Skip to comments.ALLIES DRIVE DEEPLY IN CENTER OF BEACHHEAD; FOE ATTACKS AT MONTEBOURG AND CARENTAN (6/14/44)
Posted on 06/14/2014 5:15:27 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
John Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945
Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy
First B-29 raid on Japan
Wednesday, June 14, 1944 www.onwar.com
Over Japan... The first raid by American B-29 Superfortress bombers is carried out. A total of 48 planes (of which 4 are lost) make an ineffective strike on the Yawata iron and steel works during the night from bases in China.
In the Mariana Islands... US naval forces conduct bombardments of Saipan and Tinian in preparation for landings on these islands. The two American naval groups, commanded by Admiral Ainsworth and Admiral Oldendorf, include 7 battleships and 11 cruisers as well as 8 escort carriers in support. The battleship USS California is hit by a Japanese shore battery. Extensive mine-sweeping operations are also conducted by American forces.
On the Western Front... A third corps, the US 19th Corps, is becomes operational between the 5th and 7th Corps. Free French leader, General de Gaulle, visits the beachhead and takes steps to restoring French civilian government in captured territory.
Over Occupied France... During the night, RAF Bomber Command conducts a raid on Le Havre with 325 Lancaster bombers. The German naval forces on the English Channel suffer considerable loss — 35 small vessels.
In Italy... Elements of British 8th Army capture Orvieto, Terni and Todi. Forces of the US 5th Army also advance. The US 4th Corps moves up the Mediterranean coast.
From London... Admiral Moorse is appointed the new Commander of the British Home Fleet.
June 14th, 1944 (WEDNESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Admiral Moore takes command of the British Home Fleet.
London: The brilliant bomber leader Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire led a strong force of 315 Lancasters in daylight today to attack the concrete pens at Le Havre which sheltered the German navy’s last force of E-boats (motor torpedo boats) in the approaches to the invasion beaches. The pens and the E-boats were literally blown away. The raid, Bomber Command’s first major daylight attack since May 1943, was ordered when “Ultra” intelligence revealed German plans to attack Allied ships, shuttling across the Channel. The fast, powerful German boats could have done tremendous damage with their torpedoes and guns among the thin-skinned transports. They showed their deadly potential by breaking into the Utah Beach anchorage on 12 June and sinking the US destroyer USS NELSON. That threat is now no more.
F./L/ J. G. Musgrave shoots down the first V-1 flying bomb over the English Channel tonight.
The USAAF’s Eighth Air Force in England flies two missions.
Mission 412: Bad weather again covers all strategic targets in Germany except one in the extreme north; a major effort is directed against tactical objectives, mainly in France; 1,357 of 1,525 bombers dispatched hit the targets listed below; 14 bombers are lost:
1. 502 B-17s are dispatched to hit airfields in France, i.e.,: Le Bourget (134 bomb), Coulommiers (24 bomb), Creil (25 bomb), Bretigny (69 bomb), Melun (50 bomb), Creil (66 bomb) and Etampes (69 bomb); they claim 0-5-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; eleven B-17s are lost.
2. 466 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Chateaudun (103 bomb), Orleans/Bricy (97 bomb), Eindhoven, the Netherlands (63 bomb) and Coxyde, Belgium (seven bomb); and 61 hit the Emmerich, Germany oil refinery, 50 hit Beauvois, 44 hit Domleger, twelve hit targets of opportunity and four hit the Normandy beaches.
3. Of 191 B-24s, seven hit Ham-sur-Somme, 32 hit targets of opportunity, 52 hit Lille/Vendeville, 12 hit Calas Tres, 12 hit Denain Drousey, 39 hit Laon/Athies and 70 hit Chievres; two B-24s are lost.
4. 351 B-17s are dispatched to hit targets in BELGIUM: 35 bomb St Trond Airfield, 95 hit Florennes Airfield, 52 bomb Le Culot and 61 attack Brussels/Melsbroek; one B-17 is lost.
5. 7 of 15 B-24s hit the Ham-sur-Somme Bridge and five use Azon missiles against targets of opportunity Escort for the bomber missions is provided by 103 P-47 Thunderbolts; two P-47s lost.
