Skip to comments.ALLIES SMASH ON IN 2 NORMANDY SECTORS; AMERICANS WIN SAIPAN CAPITAL, RAID ISLES (7/5/44)
Posted on 07/05/2014 5:45:17 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
German armies trapped in Belorussia
Wednesday, July 5, 1944 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... Soviets forces begin the destruction of the trapped German 9th and 4th Armies (an estimated 100,000 troops) in Belorussia. Other Red Army forces continue to exploit westward.
On the Western Front... Elements of US 1st Army capture La Haye du Puits.
In New Guinea... On Numfoor, the Japanese garrison counterattacks the Allied beachhead but fails to make progress. American forces prepare to assault the third airfield on the island, at Namber.
In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.
Imagine awakening every day in anticipation of the headlines, esp if one had spouse or close family member in the War.
July 5th, 1944 (WEDNESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: The Eighth Air Force in England dispatches 371 bombers and 445 fighters on Mission 453 are dispatched to attack 3 airfields in the Netherlands and 2 in Belgium, a factory near Mol, and 3 V-weapon supply sites in France; five fighters are lost.
1. Of 79 B-17 Flying Fortresses dispatched to the Netherlands, 38 hit Gilze-Rijen Airfield, 20 hit Volkel Airfield and 19 hit Noll.
2. Of 221 B-24 Liberators, 43 hit Bois de Cassan V-weapon site, 36 hit Le Coulet Airfield, 29 hit Foret de L’Isle Adam and 29 hit Mery sur Oise V-weapon sites, 13 hit Eindhoven Airfield, five hit Melsbroek Airfield and two hit Tulemont Airfield.
The two missions above are escorted by 180 P-51 Mustangs that claim 4-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; two P-51s are lost.
3. 70 B-17s hit Beziers marshalling yard; 228 P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51s escort the bombers and claim 18-1-9 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; two P-47s and a P-51 are lost. Of 93 P-47s, 22 bomb Rouen, ten hit L’Arche Bridge, ten hit Seine River locks, seven hit Boissy le Bois, seven hit Pantgouin, seven hit Veulettes Bridge and six hit communication targets; they claim 3-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; two P-47s are lost. The P-47s are escorted by 181 P-38s Lightnings; two P-38s are lost .
During the night, 8 of 8 B-17s drop leaflets in France with the loss of 1 B-17; and 8 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions.
70 B-17s on shuttle mission (UK-USSR-Italy-UK) attack a marshalling yard at Beziers, France (with Fifteenth AAir Force B-24s) while on the last leg from Italy to the UK; 42 P-51s return to UK with the B-17s (of the 11 P-51s remaining in Italy, 10 return to the UK the following day and the last several days later).
About 180 Ninth Air Force B-26 Marauders and A-20 Havocs bomb bridges at Caen and also sidings, tracks, and rolling stock; in the afternoon four NOBALL (V-weapon) HQ are hit; 600+ fighters escort the bombers, carry out armed reconnaissance of communication and enemy movements, attack rail lines, rolling stock, marshalling yards, bridges, supply dumps, and cover the beach area.
U-390 attacked ships off the Normandy and claimed the sinking of two vessels. The ships hit were HMS Ganilly and SS Sea Porpoise. At 2115, the Sea Porpoise was hit by one torpedo when steaming at 8 knots as the last ship in the starboard column in a convoy with two columns about 10 miles off Utah Beach. The torpedo struck on the starboard side amidships, threw the shaft out of line, damaged the main turbine, cracked some hull plating and injured twelve men. The nine officers, 81 crewmen, 45 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four 3in and eight 20mm guns) and 24 passengers (US Army personnel) stayed on board. The ship developed a 10° list to starboard, but this was corrected by counter-flooding. After four hours, the ship was taken in tow to the Utah Beach and anchored. On 9 July, she was towed to Spithead in two days and later to Newcastle-upon-Tyne for temporary repairs. On 16 September, the Sea Porpoise left under tow in a slow convoy for Jacksonville, Florida, arriving on 5 October. On 4 May 1945, she returned to service after permanent repairs were completed. U-390 later sunk in position 49.52N, 00.48W, by depth charges from destroyer HMS Wanderer and frigate HMS Tavy. 48 dead and 1 survivor.
At 18.03 hours U-763 fired a spread of three LUT torpedoes at the convoy ETC-26 off Isle of Wight and hit the Ringen (Master Oskar Monsen) with one of them. One British gunner was killed and the ship sank after being abandoned. The Ringen was sunk on her third trip for Operation Neptune. She arrived the first time in the Normandy on 8 June and left five days later and made a second trip between 22 and 27 June.
