Skip to comments.ALLIES EXPAND BEACHHEADS IN NORMANDY; AMERICANS BATTLE FOR CHERBOURG ROAD (6/9/44)
Posted on 06/09/2014 5:45:38 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
The first of the following excerpts is continued from June 7.
Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy
Nazi Reserves Fail (Middleton) 2-4
Allies Rain Bombs over 150-Mile Arc (Denny) 4-5
Defenders of Fortress Europe Captured (page 1 photo) 4
Allied Ships Defy Coastal Batteries, Fire on Foe at Point-Blank Range (Baldwin) 5-6
Rommel with His Staff in France (badly reproduced photo) 6
Bayeux Ecstatic as Allies Arrive (McMillan) 7
First Division Fighting in France Again Along with Britains Crack Northumbrians 7
Fishermen Warned Off Sea from Norway to France 8
Witness Depicts Leap of Chutists (by Leonard Mosley, first-time contributor) 8-9
Photo of Adm. Ramsey, Eisenhower, Montgomery 9
Eisenhower Finds His Faith Justified 9-10
Stimson Sees Foe Bracing to Strike (Shalett) 10
Hilltop Battery Silenced by Air Troops after Practice on a Duplicate in Britain (by Gene Currivan) 10
Photos from Normandy 11-12
War News Summarized 11
Debacle in Italy 13-14
Bonomi is Chosen as Italian Premier (by Herbert L. Matthews) 14
The Texts of the Days Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones * 15-16
* We decided to revert to the original, only slightly smaller than normal font size.
Soviet offensive targets Finland
Friday, June 9, 1944 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces launch a massive offensive on the Finnish front. The Soviet 21st and 23rd Armies attack with air support along the 14 km coastal frontage of the Karelian Isthmus. About 3000 Soviet artillery pieces obliterate the Finnish front lines but Soviet armor fails to achieve a breakthrough by nightfall.
On the Western Front... On the right flank of the invasion beaches, elements of the US 7th Corps capture Azeville in its northward drive toward Cherbourg. Other elements are moving west toward Carentan. The US 5th Corps, from Omaha beach, capture Trevieres. The British and Canadian forces of the British 2nd Army are heavily engaged by growing German reserves around Caen. Allied aircraft are now operating from forward landing strips in France.
In Italy... Forces of the US 5th Army capture Tarquinia, Viterbo and Vetrella. Elements of British 8th Army advance toward Terni and Orvieto. A small amphibious force lands at Santo Stefano. Meanwhile, there is a substantial reorganization of Allied forces. Elements of British 10th and 13th Corps are regrouped while elements of the US 6th Corps, mostly, are withdrawn from the line for the invasion of southern France.
In Rome... Marshal Badoglio resigns and Ivanoe Bonomi forms a new government. The cabinet includes Count Sforza, Professor Croce and Togliatti, the Communist Party leader.
June 9th, 1944 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Catterick, Yorkshire: Mr. John Weller Brown (d.1978), was blown some distance when an ammunition railhead blew up, but unhesitatingly went to the aid of the dead and injured. (Empire Medal)
Woodford, Cheshire: The prototype Avro Lancaster IV later designated the Lincoln makes its first flight. A long-range bomber it carries 14,000-lb of bombs for 1,470 miles. (22)
FRANCE: The British are involved in heavy fighting around Caen in Normandy. The US VII Corps takes Azeville on the way to Cherbourg. Allied aircraft are operating from air fields in Normandy.
During the evening the 327 Glider Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division crossed the River Douvre in Normandy. In addition the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment passed a few men across the river on that night. The 327th had a mission of cutting the main road leading east out of Carentan so as to prevent an escape by Germans on that road. (Jay Stone)
Tulle: The 2nd SS Das Reich Panzer division kills 99 civilian men in reprisal for a local Resistance act of sabotage.
Bad weather prevents operations by the USAAF’s Eighth and Ninth Air Forces in England.
Old BB HMS Centurion is scuttled as a blockship off Arromanches in preparation for the construction of the Mulberry harbours off Normandy. She was not in commission at the time and there were no casualties. 53 old warships and merchant ships were used to make this 4-mile breakwater.
Cruiser HMS Durban (not in commission) is scuttled as a blockship off Arromanches.