Other fighter missions are:
1. 168 of 176 P-47s fly fighter-bomber missions against Luftwaffe HQ at Chantilly, France and Panzer columns; they claim 0-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft.
2. 234 P-38 Lightnings, 178 P-47s and 171 P-51 Mustangs fly beachhead patrols and sweeps in front of the bomber force; they claim 4-1-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; three P-38s, a P-47 and a P-51 are lost.
Mission 413: Three B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night.
Twenty B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.
The USAAF’s Ninth Air Force in England dispatches 500+ B-26 Marauders and A-20 Havocs to attack rail communications southwest of Paris and highway communications centers south of the beachhead area; junctions, bridges, marshalling yards, gun emplacements and various defensive strongpoints are included; 15+ fighter groups fly escort and attack numerous ground targets, including rail lines running from southwest of Paris to the Rennes area, and highway traffic on the Cherbourg Peninsula and south of the beachhead area to the Loire River.
RAF Station Millfield, 881 RN Sqn Wildcat VI LCdr Digby Rex Bell COSH DSC RCNVR lost. Crashed while on course Drem, Scotland. UK.
FRANCE: General De Gaulle arrives in Normandy. He takes the first steps to restore French civil government in liberated areas. On a platform in Bayeaux, decorated with the British, American and Canadian flags, he told his applauding audience: “What the country expects of you is to keep up the fight.” De Gaulle also visited Isigny, so close to the front that dead bodies were still being dug out of the ruins. Bayeaux has already greeted Winston Churchill, who was here two days ago with Field Marshal Smuts. Questions were asked in the House of Commons about why he had not asked de Gaulle to go with him.
Normandy: The British assault on Caen fails after a determined defence by the 2nd Panzer Division.
Captain Matt Urban, US 60th Infantry Regiment, Company F, leads his company on an attack near Renouf. He and his men ran into heavy enemy small arms and tank fire. The company was being torn up by the fire coming from the tanks and it was suffering heavy casualties. Captain Matt Urban decided to do something drastic to save his men from this potential total annihilation. He took up a bazooka and made his way with an ammo carrier through hedgerows, under a barrage of fire, until he was close to the tanks that were chewing up his men.
Exposing himself to enemy fire as he stood up, Urban destroyed the pair of tanks with the bazooka. His company saw his heroism and responded by rushing forward and routing the German position. The same day, near Orglandes, Matt Urban was wounded in the leg by 37mm tank gun fire. Refusing to be evacuated, he continued to lead his company until they were able to assume defensive positions for the evening. In the morning, despite his grievous wounds, Urban directed his company in another attack. He suffers yet another wound and is evacuated to England.
FINLAND: The Red Army breaks through the second Finnish line of defence, VT-line, in the Karelian Isthmus. The Finnish positions between Vammelsuu and Kuuterselkä, held by the Cavalry Brigade and 3rd Division of the IV Corps, are subjected to a massive 90-minute artillery and aerial bombardment, and the Soviet 109th Corps (Lt. Gen. Ivan Alferov) attacks at 8.30 am. The Cavalry Brigade manages to hold its positions, but to the north the 2nd Battalion of the Infantry Regiment 53 (3rd Division) is forced to leave its positions at Kuuterselkä. The Soviet forces advance to southwest, threatening to isolate the Cavalry Brigade, which, lacking AT-weapons, is forced to withdraw.
To contain the situation, Battlegroup Puroma counter-attacks at 10.45 pm. It has been formed out of the Armored Division: the Jäger Brigade minus Jäger Battalion 5, 1st Company of the Assault Gun Battalion, Armored AA-battery and AT-Jäger Battalion minus 6th Company. Col. Puroma’s mission is to stop the advancing enemy and recapture lost positions at the VT-line. Battlegroup is supported by three artillery battalions and the Junkers 88 bombers of the Aviation Regiment 4. The artillery preparation is rather inefficient, but the bombers devastate the enemy. Battlegroup Puroma manages to reach Kuuterselkä, destroying several tanks along the way (one of the gunners in the Finnish StuGs was Lance-Corporal Olof Lagus, the 18-year-old son of Maj. Gen. Ruben Lagus, commander of the Armored Division - he scored four kills during the coming battle). There Col. Puroma’s battlegroup is locked in battle with the main forces of the Soviet 72nd Division (185th Tank Regiment, 351st Guards Heavy Assault Gun Regiment, 46th AT-Brigade and 119th Separate AT Battalion). The battle rages on into the morning of the 15th of June, by when Finns have lost five of their StuG IIIg’s.
