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4,500 U.S. PLANES HAMMER ENEMY, DOWN 119; BERLIN IS BOMBED AGAIN (5/9/44)
Microfilm-New York Times archives, Monterey Public Library | 5/9/44 | Drew Middleton, Milton Bracker, Hanson W. Baldwin

Posted on 05/09/2014 4:31:48 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson

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TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: milhist; realtime; worldwarii
Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
1 posted on 05/09/2014 4:31:49 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
Allied Advance to Volturno River, Reorganization, and Attack on Gustav Line (17 January-11 May 1944)
Anzio-Cassino Area, 1943: Attempts to Cross Rapido and Garigliano Rivers, 17-20 January 1944. Anzio Landing, 22 January 1944. German Counterattack at Anzio, 16-19 February 1944
The Western Pacific, New Guinea and the Philippine Islands: Allied Advances to the Marianas, Biak and Noemfoor, 22 April-24 July 1944, and Japanese Kon and “A” Go Operations 30 May-19 June 1944
China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
2 posted on 05/09/2014 4:32:21 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
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The Nimitz Graybook

3 posted on 05/09/2014 4:32:57 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
Continued from April 26.

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Stephen E. Ambrose, Band of Brothers

4 posted on 05/09/2014 4:33:33 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
[Continued from May 4.]

Prime Minister to General Ismay, for C.O.S. Committee 9 May 44

The gap must be filled at all costs, either by delaying the return of the seventy-nine transport aircraft to the Mediterranean, or by drawing twenty plus fifty-nine from “the Hump”, or by a combination of both. We cannot on any account throw away this battle. I am quite willing to telegraph to the President pointing out to him the disastrous consequences to his own plans for helping China which would follow the casting away of this battle.

Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring

5 posted on 05/09/2014 4:34:08 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
Battle over Reich (Middleton) – 2-3
Royal Navy Fliers Sink Two Vessels – 3
War News Summarized – 3
4-Mile Gain Made – 4
Europe Nears Siege Status; Nazis Further Curb Travel – 5
Laughs Ease Pain of Wounded on LST (Bracker) – 5-6
Germans Making Big Moves in Italy – 6
Japanese Tighten Rail Grip in China – 6
British Foil Blow on India’s Border – 8
U.S. Flier Equals Bong’s Mark of 27 – 9
Latest Casualties of Army and Navy – 10-11
Navies’ Invasion Tasks (Baldwin) – 12
The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on the War – 13-15
Swiss Report Damage Totaling $8,500,000 Caused in Schaffhausen by U.S. Bombers – 15
6 posted on 05/09/2014 4:35:18 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1944/may44/09may44.htm#

Soviets liberate Sevastopol
Tuesday, May 9, 1944 www.onwar.com

On the Eastern Front... In the Crimea, the Red Army captures the city of Sevastopol after three days of fighting. German and Romanian troops fall back toward Cape Kersonessky where evacuations continue.

In New Guinea... Japanese forces skirmish with American forces on the beachheads around Hollandia.

Over Occupied France... Allied air forces begin large scale raids on airbases in France as part of the preparation for the D-Day invasion.


7 posted on 05/09/2014 4:36:02 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/thismonth/09.htm

May 9th, 1944 (TUESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: The MK VI Hawker Tempest fighter (HM 595) flies for the first time. A tropicalized MK V with air intakes moved from the radiator to the wing and a 2,300-h.p. Sabre V engine in place of the Sabre II. (22)

ÉIRE: Dublin: The government of Eire resigned tonight after defeat in the Irish Assembly, the Dail, by one vote on the second reading of the Transport Bill. Defeat on this major issue is regarded as a no-confidence vote. The bill aimed to merge two big railway companies. An inquiry has begun into share dealings preceding publicity about the scheme.

Tonight’s vote was the first since the election last June in which all the opposition parties - Fine Gael, Labour, Independent and Farmers - used their combined strength to defeat the minority Fianna Fail government of Eamon de Valera by one vote. The next general election will be held within four weeks of tonight’s dissolution.

FRANCE: Allied bombers attack Luftwaffe bases in preparation for D-Day.

The Western Front

Another nice day at -Heeresgruppe B- HQ at the chateau of La Roche-Guyon.

