Skip to comments.RUSSIANS ENTER RUMANIA PROPER, DENY ANY TERRITORIAL AIMS THERE (4/3/44)
Posted on 04/03/2014 4:13:34 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
British strike the Tirpitz
Monday, April 3, 1944 www.onwar.com
In Occupied Norway... Operation Tungsten: the German battleship Tirpitz is attacked and damaged by 41 Barracuda bombers, escorted by 41 fighters, from the carriers (Victorious, Furious and 4 escort carriers) of the British Home Fleet. The aircraft achieve 14 hits and cause damage that keeps the battleship out of action for three months. There are 438 German casualties. Four planes are lost.
Over Occupied Hungary... The B-17 and B-24 bombers of the US 15th Air Force drop 1100 tons of bombs on rail and industrial targets in Budapest. During the night, RAF Liberator and Wellington bombers carry out a follow-up raid. The attacks necessitate the closure of all the railway stations in the city.
In the United States... The Supreme Court rules that Negroes have the right to vote in Texas.
April 3rd, 1944 (MONDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: England: Because of a combat crew shortage which has caused abolition of the 50-mission limit tour of duty and resulted in fatigue and morale problems, IX Bomber Command establishes a new operational leave policy. Maximum leaves for bomber crews are set at 1 week between the 25th and 30th missions and 2 weeks between the 40th and 50th missions. (Jack McKillop)
NORWAY: OPERATION TUNGSTEN. Germany’s one surviving battleship, the TIRPITZ, has been disabled again by a daring navy attack. Repairs on the Tirpitz following the midget submarine attack last September had just been completed. The Royal Navy learnt from Ultra codebreaking that she was ready to sail and sent two carriers to Altenfjord. HMS Victorious and HMS FURIOUS sailed as near as they dared and launched their 41 Fairey Barracuda bombers at 4.15 this morning. The conditions were between snow storms and thus ideal for flying. They scored six direct hits and three probables on the Tirpitz. The bombs did not pierce the ship’s heavy armour, but floods and fires on the ships upper decks mean the Tirpitz will not sail again for three months.
One of the pilots was Temporary Acting Sub-Lieutenant David Clarabut RNVR(A) (1923-2011). His Barracuda was carrying a 1,600lb bomb in the first strike wave of 21 aircraft of 827 and 830 Naval Air Squadrons.
At 0529, the first Wildcats and Hellcats flew in over the mountains to surprise the German flak positions with machine-gun fire, while Corsairs gave air cover. The Barracudas took station in line ahead and dived through the clear skies from 10,000 feet.
The mountains had hidden Tirpitz from view until a few seconds before the dive, and the battleship put up two dense box barrages, one at 8,000 ft and the other at 3,000 ft, where bombs were meant to be released. The aircraft of 830 Squadron were led lower, and Clarabut dived lowest of all until, at 1,200 ft and at a 45 degree angle, he dropped his deadly cargo. A dense column of smoke rose higher than his aircraft, and Clarabut could only fly through this and hope to pull out of his dive before hitting the mountainside. As he emerged, there was the bright flash of an explosion between Tirpitz’s bridge and B turret.
Those killed included Tirpitz’s captain and she drifted out of control until she ran aground. One Barracuda was shot down and its crew of three lost during the attack, which had lasted barely a minute. (Daily Telegraph)
ITALY: Naples: Mount Vesuvius erupts sending clouds of dust and rock falling onto Allied merchant ships in the Bay of Naples. Tom Stainton and his ship are forced to move out to sea to avoid damage.
