Skip to comments.ROOSEVELT NOMINATED FOR FOURTH TERM; HITLER ESCAPES BOMB, PURGES GENERALS (7/21/44)
Posted on 07/21/2014 4:22:26 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Americans land on Guam
Friday, July 21, 1944 www.onwar.com
US troops with a flamethrowing tank in the Marianas [photo at link]
In the Mariana Islands... Troops of the US 3rd Amphibious Corps (Geiger) land on Guam. The 3rd Marine Division (Turnage) establishes a beachhead at Asan, west of Agana. The 1st Marine Division (Shephard) comes ashore at Agat. Eventually, 54,900 American troops are deployed. There is only moderate Japanese resistance on the beaches. Task Force 53 (Admiral Connolly) provides naval support with 6 battleships and 5 escort carriers. Three groups from Task Force 58 attack Japanese positions with carrier aircraft. The Japanese garrison numbers 19,000. The defense is based on the forces of the 29th Infantry Division (Takashima). General Obata, commanding the Japanese 31st Army, is present on the island.
In New Guinea... Japanese forces launch further attacks over the Driniumor River, near Aitape. American forces hold the offensive.
In Italy... The French Expeditionary Corps (part of US 5th Army) is withdrawn from the line. It is being redeployed as part of the preparation for the Allied invasion of southern France.
On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 3rd Baltic Front captures Ostrov in continuing attacks.
From Berlin... General Zeitzler resigns his post as Chief of the General Staff of OKH (the Army High Command, with responsibility for the Eastern Front). His replacement is General Guderian.
In the United States... The Bretton Woods conference continues.
July 21st, 1944 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: No. 616 Squadron, RAF, equipped with Spitfires and seven of the new Gloster Meteor Mk I jets, moves to its operational base at Manston, Kent.
The USAAF’s Eighth Air Force in England flies two missions:
- In Mission 486, 1,110 bombers and 795 fighters are dispatched in 4 forces to bomb targets in Germany, among them 4 aircraft plants and 2 ball bearing plants; 31 bombers and 8 fighters are lost.
1. Of 433 B-24s dispatched, 106 hit Munich, 93 hit Saarbrucken marshalling yards, 78 hit targets of opportunity, 54 hit Oberpfeffenhofen, 33 hit Neuabuing, 13 hit Bullay Bridge, and 9 hit Schorndorf; they claim 10-2-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 22 B-24s are lost. Escort is provided by 262 P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs; they claim 2-0-1 aircraft in the air and 3-0-10 n the ground; 5 P-51s are lost.
2. Of 96 B-24s dispatched, 48 hit targets of opportunity, 17 hit Duren, 12 hit Walldrun marshalling yard and 9 hit Indenboden; 2 B-24s are lost. Escort is provided by 109 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft.
3. Of 241 B-17s dispatched, 90 hit Regensburg/Obertraubling, 44 hit Regensburg/Prufening, 40 hit Stuttgart and 18 hit targets of opportunity; 4 B-17s are lost. Escort is provided by 148 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 3-0-0 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost.
4. Of 340 B-17s dispatched, 99 hit Schweinfurt, 70 hit Ebelsbach, 59 hit Ludwigshafen, 13 hit Bad Kreuznach, 13 hit Ebelsbach, 13 hit targets of opportunity, 12 hit Bad Munster, 12 hit Lachen, 12 hit Simmern marshalling yard, 8 hit Wurzburg, and 5 hit Neckargemund; 3 B-17s are lost. Escort is provided by 187 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; a P-38 is lost.
- Mission 487: 8 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night.
U-212 (Type VIIC) is sunk in the English Channel south of Brighton, at position 50.27N, 00.13W, by depth charges from the British frigates HMS Curzon and Ekins. 49 dead (all crew lost). (Alex Gordon)
FRANCE: Weather prevents all USAAF Ninth Air Force combat operations except for one fighter group which is dispatched on armed reconnaissance but is recalled before reaching the Continent; Less than 15 reconnaissance and evacuation sorties are flown.
Minesweeper HMS Chamois is mined in Seine Bay and is towed back to Portsmouth but not repaired. (Alex Gordon)(108)
U-3009 laid down
ITALY: The French Expeditionary Corps is taken out of the line in Italy. They begin to prepare for the Anvil/Dragoon operation.
The Fifteenth Air Force in Italy dispatches 362 B-17s and B-24s against targets in Czechoslovakia; B-17s and B-24s bomb the Brux synthetic oil refinery; B-24s also hit the marshalling yard at Mestre; 100+ other bombers are forced to abort due to bad weather; P-38s and P-51s provide escort.
Rome: It was regrettable, but inevitable. The decision had been taken at the highest level, with Roosevelt and Stalin outvoting Churchill. The Allied command in Italy has lost 100,000 of its best troops to the forthcoming invasion of the South of France.