More to the north, the 2nd Division of the IV Corps fights a battle of its own around Siiranmäki. At the center is Lt. Col. Adolf Ehrnrooth’s Infantry Regiment 7, which has since yesterday repelled several Soviet attacks. The regiment is again today assaulted by strong Soviet forces, and the battle rages on for the whole day. But when the night falls, Lt. Col. Ehrnrooth’s men have recaptured all the lost ground and caused severe losses to the enemy. The Battle of Siiranmäki, as it will be known, is one of the first signs that the Soviet offensive is not unstoppable. (At the time of writing Adolf Ehrnrooth, now retired General of Infantry, was still alive and, at the age of 97, the most senior Finnish veteran of the WWII still alive - he was a full colonel at the war’s end. He died two years later aged 99.)
Marshal Mannerheim appoints Lt. Gen. Karl Lennart Oesch, until now commander of the Olonets Group, commander of the newly formed HQ of the Isthmus Troops. Until now the two Finnish corps at the Isthmus (IV and III) have been directly under the GHQ. On the politícal level President of the Republic Risto Ryti offers Mannerheim the post of Prime Minister, but the Marshal refuses.
ITALY: Advances by the British 8th Army and the US IV Corps continue.
The USAAF’s Fifteenth Air Force in Italy dispatches 660+ B-17s and B-24s to attack targets in Czechoslovakia and Hungary; the B-17s attack oil refineries in Budapest, Hungary; the B-24s hit five oil targets, one at Parducice, Czechoslovakia and Petfurdo, Komarom, Osijek and Sisak, Hungary. P-38s, P-47s, and P-51s escort the bombers and P-38s strafe and dive-bomb the airfield at Kecskemet, Hungary.
GREECE: All of Corfu’s 1,795 Jews have arrived on the Greek mainland on their way to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the great majority seem destined to perish in the gas chamber. Members of one of Europe’s oldest Jewish communities, they were rounded up on 6 June. Since then they have had neither food nor water. The Germans showed no pity as they unloaded the Jews from launches onto trucks bound for Larissa railway station. There cattle trucks await them for the long journey to Poland.
MARIANAS ISLANDS: US 5th Fleet battleships bombard the Marianias Islands in the Pacific.
The bombardment groups, Task Groups 52.17 and 52.18, begin bombardment of Japanese positions on Saipan and Tinian in preparation for the invasion of Saipan. Enemy shore batteries return fire and damage two battleships, a heavy and light cruiser, and two destroyers.
JAPAN: US aircraft raid Matsuwa, in the Kuriles.
The Submarine USS Golet (SS-361), CO James S. Clark, is sunk by ASW forces off Northern Honshu All hands are lost. (Joe Sauder)
PACIFIC OCEAN: A detachment of the USAAF’s 2d Photographic Mapping Squadron and the USN’s Fleet Air Wing Four (FAW-4) begin photographing the Kurile Islands.
Two Lockheed PV-1 Venturas are forced to land in the Soviet Union, the first US Naval aircraft to do so. The bombardment force for the invasion of the Mariana Islands, Task Groups 52.17 and 52.18, begin bombarding Saipan and Tinian. Aircraft carriers assigned to Task Force 52, the Marianas Attack Force Carrier Support Group, and Task Group 53.7, the Southern Carrier Support Group, are:
Task Group 52.11
Task Unit 52.11.1
USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) with Composite Squadron Ten (VC-10)
USS Kitkun Bay (CVE-71) with VC-5
Task Unit 52.11.2
USS Coral Sea (CVE-57) with VC-33
USS Corregidor (CVE-58) with VC-41
Task Group 52.14
USS Fanshaw Bay (CVE-70) with VC-68
USS Kalinin Bay (CVE-68) with VC-3
USS Midway (CVE-63) with VC-65
USS White Plains (CVE-66) with VC-4
Task Group 57.3
USS Chenango (CVE-28) with Escort Carrier Air Group Thirty Five (CVEG-35)
USS Sangamon (CVE-26) with CVEG-37
USS Suwanee (CVE-27) with CVEG-60
Aircraft from fleet, light and escort aircraft carriers continue to hit military targets and also cover minesweeping operations off Saipan Island.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 48, Attacks directed against enemy positions in the Southern Marianas continued on June 13 (West Longitude Date).
