Skip to comments.RUSSIANS REACH BUKOVINA BORDER; REICH CITIES AND LONDON BOMBED (3/25/44)
Posted on 03/25/2014 5:02:56 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
#1 - Besame Mucho Jimmy Dorsey, with Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen
#2 - Mairzy Doats Merry Macs
#3 - Holiday for Strings David Rose
#4 Shoo Shoo Baby - Andrews Sisters
#5 Poinciana Bing Crosby
#6 - Speak Low Guy Lombardo, with Billy Leach
#7 I Couldnt Sleep a Wink Last Night Frank Sinatra
#8 - My Heart Tells Me - Glen Gray, with Eugenie Baird
#9 Shoo Shoo Baby - Ella Mae Morse, with orchestra
#10 - Star Eyes - Jimmy Dorsey, with Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen
Americans clear the Admiralties
Saturday, March 25, 1944 www.onwar.com
In the Admiralty Islands... On Manus, a final drive by US forces eliminates most of the remaining Japanese forces. On Los Negros, Japanese resistance has been reduced to scattered groups and isolated individuals.
On the Eastern Front... Troops of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front capture Proskurov and continue advance southwest. The German 1st Panzer Army (General Hube) fails to attack westward and it is threatened with encirclement.
In the Caroline Islands... Japanese patrols sight large American naval forces heading for Palau Island.
March 25th, 1944 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: Ignoring Churchill’s request for aerial attacks on V-weapon bases in France, Eisenhower gives priority to the bombing of transport and communications centres.
FRANCE: More than 140 Ninth Air Force B-26s bomb a marshalling yard at Hirson.
GERMANY: On the “Night of the Strong Winds” 72 out of 811 bombers raiding Berlin are lost and 50 are shot down by flak.
U.S.S.R.: Kamchatka Peninsula: A US Navy PV-1 Ventura bomber on a mission from Attu in the Aleutian Islands to Shimushu Island in the northern Kurils, crashes into the side of a mountain in this remote part of Siberia. The aircraft is found and the remains of the crew identified nearly 60 years later. More...
ITALY: Cassino: After a week of bitter fighting around this bomb-shattered town in central Italy, the Allied offensive, aimed at dislodging the German from the monastery, has been called off. Last night the Gurkha, Essex and Rajput Regiments were evacuated from their position on Hangman’s Hill. The losses sustained in this abortive attack have been severe. The 2nd New Zealand Division has lost 63 officers and over 800 men dead, wounded or missing, while the 4th Indian Division lost 1,000 men and 65 officers.
AUSTRALIA: The Thirteenth Air Force and all US Marine Corps and US Navy aviation units in the former South Pacific Area are reassigned to the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA).
PACIFIC: Japanese resistance nears the end on Manus and Los Negros in the Admiralties.
The 14th Antiaircraft Artillery Group arrive on Emirau Island. (Jean Beach)
Bougainville: The Japanese counter-offensive fails and they begin to withdraw. (Gordon Rottman)
U.S.A.: USS Cooper (DD-695) is commissioned.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-976 (type VIIC) is sunk in the Bay of Biscay near St. Nazaire in position 46.48N 02.43W by gunfire from two British Mosquito aircraft from Sqdn. 248/L/I. 4 of the U-Boat crew are lost, but 49 survive. (Alex Gordon)
Also, the Germans have reestablished a foothold in Cassino town, but at least the "foe's losses are believed heavy," per the NYT.
The German 1st Panzer Army is in fact encircled today as the Red Army cuts its last supply line over the Dniester River. As usual Hitler’s “stand fast” orders restricted Gen. Hube’s freedom of action and yet another substantial German force is threatened with destruction. 1st Panzer consists of eight infantry and panzer divisions in fairly good shape and retains its cohesion. They have enough food and ammunition for about two weeks but are critically short of fuel.
You can see on the NYT map the large bulge where 1st Panzer is holding out.
The Germans have four choices. Break out to the south into Romania, break out to the west to southern Poland, break up into small groups and infiltrate back to German lines, or continue to stand fast.
It’s an interesting military problem that is still studied by the U.S. Army staff college. We’ll see in the next week or so how the Germans tried to resolve it.
I was not familiar with this battle so I made my choice, which was to go west. 1) to avoid isolation from other units and supply lines in Romania and 2) to avoid leaving a hole in the front.
So then, I couldn’t resist looking at what they actually did.
It must have been a bittersweet victory for the troops, with Mannstein being relieved and Hube dying in a plane crash shortly after.
Anything that avoided death or captivity with the Soviets was a victory. And the loss of Hube was a huge loss for the Germans. He was a very competent commander, and like Model, he was one of the few that was both competent and held in high regard by Hitler.
The German paratroopers got their name Green Devils at this battle for their ferocious defense. They wore a distinctive green jump jacket and were adopting a camo pattern with green, all distinctive from the usual German field gray.
Very interesting, thanks.
I’m reading about the landings in Africa in 1942 now. What a catastrophe!
The US Army was not ready for prime time in 1942. In many ways the diversion to North Africa was a blessing in disguise. Can you imagine if we had gone straight to Normandy?
It would have been horrible. It’s been a while since I read most of my collection of Civil War books. The World War II reading is a reminder of how difficult it is to do any kind of a decent job of fighting a war. Entropy is the rule, and success without catastrophic losses is a rare exception.