Skip to comments.AMERICANS TAKE RENNES, DRIVE ON; RUSSIANS SMASH ACROSS VISTULA (8/4/44)
Posted on 08/04/2014 4:46:00 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy
Germans counterattack in Latvia
Friday, August 4, 1944 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... German forces launch counterattacks between Riga and Jelgava, reestablishing communications between forces in Riga and Lithuania.
On the Western Front... German forces in Brittany, elements of the 25th Corps (General Farmbacher), fall back on the major ports: St. Malo, Brest, Lorient and St. Nazaire. The US 12th Army Group continues offensive operations. The US 8th Corps (part of US 3rd Army) occupies Rennes and continues to advance toward Vannes. The US 5th and 14th Corps (both part of US 1st Army) also advance. Elements of the British 21st Army Group capture Evrecy and Villers Bocage.
In Italy... South African forces of British 13th Corps (part of US 5th Army) enter Florence, capturing districts to the south of the Arno River line being held by German forces. Meanwhile, Allied plans for the Italian campaign are revised in accord with proposals by General Leese, commanding 8th Army, that his forces should mount the next major offensive on the east coast.
In Burma... The British 2nd Division (part of British 33rd Corps) captures Tamu.
In the Volcano Islands... A group from Task Force 38 (Admiral Clark) attacks Japanese positions on the island of Iwo Jima causing substantial damage.
In the Bonin Islands... A group from Task Force 38 (Admiral Clark) attacks Japanese positions on the island of Chichi Jima causing substantial damage.
August 4th, 1944 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Aviation history was made today when Flying Officer Dean in a 616 Squadron RAF Gloster Meteor jet fighter, serial number EE216, engaged a V1, but his guns jammed. He flew in formation with the missile at 385 mph, tipped it over by inserting his wing tip under its wing, and sent it out of control earthwards. This was the first time a jet had been in combat with another jet propelled machine.
Another Meteor this day shoots down another V1 with its guns.
The USAAF’s Eighth Air Force in England flies 3 missions:
- Mission 514: 1,307 bombers and 746 fighters, in 4 forces, are dispatched to strategic targets in Germany; 15 bombers are lost.
(1) Of 358 B-17s, 181 hit Hamburg oil refineries, 50 hit Bremen oil refineries, 23 hit Nordhof Airfield, 22 hit Ostend, Belgium coastal defences, 14 hit Einswarden and 7 hit targets of opportunity; 8 B-17s are lost. Escort is provided by 234 P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs; 2 P-47s and 3 P-51s are lost.
(2) Of 425 B-17s, 221 hit Peenemunde, 110 hit Anklam Airfield and 70 hit Anklam aircraft factories; 3 B-17s are lost. Escort is provided by 223 P-51s; 9 P-51s are lost. The Peenemunde raid included an aircraft flown by Dick Johnson here is his description: On August 4th, 1944 I went on a bombing mission to Peenemunde trying to mess up the German rocket program. The Flak was pretty bad but I made it there and back with minor battle damage.
I was in position 9 near the middle of the group and carried bombs with long delay fuses. The armaments officer told me that my first bomb would explode three hours after impact and the last one would wait for three days before exploding. We never carried these kinds of bombs into occupied countries but only into German Industrial centres.
The armaments officer said that the fuse contained celluloid discs of various thickness and when the bomb impacted it broke a vial of acetone that slowly dissolved the disc thus releasing the firing pin. No moving parts or ticking! (from his book 25 Milk Runs)
That day I was taking a new crew on their first mission to bomb Peenemunde. On the way back to base we shot down an ME 110 that was approaching from the rear. We started firing at him from two miles and at about one mile he went into a vertical dive and crashed. My crew saw no parachutes and I was surprised last month to learn that one man got out. Of course being in the driver’s seat I didn’t see the action, but heard plenty. For a split second I felt a little sad that we had killed two men, but soon realized that it was a kill or be killed situation.