The whole of the US VI Corps and the French Expeditionary Corps are assembling in Naples - leaving fewer than 153,000 men, mostly British, Commonwealth and Polish, to face Germany’s formidable Gothic Line. Churchill and his generals would have preferred to fight a Balkans campaign - cutting off German troops in Greece.
EASTERN FRONT: The Russian Third Baltic Front takes Ostrov.
German General Zeitzler resigns as Chief of Staff at OKH and is replaced by Guderian.
Moscow: The simmering row between the Soviet Union and the London-based Polish government in exile flared into fury today with the announcement that the Russias intended to set up a committee of national liberation in those areas of Poland freed by the Red Army. The London Poles consider this committee to be a puppet organization controlled by the Russians and have denounced its members as a “band of usurpers.”
GUAM: US Marines of General Geiger’s III Amphibious Corps land on Guam during Operation STEVEDORE. Admiral Connolly commands the naval forces which include TF 53 directly and 3 groups of TF 58 in support. Attacking both sides of the Orote Peninsula, the 3rd Marine Division lands on the north beach near the town of Agana, while the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade lands on the south beach near Agat. The defending Japanese are the 29th Division under General Takashima. General Obata CO of the 31st Army is on the island.
Opposition was surprisingly heavy after weeks of preparatory fire, and 22 amtracs were sunk. By nightfall, the Marines had pushed 1 mile (1.6 km) inland at both points. In the afternoon, the Army’s 77th Infantry Division landed but even before they hit the beach, they had to contend with a problem that the Marines did not face. Because the 77th was in corps reserve, the division had no amtracs allotted; when landing craft reached the reef line, troops had to debark and wade several hundred yards to the beach. Tanks and trucks had to be towed by bulldozers, and some were lost in the surf. Most of the 305th Infantry Regiment were ashore by 2130 hours, in time to help turn back the expected enemy counterattack which cost the Japanese 268 killed.
Intense naval gunfire and attacks by carrier-based aircraft precede the landings. Supporting the invasion of Guam, Seventh Air Force P-47s based on Saipan attack enemy forces on Tinian Island. 28 B-24s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll, pound Truk Atoll. US Marines and Army troops land on Guam Island. Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s again pound Yap Island, concentrating on the airfield; fighters, many dropping phosphorus bombs on the bomber formation, attack fiercely but ineffectively; the B-24s claim 7 fighters shot down.
CANADA: Tug HMCS Glenlivit commissioned.
Frigate HMCS Levis commissioned.
Frigate HMCS Stone Town commissioned.
U.S.A.: The heavy cruiser USS Baltimore (CA-68) and the destroyer USS Fanning (DD-385) depart San Diego, California for Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands with President Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard.
The delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, nominate Senator Harry S. Truman of Missouri to be their vice president candidate. Truman replaces Henry Wallace, the current vice president. In Room 708 of the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, President Roosevelt told Truman at the convention that he wanted him on the ticket.
Destroyer escort USS Dufilho commissioned.
Destroyer USS John W Weeks commissioned.
Coast Guard-manned Army vessel FS-185 is commissioned at New Orleans; her first commanding officer being LT JG L.C. Rickert, USCGR. He was succeeded on 20 September 1945, by LTJG L. W. Cotro, USCGR. She was assigned to and operated in the Southwest Pacific area including Tacloban.
Coast Guard-manned Army vessel FS-156 was commissioned at New Orleans, Louisiana. Her first commanding officer was LT F. D. Obrian, USCGR. He was succeeded by LTJG G. N. Paul, USCGR, who in turn was succeeded by LTJG Ernest H. Thompson, Jr. She was assigned to and operated in the Southwest Pacific area including Biak.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Brazilian corvette Camaquã shipwrecked while escorting Convoy JT-18 with the loss of 33 crewmembers.
Vote is 1,086 to 90 (Catledge) 2-3
War News Summarized 3
Text of Platform Adopted by the Democrats 4
Fuehrer is Bruised (Shaplen) 5-6
Nazi Party Clashes with Army Reported 6
Nazi-Army Rift is Revealed in Gravest Reich War Crisis (Daniell) 6
British Push South (Middleton) 6-8
American Soldiers Under Fire in St Lo (photo) 8
Lwow is Menaced (Lawrence) 9-10
Allies Storm Arno on a 25-Mile Front 10
Allies Report Belgian Uprising Comparable to French Sabotage 10-11
2,700 U.S. Planes Batter Germany (Anderson) 11
170,000 Evacuated from London Area (by E.C. Daniel) 11
China Communists Stress Unity Aims 12
Inspection Time on One of Our Flat Tops (photo) 12
Japanese at Aitape Fail to Break Cordon 12
Auto 20 Miles Away Destroyed by Shell of British Battleship 13
The Texts of the Days Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones 14-16
Sweden Foresees Himmler Terror (by George Axelsson) 16
page 12- ominous foreboding of the communist take over of China there
I love these maps, by the way.
