Skip to comments.ALLIED AIRMEN SINK 9 SHIPS OFF RABAUL; JAPANESE ARMY AND NAVY CHIEFS OUSTED (2/22/44)
Posted on 02/22/2014 4:39:10 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Winston S. Churchill, The Hinge of Fate
The first of the following excerpts is continued from February 9. The third is continued from February 13.
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
Soviets capture Krivoi Rog
Tuesday, February 22, 1944 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... German forces of Army Group South, facing another large encirclement, withdraw from Krivoi Rog, the iron mining center in the Donbas. Forces of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front occupy the city during the day.
From Moscow... Stalin issues two Orders of the Day: the first concerns the capture of Krivoi Rog and the second announces that three-quarters of Soviet territory has now been liberated with the Red Army having advanced as much as 1000 miles.
In the Mariana Islands... Japanese bombers and torpedo planes attack the ships of US Task Force 58.
Over Holland... In dense cloud and freezing conditions, a B-24 group bombs Nijmegen by mistake, killing 200 civilians.
In Occupied Greece... A German troop train is derailed in the Tempe Valley by British-led guerrillas. An estimated 400 soldiers are killed. The Athens-Salonika railroad is blocked for four days.
In the Marshall Islands... US forces land on Parry Island, in the Eniwetok Atoll. There is heavy Japanese resistance.
February 22nd, 1944 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Frigate HMS Somaliland commissioned.
Destroyer HMS Solebay launched.
Submarine HMS Truncheon launched.
Corvette HMCS Arnprior (ex-HMS Rising Castle) commissioned Belfast.
FRANCE: Paris: The Gestapo arrest the poet André Verdet. The artist Robert Desnos was pre-warned a few minutes before they arrived to arrest him, thanks to a telephone call from a friend, Madame Grenier, on the staff of the paper Aujourd’hui, a Paris literary magazine.
“Big Week” 289 B-17s hit aircraft production centers at Aschersleben, Bernburg and Halberstadt plus targets of opportunity. 333 B-17s of the 3d Bombardment Division are dispatched to Schweinfurt but severe weather prevented the aircraft from forming properly and they were recalled. 74 of 177 B-24s dispatched hit targets in the Netherlands. 38 B-17s and 3 B-24s are lost.
One of the B-24 Groups bombs Nijmegen, the Netherlands, by mistake killing over 800 civilians. (Herman Kouters)
U-1010 and U-1102 commissioned.
SWEDEN: Soviet bombers attack Stockholm by mistake. There are no casualties. (Mikke Häärmeinen)
U.S.S.R.: German troops evacuate Krivy Rog.
GREECE: Athens: 400 German soldiers drowned when their train was blown into a flooded river here today by mines laid by Greek partisans. Hundreds more were injured. A general was amongst the dead. The ambush marks a new offensive in the Balkans, with British officers from the Special Operations Executive leading Andarte freedom fighters. Ten coaches plunged down a ravine on the main Athens to Salonika line. The surviving armoured coach was sprayed with machine gun fire before the partisans disappeared into the countryside.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: At 1213, U-969 fired a spread of three torpedoes at Convoy GUS-31 about 15 miles off Bône, Algeria and heard two detonations. The Peter Skene Ogden and George Cleeve were each hit by one torpedo and were both beached, but later declared total losses. George Cleeve in station #121 was hit by one torpedo on the starboard side amidships in the engine room. The explosion created a hole 21 feet long, killed the second assistant engineer on watch below and destroyed the engine and turned it over on its side. The blast forced its way into the #4 hold, blew scrap iron through the deck and enveloped the superstructure in steam and oil. A large crack appeared amidships and the master thought the ship would break in two. The vessel settled with a 20° list to port until the after deck was awash and the bow rose out of the water. About one hour after the attack, the eight officers, 33 men and 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) were ordered to abandon ship in two boats and a raft. The survivors were picked up by the American SS William T. Barry after 30 minutes and landed in Oran on 25 February. One armed guard had been blown overboard and was picked up by a small boat from the other torpedoed ship. A salvage crew later boarded the Liberty ship, which was towed to Bône and beached. After her cargo was discharged, the vessel was declared a total loss and was later scrapped in Italy. Peter Skene Ogden, the ship of the convoy vice-commodore in station #111; was hit by one torpedo on the starboard side at the #5 hold. The explosion threw sand ballast; hatch beams and covers into the air, blew one of the after booms over the side, damaged the shaft and caused the propeller to drop off. When the ship began to settle by the stern, the eight officers, 33 crewmen, 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) and eight naval staff members abandoned ship in four lifeboats and four rafts about two hours after the hit. They were picked up by a British escort vessel at 16.30 hours and landed at Bône, while the master and ten volunteers reboarded the Peter Skene Ogden to prepare her salvage. She was towed by tug HMS Hengist to Herbillon, Algeria where she was beached at 1800 on 23 February and later declared a total loss.
