Skip to comments.RUSSIANS TRAP 5 MORE DIVISIONS; FOE HITS BACK ON 2 LINES IN ITALY (2/7/44)
Posted on 02/07/2014 4:36:21 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
7 February. Major E.R. Kindig, CO, 121st FA Battalion, flying in a cub plane piloted by Lieutenant F.J. Piaprowski, was observing the effects of fire. This plane failed to return and search produced negative results.
Major General H.W. Blakeley, USA, Ret., The 32d Infantry Division in World War II
Where is the report on Caliph? You should also tell the Planners, if they have not finished their work, that the assembly area of Morocco should be used for at least three French divisions to follow up the inroad of the British armour at Caliph.*
* See minute of February 2 to General Ismay.
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
Americans clear Kwajalein
Monday, February 7, 1944 www.onwar.com
In the Marshall Islands... In the Kwajalein Atoll, American forces complete the elimination of isolated Japanese pockets of resistance.
In Berlin... Hitler agrees to allow the troops trapped in the Korsun pocket to attempt a breakout.
On the Eastern Front... In the Korsun pocket, General Stemmermann pulls out of Gorodische and Yanovka in order to concentrate the German forces for a breakout attempt.
In Italy... At the Anzio beachhead, there are new attacks on the British 1st Division by German forces. The Germans aim for the village of Aprilia and “The Factory” nearby. Meanwhile, the British 56th Division and the US 45th Division arrive at Anzio.
February 7th, 1944 (MONDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Frigates HMS Hargood and Sarawak commissioned.
GERMANY: U-1015 launched.
BALTIC SEA: During the boat’s trials in the Baltic near Hela one man died when he fell overboard from U-1003 while transferring to an outpost boat (V-Boot). [Funkgefreiter Werner Guhl].
U.S.S.R.: Hitler orders German troops trapped in the Korsun pocket to break out.
ITALY: Anzio: Maj. William Philip Sidney (b.1909), Grenadier Guards, led two attacks which forced off the enemy; later, he refused to have wounds seen to until the position was secure. (Victoria Cross)
BURMA: Imphal Last night the 1st/7th Gurkhas attacks a Japanese position known as “Bare Patch”. This position (also known to the Gurkhas as “Nango”) is a strongly-held network of trenches and bunkers on high-ground east of the Tiddim-Fort White Road. Major Peter Sanders led his men of the 1st/7th Gurkhas down a difficult winding path for 1,500 feet, before beginning a 1,200 foot climb up to the objective. There was no path, and it was so steep that both hands and feet had to be used - a considerable challenge for Sanders, who had lost an arm in action on the North-West Frontier five years earlier; all stores had to be carried by the men.
When the assault began at 8.30 pm, there was fierce resistance. Repeated efforts to find a way into or around the enemys elaborate defences were unsuccessful, and Sanders decided to dig in on the rocky ground just 20 yards from the Japanese trenches and to hold on till dawn. A thick morning mist gave his men the chance to consolidate their positions and do some wiring but, as the day progressed, casualties mounted form enemy light machine gun and mortar fire, and from sniping and grenade attacks.
Under Sanders leadership the Gurkhas held their ground throughout the day and night, while aggressive patrolling around the Japanese flanks succeeded in locating their water point. (Daily Telegraph, 21.10.2003, p.27)
CANADA: Destroyer HMCS Algonquin (ex-HMS Valentine) commissioned.
Frigate HMCS Meon commissioned.
Escort carrier USS Salerno Bay laid down.
Destroyer escort USS Gandy commissioned.
Submarine USS Sea Owl laid down.
Destroyer escort USS Melvin R Nawman launched.
Aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga launched.
Regarding the “Which side are unions on?” issue, today we have “Coal miners return to work,” from England, and a dispute between the City of New York and the teachers’ union.
My father served in Ticonderoga in Vietnam.
The American taxpayers got their money’s worth out of the 24 or so Essex-class carriers we built during World War 2. Rugged ships, none lost in combat, they crushed Japan. After the war, they were readily convertible to angled flight decks for jets, and they stayed in service for a long time.
I’ve been on the USS Intrepid and USS Lexington. They are big ships. We built 24 of them. Why?
Because we could.
It’s pretty clear that the failure to seize the high ground right off was a serious mistake, and one the Germans did not make.
One wonders what would have happened if Patton had been in command at Anzio.
I went back into Homer's archives because the Sochi Olympics stirred a question and I wanted to confirm my recollection. The Germans never took Sochi. In fact, they never penetrated to the south of the Caucasus. They got close to Tuapse, northwest of Sochi on the Black Sea coast, but never took it. That sure brought back some memories of dark days suddenly brighter. Day after day of German blows at Stalingrad and the Western and Central Caucasus, while we were engaged in hard fighting on Guadalcanal. Then came El Alamein, the North Africa landings, and the great Soviet counteroffensive. And the Nazis have been on defense ever since.
Are you contemporaneous with the events about which we are reading? (I was born in 1966!)
I was in the post-Vietnam, Cold War military.
I see - you’re older than I am, but younger than my parents!
I get your point. I’ve been in and out of the WW2 news threads, so I haven’t experienced it day by day. These days, so much real-life news makes me cranky and hostile that I’d rather think about 1944.
Patton would have been the Army Commander. There was talk of Patton taking the Command before it went to Clark.
The two issues you posted were examined in this book.
Patton looked at Clark's battle plan and told him the Germans would find the seam between the American and the British Army and drive between the two. Patton didn't like Clark's plan.
The second thing they discussed was Lucas' non aggressive manner in which he conducted this campaign. In retrospect, many experts agree, had Lucas been more aggressive and extended his beachhead, the whole force would have been destroyed by the force the Germans had assembled.
Monday morning Quarterbacking, I know.
Just another point of view.