Battleships, cruisers, and destroyers of the Pacific Fleet bombarded Tinian and Saipan Islands on June 12. Large fires were started at Tanapag Harbor, and in the towns of Garapan and Charan Kanoa. Our ships suffered no damage.
Further air attacks were coordinated with the Naval shelling of Tinian and Saipan.
Pagan island was attacked by carrier aircraft on June 12. Enemy Installations were well worked over and three enemy aircraft were destroyed and one probably destroyed.
In operations on June 11 our forces have reported the following additional losses: Three fighter planes, one dive bomber, and four flight personnel.
More than 60 survivors of an enemy ship bombed and sunk northwest of Saipan on June 11 have been rescued and made prisoners of war.
On June 12 and 13 ships and aircraft of the Pacific Fleet attacked enemy installations in the Kuriles. A fleet task force bombarded Matsuwa Island and aircraft bombed Shimushu and Paramushiru Islands with airfields as their principal targets.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 443, The Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, has received a preliminary re-port from Rear Admiral J. F. Shafroth, U. S. Navy, president of a board of inquiry convened to investigate an explosion and fire which occurred on May 21, 1944, among a group of landing craft moored in Pearl Harbor.
The following casualties were caused by the explosion of ammunition being unloaded and the subsequent fire: Dead; Army 8, Navy 9, Marine Corps 10. Missing; Army 53, Navy 21, Coast Guard 26.
Injured; Army 56, Navy 143, Coast Guard 3, Marine Corps 159, civilian 19.
This accident was originally announced in Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas Press Release Number 414.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 444, On June 11 an explosion occurred near a magazine maintained by the Naval Ammunition Depot on Oahu Island. Several torpedo warheads being transferred from a truck to a platform were detonated in the explosion. Some damage was caused in the magazine area and minor damage was done to power lines and railroad tracks.
Three men were killed and seven are missing as a result of the accident. The names of casualties are being withheld pending notification to the next of kin. A court of inquiry of which Rear Admiral T. S. Wilkinson, U. S. Navy, is senior member, has been convened to investigate the accident.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 445, Liberator bombers of the Seventh Army Air Force and Liberator search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two, Group One, bombed Truk Atoll during daylight on June 12 (West Longitude Date). Airfields were hit and several fires started.
Approximately 15 enemy fighters attempted to attack our force.
One of their planes was shot down, two probably shot down, and four damaged. Two additional fighters were probably destroyed on the ground. All of our planes returned.
Ponape Island was bombed by Seventh Army Air Force Liberators on June 12. Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two, Group One, attacked Ocean and Nauru Islands on June 12. Barracks and antiaircraft positions were hit.
Enemy positions in the Marshalls were attacked by Ventura and Catalina search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two, Corsair fighters and Dauntless dive bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing, and Navy Hellcat fighters on June 12 and during the night of June 12-13. (Denis Peck)
CANADA: Harbour Craft ordered for RCN: HC 291, HC 2092, HC 293, HC 329, HC 330, HC 331, HC 332, HC 333.
Frigate HMCS Joliette commissioned.
Corvette HMCS Hawkesbury commissioned.
Frigate HMCS Runnymede commissioned.
Corvette HMCS Long Branch departed refit St. John’s, to EG C-5.
Corvette HMCS Shawinigan completed foc’sle extension refit in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.
Frigate HMCS Chebogue departed Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Destroyer USS Wallace L Lind launched.
Minesweeper USS Redstart laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Gentry and Oliver Mitchell commissioned.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: A Norwegian 333 Sqn Mosquito damaged U-290 and wounded 8 of its crew. Two days later the boat arrived Bergen.
U-547 attacked a small convoy, consisting of the Saint Basile and the three ASW trawlers HMS Birdlip, Turcoman and Inkpen off Freetown and sank Birdlip at 0136 with a Gnat and at 0256 hours the merchantman Saint Basile was hit by one torpedo, broke in two and sank with the loss of six lives. The ship carried 38 crewmembers, five gunners and 21 Senegalese soldiers.