Twelfth Air Force medium bombers attack railway bridges at Orvieto, cutting approaches to a bridge to the north of town; other medium bomber attacks on bridges abort because of weather but light bombers successfully bomb an ammunition dump; A-36 Apaches attack the railway at Attigliano and bomb an underpass in the area, while P-40s hit Sesti Bagni railroad station, a supply dump southeast of Frosinone, the town of Itri, a bivouac area northwest of Velletri and several trucks; and P-47 Thunderbolts successfully bomb Pignataro Interamna and nearby road junction. (Jack McKillop)
FINLAND: The German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop orders all deliveries of food supplies to Finland to cease. This is in retaliation to the Finnish peace-probes, which the Germans have discovered, apparently from their spies in the Swedish airport which the Finnish envoys used in their trip. This embargo puts Finland in a very hard position; because of the wartime, the majority of Finnish supplies come from Germany or countries allied to it.
Already on 28 March the German representative at the Finnish GHQ, General der Infanterie Waldemar Erfurth, had threatened the Finnish Chief of General Staff, General of Infantry Erik Heinrichs, that Finland will suffer the same fate as Hungary, which Germany recently occupied, if she tries to make peace with the Soviet Union. Heinrichs answers that Finland is not a German ally like Hungary, but the threat is taken very seriously by the Finnish military leadership. (Mikko Härmeinen)
Eastern Europe: 450+ Fifteenth Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb targets in Hungary and Yugoslavia; the B-17s hit an aircraft factory in Budapest, Hungary and a marshalling yard at Brod, Yugoslavia; the B-24s hit a marshalling yard at Budapest; 137 fighters escort the B-17s (B-24s miss the rendezvous) to Budapest; the bombers and escorting fighters claim 24 enemy aircraft shot down.
Seven Heja II fighters of the Hungarian Air Force stationed on a field near Budapest manage to get airborne, and thereby only proved their inadequacy against modern aircraft. Still underpowered and lacking an oxygen supply, t hey had difficulty operating above 15,000 feet, which was still several thousand feet below the altitude preferred by the bomber formations. (Jack McKillop and Mike Yaklich)
CHINA: 4 rocket-firing Fourteenth Air Force P-40s, with 8 other as top cover, damage 2 large river boats between Hengyang and Ichang. (Jack McKillop)
BURMA:4 Tenth Air Force B-25s damage the Tangon bridge while 6 P-51 Mustangs hit Anisakan airstrip in the Mandalay area; 20+ fighter-bombers and 6 B-25s hit targets of opportunity south of Mupaw Ga and west of Mogaung, troops near Bhamo, and knock out a bridge near Mogaung; during the night of 3/4 April 16 B-24s bomb oil and power facilities at Yenangyaung, Chauk, and Lanywa while 8 P-38 Lightnings hit Meiktila Airfield. (Jack McKillop)
FRENCH INDOCHINA: 4 Fourteenth Air Force P-40s flying a Red River sweep from Vinh Yen to Dong Cuong sink 4 small boats, damage 3 more, and strafe 50-100 persons at a loading point on the river; and 3 B-24s lay mines in the Haiphong area. (Jack McKillop)
NETHERLANDS East Indies: Fifth Air Force B-24s bomb Langgoer and B-25s bomb the Babo area and Penfoei on Timor Island. (Jack McKillop)
NEW GUINEA: 300+ Fifth Air Force B-24s, B-25s, A-20 Havocs, and P-38s blast airfields at Hollandia; most of the remaining Japanese airplanes there are destroyed; of 60 intercepting Japanese fighters, 26 are claimed shot down; air opposition from Hollandia is very light hereafter; 50+ P-40s, P-47s, and P-39 Airacobras hit villages, communications, AA positions, and other targets in areas around Wewak, Hansa Bay, Bogia and Madang. (Jack McKillop)
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO:23 Thirteenth Air Force B-25s bomb the northeastern section of Rabaul on New Britain Island; this strike follows a larger than usual (6 B-25s) heckling raid during the night of 2/3 April. In other raids, 50+ fighter-bombers blast fuel stores at Keravia Bay on New Britain. (Jack McKillop)
CAROLINE ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-24s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll during the night of 2/3 April, bomb Truk Atoll. B-25s from Abemama Island follow with a daytime attack on Ponape Island. (Jack McKillop)
MARSHALL ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s from Abemama and Tarawa Atoll hit Maloelap and Jaluit Atolls. (Jack McKillop)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Thirteenth Air Force USAAF and USN fighters strafe the Numa Numa trail area on Bougainville and maintain patrols. (Jack McKillop)
PACIFIC OCEAN: US submarine USS Pollack (SS-180) sinks an Japanese Army cargo ship south of Japan. (Jack McKillop)
1,900 NAZI MINES DEFUSED BY RED ARMY GIRL SAPPER
No object looks innocent to her, [Raya Kozhevnikova] explained, be it a book or an easy chair, until she is reassured by her mine-detecting apparatus that it is not a German booby trap. “A sapper can make a mistake only once in his life,” she observed.
