Skip to comments.AMERICANS IN ARC AROUND ST. LO; VILNA FALLS AFTER 5-DAY BATTLE (7/14/44)
Posted on 07/14/2014 4:23:31 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Soviet offensive in the Ukraine
Friday, July 14, 1944 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front (Konev) begins a new offensive in the south. The forces of the 1st Belorussian Front capture Pinsk.
In Italy... The French Expeditionary Corps (part of US 5th Army) captures Poggibonsi.
In New Guinea... Task Force 74 (Commodore Collins) bombards Japanese positions near Aitape, between Yakamul and But.
In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.
July 14th, 1944 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: With the conversion of the 55th Fighter Group from P-38 Lightning’s to P-51 Mustangs, the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force acquires a majority of P-51 groups to provide longer-range high-altitude escort for the heavy bombers. Conversion to P-51s will continue until by the end of the year every group except one will be equipped with them.
In England, the Eighth Air Force flies two missions to France.
Mission 472: In a morning mission 319 B-17s drop 3,700 containers of supplies to French interior forces in southern France; they claim 5-2-2 Luftwaffe aircraft. Escort is provided by 465 P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51s; they claim 4-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft.
Mission 473: During the evening 131 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields; 54 hit Montdidier Airfield and 39 hit Peronne Airfield; 40 other B-24s fail to bomb because of failure of blind-bombing equipment. Escort is provided by 79 P-38s and P-51s.
Ninety four P-38s fly fighter-bomber missions against rail targets east and southeast of Paris; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; a P-38 is lost.
Rescue tug HMS Turmoil launched.
Submarine HMS Selene commissioned.
Destroyer HMS Wrangler commissioned.
FRANCE: The mine sweeping of the western section of Cherbourg harbour is completed. (Steve Badsey)(169)
Lt. Gen. Ben Lear assumes command of the US Army Ground Forces following McNair’s death. He will hold the post until 20th January, 1945. (Marc James Small)
Weather again curtails operations by the USAAF’s Ninth Air Force; 62 B-26s and A-20 Havocs, using Oboe, bomb a railway embankment at Bourth and rail bridge at Merey; fighters provide escort and fly armed reconnaissance over widespread areas of northwestern France, attacking bridges, trains, rail lines, and military transport targets; 85 enemy fighters give battle near Brezolles and Alencon; six fighters are claimed by US fighters, against five U.S. aircraft; the IX Tactical Air Command strafes and bombs defended positions ahead of the US First Army; and fighters cut rail lines in the L’Aigle-Alencon area, bomb troop concentrations near Periers, and marshalling yards at Chateaudun and Aube-sur-Rile.
Paris: A revolt of prisoners in the Santé prison occurs amongst the long term offenders. Political detainees do not react. The men set fire to their cells.
NORTH SEA: 2 British escort carriers and 3 fleet carriers, HMS Duke of York and supporting escorts of the Home Fleet under Admiral Moore sail toward Norway. Their mission, the German battleship Tirpitz in Kaafiord. The air attacks are heavily attacked on approach and the raid today is unsuccessful with heavy British losses.
NETHERLANDS: Dutch born Heinrich Boere and another man of the SS “Special Command Feldmeijer”, take part in an operation codenamed “Silbertanne” or “Silver Pine” which will target 54 civilians in retaliation for the killing of prominent Dutch nazis by Dutch resistance fighters. “They were civilians who had a certain standing in civilian life, who were opposed to the German occupation and who were suspected of being part of the resistance.” (Ulrich Maass, senior state prosecutor in the Dortmund public prosecutors office. Der Spiegel 15/4/2008)
“We didn’t know the men,” Boere told SPEGEL ONLINE in August 2007. “The security service of the SS gave us the name and off we went.”
According to Dutch and German court documents, he and a companion shot dead a pharmacist, a bicycle dealer and another civilian.
In the case of the pharmacist Fritz Bicknese, Boere and a companion — both dressed in civilian clothes — walked into his drugstore in the town of Breda on today, asked him his name and then opened fire. Bicknese bled to death on the floor.