At 0801, U-953 fired a spread of two LUT torpedoes and at 0805 one Gnat at Convoy ETC-27 in the English Channel off Cap d’Antifer. Marbach observed one ship sinking, heard a detonation after 4 minutes 27 seconds and claimed two ships sunk. However, only the Glendinning was torpedoed and sunk. Two crewmen and two gunners were lost. The master, 20 crewmen, seven gunners and one naval signalman were picked up by HM ML-250 of the 19th ML-Flotilla, later transferred to destroyer HMS Fernie and landed at Sheerness.
FRANCE: La Haye-du-Puits falls to US forces.
HMC Ships Qu’Appelle, Skeena, Saskatchewan and Restigouche, while engaged in Operation DREDGER, attacked a small group of three German armed trawlers escorting two U-boats that were outbound from Brest. One of the trawlers, V-715, was sunk and the other two were damaged. Skeena was hit by German gunfire and fourteen crewmembers were wounded, three of them seriously. Saskatchewan suffered five casualties, one of which subsequently died of his wounds. Qu’Appelle also suffered several non-fatal casualties, all of them among the bridge staff. This action took place at extremely short range. QuAppelles bridge was raked by 20-mm fire from V-715, wounding the CO and 10 members of the bridge staff. A secondary explosion, possibly caused by the detonation of a depth charge, caused additional damage that disabled QuAppelle temporarily, forcing her to transfer tactical command to LCdr. Groos in Restigouche. However, she was also damaged and passed the responsibility to LCdr. Russell in Skeena. She in turn was hit by German gunfire and fourteen crewmembers were wounded, three of them seriously. Saskatchewan also suffered five casualties, one of which subsequently died of his wounds. Disabled by multiple shell hits, V-715 was finally sunk by a torpedo fired by Skeena. EG-12 withdrew to Plymouth to disembark the wounded and to effect repairs. German survivors from V-715 were rescued later that evening by the S-boats S-145 and S-112, which were transiting from St. Malo to Brest. The close range and high volumes of fire during this night engagement resulted in significant disorder. The close range also negated the destroyers major advantages of heavier armament and speed. Normally, such odds would have been heavily in favor of EG-12 and the outcome should have been very one-sided. However, the confusion over the size and composition of the German formation and the results of the battle indicate that the Canadian group was unprepared for the challenges of night surface action and that they performed poorly on this occasion.
GERMANY: U-2510 is laid down. U-1106 and U-1279 are commissioned.
FINLAND: Vuosalmi: Soviets capture parts of the Finnish bridgehead after the defending troops on some sectors panic and leave their positions in heavy artillery fire. Even reinforcements fail to improve the Finnish position. Finnish artillery and air attacks, however, force the Soviets to cancel further attacks for some time. This day is the beginning of the end for the Finnish bridgehead.
Bay of Viipuri: After heavy fighting Finns are forced to leave the islands of Teikarinsaari and Melansaari. Another quiet day at Ihantala. Finnish artillery prevents few Soviet attacks at Tähtelä and Ihantala, but the enemy manages to capture a piece of terrain at Pyöräkangas. They are driven back next night by elements of the II/IR 35. Auxiliary gunboats Aunus and Viena are damaged. (Mikko Härmeinen and Dave Shirlaw)
SOUTH AFRICA: Frigate SAS GOOD HOPE launched.
INDIAN OCEAN: One man was killed (Matrosenobergefreiter Hans Boldt) and three wounded, when U-859 was attacked by an RAF 262 Sqn Catalina in the Indian Ocean.
NEW GUINEA: A Japanese counterattack against the US forces on Numfoor fails.
AUSTRALIA: Frigate HMAS Hawkesbury commissioned.
PACIFIC: Aircraft of Task Groups 58.1 and 58.2 continue to attack targets in the Bonin and Volcano Islands. Aircraft of Task Group 58.3 begin preinvasion air assaults on Guam.
CANADA: Repair ship HMS Flamborough Head (later HMCS Cape Breton) laid down Vancouver, British Columbia.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 2150, the Noreen Mary was sunk by gunfire by U-247 about 20 miles west of Cape Wrath. This is an amazing event at this time in the war when U-boats were constantly being hunted by Allied aircraft.
U-233 sunk SE of Halifax, in position 42.16N, 59.49W by ramming, depth charges and gunfire from destroyer escorts USS Baker and Thomas. 32 dead and 29 survivors.
U-586 sunk near Toulon in position 43.07N, 05.55E, by a USAAC 233 Sqn B-24.
U-642 sunk near Toulon in position 43.07N, 05.55E, by US bombs.
Patton: They've got me sidelined in some cathouse somewhere and I'M GOING TO MISS THE WHOLE D$%N WAR!
It seems as though the United States Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers have been conducting combat operations almost daily since last November. My guess is that during that time, their Japanese counterparts conducted combat operations on only one day. That was a couple weeks ago, and that didn’t go so well for them.