INDIAN OCEAN: U-510 made two attacks at the convoy PA-69 about 200 miles from Aden and reported two tankers and one freighter sunk, one freighter was left burning and sinking and one other freighter was damaged by one torpedo. Three tankers were hit, the San Alvaro, E.G. Seubert and Erling Brøvig. The last stayed afloat with a broken back and both parts were towed to port. It is not clear whether one ship was hit by two torpedoes. E.G. Seubert in station #21 was hit by one torpedo on the port side in the #10 tank and the cross bunkers. The explosion blew one of the after machine guns over the side and started a small fire. The steam smothering line quickly put out the flames. The engines were stopped, as the tanker settled rapidly with a list to port. Only one lifeboat could be launched before the ship suddenly capsized to port and sank by the stern, twelve minutes after the hit. The most of her crew of eight officers, 35 men and 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) abandoned ship by jumping overboard and had to swim through fuel oil several inches thick. One officer, two men and three armed guards, including the commanding officer died. The survivors were picked up by minesweeper HMAS Tamworth and corvette HMIS Orissa and taken to Aden, arriving on 24 February. Erling Brøvig broke almost in two after she was hit by one torpedo amidships, but was taken in tow and beached near Aden, where her cargo was transferred to lighters and she was temporarily repaired. The crew reached Aden in lifeboats and was later taken to Capetown on the Panamanian merchant Sewall. On 16 September, the tanker got underway to Massawa, assisted by a tug, but after one day she broke in two behind amidships, both parts still floating. The tug continued with the forepart and the master sailed with the afterpart as far as Suez by her own power. A tug towed her through the canal and she arrived Italy safely, where she was subsequently laid up. After the war, the tanker was repaired in Genoa and reentered service as Bramora in 1946/47. Sold to China in 1960/61 and eventually broken up. San Alvaro was sunk at 13.46N, 48.49E.
MARIANAS ISLANDS: Units of the US 5th Fleet, Task Force 58, attack the Marianas Islands.
Glen Boren continues his diary:
The USS Bunker Hill kept up her tradition as the “Holiday Raider” today on Washingtons Birthday with a raid on Guam, Saipan and Tenian. Today the detachment from VFN-76 went along. They lost one pilot but accounted for 5 Japs. One pilot came back shot up pretty bad but accounted for 3 Zekes. Three divisions, the skipper’s, Billo’s and Runyon’s, (12 planes) went to Guam and really shot up the place. They got 2 Betties in the air and 3 Douglas type transport planes, 4 betties and 2 zekes were destroyed on the ground. They say 40 or 50 planes were destroyed on the ground at Tenian by the complete task force. They reported that one VF-18 pilot was seen going in the water and was in a raft, We hope he was picked up by the subs.
Task Force 58, composed of two task groups, was involved in the raid on the Mariana Islands. The two task groups and the carriers and air groups assigned were:
Task Group 58.2 (TG 58.2)
USS Essex (CV-9) with Carrier Air Group Nine (CVG-9)
USS Yorktown (CV-10) with CVG 5
USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) with Light Carrier Air Group Twenty Four
Task Group 58.3 (TG58.3)
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) with CVG-17
USS Cowpens (CVL-25) with CVLG-22)
USS Monterey (CVL-26) with CVLG-30
The raids began with a dawn sweep by 48 Grumman F6F Hellcats; the Hellcats from TG 58.2 hit Guam and Saipan while the F6Fs of TG 58.3 hit Tinian and Rota. The attackers claim 168 Japanese aircraft destroyed in the air and on the ground plus several transports which are claimed sunk.
Some of the victories scored by the Americans are:
0620 hours: A VF-25 pilot shoots down a Mitsubishi G4M Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber, Allied Code Name “Betty,” near TF 58.
0645-0800 hours: 16 Mitsubishi A6M Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters, Allied Code Name “Zeke” and Nakajima Ki-43 Army Type 1 Fighters Hayabusa
(Peregrine Falcon), Allied Code Name “Oscar;” four Bettys; and two Kawasaki Ki-48 Army Type 99 Twin-engined Light Bombers, Allied Code Name “Lily” are shot down over Saipan and Tinian.
