Skip to comments.SHUTTLE TO RUSSIA LINKS 3 AIR FORCES; AMERICANS TAKE VELLETRI, VALMONTONE (6/3/44)
Posted on 06/03/2014 4:28:30 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
#1 I Love You Bing Crosby
#2 Ill Get By - Harry James, with Dick Haymes (reissue of 1941 recording)
#3 - Ill Be Seeing You Bing Crosby
#4 Long Ago (and Far Away Dick Haymes, with Helen Forrest
#5 San Fernando Valley - Bing Crosby
#6 - Holiday for Strings David Rose
#7 - Long Ago (and Far Away Jo Stafford
#8 - Its Love Love Love - Guy Lombardo, with the Skip Nelson Trio
#9 - Ill Be Seeing You - Tommy Dorsey, with Frank Sinatra
#10 - Amor Andy Russell
Germans abandon Rome
Saturday, June 3, 1944 www.onwar.com
In Italy... Forces of the US 5th Army continue advancing toward Rome. US 6th Corps captures Albano and Frascati. The US 2nd Corps and the French Expeditionary Corps advance along Route 6. To the southeast, the Canadian 1st Corps (now part of British 8th Army) captures Anagni. German forces withdraw from Rome, respecting its status as an “open city” in return for a temporary truce with Italian partisans.
In New Guinea... Japanese forces make an unsuccessful attempt to ship reinforcements to the garrison on Biak Island. US forces on Biak advance against heavy resistance.
I love Churchill’s command of the language and use of words. His prose is unparalleled in modern history.
[I am omitting from this post something that looks like one side of a debate between two contributors to the Etherington diary about the quality of a particular German division. It can be found at the linked page between the 6/3/44 entry and the 6/3/45 entry - HJS.]
June 3rd, 1944 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: In Operation COVER, the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force in England flies two missions, both designated Mission 388. In the first, 219 of 238 B-17s and 120 of 124 B-24s attack coastal defenses in the Pas de Calais, France area, bombing a total of 22 targets without loss. Escort is provided by 91 P-38 Lightnings and 129 P-47 Thunderbolts. In the second raid, 97 of 102 B-17s and 98 of 104 B-24s hit 16 of the same targets hit in the morning without loss. Escort is provided by 102 P-38s, 34 P-47s and 83 P-51 Mustangs; one P-51 is lost.
During the night, 23 B-24s participate in CARPETBAGGER operations in France.
The USAAF’s Ninth Air Force dispatches 250+ B-26 Marauders and A-20 Havocs to bomb airfields, highway bridges, and coastal defence batteries in northern France; 400+ P-38s and P-47s dive-bomb targets in northwestern Europe.
FRANCE: Cherbourg: As bad weather in the Channel worsens, RAF bombers destroy the second of two major wireless intercept stations at Ferme d’Urville.
Tonight, 259 RAF aircraft bomb four gun positions, three in the Pas de Calais and one in Normandy, opening a wave of round-the-clock bombings.
D-Day Countdown The German Perspective Saturday, 3 June, 1944
The weather in France is still nice, although cloudier. Rommel is at his study this morning, going over the reports. The latest weather report says that there is a storm coming in. That is good news for him. Looks like the trip home is on.
Enemy bombers the night before have hit another radio jamming station near Dieppe. Another group had bombed four of his batteries in the Pas de Calais
There are two significant reports, both of them disconcerting. The first is a communications intelligence report. The army operational centers all over England have gone on radio silence. Rommel feels a chill go through him. In the desert, radio silence usually meant that the enemy was getting ready to attack them. But here in western Europe, after all this wait, it could mean anything. For the last few months, a few of these periods of radio silence have come and gone. This one, like the others, probably is not significant. Still, he had better not take any chances - not this late in the game. He writes out a memo to Speidel requesting that the Luftwaffe immediately conduct aerial reconnaissance flights over all British southern ports.