Having discussed with his staff the results of the senior officers’ conference the night before, Rommel and a few staff members leave on another inspection tour. Since the Normandy area seems to be the focal point of recent reinforcement activity and personal concern by the Fuehrer himself, Rommel heads west, having notified the corps commander three days before of this trip.

They leave at 7 A.M. and travel downstream to the town of Vernon, where they normally cross over. But the bridge there has been destroyed, so they are reduced to taking a ferry across the Seine.

They continue on to the small coastal town of Houlgate, just east of Cabourg. There they closely inspect some of the offshore obstacles recently erected. Rommel gives his approval of the work done. Out walking along the wet flats, they forget how fast the tide comes in here, and suddenly find themselves scurrying off the beach to avoid the incoming waves.

They move on southeast to Dives-sur-Mer, and find that the recent lack of rain has somewhat diminished the deliberate flooding of the area. Hopefully, some spring rain will take care of that.

Onward, towards the city of Caen. As they approach the outskirts, they discover an air raid in progress. They pull over until the bombing ends, then continue into the city. There, they meet with LXXXIV Corps commander Erich Marcks. Rommel takes him aside and they talk privately for a while.

Marcks gives his situation report. Enemy activity has increased remarkably, with VERY heavy aerial recon of the coastal areas, especially over the Cotentin Peninsula and the Orne Estuary. Coastal batteries are being bombed heavily (including the dummy positions), as well as supply bottlenecks, such as bridges, major intersections, and depots. Rommel seems a bit skeptical. The air activity in this area seems low; and it has certainly been less than it has been further north, in the 15th Army area.

Marcks then covers his future plans. He intends to further strengthen the Cotentin peninsula. He is heartened by the fact that since the peninsula is so narrow,* any unit stationed in the interior could move to just about any trouble spot along its coast, or to the beaches east of the Vire River.

Rommel asks him where he would position another panzer division if they could get one released. Marcks points to the map, near the base of the Cotentin. “Near Carentan,” he tells Rommel. The field marshal agrees.

There are other problems. Cement is in short supply, and Marcks has not received any for a week now.

Metal is hard to get too, so many of the obstacles are being made of wood. The workers have done some 80 km of coastline, and some 170,000 stakes of “Rommel’s asparagus.”

Next up is the Cherbourg fortress commander, who reports on the readiness of the port. It is a good report, and Rommel is satisfied.

Following him is -Generalmajor- Edgar Feuchtinger, commanding the 21st Panzer Division. He gives a precise unit report, and includes both the increased deliveries of new PzKw IVs, and of their own efforts to install German anti-tank guns on some old French chassis.

Rommel wants him to come up with an accurate layout of the road nets in the area to scope out the best routes for rapid mechanized movement, as well as possible staging areas in the Cotentin Peninsula for a panzer counterattack. Rommel, knowing Feuchtinger’s lack of armored fighting experience, goes into detail. Every river crossing is to be utilized, he warns, and long, strung out columns are to be avoided at all costs. Feuchtinger estimates that his trucks and armored cars can reach Cherbourg infour uninterrupted hours, and the mechanized units in a day.

Rommel stresses to him the critical importance of having contingency plans. They may have to move through areas blocked by paratroopers, debris and ruins; or fight in totally unsuitable terrain. COVER ALL POSSIBILITIES, he stresses.

They have lunch there in Caen, and then Rommel is off again with his staff, accompanied by Marcks and HIS staff. . They inspect the Riva Bella battery less than a kilometer west of Ouistreham. Then the Longues-sur-Mer naval battery, where Admiral Hennecke** joins them. They travel along the coast, inspecting the beaches east of Vierville,*** and then to the port town of Grandcamp.

It is supposedly on this portion of the tour that he overlooks a deserted beach, facing the English Channel and once again tells those officers present one of his cardinal points-that the first twenty-four hours of the invasion will be decisive.

And that for the Allies, as well as Germany, it will be the “longest day.” ****

They move inland to Isigny-sur-Mer and inspect some flooded areas.

They finally reach Marcks’ headquarters at St.Lo around 8 P.M. that night, once again tired from the day’s activities. Marcks puts on a decent meal for them, and afterwards he and the field marshal have a stimulating talk, while several officers take walks around the area.

More reports come in of coastal batteries and bridges being bombed.

