Skip to comments.ALLIES BOMB 22 RAILWAY POINTS IN DAY-LONG INVASION ATTACKS; 3,500 PLANES JOIN IN OFFENSIVE (5/12/44)
Posted on 05/12/2014 4:26:36 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Americans bomb synthetic fuel plants
Friday, May 12, 1944 www.onwar.com
Over Germany... About 800 bombers of the US 8th Air Force, with a substantial fighter escort, attack synthetic oil plants at Leuna-Merseburg, Bohlen, Zeitz, Lutzkendorf and Brux (northwest of Prague). The Americans claim to shoot down 150 German fighters and report losses of 46 bombers and 10 fighters.
In Italy... Allied attacks by forces of the US 5th Army make some progress against the German-held defenses. The French Expeditionary Corps (General Juin) encounters only the German 71st Division along its line and captures Monte Faito. The Polish 2nd Corps is held with heavy losses, north of Cassino. The British 13th Corps establishes two small bridgeheads over the Rapido River, opposite Cassino. The US 2nd Corps, on the western coast of the advance, experiences difficulty advancing.
In New Guinea... Japanese forces continue to skirmish with American forces on the beachheads around Hollandia.
May 12th, 1944 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: The Allies call on the Axis satellites Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria to withdraw from the war.
RAF Mosquitoes lay mines in their first sortie to the Kiel Canal.
The U.S. Eighth Air Force in England flies two missions.
Mission 353: 886 bombers and 735 fighters are dispatched to hit oil production facilities in Germany and Czechoslovakia; there is strong Luftwaffe fighter reaction and 46 bombers and 7 fighters are lost:
- 326 B-17s are dispatched to Mersenburg (224 bomb) and Lutzkendorf (87 bomb); 1 hits Hedrongen and 1 bombs Bullstadt; 2 B-17s are lost.
- 295 B-17s are dispatched to Brux, Czechoslovakia (140 bomb) and Zwickau (74 bomb); 11 hit Chemnitz, 14 hit Gera marshalling yard, 15 hit Hof and 4 hit targets of opportunity; 41 B-17s are lost.
- 265 B-24s are dispatched to Zeitz (116 bomb) and Bohlen (99 bomb);
14 hit Mersenburg, 1 hits Ostend Airfield, Belgium and 12 hit targets of opportunity; 3 B-24s are lost.
Escort is provided by 153 P-38s, 201 P-47s and 381 P-51s; P-38s claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, P-47s claim 26-0-8 and P-51s claim 33-0-3 in the air and 5-0-2 on the ground; 4 P-47s and 3 P-51s are lost.
Mission 354: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 1.74 million leaflets on Denmark without loss.
Sloop HMS Mermaid commissioned.
GERMANY: U-2501 launched.
On January 26, 1944, ObltzS Oskar Kusch, commander of U-154 was condemned to death by a military tribunal and executed on May 12, 1944, after being denounced by his former IWO for alleged “Wehrkraftzersetzung” (sedition and defeatism). One of eleven politically motivated accusations against Kusch was that he had ordered a Hitler portrait removed from the boat’s officers’ mess to a less conspicuous location with the commentary, “We are not in the business here of practicing idolatry.” In 1996 Kusch’s legal record was finally wiped clean, and in 1998 the city of Kiel erected a memorial and renamed a street in his honour not far from the military range along the Kiel Canal where he had been shot 54 years before. Kusch was one of only two U-boat commanders to be sentenced to death by German authorities, the other being Heinz Hirsacker of U-572 who was convicted of cowardice and committed suicide on April 24, 1943, shortly before his scheduled execution.
BALTIC SEA: At 2323, U-24 fired a torpedo at two escorts and observed a hit amidships after 67 seconds and heard how five depth charges detonated when the vessel sank. The vessel sunk was the Soviet patrol craft SKA-0376.
