Skip to comments.RUSSIANS TIGHTEN ARC AT ODESSA, HAMMER FOE IN 2 OTHER POCKETS (4/7/44)
Posted on 04/07/2014 5:25:07 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Japanese siege of Kohima
Friday, April 7, 1944 www.onwar.com
In Burma... Near Kohima, Japanese forces encircle the British 161st Brigade, part of British 33rd Corps (Stopford) at Jotsoma and block the main road to the west from Kohima near Zubza. About 3500 British-Indian troops are now trapped in Kohima and engaged in hand-to-hand fighting for the next 13 days.
On the Eastern Front... Heavy fighting north of Razdelnaya continues as a small pocket of German and Romanian forces is reduced. To the north, German forces encircled near Tarnopol make an unsuccessful attempt to break out.
In Germany... Goebbels is appointed “City President of Berlin,” superceding the authority of the Oberburgmeister.
In Occupied Hungary... Recent Allied bombing raids on Budapest cause the large scale evacuation of civilians to begin.
April 7th, 1944 (FRIDAY)
GERMANY: Berlin: In a desperate effort to rescue Berlin from the chaos created by Allied bombing, Hitler has suspended civil law and administration and installed Göbbels as Stadtspresident with unlimited powers. The city’s military commanders, and the chiefs of police, fire brigades, medical, ambulance and rescue services, as well as food and relief organizations will be answerable to him alone. Shop assistants, office workers and commercial travellers are being drafted into labour units to clear bomb damage. Under the relentless air attacks, Berlin’s fire-fighting services have broken down, relief organizations have failed to provide enough food and clothing for bombing victims, and wide-spread looting has been reported. There have been repeated outbreaks of disorder, with SS troops forced to intervene.
The destruction of police records has allowed what the authorities call “undesirable characters” to evade arrest and roam the city without identity papers.
Izieu, Ain: SS Lieutenant Klaus Barbie of the Lyons Gestapo today reported the destruction of the Jewish Colonie des Enfants [children’s home] here in dutiful and businesslike words: “Captured - 41 children aged between three and ten years, and ten attendants. The transport will leave for Drancy tomorrow.”
Drancy will be their only pause on the way to the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
U.S.S.R.: Generalmajor Ferdinand Schorner makes an inspection of the defences of Fortress Crimea. He states that everything is sufficient. (Gene Hanson)
ITALY: 400+ Fifteenth Air Force B-17s and B-24s attack marshalling yards; the B-17s bomb Treviso, the B-24s hit Mestre and Bologna; almost 100 P-38s provide escort; P-47s fly a sweep over the Gorizia-Udine area; the bombers and fighters claim almost 20 aircraft shot down.
Twelfth Air Force B-25s and B-26 Marauders attack bridges, tracks and a viaduct at Attigliano, Ficulle, Certaldo, Pontassieve and Incisa in Valdarno, and hit the Prato marshalling yard; A-20 Havocs hit an ammunition dump; Ausonia, Pignataro Interamna, San Apollinare and Terracina are bombed by P-40s along with a dump and several gun positions southeast of Rome; P-47 Thunderbolts also hit bridges and trucks in this same area and attack the Empoli marshalling yard while A-36 Apaches hit gun emplacements, train and tracks in the Orvieto area and vicinity and approaches to the Montalto di Castro bridge. (Jack McKillop)
BURMA: IJA encircle the 161st British Brigade near Kohima.
20+ Tenth Air Force P-51 Mustangs and B-25s hit gun positions at Mawlu; throughout the Mogaung Valley 100+ fighter-bombers and 2 B-25s hit numerous targets including fuel and ammunition stores near Manywet, supplies and a railroad station at Myitkyina, supplies and a radio station at Sahmaw, the Kamaing area, bridges at Nsopzup and supply dumps west of Mogaung; 30+ of the fighter-bombers carry out ground support missions at Shaduzup. (Jack McKillop)
CHINA: 7 Fourteenth Air Force P-40s strafe 3 barges and several junks at Saint John Island, leaving them burning. 2 B-24s on a sweep from Hong Kong to Formosa claim a large river boat and a small freighter sunk and 2 other freighters damaged; 1 B-24 is lost.