Bf 110G-4 serial number 140317 crashed near Maribo 4/8 1944.
The aircraft belonged to 7./ NJG 1 and was coded G9+SR T/o Grove. Op: Interception of American bombers.
The BF 110 was on a day mission against American bombers when it was hit by return fire from a bomber and started burning and crashed to the ground.
Air gunner Unteroffizier Heinz Aleit managed to get out of the aircraft and saved his life by parachute and landed near a German post.
Pilot Oberleutnant Walter Prues and Wop Feldwebel Josef Peters was still in the aircraft when it crashed in boggy grounds near Bursø lake about 2 kilometres southeast of Maribo at approx.15:00 hrs.
The aircraft disappeared in the boggy ground and only the remains of Feldwebel Josef Peters was retrieved. Peters was laid to rest in København Vestre cemetery on 10/8 1944 at 15:00 hrs. The ceremony took place by the graveside.
The grounds were drained over the years and a golf course was eventually located on the site.
On 26/27 august 2002 the site was excavated by a team headed by Jes Touvdal and Jørn Junker and the remains of the aircraft and Pilot Oberleutnant Walter Prues was found.
The remains of Prues was handed over to the German authorities. He was finally laid to rest in København Vestre cemetery on 17/11 2002.
(3) Of 446 B-24s, 148 hit Rostock aviation factories, 89 hit Kiel, 88 hit Schwerin aviation factories, 71 hit Wismar aviation factories, 12 hit Schlutup, 11 hit Warien and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 4 B-24s are lost. Escort is provided by 209 P-38s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost.
(4) Of 78 B-24s, 39 hit Husum Airfield and 29 hit Hemmingstedt/Heide oil refinery without loss.
- Mission 515: The first APHRODITE mission is flown using 4 radio-controlled war weary B-17s as flying bombs; targets are Mimoyecques, Siracourt, Watten, and Wizernes V-weapon sites but none are hit; 1 drone B-17 crashes killing 1 crew. Escort is provided by 16 P-47s and 16 P-51s.
- Mission 516: In France, 154 B-17s and B-24s, in 2 forces, with 36 fighters are dispatched to hit V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais and coastal defences at Middelkerke and Gravelines.
(1) Of 95 B-24s, 24 hit the Pas de Calais, 12 hit Achiet Airfield, 11 hit Gravelines, 11 hit Middelkerke, 6 hit Lens marshalling yard and 6 hit Montigne marshalling yard at Villy.
(2) Of 59 B-17s, 13 hit targets of opportunity, 12 hit Vendeville Airfield at Lille and 11 hit a bridge at Gravelines.
- 67 P-47s fly a fighter-bomber mission against Plantlunne Airfield; 1 P-47 is lost.
Destroyer HMS Lagos launched.
FRANCE: The German XXV Corps, in Brittany, withdraws to the major ports of St. Malo, Brest, Lorient and St. Nazaire. Commanded by General Farmbacher, Lorient and St. Nazaire will hold until May of 1945.
British troops liberate Evrecy and Villers Bocage, France.
In France, the USAAF’s Ninth Air Force dispatches 62 A-20 Havocs and B-26s to bomb rail bridges at Oissel, Epernon, and Saint-Remy-sur-Avre and an ammunition dump and bivouac area in Foret de Sille; fighters furnish cover over the battle area and for an armoured column, fly sweeps, dive-bomb enemy positions and also fuel dumps at Angers, attack an ammunition dump at Tours, and fly armed reconnaissance in the Quimper-Nantes, Amines, and Saint-Quentin areas.
Sqn-Ldr Ian Willoughby Bazalgette (b.1918), RAFVR, hit his target despite losing two engines to fighter fire. He and two crewmen died when the plane blew up on landing. (Victoria Cross)
Minesweeping trawler HMS Gairsay sunk by a German explosive boat off Normandy.
NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam: The Gestapo, acting on tip from a Dutch informer, captures 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse at Prinsengracht 263; two of the Christians who had helped shelter them are also arrested. The Franks had taken shelter there in 1942 out of fear of deportation to a concentration camp. They occupied the small space with another Jewish family and a single Jewish man, and were aided by former Christian employees of Otto Frank and other Dutch friends who brought them food and supplies. Anne spent much of her time in the “secret annex” working on her diary which survived the war, overlooked by the Gestapo that discovered the hiding place. They are sent to a concentration camp in Holland, and in September Anne and most of the others are shipped to Auschwitz in Poland. In the fall of 1944, Anne and her sister Margot are moved to Bergen-Belsen in Germany; both sisters catch typhus and die in early March 1945, two months before the camp was liberated by British forces. Anne’s father Otto Frank is the only one of the 10 to survive. After the war, he returns to Amsterdam via the Soviet Union, and is reunited with Miep Gies, one of his former employees who had helped shelter him. She handed him Anne’s diary and in 1947, the diary is published by Otto in its original Dutch as “Diary of a Young Girl.”
GERMANY: Berlin: As 22 officers, alleged to have had dealings with the 20 July plotters are given dishonourable discharges. Hitler tells Judge Roland Freisler, the president of the “People’s Court” that he wants the conspirators “strung up like butchered cattle.”
POLAND: Warsaw: The Polish Home Army asks for Allied aid.
FINLAND: Helsinki: Marshal Carl Mannerheim becomes president of Finland, after the resignation of Rysto Ryti.
Mikko Härmeinen adds: Marshal of Finland Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (note there’s *no* ‘von’ prefix!) is elected by the Parliament as the new President of the Republic of Finland. This election is doubly exceptional. Normally the President is elected by a chamber of electors elected by popular vote, but this procedure has already been dispensed with in 1940 and 1943 because of the exceptional times. Second, constitutionally professional soldiers can’t take part in politics; they can vote but can’t run as candidates or be members of political parties.
Among the political leadership it has long been agreed that the 77-year old Marshal is the only person who can lead the Finnish people unified to the harsh peace that is to be expected.
U.S.S.R.: German units counterattack between Riga and Jelgava reopening communications with Lithuania.
ITALY: South African units of the British XII Corps enter Florence and areas south of the Arno River. Plans for future operations are revised by General Leese for the British 8th Army near the east coast of Italy to make the next major move.
In an attempt to comply with the first direct Soviet request for USAAF air strikes, 70+ P-38s and P-51s of the Fifteenth Air Force leave Italy, attack the airfield and town of Focsani, Romania and land at Operation FRANTIC bases in the USSR.
BURMA: The British 2nd Division liberates Tamu.
PACIFIC OCEAN: USN submarines sink an IJA cargo ship in the Celebes Sea and two IJN guardboats in the Bonin Islands.
BONIN ISLANDS: USN carrier-based aircraft of Task Groups 58.1 and 58.3 attack Chichi Jima and Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands. The aircraft also attack a Japanese convoy consisting of 5 freighters, 2 large landing ships, a destroyer and 2 destroyer escorts and sink all but the destroyer escorts which are later sunk by USN cruisers.
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: The USAAF Eleventh Air Force sends 4 P-38s, accompanied by 1 B-25, to fly top cover for the USN’s Task Force 94 near Massacre Bay on Attu Island; 4 B-25s fly an uneventful shipping sweep.
US President Franklin D Roosevelt departs Adak Island for Kodiak in the heavy cruiser USS Baltimore (CA-68). He takes in some fishing. (Jack McKillop and Drew Philip Halevy) More...
U.S.A.: Destroyer minelayer USS Robert H Smith commissioned.
“Peak Robot Blow Hits 7 Hospitals”
Bad luck on the location of the hospitals!
"Anne Frank was, in many ways, a typical girl who attempted to cling to something resembling a normal life.