The American people would have given FDR a fifth term too if the Lord had let him live.
Wow, the Seine is all wiggly!
I keep seeing references to the Allied Forces expecting a “Break Out” from the Normandy Beach Heads. Did the Allies think they would get through the initial contact with the Germans and then there would be unopposed movement for hundreds of miles?
Just like the lower part of the Rio Bravo*, err, as we call it the Rio Grande.
* Mexico calls it the Rio Bravo and if you go to google maps it is called Rio Bravo on the map.
I didn’t know that about Google maps.
The German broadcast is pretty badly garbled. The old short-wave radios picked up every thunderstorm around the world, or so it seemed.
I will try to hack through it this evening, maybe.
With all the bends and loops of the lower Seine, I never thought it was an effective defensive position. It certainly wasn’t for the French in 1940 and won’t be for the Germans in a few weeks, but in both cases there were no effective organized troops to try to defend it.
Von Stauffenberg was mercifully shot before the executions were halted and the interrogations/torture began, followed by the excruciating hanging by wire.
The execution area in Plotzensee Prison, where many of the conspirators were executed, has been converted into a memorial to the German Resistance.
I saw an interview of Berthold Staffenberg. He said that he faced some recrimination from his fellow Bundeswehr officers because of his father. There was still very strong feeling that his father was not a patriot, but a traitor.
With Goering, Himmler, Jodl and Keitel alive I doubt the Army would have rallied to his cause. Even if they had, I doubt Stalin would have made peace, but would have kept right on gobbling up chunks of Eastern Europe.
It's curious Hitler was still using the Wolfschanze as the Red Army is nearing the East Prussia border.
I also believe it was a fool’s errand. The “it was all Hitler’s fault” blame game didn’t come out until the Nuremburg trials. From the perspective of the rest of the world in July 1944, the German General Staff and German officer corps are considered just as guilty as Hitler for starting this war. And the German troops have not made any friends wherever they’ve gone (except for those French girls getting the buzz cuts). There is way too much sentiment among the United Nations to destroy Germany so that she cannot and will not ever start another world war.
Had Hitler been killed, and the conspirators somehow managed to cobble together a government, nobody would have made peace with them. All it would have accomplished would have been the military collapse of Germany a few months earlier, maybe, due to collapse of morale of the armed forces. In war, once the apparent loser starts talking peace, the soldiers vote with their feet.
If Hitler was dead, though, we might not have had the Battle of the Bulge. That was Hitler’s brilliant plan, iirc.
Actual military men would run the war? That could have cost more lives on both sides, by this point I think Germanys’ defeat was inevitable
he might have kept the depression going into the 50’s
I agree. No matter how many mistakes the Allies made on the Western Front, and how well the Germans did, the Russians were unstoppable.
We are in hypothetical land now, but I agree that even if Stauffenberg could have seized power I’m pretty sure the Big Three would have said, fine, but we want your unconditional surrender. The German Army and people were not there yet in mid-1944.
While we are in hypothetical land, we have not yet violated Henkster’s Law of alternate history. We don’t have to worry about Hitler not being Hitler because he’s...well...dead. But the Germans are still the Germans. And that means that they fight. I’ve always been amazed at their resiliency and willingness to put up a stout resistance in 1944 and 1945, even though intellectually they must know the war is lost.
But there were a number of them who were die-hard Nazis, and the Nazi ideology kept them going. It wasn’t until late January 1945 that you saw disintegration in the West. It never happened in the East, because of who they were fighting. If you take away the Nazi fanatics, who now have nothing to be fanatic about, you lose a lot of the hard edge of resistance. And once you start talking peace, the idea of being shot at by the guy on the other side is far less appealing. Without the Nazis, the average German just don’t have a reason to fight that hard in the west, if at all.
Yes, the German generals still run the show, but by now none of them are thinking offensively. There will be no Battle of the Bulge, which was only made possible by the last spasm of production by Speer’s armament industry. And the quality of strategic and operational thought on the German side has been on the wane for a while.
So, I think the German rot in the west starts almost immediately upon the public acknowledgement of peace feelers. And while the Germans will try to resist in the East, tax-chick is correct. The Russians are unstoppable.
My take is that the Red Army meets the Americans on the Oder, not the Elbe, and does so in November-December, not April.
Behind them was a tiny remnant of the 17th SS Panzergrenadiers determined to kill the prisoners. Americans, Germans and Austrians fought off the SS until a larger American unit arrived to rescue them.
Fanatics. 99% of the German Army was trying to surrender to an American or Brit and get rid of any evidence of Nazi involvement and these guys want one last ounce of revenge.
Without Hitler, my guess is the generals in charge would not have used flying courts martials which would have resulted in a rapid collapsa.