Skip to comments.RUSSIANS CUT LAST KEY RAIL LINE, FIGHT IN OUTSKIRTS OF CERNAUTI (3/30/44)
Posted on 03/30/2014 6:34:45 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Luftwaffe inflicts unacceptable losses
Thursday, March 30, 1944 www.onwar.com
Me110 night-fighter equipped with Lichtenstein radar [photo at link]
Over Germany... RAF Bomber Command raids Nuremberg with 795 bombers. The force loses 96 aircraft, representing the single highest nightly loss of the entire war. It is apparent that on clear nights the growing technical skill of the German night-fighter controllers and the new Lichtenstein airborne radar units combine with the German ability to track RAF H2S and IFF transmissions in inflicting unacceptable loss rates on the attacking force.
From Berlin... Hitler dismisses Manstein and Kleist and renames their commands. Model is assigned to command Army Group North Ukraine (formerly Army Group South) and Schorner is assigned to command Army Group South Ukraine (formerly Army Group A). Lindemann replaces Model in command of Army Group North.
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces capture Chernovtsy.
In the Admiralty Islands... US forces occupy Pityilu Island to the north of Manus Island. There is little Japanese resistance.
In the Caroline Islands... Admiral Spruance leads three groups from Task Force 58 (including 11 carriers) in attacks on Palau Island.
March 30th, 1944 (THURSDAY)
GERMANY: RAF bombers raid Nuremberg, losing 95 aircraft (64 Lancasters and 30 Halifaxes) out of 795. 545 British crewmen are killed, compared with 69 German civilians and 59 foreign slave workers.
Of the aircraft lost 62 are shot down by German fighters, 14 by flak, 2 are lost in collisions and 16 listed as missing. (Gene Hanson)
P/O Cyril Joe Barton (b.1921), RAFVR, carried out a raid alone in his damaged Halifax MK III (LK 797) of No. 578 Squadron, after three crew baled out in error. He died when his fuelless plane crash landed in Co. Durham. (Victoria Cross)
Berlin: Hitler, furious at the Russian victories in the Ukraine, has sacked two of his field marshals, von Manstein, commanding Army Group South and von Kleist, in charge of Army Group A.
Von Manstein’s dismissal is the culmination of a long series of quarrels in which he has refused Hitler’s demand that the Wehrmacht should never retreat. Von Manstein, master of the defensive battle, won the last quarrel five days ago when Hitler summoned him to the Berchtesgaden to demand that the army must stand on the line of the river Bug. Von Manstein replied that it was an impossible order, and that the First Panzer Army was in danger of being caught in a Stalingrad-type “cauldron”.
Hitler backed down, but now he has had his revenge. He recongnised that von Manstein was a master of manoeuvre, but said that what he wanted was someone who “would dash round the divisions and get the very utmost out of his troops”. At the core of the quarrel is Hitler’s belief that the army had run away in the Ukraine. In fact it was overwhelmed by the speed and weight of the Russian attack.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA:U-223 (type VIIC) (Oberleutnant zur See Peter Gerlach) is sunk north of Palermo in position 38.48N 14.10E by depth charges from HMS Laforey (which the U-Boat also torpedoes and sinks), HMS Tumult, HMS Hambledon, HMS Blencathra. 23 of the U-Boat crew are lost, but 27 survive. Having attacked HMS Laforey whilst surfaced U-223 then attempted an escape on the surface at 15 knots, but was unable to outrun 2 fleet and 3 escort destroyers. She finally sank by the stern after having been on the receiving end of 27 depth charge/Hedgehog attacks and gunfire. HMS Laforey is the last British warship to be sunk in the Mediterranean by a submarine during WWII. There are 177 casualties and 69 survivors. (Alex Gordon)(108)
BURMA: The Chindits’ 16th Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Bernard Fergusson, retreats following its failure to take the main Japanese supply base at Indaw.
Admiralty Islands: US forces occupy Pityilu Island, north of Manus.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: US Marine Photo squadron VMD-254 redeploys to Guadalcanal.
U.S.A.: The motion picture “Cover Girl” opens at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Directed by Charles Vidor, this musical comedy stars Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, Phil Silvers, Jinx Falkenburg, Eve Arden and Otto Kruger.
I read an account of a new RAF bomber crewman who arrived at his base while his new unit was out on a mission. None of them ever came back from that mission (I don't remember whether it was a flight, or a squadron that was lost).
Confederate flags in a New York restaurant ad? Perhaps the Hotel Astor wanted southern customers.
Losses among airmen, especially bomber crews, are unbelievable at this point in the War. The guys who are more involved students say that we are sacrificing bomber crews in order to wipe out the Luftwaffe’s fighter capability in advance of the Normandy invasion.
I have seen stats for all aicrew in the ETO (8th, 9th, 11th, 12th and 15th AF) of 30,000 dead, 14,000 wounded and 33,000 wounded. I have seen as many as 26,000 dead for the 8th alone.
That’s the equivalent of a major ground battle.
I have six sons. None of them has been to war yet, although my oldest daughter, the incomparable Gunner Anoreth, has been in the Coast Guard for almost five years and done ... nobody’s telling me what all. I go to bed and she and her dad break out the distilled beverages and everyone tells me it’s all copacetic in the morning. Anoreth is 23 and Kathleen (#10), the Tiny Pink Queen of Evil, is 2. I understand all those mothers in the news!
My great uncle Howard was the only close family member in the War, and he wouldn’t talk about it much. He joined up days after Pearl Harbor and was in the Pacific into the 1950s. The other were too old, or were doctors (my grandfather) or farmers (Howard’s brother Leon).
My point is, I look at those numbers of air crew losses and see every family. And as I read, I’m reminded how many died.
It could have been worse. They could have been Russian.
I was just saying to DP tonight, apropos of the African campaign book, “ ... and 80 percent of German casualties were on the Russian Front.”
It’s almost as if the whole campaign, Africa, Italy, France, etc, was a sideshow, and the Russian Front was the bit picture and all that mattered.
And that happened thousands and thousands and thousands of times over.
Did you catch the racist joke the Times reprinted last week?
It was intended to be a carrier aircraft for the Midway class, but didn't clear carrier trials. It never did deploy in WWII.
That just doesn’t look like a military plane.
Odd looking bird, wasn't it? According to Wiki the idea was to build something that outgunned and was faster than any existing fighter. The problem is by the time they worked the kinks out, jets were being deployed. This one has a nose dome, so I'm thinking it was outfitted as a night fighter.
Saw a reference to it in a thread, but never saw the actual joke.