That night, Rommel’s official diary reflects his activity:

“Have left on an inspection tour of the Cotentin Peninsula, since this seems to be the area where the -Schwerpunkt- of an enemy landing might take place. On the way I was impressed by the remarkable work and achievements of the 711th Division. It was certainly worth my spending so much time and energy on the construction of our defenses. Without these I would have looked with great anxiety upon the possibilities of enemy landings over here.”


* Average width is 35 km; Distance between Lessay and Carentan is only 25 km.

** The naval commander for Cherbourg.

*** Omaha Beach.

**** Some sources indicate that Rommel had once told this to his aide Lang earlier in the year.


Pete Margaritis

GERMANY: Berlin: Dönitz says that he does not expect the Allies to invade in the near future.

U-777 commissioned.

DENMARK: Copenhagen: As western Europe prepare for the expected Allied invasion, all Denmark’s North Sea Coast has been closed to shipping. Any vessel sailing within ten miles of the coastline will be fired on by shore batteries, General Haneken, who is responsible for the Danish sector of the Atlantic Wall, said today. Danish islands are now isolated from the mainland, as are those of the Netherlands.

U.S.S.R.: Polar Fleet and White Sea Flotilla: MS “T-886” (ex-RT-15 “Zasolschik”) -is sunk by aviation, at Olenii area (Sergey Anisimov)(69)

U-24 encountered a Soviet submarine, but neither boat attacked.

Crimea: Soviet troops today stormed the mighty fortress of Sebastopol, all but completing the liberation of the Crimea, the peninsula which the Germans called “our aircraft carrier in the Black Sea”.

General Tolbukhin’s soldiers fought their way into the ruined streets of the city after three days of bombardment by guns and dive-bombers. The dazed remnants of the German Seventeenth Army and its Romanian allies caved in.

The Soviet Black Sea Fleet, for so long unable to act for fear of the Stukas flying from the Crimea, has also played a large part in the freeing of its traditional base. Motor Torpedo boats have been out at night causing havoc among the German ships trying to evacuate their troops. Now the fleet can return to Sebastopol; the port will need much repair work, but the ships will be able to use the natural harbour as a base for operations along the Romanian coast.

A German spokesman admitted the crushing defeat in an astonishingly frank statement: “On the morning of the third day of the onslaught, when the Russians broke into the southern part of the city, the German Command decided to give up the struggle.” About 20,000 Germans and Romanians have been killed at Sebastopol and 24,361 taken prisoner.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: During the night of 8/9 May 1944, USS PC-558 was escorting a coastal convoy, sank a German one-man submarine and captured the driver (an Oberleutnant) and shortly thereafter sank a second one together with USS PC-626. At 0456, the patrol craft was hit by one torpedo from U-230 and sank quickly with the loss of many of her crew about 28 miles NNE of Palermo, Sicily. The accompanying USS PC-1235 was missed by three torpedoes and chased away the attacking U-boat. She then hurried back to the sinking position and was able to rescue 30 survivors.

CANADA:
Corvette HMCS Guelph commissioned.

Landing ships ordered in Canadian yards - HMS LST 3538, LST 3535, LST 3541, LST 3542, LST 3545.

Minesweeper HMS Mariner launched Port Arthur, Ontario.

U.S.A.:
Destroyer escort USS Chaffee commissioned.

Escort carrier USS Makin Island commissioned.

Submarine USS Segundo commissioned.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-313 had to return to base due to severe technical problems with the depth rudders.


8 posted on 05/09/2014 4:38:23 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

“Soap is a tool of peace and a weapon of war!”

My sons agree 100% with the latter - everything is a weapon of war - but aren’t persuaded of the former.


9 posted on 05/09/2014 4:51:40 AM PDT by Tax-chick (All my teenagers are annoying, but some are more annoying than others.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

Vladimir Putin is in Crimea today celebrating victory over the Nazis. The headlines in the newspaper may explain why today.


10 posted on 05/09/2014 4:58:12 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson; henkster; colorado tanker

On page 12 Baldwin discusses “Water Buffalos” (LVTs), but no mention of Higgens boats, or Ducks, much less Donald Ducks.
His mention of “shore to shore” operations suggests a pretty short crossing, maybe Pas de Calais?

So, is it possible the allies still have a few surprises in store for D-Day?


11 posted on 05/09/2014 5:45:28 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK; Homer_J_Simpson; colorado tanker

The allies may have a few surprises instore. Interesting that Rommel is looking closely at the Normandy coast, and is trying to get another panzer division positioned there. He still thinke the invasions will come at Calais, but Normandy looks like his second guess.