Auxiliary AA ship Alynbank (not in commission) is scuttled as a blockship at Arromanches. (Alex Gordon)(108)
Off the Coast of Normandy: At 0100, eight ships of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla, organized into two divisions of four destroyers each, encountered a German formation of two large Narvik-class DD’s (Z-24 and Z-32) the ex-Dutch DD ZH-1 (formerly HNLMS Gerhard Callenburgh) and the 1939-class torpedo boat (known as Elbing- class to the allies) T-24. The German formation had sortied from Brest to attack the allied invasion forces off of the Normandy coast and was then to proceed to Cherbourg to deliver a deck cargo of torpedoes for German E-boats. Upon encountering the 19th Division (Tartar (SO), Ashanti, Haida and Huron) the German formation split.
Z-32, which was the lead ship with their Senior Officer embarked, altered to the north towards the 20th Division (Blyskawica, Javelin, Piorun, and Eskimo), ZH 1 altered west towards the 19th Division, and Z-24 with T-24 altered away to the south-west. Tartar and Ashanti sank ZH-1 while Haida and Huron pursued Z-24 and T-24.
The faster German ships soon outran Haida and Huron, who then reversed course to return to the other action. At 0254, they encountered Z-32, who had outrun the 20th Division and was returning to the south at 31 knots. Z-32 attempted to shake off her pursuers by running eastward through a known minefield but the combined allied force eventually cornered her. Z-32 deliberately ran herself hard ashore where she was shelled and left in flames. Subsequent air attacks by Canadian ‘Beaufighter’ torpedo-bombers finished the destruction of the wreck.
US LST-314 (Landing Ship Tank) is torpedoed by a German E-Boat. The ship has already dropped off cargo on June 6, and is making another cargo run to Normandy. Among those killed is Navy Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Walter Baranick. Rescue operations are performed by destroyer HMS Beagle. 104 are lost, 50 soldiers and 54 sailors. There were 58 soldiers aboard with special equipment. They were specialists in harbour control. (JJ McKenna, nephew of Walter Baranick)
GERMANY: Hitler’s commanders remain convinced that the main thrust of the invasion is yet to come and will be in Belgium or the Pas de Calais.
ITALY: Marshall Badoglio resigns from the Italian government. Ivanoe Bonomi forms a new cabinet.
The Allied advance continues north of Rome.
The USAAF’s Fifteenth Air Force in Italy dispatches around 500 B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators to attack targets in Germany and Italy; B-17s hit the industrial area and air depot at Munich, Germany; B-24s also hit the industrial area and ordinance depot at Munich and oil storage at Porto Marghera, Italy; P-47 Thunderbolts, P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs fly 250+ sorties in support of the Munich raids; the bombers and fighters claim 30+ aircraft destroyed; 13 USAAF aircraft are lost.
FINLAND: The Soviet offensive against Finland in the Karelian Isthmus is initiated by a massive artillery bombardment and series of probing attacks by Army General Leonid Govorov’s Leningrad Front. By nightfall the Red Army units have succeeded in penetrating into Finnish defences and tying the local Finnish reserves in battle. The main blow follows tomorrow.
The Soviet aviation is also active. Ground attack and bomber aircraft scour the Finnish rear. Finnish Me 109G and Brewster Buffalo fighters of Aviation Regiment 3 (Lt. Col. Gustaf Magnusson) claim ten Soviet aircraft shot down over the Isthmus without own losses. The Finnish claims are 2 x Airacobra, 4 x La-5, 3 x Il-4 and a Pe-2 (research in Russian archives has so far confirmed the loss of 3 x Il-4, from 55th and 836th Bomber Aviation Regiments and 113th Bomber Aviation Division). However, bad weather saves Finns from a very serious blow: Soviet long-range bomber aviation was ordered to bomb the city of Viipuri (Vyborg) in north-western Isthmus by several hundred aircraft. The bombers, based in southern Russia, are forced to abort the mission after meeting an area of thunderstorms over central Russia. Viipuri, besides of being of great symbolical significance, is also an important supply and communication hub for Finnish forces in the Karelian Isthmus.
U.S.S.R.: An American expert on Japanese military intelligence, Colonel Moses W. Pettigrew, meets with Soviet Far East Intelligence experts in Moscow. This is the first meeting between the two groups and will lead to a progressively better exchange of information for the rest of the war.
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Arvida arrived Halifax from work ups in Bermuda.
Corvette HMCS Regina arrives at Sydney Nova Scotia for a refit.
Corvette HMCS Lachute is launched at Quebec City.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: An extract from Jim Verdolini’s diary:
The Abnaki, a fleet tug, and the Kennebeck, met us, and refuelled us, and took U-505 in tow, for our 2500 mile trip home.