The second message is from General Marcks at LXXXIV Corps. He reports that, they are quite behind in their defensive barrier construction program, due to a lack of supplies, inferior materials, and a shortage of power. Marcks estimates that the defensive construction program in his zone is only about half done.
At La Roche Guyon, administration of the army group continues. Another debate breaks out regarding a battalion of SS geological engineers in the 7th Army Sector. They are excellent at helping with the defensive barriers. Now Himmler wants to transfer them out of the area.
And orders from OKW via OB West inform Rommel that the 19th Luftwaffe Field Division is going to be transferred out of Belgium. It is slated for -Armeegruppe G,- specifically, to Chevallerie’s 1st Army.
A number of staff pursue on the phone some mundane subjects such as smone candles and types of smoke- creating acids. Two army generals* promise Rommel that the manufacture by Major Becker’s men of these multiple rocket launchers will continue.
Fearful now of a possible low-tide invasion, Rommel puts out an order to continue with his huge offshore barrier construction program, but to now concentrate on low- tide obstacles.. Most areas have finished or are over three-quarters finished with the high tide barriers, and the two mid tide barriers are coming along; but many of the low-tide barriers have not even been started yet, especially in the 7th Army sector. Now that the even lower spring low tides are here, Rommel wants the men to take advantage of this temporary condition and set up as much of the low tide barriers as possible. He writes:
“The enemy has conducted repeated invasion maneuvers at low tide, which means we may have to take such an invasion seriously into account.”
Rommel also requests that the Luftwaffe lay some quick minefields in both approach channels around the Isle of Wight.**
Fortified by a forecasted storm coming their way, Rommel is thankful that a possible low tide-good moon Allied landing for the 4 to 7 June period is now probably just an academic question. He and Lang that afternoon drive down to the capital area.
First, they call on von Rundstedt at the suburb of St.- Germain-en-Laye. The old Prussian greets them at his villa, and they walk, accompanied by Blumentritt, together down the hill to the OB West blockhouse headquarters. There, they sit and have tea, and are called upon by -Generalmajor- Hans Cramer. Now refreshed from some leave and mineful of the Fuehrer’s instructions, he fills them in completely on what the Allies had shown him shortly before he was repatriated. Of the many weapons and vehicle depots, the FUSAG*** units ready to go in what was probably southeast England
They all discuss the information. To the old man, this is more confirmation that the invasion will come at Calais. Rommel is not so sure. Surely the Allies had some good motive for showing him all of that stuff. To discourage the Germans into giving up? Hardly. Maybe it was to throw them off the track
Then they talk about Rommel’s trip home. Both of the field marshals agree that it is a good time for it, and that Rommel needs the break.****
Rommel gets ready to leave, and as he does, he looks at them and addresses the possibility of a landing once more. “There’s not even going to BE an invasion,” he says as he starts walking out. “And if there is, then they won’t even get off the beaches!”
He sets off for downtown Paris, intent on buying those birthday shoes for Lucie. He ends up purchasing a beautiful pair of handmade gray suede leather shoes - size 5-1/2, just like she had told him.
Allied intelligence, examining of recent aerial photos, finally begins to suspect that some elements of another unit, probably the veteran 352nd Infantry Division, have relocated northwards along the Calvados coast, east of the Vire Estuary. Intelligence analysts, having heard nothing of this move up until now from any Resistance elements, theorize that these few units, if they are indeed part of the 352nd, have only recently relocated to the coast for a `defensive beach exercise’ and probably will withdraw as soon as it is concluded. Still, major commands should be notified
General Bradley, commanding the American troop for that area, will not find out about the `temporarily’ reinforced coastline for another 48 hours - just after his flagship puts out to sea on June 5th. The American troops hitting this strip of beach will never know until it is too late that this entire area has been permanently reinforced and fortified by major elements of a veteran infantry division, . or that these seasoned troops have been alerted and are patiently awaiting their arrival.