12 posted on 05/09/2014 7:54:27 AM PDT by henkster (Do I really need a sarcasm tag?)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

I don’t think the “California Blou-Slip,” top of page 4, ever caught on, although one can see the practicality when fabric was scarce. One obvious problem is that one doesn’t want to wear the same color of blouse all the time, unless it’s part of a uniform.


13 posted on 05/09/2014 8:26:33 AM PDT by Tax-chick (All my teenagers are annoying, but some are more annoying than others.)
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To: henkster

The allies may have a few surprises instore. Interesting that Rommel is looking closely at the Normandy coast, and is trying to get another panzer division positioned there. He still thinke the invasions will come at Calais, but Normandy looks like his second guess.


Right. Rommel wanted the Panzer divisions up close to repel the invasion. Rundstedt wanted them further inland so they could move to where they were needed. Rommel knew from experience that Allied air power would be devastating.


14 posted on 05/09/2014 10:37:29 AM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

I am always impressed by the use of terms like “Foe” and “Enemy.”

Back then, the media knew we were in a war to preserve our way of life.

If the current NY Times and MSM were running their enterprises back then we would all today sprechen en Duetch and Japanese.


15 posted on 05/09/2014 10:43:21 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Fight Tapinophobia in all its forms! Do not submit to arduus privilege.)
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To: laplata

Rundstedt and the commder of Panzer Group West, Geyr von Schweppenburg, were veterans of the Eastern Front. They believed the Germans could defeat the allies in an inland batle of maneuver with their panzer forces. That worked against the Soviets in 1941 and 1942. Neither of them had experience fighting in the east in 1943 or 1944. Neither of them had the experience Rommel had at El Alamein fighting under suffocating allied air power.

Rommel was correct that once the allies established a beachead, allied air power was the trump card, and the invasion had to be stopped at the water’s edge.


16 posted on 05/09/2014 11:49:14 AM PDT by henkster (Do I really need a sarcasm tag?)
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To: henkster

You’re exactly right.


17 posted on 05/09/2014 12:00:28 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

“The fuel tanks did not have armour protection from flak...”

Wait...What?

Good thing it was a surprise attack!


18 posted on 05/09/2014 12:53:10 PM PDT by Seizethecarp (Defend aircraft from "runway kill zone" mini-drone helicopter swarm attacks: www.runwaykillzone.com)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
I see the Tambor mentioned by Nimitz today. She seems to be doing quite well under new management.
19 posted on 05/09/2014 1:10:50 PM PDT by fso301
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To: laplata; BroJoeK; Homer_J_Simpson; henkster
Thank goodness Rundstedt's view prevailed, with a major assist from the Fuhrer refusing to release reserves even the situation on the ground clarified.

Carentan was a tough fight for the 101st. It would have been immeasurably harder with an armored division sitting there.

20 posted on 05/09/2014 1:42:28 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker

Yep, another example of Hitler screwing up. Rundstedt hated the bastard and with good reason.


21 posted on 05/09/2014 3:07:15 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: henkster
The allies may have a few surprises instore. Interesting that Rommel is looking closely at the Normandy coast, and is trying to get another panzer division positioned there. He still thinke the invasions will come at Calais, but Normandy looks like his second guess.

I've been reading every tourist guide to the channel areas I can get my hands on. Concerning Normandy, I question pre-positioning panzer units in that area because it appears the terrain is quite unique and unfavorable for armor.

The French call it bocage. Apparently, ancient hedges are used as fences. These hedges can be as much as 5 meters high, very dense and are said to be impenetrable by an out of control automobile at high speed.

Fields of fire from everything I can tell are narrow and short. To me, this appears to be terrain that favors defense and panzer units will end up bogged down in close quarters limited visibility combat.

Conversely, if the Allies land in the Normandy area, a relatively small force of Germans could keep them bottled up in that hedgerow country.

My money is still on Calais.

22 posted on 05/09/2014 4:42:35 PM PDT by fso301
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To: fso301

That bocage stuff is overrated. The allies are practicing on it in southern England. It’s not all that tall or dense, and isn’t a significant feature.


23 posted on 05/09/2014 6:43:15 PM PDT by henkster (Do I really need a sarcasm tag?)
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