GERMANY: U-2334, U-3506 laid down.
SWEDEN: The Soviet ambassador to Sweden, Alexandra Kollontai (who already played an important role in the negotiations that ended the Winter War in 1940) lets it to be known that Soviet Union is still prepared to discuss peace with Finland. Thus Soviets no longer demand unconditional surrender.
U.S.S.R.: Jassy falls to Malinovsky’s troops. Pinsk falls to the Red Army.
ITALY: The Fifteenth Air Force dispatches 430+ B-17s and B-24s to attack 4 oil refineries at Budapest and Petfurdo, Hungary and the marshalling yard at Mantua, Italy; P-51s and P-38s provide escort.
P-51s fly an uneventful sweep of the Budapest area; and in Italy, P-38s strafe trains north of La Spezia and dive-bomb Ghedi Airfield.
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: The submarine USS Nautilus (SS-168) lands two men and 30 tons of supplies for the Filipino guerillas off Lagoma, Leyte Island.
JAPAN: The government announces decrees conscripting women between 12 and 40 for war work.
US Navy PB4Y Liberators of Bombing Squadron One Hundred Nine (VB-109), based at Isley Field, Saipan, attack airfields on Iwo Jima, Chichi Jima and Haha Jima Islands. This is the first attack by land based aircraft against these islands.
NEW GUINEA: Commodore Collins Task Force TF 74, two cruisers and six destroyers start a long-term bombardment of Japanese positions near Aitape. The Task Force is mostly Australian.
MARIANAS ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts based on Saipan again hit Tinian Island.
Battleships join the cruisers and destroyers during the preinvasion bombardment of Guam.
Underwater Demolition Team Three (UDT-3) in high-speed transport USS Dickerson (APD-21) begins a reconnaissance of the landing beaches on Guam.
The Japanese submarine I-6 is sunk by destroyer USS WILLIAM C. MILLER (DE-259) off Saipan. (Marc James Small)(220, 221 and 222)
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Petrolia commissioned.
U.S.A.: General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold, Commanding General U.S. Army Air Forces, sends a memorandum to the Joint Planning Staff calling attention to the Nakajima Ki-84 Army Type 4 Fighter (Allied Code Name “Frank”), a new and heavily armed fighter with which the Japanese might be able to inflict prohibitive losses on B-29s over the home islands; therefore he recommends that Iwo Jima be seized so that the airfields on the island can be used as an emergency landing field for B-29 Superfortresses bombing Japan and provide bases for P-51s to escort the Superfortresses to Tokyo.
Destroyer USS Gurke laid down.
Coast Guard-manned Army vessel FS-390 was commissioned at Los Angeles with LT G. E. Oliver, USCGR, as first commanding officer. He was succeeded on 28 September 1945 by LTJG John L. Murchison, USCGR. She was assigned to and operated in the Southwest Pacific and Western Pacific areas including Manila, Batangas, etc. She was decommissioned 15 October 1945.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-415 sunk at 0915 near Brest, west of the torpedo-net barrier, in position 48.24N, 04.30W, by a mine. 2 dead, unknown number of survivors.
I thought they were talking about St. Louis?
Spoiler alert: the Hitler bomb plot has been delayed:
"General Friedrich Olbricht was chief of the General Army office in the Army High Command.
A religious man who loved Germany, Olbricht initiated and organized the July 1944 bomb plot against Hitler.
On July 15, the original date chosen for the attempt on the Führer's life, Olbricht tipped his hand when he prematurely ordered troops to march on Berlin.
He was reprimanded for that action, and was arrested when the plot was unsuccessfully carried out on July 20.
Olbricht was executed by firing squad just hours later, along with co-conspirator Claus von Stauffenberg."
"On July 20, 1944, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg detonated a bomb near Adolf Hitler that damaged Hitler's eardrums, injured his right arm, and burned the Führer, but did not kill him.
The failure to eliminate Hitler unleashed an immediate and murderous response.
"The conspirators in the assassination attempt included important individuals within the German military establishment.