ITALY: Sepoy Kamal Ram (b.1924), 8th Punjab Regt., knocked out two machine gun posts which had halted his company, then with a comrade destroyed a third. (Victoria Cross)
The U.S. Fifteenth Air Force dispatches 730 B-17s and B-24s (largest force to date) to attack targets in Italy, i.e., the German HQ at Massa d’Albe and Monte Soratte; the town of Civitavecchia; airfields at Tarquinia and in the surrounding area; marshalling yards at Chivasso, Piombino, Marina di Carrara, Viareggio and Ferrara; Orbetello Island; Piombino harbor; docks and communications at San Stefano al Mare ; harbor, marshalling yard and railroad bridge at Chiavari; La Spezia marshalling yard and harbour; and several targets of opportunity; 25 P-38s strafe Piacenza Airfield; other fighters fly 250+ sorties in support of bombing missions.
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Springhill arrived Halifax from builder Esquimalt, British Columbia.
Minesweeper HMCS Cranbrook commissioned.
U.S.A.: Destroyer escorts USS Gilligan and William C Cole commissioned.
Destroyer escort USS Cecil J Doyle laid down.
Minesweepers USS Fancy and Fixity laid down.
Escort carrier USS Puget Sound laid down.
Funny how the Normandy coast isnt even on the map with the #1 hit being at Calais. The Germans were constantly pointed to Calais and away from Normandy. Rommel wasn’t so fooled. The corporal was completely fooled.
What do you have planned for D Day?
I thought I'd invade France and kick Hitler's ass. Either that or wash my hair. I haven't decided for sure.
Another part of the plan was to use two German agents who had turned to feed them with intel on the fictitious army. Their code names were Mutt and Jeff. That British sense of humor there.
Whatever the Germans heard it worked and on D-Day 13 divisions were in Norway.
It seems one way to escape the Nazis was to volunteer to be an agent sent to the British Isles and when landed promptly to turn yourself in.
Hanson Baldwin assumed the beach assault troops "undoubtedly" would be veteran divisions. Would that it was so. The 29th Infantry Division will be mauled at Omaha Beach.
MAY 12...XMTN 10...MUSICAL 1-1-1-1-1
Who me?....That's not a smile, my shoe's hurting! Hello Everybody!.this is your little playmate Ann of Radio Tokyo, presenting our usual nightly programme for our Friends in Australia and parts adjoining..How d'you like that?... 'parts adjoining'...sounds kind of professional doesn't it? and after all what's a few hundred miles between friends? O. K. I heard you the first time!...but it's no good complaining now, Honourable Boneheads, so let's be cheerful and have some music...Here she are!..
That's better!.now let's have some more of that close harmony work from the 'New Guinea Nightengales', and other Chapters of the Pacific Orphans Choir'. Here's some more Stephen Foster for you, so sing nicely little ones..Jeep, jeep!..
Nice work!.nice work!..Now please to relaxing and we'll listen to that wizard Andre Kostelanetz presenting Donald Redman's 'Chant of the Weed'. After this we'll be hearing from your News of Home..
Here it is!.News from the American Home Front..come on in....
KEN READS A.H.F. NEWS......
Thank you..thank you..this is Radio Tokyo calling you and your favorite enemy Ann presenting our nightly programme for listeners in Australia and the South Pacific..time for more music now, and this time we go British, with the Eric COATES Serenade..'For your Delight' as 'da foist chune' H'm. excuse me!..as the opening numbah!...
You are liking please? not bad is it, considering the climate and all. Now let's have a couple more items... Coleridge Taylor this time, and two movements from his 'Petite Suite de Concert'..then we'll take in your News Highlights and the Zero Hour with 20 minutes of music made in the U.S.A.....Keep listening..
The reason I asked is because my 2 brothers and a brother in law crossed paths that day unbeknownst to each other. One brother was a Combat Engineer, other brother was a bombardier on a B17 and BiL was there to start building the first airstrip for the P47s of the 9th Air Force...
Do you know what Bomb Group your bombardier brother was in? My uncle was in the 381st BG back in Dec-Jan, until he was shot down. I am still following the Group's missions and posting the Times coverage. I think it will be several days or even weeks before detailed accounts of the events of June 6 appear in the news.
I hope all your relatives came through the war intact.
The problem was that we just didn’t have that many veteran divisions. The ones we did have were in Italy or the Pacific. Despite building about 50,000,000 tons of merchant shipping, our capacity was limited and the priority was in getting new divisions from the United States to Britain. We just didn’t have the ability to do otherwise. So we fight with green divisions in Normandy. Generally they won’t do well initially and many division and regimental CO’s will be sacked. But they will learn fast.
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