0815-0835 hours: Five Zekes over Guam
0945 hours: One Zeke over Tinian
1245-1300 hours: Seven Zekes over Saipan
One VF-9 Hellcat driver, Ensign John M. Franks, Jr., becomes an ace when he shoots down a Zeke near Saipan at 0745 hours. A second pilot, Lt(jg) Donald E. Runyon of VF-18, downs a Betty near Orote Field on Guam at 0815 hours; this is his 11th victory.
Both task groups begin retiring toward Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the afternoon but they are attacked by four waves of land-based bombers between 2000 hours and 0900 hours the next day. AA fire and skilful manoeuvring prevent any damage to ships by the Japanese bombers.
MARSHALL ISLANDS: The Allies complete their occupation of Eniwetok Atoll and land on Parry Island.
JAPAN: Tokyo: The Japanese prime minister, General Hideki Tojo, today sacked the heads of the Japanese army and navy following last week’s catastrophic losses to the Allies at Truk. Japan’s strategic outlying defence base in the South-west Pacific.
General Tojo, who takes over as chief of the army general staff, succeeding the disgraced General Sugiyama, is being accused of running a one-man cabinet. In addition to being premier, he is minister of war, controller of munitions, minister of commerce and industry, and minister of education. A protest has been issued by one of the emperor’s brothers, Imperial Prince Chichibu, and dissident general staff officers have nicknamed Tojo “Takauji”- a reference to a 14th century military upstart.
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Chebogue commissioned.
Submarine USS Lamprey laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Finnegan, Gilligan and McCoy Reynolds launched.
Heavy cruiser USS Pittsburgh launched.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: An RCAF 162 Sqn Catalina attacked U-550 with machine guns in the North Atlantic. Two crewmembers were killed. The boat was lost on the same patrol on 16 April.
Doubtless those were all Democrat voters in 1944.
Wonder how many are left who still vote Democrat today?
Here is the US coal production since WWII:
In 1944 there were approx. half a million coal miners producing about a ton of coal per miner.
Today there are 80,000 miners, producing about 14 tons per miner.
The leadership still does.
For an industry as critical to the war effort as coal mining, I can understand how workers may have been under heavy pressure. However, I've always been suspicious that these wartime labor strikes were instigated by Reds.
Around the World, communists didn't cease their agitation simply because there was a war. The Chinese Communists would fight the Nationalists and Japanese. Communist guerrillas and Communist partisans would fight both Axis forces and non-Communist partisan and guerrilla forces.
I've never really understood what it is about Marxism that can create such violent fanaticism among people ostensibly believing there is no afterlife, no reward for sacrificing their life on the altar of revolution.
I went to the “Coal Museum” in beautiful Matewan WV a few years ago. I learned that since 1863, when mining began in earnest in West Virginia, 13 billion tons of coal have been mined. West Virginia still has about 56 billion tons of recoverable coal. That’s just West Virginia.
We have plenty of coal, but we have become a nation rich in resources that refuses to use them.
The IJN had no answer to the "Super Strafers" and skip bombers.
Undersea documentary programs always want to portray sunken Japanese ships with guns still pointed skyward as if AA crews heroically manned their positions with decks awash firing away as their stricken vessels settled beneath the surface until they could no longer continue firing due to the rising water.
Marxism, communism, fascism, Nazism, Maoism, Islamism... you name it, all are simply outer garments worn by violent people to help "justify" what it is they do naturally.
Think educated gangsters, thug-ocracy, dictators, tyrants & wannabe kings, etc.
They will use whatsoever ideological justifications seem to work at the moment.
And when one stops working (i.e., "workers of the world unite"), then they'll move-on to another -- i.e., "We're all going to die from global warming".
Same people, same purposes, different messages.
In this particular example, we see most clearly how the old "workers of the world" have been completely abandoned by Democrats in favor of their new "global warming" ideology.
The real air war in the Pacific was the 5th AF working the japs over hard, in New Guinea.
And there will always be a supply of useful idiots ready to do the heavy lifting.
Well, time to hop into the ol' time machine. Today I am heading to the last third of May 1944 to gather the news. See y'all tomorrow. [/folksy accent]
Yep. Those B-25 "Super Strafers" could really clear the decks. Then it was the skip bombers turn.
The Beaufighters flown by the Australians were also good at clearing decks.
Adios Homer J. Well done.
Bottom of page 9, I’ve never heard of milk fed spaghetti.
The coal and electricity industries - just two more industries the Democrats intend to destroy in their junk science environmentalism crusade.
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