“St.-Lo and Caen May Soon Fall”
Or they may not ...
“I had a jolly day on Monday on the beaches and inland.”
LOL, Churchill was such a character.
Things are definitely heating up around the world, with Allied advances in Italy, the landings in Normandy, and in the Pacific action in the Mariana Islands.
But the Eastern Front is still quiet. The battle against the Finns is clearly a warm-up act. Kind of like watching Molly Hatchet perform before Kansas takes the stage. (Yes, I am embarrassed to admit I paid money to see that).
niteow77: One of my dad’s older brothers began his combat experience 70 years ago today as an infantryman in the 2nd Bn of the 47th Infantry Regiment.
“On D-Day plus 4, June 10th, 1944, the 47th Infantry Regiment landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, France. By June 14th, 1944, combat patrols were in contact with the Germans and by nightfall of the 16th the 47th Regiment blocked the last escape route for the Germans in the Cotentin Peninsula.”
They hit the ground running.
That they did. Not to take anything away from other units, but the 47th was kept pretty busy from 1942-1945.
I was mildly surprised and a bit pleased when my son first told me he was doing BCIT with 2/47 at Ft. Benning. When we attended his graduation, I was probably one of the few guests (or young soldiers for that matter) who knew what each of those WWII streamers was all about.
I'd have gone to it.
Don't feel bad, henkster. I once saw Black Sabbath and Captain Beyond at the Hollywood Bowl.
What do you have against Molly Hatchet?
"American troops and tanks enter Rome on June 4, 1944.
Both sides agreed that Rome was an open city, thus preserving the great capital from further destruction.
The Italian campaign was intended as a shortcut for Allied forces into Germany, but it resulted in a long, bitter, hard-fought operation against a stubborn, well-entrenched, and brilliantly led German resistance.
Eight thousand Jews had hid in Rome, but in October 1943 the Germans rounded up a thousand Jews 'under the Pope's nose' and transported them to their deaths at Auschwitz."
"Dutch Jews are deported in early June 1944.
From March to September 1944, the Nazis deported several hundred Dutch Jews each month, with 1,019 aboard the final train (which included Anne Frank) in September.
Of the 107,000 Jews deported from the Netherlands, only 5,200 survived the Holocaust."
"American, British, Canadian, and other Allied troops landed at Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.
The invasion forced Germany into a two-front war (with the Soviets attacking from the east), a war Germany could not win.
Although held up for weeks in the difficult Norman terrain, the Allies eventually broke through.
They then swept quickly across France and approached Germany's borders by December.
As the Allies gradually conquered territory, they encountered and liberated concentration camps."
"On the eve of the June 6 D-Day invasion, Jewish men gather on the steps of the synagogue at the Brooklyn (New York) Hebrew Home and Hospital for the Aged.
Wearing prayer shawls and blowing the shofar (ram's horn) to call people to gather for prayer, these elderly Jews pleaded for a speedy Allied victory that would end the Nazi reign and bring an end to the suffering of the Jews of Europe."
"The Germans attempted to destroy Jewish hearts, souls, minds, and bodies in many ways, often involving excrement.
This was an aspect of German policy: Degrade the Jews by forcing them to live and die in an environment that was dominated by filth.
Troops locked deportees in freight cars with no provisions for excretion.
"Camp barracks were running rivers of filth, filled with dirt, vomit, disease, and excrement.
At the Bergen-Belsen, Germany, camp, one latrine served 30,000 women prisoners.
Prisoners at almost all camps caught typhus and/or dysentery, both of which caused diarrhea.
Many prisoners tied string around the bottom of their trousers to catch their excrement, thus saving themselves from being beaten or killed for taking time to try to get to a latrine.
Reska Weiss wrote of prisoners who were 'not even animals, but putrefying corpses moving on two legs.' "
"Separated from one another, family members sought ways to maintain contact and learn news.
Much of the news, however, was heartbreaking.
Pictured here is a letter from Marian Watnicki to his brother, Mietek, in Auschwitz.
Marian tells Mietek that while some family members are in a concentration camp, others are dead or missing. Imprisoned as a political prisoner, Mietek prevented his captors from discovering that he was a Jew."
Is there anything from this paper that you can use?
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