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to France.
But now I see it happened in December 1944, after most of the death camps were already shut down.
So Roncalli's work to save Jews, for which he is rightly applauded, was more directed to Jews in eastern & southern Europe.
I note with interest that six of the 17 French individuals designated as "Righteous Among the Nations" were Roman Catholic clergy, including three archbishops.
So I think a correct understanding of Pope Pius XII himself is that: while he felt compelled to maintain public silence about the Holocaust, at the same time, he encouraged church officials like Roncalli and the French clergy to do whatever they could to help Jews.
The book discusses Church politics a little. Fr. Marie-Benoit worked on Jewish rescue in Rome as well as in France. Many religious houses, both men’s and women’s, provided shelter for Jewish refugees in both countries. However, it was risky for everyone.
Some Vatican officials were extremely cautious, not wanting whole monasteries to be wiped out, as happened in Poland. Others were personally involved in providing funds, documents, and so on. It’s easy in hindsight for people to say more, or something different, should have been done, but we can’t know how things might have turned out.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis named a high school after Archbishop Roncalli. I did not know the origin of the name until today; I assumed it was a local personage. I have learned something new. Thank you.
There are several other Roncalli High Schools scattered around the upper Midwest. They must have all opened before Cdl. Roncalli became Pope John XXIII!
Army and Navy Criticized for withholding info on Japanese atrocities.
I noticed that, too.
My understanding is that was brass in Washington with Whitehouse involvement. FDR didn't want news of atrocities to jeopardize his Germany first strategy.
tht was my first thought too
To be fair, we started moving in the Pacific remarkably quickly after Pearl Harbor and the first few months of Japanese victories.
I see CNO Ernest J. King’s hand in all of this. He’s been pushing for diversion of resources, especially naval, ever since the Italian Fleet was neutralized. With the growing power of the fleet, he knows it’s time to unleash hell on the Japanese.
Alton Knappenberger survived the war and lived to 2008.
Every time I read a dispatch from Anzio or Cassino I just get ticked off. With few exceptions, like Truscott, the first string had abandoned the Italy fight to second stringers, and a lot of men died as a result.
Wait till you see the other maps I’m going to post. This posting from the 1st is the last one where the beachhead is expanding.
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