This coastal strip is designated as Omaha Beach.
It was early evening. The 15th Army’s Signal Center is busy intercepting the BBC transmissions. A weary -Oberstleutnant- Meyer is listening to the broadcasts himself tonight, even though he desperately needs some sleep. This is the third night in a row that the first part of that Verlaine poem has been picked up. Meyer had been led to believe that it would only be transmitted once. Could these repetitions indicate some kind of cancellation? Or are the Allies just making sure that the Resistance received the word? Chances are, it is the latter. Maybe it is a sort of `standby’ indicator... Why couldn’t intelligence work be easy once in a while?
About an hour later, they intercept a chilling message. It reads:
URGENT PRESS ASSOCIATED NYK FLASH -— Eisenhower’S HQ ANNOUNCES ALLIED LANDINGS IN FRANCE.”
Meyer fights down the panic rising in his chest. The Allies have already landed?!? How? And more importantly, WHERE? Certainly not in the Calais area. But where is the second Verlaine verse? Have they missed it? If so, he is in deep trouble. At any rate, he had to alert all the major headquarters immediately. But they would certainly ask him where the landing was at. What would he tell them? `I don’t know’? That would look really stupid on his part.
Quickly he scans the message traffic for any other signs, but there are none. No radar reports, no sightings, no phone calls, no NOTHING. Everything seems boringly normal.
The intercept simply had to be a ruse. The second part of the Verlaine message had not come yet. Besides, there is absolutely no indication of any trouble anywhere, other than the normal enemy air activity. If there had been a landing somewhere, sure as hell SOMEBODY would have said something. He had to bet on Canaris’s information being right. And yet, Berlin had been wrong so many times before. He had no idea how many intelligence reports he had received in the last few months, giving them information that had later proven to be either partially or (more often) completely wrong.
He looks down at the message again. He has made up his mind. He will hold off hitting the panic button for now, even though he calls Hoffmann and tells him. Hoffmann reacts by telling him to stay on it, and find out for sure. And that is what he will have to do. So much for his social life-— or for sleep...
* Generals Leeb and Schneider.
** Between the lethargy and the inadequacy of the Luftwaffe at this time (to say nothing of the preparedness of the Allies), -this was very unlikely.
*** First U.S. Army Group - Patton’s fictitious command, as part of Operation Fortitude.
****Blumentritt later noted that Rommel seemed “tired and tense...a man who needed to be home for a few days with his family.”
Pete Margaritis (156)
NORWAY: U-477 (Type VIIC) Sunk west of Trondheim, in position 63.59N, 01.37E, by depth charges from a Canadian Catalina aircraft (RCAF-Sqdn. 162/T). Although five men were sighted in the water after the attack, there were no survivors. 51 dead (all crew lost) (Alex Gordon)
ITALY: The Allies maintain movement towards Rome. Field Marshal Kesselring abandons Rome and declares it an “Open City”.
Operations by the USAAF’s Fifteenth Air Force in Italy is drastically curtailed by bad weather. In Yugoslavia, 36 B-24s bomb the waterfront area of Omis and 38 hit the port area and western part of Split. Fighters sent to strafe targets of opportunity in the target areas abandon the mission because of low clouds over the targets.
Anzio: Sgt. Maurice Albert Windham Rogers (b.1919), Wilts Regt., ran through barbed wire and a minefield to take two German positions, continuing to advance until he was killed. (Victoria Cross)
NEW GUINEA: US forces advance against heavy Japanese resistance on Biak.