The RN was flying Wildcats Hellcats and Corsairs off their flattops? When did they retire the Seafires?
Nobody could tell a bald faced lie with a straight face better than Vyacheslav Molotov. Nobody.
“Let me have a report on why the Witchcraft Act, 1735, was used in a modern court of justice. What was the cost of this trial to the State?” (Churchill)
This was NOT a plot element in “Foyle’s War,” but I wish it had been.
“In Occupied Norway... Operation Tungsten: the German battleship Tirpitz is attacked and damaged by 41 Barracuda bombers, escorted by 41 fighters, from the carriers (Victorious, Furious and 4 escort carriers) of the British Home Fleet. The aircraft achieve 14 hits and cause damage that keeps the battleship out of action for three months. There are 438 German casualties. Four planes are lost.”
“During the earlier part of its service life, the Barracuda suffered a fairly high rate of unexplained fatal crashes, often involving experienced pilots. In 1945 this was traced to small leaks developing in the hydraulic system. The most common point for the leak was at the point of entry to the pilot’s pressure gauge and was situated such that the resulting spray went straight into the pilot’s face. The chosen hydraulic fluid contained ether and as the aircraft rarely were equipped with oxygen masks (and few aircrew wore them below 10,000 ft/3,000 m anyway) the pilot quickly became unconscious leading to a crash. An Admiralty order issued at the end of May 1945 required all examples of the type to be fitted with oxygen as soon as possible, and for pilots to use the system at all times.”
In 1944, Helen Duncan was gaoled under the Witchcraft Act on the grounds that she had claimed to summon spirits. It is often contended, by her followers, that her imprisonment was in fact at the behest of superstitious military intelligence officers who feared she would reveal the secret plans for D-Day. She came to the attention of the authorities after supposedly contacting the spirit of a sailor of the HMS Barham, whose sinking was hidden from the general public at the time. After being caught in the act of faking a spiritual manifestation, she was arrested during a seance and indicted with seven punishable counts: two of conspiracy to contravene the Witchcraft Act, two of obtaining money by false pretences, and three of public mischief (a common law offence). She spent nine months in prison.
Although Duncan has been frequently described as the last person to be convicted under the Act, in fact, Jane Rebecca Yorke was convicted under the Act later that same year. The last threatened use of the Act against a medium was in 1950. In 1951 the Witchcraft Act was repealed with the enactment of the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951, largely at the instigation of Spiritualists through the agency of Thomas Brooks MP.
“The RN was flying Wildcats Hellcats and Corsairs off their flattops? When did they retire the Seafires?”
I just happened to read that Seafires were playing defense during this operation...
“During the period in which the air strikes were conducted, a force of 25 Wildcat and Supermarine Seafire fighters from 801, 842 and 880 Naval Air Squadrons provided air defence for the Home Fleet.”
Good thing you put the date in the Title.
Flying four different models of fighter planes must have been logistically challenging.
Give them time. Maybe next season!
Good point. Thanks for the details, untenured. It looks like they changed the law a few years later to emphasize fraud rather than “actual” witchcraft.
They would have to include a murder in the story for it to qualify for a “Foyle’s War” episode.
Oh, someone’s always getting murdered in England!
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