From the Cincpac Press Office: JOINT STATEMENT, JUNE 9, 1944
The following joint Anglo-American statement on submarine and anti-submarine operations is issued under the authority of the President and the Prime Minister:
“During May our shipping losses have been by far the lowest for any month of the war, and they have in fact been a fraction of the losses inflicted on enemy shipping by our warships and aircraft, although their merchant shipping is petty compared to that of the Allies.
“There has been a lull in the operations of the U-boats which perhaps indicates preparation for a renewed offensive. The change which had come over the scene is illustrated by the fact that in spite of the few U-boats at sea, several are now sent to the bottom for each merchant ship sunk whereas formerly each U-boat accounted for a considerable number of merchant ships before being destroyed.
“This is to be ascribed to the vigilance and to the relentless attacks of our Anglo-American-Canadian and other anti-U-boat forces, including the scientists who support them in a brilliant manner.”
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 438, Truk Atoll was bombed by Seventh Army Air Force Liberators on the night of June 7-8 (West Longitude Date). Airfields were the principal tar-gets. Antiaircraft fire was meagre and inaccurate.
Ponape Island was attacked by Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force on the evening of June 6 and at night on June 8. Airfields, plantation areas, and Ponape Town were bombed. Antiaircraft fire was meagre.
Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed Pakin and Nauru Islands on June 6. Antiaircraft batteries were hit at Pakin Island.
Enemy positions in the Marshalls were bombed and strafed by Dauntless dive bombers and Corsair fighters of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing and Navy Hellcat fighters on June 6 and 7. Runways, coastal gun emplacements, and antiaircraft batteries were principal targets. A Corsair fighter was downed near Mille Atoll on June 7 and its pilot rescued by a destroyer. (Denis Peck)
What a great followup to this weekend’s remembrances — thanks so much for posting! We owe a tremendous debt to those who so bravely put their lives on the line.
Our local paper had this very good article (link). I read it, and wept, truly, to see what the one in particular went through. I cannot imagine. What a brave man, and what endurance under pressure. What an inspiration to me in this uncertain present and future.
Here’s the snip, but the whole article was great (thanks, Clifford Davis et al):
Dodging sniper fire, Baumgarten made for the rally point the road leading to Vierville-sur-Mer.
At 1 p.m., I joined up with 11 wounded guys, he said. I didnt know them, but one was a Ranger because he had that insignia on the back of his helmet.
So 12 of us, the walking wounded, went up the wall, past the trenches and moved west, he said. We took on two German strong points.
One was a farmhouse with a wall around it.
With rifle fire and hand grenades, they took the farmhouse. The hodgepodge group also took out a machine gun position manned by four Germans about 4:30 p.m.
At 5 p.m., Baumgarten was wounded again, shot in the foot.
On the road, Baumgarten and his now six remaining comrades decided to take shelter for the night and made for a ditch when they were attacked by a machine gun. Baumgarten was hit in the face again.
I landed on top of the Ranger when I got across the road, he said. All of them were fatally wounded, they stayed alive for a while and I heard, Help me Jesus, and all that stuff.
At 12:30 a.m. on June 7, Baumgarten gave himself his last shot of morphine. Though the Germans behind the machine gun came later looking for cigarettes, he was passed over.
I felt a hand on my shirt and heard someone say, Youll by OK, Yankee.
Baumgarten was taken by ambulance and put on board a hospital ship hours later, one of only two survivors from his boat.(END SNIP)
THANK YOU to all who served.
Yes, it is - I cannot imagine! He tells it as a simple matter of fact.
Thanks for the amazing great work. The army knew what was coming. I’m 18 at the largest infantry replacement center, Camp Wolters, Texas. We’re learning to shoot everything you could carry, never knew who you were going to replace. How’s that for incentive.
You'll be getting on a boat headed for Europe in a month or so, won't you?
Not quite. By some quirk you would not be shipped out as an infantry replacement until you became 19. But if you were 18 and attached to a unit, e.g. 1st Division, you could accompany them. I was later shipped to the 42nd Div and was on my way while still 18 and I landed in Marseille at 19 so I missed the Normandy area but made the Bulge. I'm waiting for your reports about that. Thanks.
Following training at Camp Gruber, OK and the journey to Europe, the three infantry regiments (222nd, 232nd, & 242nd) and a detachment of the 42ID Headquarters arrived in France at Marseille, 89 December 1944, and were formed into Task Force (TF) Linden, under Henning Linden, the Assistant Division Commander (ADC). TF Linden was task organized to VI Corps under 7th Army. TF Linden entered combat in the vicinity of Strasbourg, relieving elements of the 36ID on 24 December 1944.