PACIFIC OCEAN: CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 431, A single search plane of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed and strafed shipping and shore installations at Truk Atoll at night on June 1 (West Longitude Date). Four one-thousand-pound bombs were dropped over a medium cargo vessel, two of them scoring direct hits and two straddling the vessel, which was believed sunk. The search plane then strafed a number of small cargo vessels, the seaplane base at Dublon and the airstrips at Eten Island. Two of the small vessels were set on fire, fires were started at Dublon Island and Eten Island, and an ammunition dump exploded. In retiring the search plane was pursued by a single enemy plane which did not make an attack. Over the target antiaircraft fire was moderate. Two Liberators of the Eleventh Army Air Force bombed Shimushiru Island in the Kuriles before dawn on June 1. No opposition was encountered. Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Four bombed Paramushiru and Shimushu Island before dawn on June 1. Fires were started. Antiaircraft fire was light and inaccurate. (Denis Peck)
CANADA: HMCS Eastview commissioned. (DS)
U.S.A.: 20th Fighter Headquarters evaluates the P-38. Here. (Daniel Ross)
Interesting Back round on Colonel McCormick who is not be allowed to print a newspaper for the servicemen in Australia.
DRASTIC WMC RULE SEEN DELATED HERE.
From the article it seems workers are moving to peacetime jobs because of the optimism for the end of the war? Thus a shortage of workers for the war effort.
I am old enough to remember when the Chicago Tribune was a rock-ribbed conservative newspaper. You can still see a lot of McCormick memorabilia at Cantigny Park outside Chicago. I mostly remember the the WW I collection at the First Division Museum. http://www.cantigny.org/museums/first-division-museum
Whistling and shimmy dancers: http://www.stelzriede.com/ms/html/mshwma8.htm
video on shuttle bombing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIuBd8TlQvQ
More details of operation and political agenda:
“This backing down by the Americans never stopped throughout the entire lifetime of Operation Frantic and there is little doubt that this lack of firmness affected the postwar relations between the United States and the Soviet Union,” Infield said. “Stalin used Operation Frantic to probe the Americans to see what manner of men they were and to test their mettle.”
“I love Churchills command of the language and use of words. His prose is unparalleled in modern history.”
Likewise. I still have an image of Churchill waving from his balcony - I presume on his birthday - during the early ‘60s as a child.
Here are some great pictures. The Germans bombed the base and were pretty effective: http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=515541
There was a reference that Stalin sent all the workers in contact with Americans to the gulag. If they used any American expression such as “hey Joe” that was enough for the gulag, but I could not find any more info.
okay, my memory wasn’t so good.....Churchill was waving from his ground floor window.....just googled it.
Reform, Soviet Style
Of all those who helped devise and perfect the slave labor system of the Gulag, special mention must be made of Naftaly Aronovich Frenkel. Frenkel, a Jew born in Turkey in 1883, had been a prosperous merchant there, but after the Bolshevik revolution he moved — as did an appreciable number of Jews — to the Soviet Union. Based in Odessa as an agent of the State Political Administration, Frenkel was responsible for the acquisition and confiscation of gold from the wealthier classes. The unscrupulous Frenkel was unable to resist this temptation, however, and in 1927 was arrested, on orders of the Moscow central office, for skimming off too much gold for himself. Convicted of economic crimes, he was sent to the Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp (or SLON, as it was designated by the Soviet bureaucracy), a bleak Arctic penal colony. Frenkel’s special talent for improving inmate work efficiency was quickly noticed by the camp officials there, and it was not long before he was ordered to explain his ideas and methods to Stalin personally. His main proposal was to link a prisoner’s food ration, especially hot food, to his production, essentially substituting hunger for the knout as the main work incentive. Frenkel had also observed that a prisoner’s most productive work is usually done in the first three months of his captivity, after which he or she was in so debilitated a state that the output of the inmate population could be kept high only by removing (killing off) the exhausted prisoners and replacing them with fresh inmates. Another method of stimulating enthusiasm for work among prisoners — and at the same time culling the camp population by killing off the weak — was quite simple. When the prisoners were called out on a work detail, they fell into line. The last man in to line up would be shot as a laggard (”dokhodyaga”), one weakened enough to be useless for work. These policies would ensure a constant inflow of new prisoners, providing fresh labor while weeding out opposition to Stalin and his party.
