Skip to comments.ALLIES WIDEN HOLD ACROSS RAPIDO AND PASS CAPTURED CASTELFORTE (5/15/44)
Posted on 05/15/2014 4:37:13 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Major General H.W. Blakeley, USA, Ret., The 32d Infantry Division in World War II
Allies break the Gustav Line
Monday, May 15, 1944 www.onwar.com
In Italy... German defenses on the Gustav Line begin to collapse. Attacks by the US 5th Army continue to make gains. The French Expeditionary Corps captures San Giorgio. To the north, the British 13th Corps reaches Pignaturo. The Canadian 1st Corps is inserted into the line to exploit this advance.
In the Soviet Union... The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Sergei dies at age 77.
May 15th, 1944 (MONDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: A gigantic contoured map of the Normandy beaches was displayed on the stage of St. Paul’s school hall today. Set at a slope for the audience to view it clearly, it was big enough for officers explaining Operation Overlord to walk about on it and identify landmarks. In addition to the Overlord commanders, the audience included King George, Churchill and the South African prime minister, Field Marshal Smuts.
General Montgomery’s presentation showed that he and Eisenhower had secured a vast increase in men and supplies over those originally said to be the limit. As a result, the Normandy landing area is extended to the Carentan estuary in the west and the river Orne in the east.
A massive bombardment of 72 selected targets, to knock out the enemy’s communications, is going ahead despite criticism. Some commanders are sceptical, while Churchill has told Eisenhower of his fears for the “scores of thousands of French civilians, men, women and children, who will lose their lives or be injured.
The USAAF’s Eighth Air Force in England flies three missions.
- Mission 356: 166 bombers and 104 fighters hit two Noball targets - V-weapon sites in France. Fifty six B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 303d, 379th and 384th Bombardment Groups. With one fighter lost; 36 of 58 B-17s bomb the primary target Marquise/Mimoyecques dropping 133 tons of bombs, five aircraft are damaged but there are no casualties;
One hundred and eight B-24s of the 44th, 93d, 389th, 392d, 445th, 453d and 492d Bombardment Groups, Heavy, attack the Siracourt V-weapons site. 90 of 108 B-24s drop 352 tons of bombs on Siracourt; escort is provided by 104 P-51s with one lost. Eight aircraft are damaged but with no casualties.
One of the co-pilots is Dick Johnson flying against the V-3 “London Gun” on his first combat mission.
I had been anticipating this first mission for quite some time. Fortunately for me it was a Milk Run, but being copilot kept me so busy I didn’t have time to get too scared. On most of my missions I became apprehensive as we approached enemy territory. As soon as I saw the first burst of flak I became calm and a grim attention to my work.
My second mission, on May 19, was not quite so uneventful. (Berlin) ! ! !
- Mission 357: 3 of 3 B-17s drop 1.1 million leaflets on 10 towns in Belgium and France; 1 B-17 crash lands on returning to base.
- Five B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER operations.
The USAAF’s Ninth Air Force in England dispatches 45 A-20s and B-26s to bomb airfields at Creil and Evreux/Fauville and Somain marshalling yard; 300+ others are forced to abandon missions because of thick clouds.
Sloop HMS Actaeon laid down.
Frigate HMS Tortola commissioned.
Submarine HMS Upshot commissioned.
HMS Whitethroat laid down Beverley. (AE - surely some mistake, Beverley, East Ridings is far inland with no large river or shipbuilding, unless this is a yacht. )
FRANCE: The Germans cancel all civilian trains because air attacks on the rail system are making military movement more difficult.
A special “workers convoy” of 1,200 people from concentration camp of Drancy, moves to Germany. A greater part of these people will be killed in Kaunas on December 18th. (Yannis Kadari)
HUNGARY: Budapest: The mass evacuation of Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz-Birkenau begins in earnest, at the rate of 4,000 a day.
ITALY: The Free French take San Giorgio and Ausonia. The French divisions of General Juin continue the conquest of German positions alongside the Gustav Line. The Mountain Corps reach the Petrella mount. However, the progression is slowed down and 3rd DIA is blocked by German units. (Yannis Kadari)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: U-731 sunk near Tangier, in position 35.54N, 05.45W, by depth charges from patrol vessel HMS Kilmarnock and ASW trawler HMS Blackfly and 2 USN VP-63 Catalinas. 54 dead (all hands lost).
ALGERIA: Algiers: The French Committee of National Liberation will call itself the Provisional Government of the French Republic, if changes proposed by exiled leaders here today are agreed next month. The change of name will be voted on by the consultative assembly on 2 June and is expected to be approved, along with a vote expressing the confidence of the assembly that the government will reach new agreements with the Allies about the administration of French territory.
BURMA: Air Commando Combat Mission N0. 57 Flight time not logged Hailakandi to Silhet Assam to Namkwin, Burma. Bombed Japanese troop positions. Notes: Never recorded the reason for going into Silhet. (Chuck Baisden)
CANADA: Minesweeper HMCS Cranbrook commissioned.
HMC MTB 743 commissioned.
Minesweeper HMCS Providence commissioned.
Corvette HMCS Thorlock launched Midland, Ontario.
Frigate HMCS New Glasgow departed St John’s with Convoy HXS-291.
U.S.A.: Washington D.C.:Colonel R. C. Lindsay of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Plans, recommends to the Operations Division, War Department General Staff’s Staff Planning Group that islands in the Bonin’s and Ryukyus be seized for the purpose of enabling fighter escort for B-29s all the way to Honshu, Japan. The suggestion, though carrying strong USAAF backing, arouses little enthusiasm, which thought that after the capture of Formosa - currently an accepted operation - the Bonin’s and Ryukyus would become metropolitan Japan’s last bulwarks and would be defended so desperately that the cost of their capture would be incommensurate with their value as offensive bases.
Destroyer escort USS Rudderow commissioned.
“Egg Storage Space Critically Needed”
Couldn’t they cut the price, sell the eggs, and let people eat them?
I love the clothing ads!
“If your husband says, ‘I’m too hard to fit for ready-to-wear,’ ...” you look at him like he’s just landed from Mars and say, “Well, fine ... you’re planning to go naked, then?”
Better to have 50,000 cases of rotten eggs than to erode the policy of government price controls.
That was the impression I got from the article. “Under the regime of price supports ...”
22 days to D Day
I guess I don’t really fault de Seversky for his column today. A lot of people in both Air Force’s thought Germany could be defeated from the air, although it is becoming increasingly apparent air alone can’t do that.
“The climax of victory is the subjugation of the enemy’s will to your own.”
Who told you? Loose lips sink ships!
That's not a two-way street. Not with Mrs. henkster...
I shop at The Salvation Army.
Patton was pretty good at that subjugating thing.
Yes, that’s true. He had an epic consciousness.