EAST INDIES: Fifth Air Force B-25s bomb barracks at Penfoei on Timor Island.
FRENCH INDOCHINA: 4 Fourteenth Air Force P-40s attack a large concentration of small vessels at Haiphong, French Indochina, sinking at least 4.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Thirteenth Air Force aircraft attack New Britain Island. 50+ fighter-bombers pound supply areas at Ratawul; 9 B-25s hit Talili Bay, 11 bomb Vunakanau Airfield and 13 blast Tobera Airfield; 6 B-25s maintain night heckling of the Rabaul area.
The destroyer USS Saufley (DD-465) sinks Japanese submarine HIJMS I-2, 50 miles (80 km) west-northwest of New Hanover Island. (Jack McKillop)
JAPAN: 8 Eleventh Air Force B-24s dispatched to destroy a convoy, believed southeast of Matsuwa Island, Kurile Islands, turn back due to engine, navigation and weather difficulties. A flight of F-7As Liberators of the 2d Photographic Charting Squadron, 1st Photographic Charting Group, 311th Photographic Wing (Mapping and Charting), arrives in the Aleutian Islands; its mission is mapping of the Kurile Islands. The squadron is based at Peterson Field, Colorado Springs, Colorado and sends detachments to various parts of the world to photo map. (Jack McKillop)
MARSHALL ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s from Tarawa Atoll hit Maloelap Atoll, rearm at Majuro Atoll, and bomb Jaluit Atoll on the return flight.
NEW GUINEA: Fifth Air Force B-25s, A-20s and P-39Airacobras hit villages, barges, a supply area, and coastal road in areas around Madang, Tadji, Bogia, and Uligan Harbor; and B-24s bomb Langgoer and Wakde Island.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: 4 Thirteenth Air Force P-40s bomb pillboxes near the Reini River while 2 B-24s bomb Monoitu Mission. (Jack McKillop)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Destroyer USS Champlin (DD-601) is damaged when she intentionally rams German submarine U-856, 380 miles (612 km) southeast of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, Canada. Champlin and destroyer escort USS Huse (DE-145) had teamed to sink U-856. (Jack McKillop)
"Holding their baby, a young Jewish couple in North Africa prepares to board the ship that will take them to a new life in Palestine.
From various points of origin, including Portugal, ships organized by Jewish rescue agencies took Jews from North Africa to Palestine.
Yet, even with the arrival of American troops, Jews in places such as Casablanca, Morocco, continued to experience arrest and abuse, sometimes at the hands of right-wing and antisemitic French authorities."
"Walter Schellenberg achieved new prominence and power in 1944 as head of the combined SS and Wehrmacht security services.
His appointment followed the dissolution of the Abwehr and the arrest of its leader, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris.
A one-time aide to Heinrich Himmler, Schellenberg performed various responsibilities throughout the war, including leading RSHA Amt VI, which was responsible for intelligence gathering in foreign countries.
His new appointment in 1944 placed him second in command only to Himmler within the SS."
"Among those killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in the spring of 1944 were poet Itzhak Katzenelson and his 18-year-old son, Zvi.
In happier days in Poland, Katzenelson had been a prolific writer in both Yiddish and Hebrew in several genres, from theatrical comedies to children's books.
Under the German occupation, first in Lódz, Poland, and then in Warsaw, Katzenelson rallied the ghetto community through works that expressed tenacity in the face of overwhelming hardship, including the deportation of his own wife and two of his children to Treblinka.
"During the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Katzenelson and his son, protected by forged Honduran documents, were sent to the Vittel concentration camp in France as part of a proposed prisoner exchange with the Allies.
The horror Katzenelson had witnessed compelled him to keep writing.
In his diary he testified to the courage of the ghetto deportees and the heroism of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters.
His poems from Vittel express the wrenching premonition that the exchange would fail and he and his son would perish.
In 'The Song of the Murdered Jewish People,' Katzenelson agonizes: 'Such blessed harvest at one stroke--a people gathered in entire.'
"Katzenelson died with his son at German hands in April 1944."