So pleased was Stalin with Frenkel’s ideas on the efficient exploitation of inmate labor that he made him construction chief of the White Sea Canal project, and later of the BAM railroad project. In 1937 Stalin appointed Frenkel head of the newly founded Main Administration of Railroad Construction Camps (GULZhDS). In that capacity, Frenkel was called upon to provide railroad transport facilities to the Red Army in the 1939-40 “Winter War” against Finland, and for the duration of Soviet participation in the Second World War. He was eventually awarded the Order of Lenin three times, named a Hero of Socialist Labor, and promoted to the rank of general in the NKVD.
The methods instituted by Frenkel in building the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal became the standard operating procedures for most subsequent labor camps, including the BAM (Baltic-Amur Magistral) railroad project, the Dalstroy (Far East Construction), Vorkuta, Kolyma, Magadan, and countless other hell holes. Working on the BAM project after the war, the inmates noted that many of the rails were marked “made in Canada” — a reminder of the aid given by the Western powers to support the Soviet war effort.
In the above the point that Frankel was jewish is not important. It speaks more to the nature of man in general that we are evil by nature, not good. And should remind us of what is possible in our future.
Mary Soames, the last surviving child of Winston Churchill, died Saturday evening at the age of 91.
The Americans were keen on the concept of shuttle bombing for the reason that all of occupied Europe theoretically came under the Norden bomb sight. The Soviets were never keen to the idea, primarily because Stalin didn’t want Americans calling ordinary Soviets “Ivan” on American air bases. “Ivan” just might see that the Western capitalists have a better life than Stalin’s Worker’s Paradise, and he might get ideas.
“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” -Josef Stalin
The Russians severely limited operations and logistical support. They never allowed us night fighters or a sufficient air defense. In the June 1944 Luftwaffe attack on Poltava only 9 of 73 B-17's were operational afterward and 47 were destroyed.
Uncle Joe was obsessed with avoiding contamination of his people by British and American ideas of freedom and democracy. He also wasn't too keen on letting his people know how much better Americans lived or how much more advanced our technology was. We should have known that from the way the Russians mistreated Brits in the Arctic ports.
The worst was when the Americans wanted to fly missions in support of the Warsaw uprising, but Stalin absolutely forbade it. And, of course, he famously stood down the Red Army near Warsaw until the Polish Home Army was defeated and destroyed.
It didn't matter that the U.S. treated Russian delegations with utmost courtesy and respect. They of course took advantage of that by using the Arctic aircraft shuttle route and Lend-Lease delegations to infiltrate agents and spies.
The one good thing that came out of the experience is that many Americans, including influential post-war leaders, lost any rosy illusions they may have had about the Russians being our friends or what the Russian war aims truly were.
On comment I typically make on other posts about the measure of the current disastrous state of United States Foreign Policy is:
The Holy Grail of Soviet/Russian Foreign Policy has been to drive a wedge between the United States and Western Europe, and to drive us out of Europe.
My starting date for this is 1944. The Soviets are already figuring out how to rule Europe. FDR is blind to it. Thank God Truman is not.
His "sanctions" on Russia are a complete joke. Syria still has and is using chemical weapons. The one place Barry did take action, well sort of, was in Libya which he and the Euroweenies managed to turn into a jihadi paradise.
His "major foregn policy speech" at West Point was ridiculous. Not one of the major foreign policy initiatives he was elected on 2008 were discussed because he has failed at all of them. Reset with Russia? More like he reset Crimea. All I could take away from the speech is the administration remains internationalist but is not going to do much internationally and is now committed to working through international institutions to solve problems unless he feels like acting alone. What a joke.
Concerning that P8 article about american aircrew being shot by Germans on the French-Spanish border, Chuck Yeager was shot down in March and was shot at by Germans near the French-Spanish border. The man he was with was hit in the Knee and Yeager had to amputate the leg with his pocket knife.
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