They sought to end Hitler's 'incompetent, unscrupulous leadership.'
Stauffenberg's direct access to Hitler made him the most likely candidate to assassinate the German leader.
"After the bomb was detonated, the conspirators believed that they had successfully killed Hitler.
They moved to take over the War Ministry in Berlin and issue orders to arrest leading Nazis and members of the SS.
Hitler's miraculous survival, however, preempted plans to topple the Nazi regime.
"Hitler's vengeance was rapid and severe.
Participants in the attempted coup were arrested and hanged by wire, dying the most painful of deaths.
The executions were filmed for Hitler, who reportedly enjoyed watching the men twist in agony.
More than 7,000 additional individuals were captured by the Gestapo, 200 of whom were executed."
Curious how the news often refers to German V-1s as "robot bombs".
Today we'd call it a cruise missile, with the idea of "robotics" limited to automated machines that build cars, etc.
It would be interesting to learn when "robots" stopped including flying machines.
I was taken by surprise when the term started appearing in the news. I was expecting buzz bomb or doodlebug, or some other term we know today. But robot bomb it was, at least through October '44. At some point it must have disappeared altogether, unless I missed it in all my (limited, granted) reading on the subject.
Henry Wallace hoping to save his job as Vice President. He knows FDR’s failing health as well as anyone.
Page 3: “Wrong French Town Burned, say Germans”
Oradour sur Glane in 2012:
Oradour is a memorial to all the towns in Europe that were destroyed the the SS. It is one of the most emotionally moving memorials I’ve ever visited.
On Wallace, important to remember that he will be ousted in favor of Missourian Harry Truman because *conservative* Democrats didn't like Wallace's pro-Soviet Progressive politics.
Today there are no conservative Democrats and all claim to be Wallace-style Progressives.
So the spirit of Henry Wallace now fully rules our country, after delays totalling two generations...
“COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: The submarine USS Nautilus (SS-168) lands two men and 30 tons of supplies for the Filipino guerillas off Lagoma, Leyte Island.”
30 tons is 1.5 semi-truck trailer loads. Impressive for a submarine.
More curious is that the NYT always refers to Germans as Nazis.
Then after the war finding Nazis was very difficult.
Very sad news about General Theodore Roosevelt. He was a real fighter.
Sort of ignominious, Admiral Nagumo’s death, although not by their standards, of course. Very Klingon.
Vina is still fallen and can’t get up?
General Theodore Roosevelt and his father Teddy both received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Only one other father son combo has ever achieved that, Arthur and Douglas MacArthur. However, that one is, in my opinion, a lesser achievement since Douglas MacArthur received the CMH for his failure to defend the Philippines and it was more of a political move to boost moral than it was a tribute to his performance.
Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the formal written narrative of a 20 year old American B-17 navigator shot down over Avord, France in late April, 1944 and thereafter hidden by the French Resistance until he was finally flown to England on 6 August, 1944 was obtained in 2011. The report includes the following hand-written notation, dated August 15, 1944: "About 3 weeks ago, I saw a town within 4 hours bicycle ride up the Gerbeau farm where some 500 men, women, and children had been murdered by the Germans. I saw one baby who had been crucified."
If I received it via anonymous email, I'd say it was a hoax. The text has that certain "feel" to it one notices in anonymous email stories. However, BI claims it's authentic. Any comments?
I don't feel sorry for this officer. Soldiers in this division committed war crimes in Normandy, killing the occupants of an aid station and massacring and burning the village of Graignes.
Perhaps the translator took liberties with the original because it "feels" like what I would expect a writer to produce rather than 6 month old recollections of an exhausted enemy officer in response to interrogation questions.
It's an interesting insight into the effectiveness of our air attacks and the bitterness the ground troops felt for the Luftwaffe. The P-47 was a beast in the ground attack. Or maybe that's just his scapegoat for his unit's misfortunes.
I noticed that too.
Also noticed that Russians are never called "Communists".
It'll be interesting to note when, if ever, the Grey Lady begins to call Soviets "Communists".