The Soviets have been giving fairly accurate information regarding the war in the east, but today they are flat out lying. The “Skala Pocket” does not contain the remnants of fifteen divisions. They all escaped the west and are intact. This is a great embarrassment for Marshal Zhukov. The Soviets are silent on it.
So far I have not picked up in the Times that Hitler sacked von Manstein on March 30. Did I miss it?
I remember seeing something about it but I don't recall if it was a small item recently posted, something I prepped for posting within the next 30 days, or something I copied and have not yet prepped. I suspect it is option #2.
I don’t recall anything on Mannstein, either. He seems to have dropped out of the daily stories of the Eastern Front without explanation. I went back and looked at the German communiques, which I don’t usually read, for the 30th and 31st and there is no mention of the relief. I imagine you’re right, that it will take someone imaginative like Baldwin to figure out his disappearance from public view means something important.
MacArthur is planning a bold operation. Our penetration of the Japanese codes has revealed Hollandia has virtually no land defenses. So, he is going to leap to Hollandia and bypass Wewak, cutting off a Japanese Army. Because the Navy can only spare its carriers for a brief time, Aitape will also be taken as a base for air support for the Hollandia operations. The operation is appropriately named Reckless.
The Japanese have caught on that we only leap as far as our air cover, but our carrier fleet has changed that calculus.
Finally, the long, slow slog across New Guinea is about to speed up.
For being such fans of a complex game like “Go,” the Japanese were chumps when it came to Pacific strategy. We have already shown a penchant for bombing the hell out of their forward bases, and then landing behind them. Like at Bougainville, the Admiralties, Kwajalein and Eniwetok.
The Japanese should start looking at what we are capable of doing, not what they think we will do. Or maybe they don’t really want to consider what we are capable of doing, because that thought is probably getting rather scary and depressing by now.
I have been reading about “Operation Reckless” in Nimitz’ war diary. I hadn’t bothered to look it up, and wondered what it was. Now I know; thank you.
I would imagine the carrier raids on Palau and Yap were meant to prevent the Japanese from staging any fleet or air units from those bases to interfere with Reckless. Makes sense now that you look at it, but again, either the Japanese are not connecting the dots, not wanting to connect the dots, or simply unable to do anything about it.
I think its a case of the Japanese just not wanting to think about what we are now capable of. Another factor is what could they do about it? With the US Navy now so strong, the days of free movement of troops and supplies are over.
And let's not forget there were Americans who lacked Nimitz' imagination and disliked his plan to take the Marianas and turn them into B-52 bases.
The automobile accidents in Great Britain are outrageous! Over 500k killed in auto accidents since the war started!
A map of the Reckless Task Force operations will appear here on 22 April.
I went back and looked at the German communiques, which I dont usually read . . .
WHAT?! I'm deeply saddened.
With all the constraints the Russians put on Westerners, it seems to me the articles on the Eastern Front are basically rehashes of the communiques.
During the Sochi Olympics I became curious just how close the Germans came to Sochi and I was able to figure it out through the communiques.
Just kidding about reading the communiques. I read just enough of them myself to be sure I am reassembling them properly for scanning after I cut them up. I keep getting them for every day because I figure somewhere up the line somebody may find it valuable to have the complete collection. Not sure why, exactly, but you never know.
He was really thinking ahead, wasn't he. Most folks probably couldn't have contemplated an 8 engined jet bomber in 1944. /grin
My Dad's 33rd Infantry Division is "now" guarding and training in Hawaii (yes, it was tough duty, but somebody had to do it. ;-) )
They will arrive in New Guinea on May 11, 1944.
The 33rd Division was slated for Operation Olympic and the invasion of Kyushu. I bet your Dad was pretty darn happy about the dropping of the A-Bombs.
But yes, I expect the 33rd will land on the coast of Japan to face its last reserves of suicidal fanatics determined to make Americans pay with blood for every foot they advance.
It could be an unbelievably bloody end to an already bloody war...
If you take the civilian and military casualty numbers for Okinawa and extrapolate them to the populations of Honshu and Kyushu you come up with an unbelievable butchers bill.
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