On this wall in her room, she tacked pictures of movie stars as well as postcards depicting an outside world that she was forbidden to frequent.
Anne Frank's diary is probably the most famous diary in history.
The adolescent girl kept the diary from June 12, 1942, until August 1, 1944.
The diary, published for the first time in 1947, records not only the family's extraordinary experiences during its years of concealment, but also the inner life of a truly remarkable young girl.
On July 15, 1944, she wrote: '[I]n spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.' "
So very curious this report published the very day of Anne Frank's arrest.
Also, it's not at all clear who those people, or their denominations, are since no names or titles listed.
I'm inclined to think, if they were Catholic, it would have said so, so this sounds like maybe German Lutherans, finally finding their Bibles, and their voices, after 95% of those innocents who will be murdered in this war, are already dead.
Well... better late than never, I'd suppose.
It seems the German Confessional Church originated because of and in opposition to the Nazis. From Wikipedia:
The Confessing Church (also translated Confessional Church) (German: Bekennende Kirche) was a Protestant schismatic church in Nazi Germany that arose in opposition to government-sponsored efforts to nazify the German Protestant church.
So a democrat President uses a United States Navy heavy cruiser as his private fishing yacht. Just normal procedure for a democrat president, I guess.
You missed the most important story of the day:
Britain Resumes Distilling of Scotch
There’s excellent fishing at Kodiak Island. My father and uncle went there about 15 years ago. Your more outdoorsy, cold-tolerant Coast Guard personnel fight for that post!
I admit that I have a very hard time reading any of the news coming from Poland, because I know the history already of Stalin’s black treachery towards the Warsaw Poles.
What is more amazing is that the words written then addressing the NAZI state apply so much to our life today, especially with the marriage and right to life issues. Especially disconcerting is the current outlawing of the Ten Commandments. Those words would not likely be published in today’s NYT. As it is, they are sort of hidden on pages 11 & 12.
Dietrich Bonhaffer was involved with this group, but by far not the only participant.
William Sheridan Allen of the State University of New York at Buffalo writes in the preface of Lowell C. Green in “Lutherans against Hitler, The Untold Story” Concordia Publishing House, 2007: “Even before the Third Reich came to its smoldering end, an extensive discussion had developed about how such an evil regime could ever have come to power and how it could have repeatedly used that power, without any real challenge, to commit its horrifying crimes. ....
Helping us to analyze this mystery is the great contribution of Lowell C. Green’s book. By examining one religious denomination, the Confessional Lutheran Church, ....”
Individuals appearing in illustrations in this volume include (not all necessarily associated with the Confessing Church): Willhelm Zoeliner, Walter Künneth, Martin Niemöller, Karl Barth, Hans Asmussen, Land Bishop august Marahrens, Land Bishop Theophil Wurm, Land Bishop Hans Meiser, Hans Preuß, Otto Procksch, Paul Althaus, Hermann Sasse, Werner Elert, Georg Kempff and Wilhelm Maurer.
"Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish?
The fate of Poland is the one thing that sits most uneasily on the conscience of Americans. Particulalrly since so many people of Polish descent live in the United States. We don’t particularly like how this played out, and most Americans have angst over whether we could somehow avoided Poland’s eventual fate. It gave rise to the belief that “FDR gave Poland away at Yalta.”
Unfortunately, I believe there was absolutely nothing we could do to avoid Poland being under the Soviet heel at the end of the war. The maps prove it and maps don’t don’t lie. The United States Army did not and never was going to occupy Poland, so it was never “ours” to give away. The Red Army was, and once there, Stalin never intended that it would leave. Ever. The Poles knew this in 1939, which is why they would not guarantee passage of the Red Army to fight the Germans when the Allies tried to cut a deal with Stalin. The result was the Non-Aggresion Pact.
The only way to get the Red Army out of Poland in 1945 was for the Western Allies to drive them out with military force. That was politically unacceptable in the US and UK. It wasn’t going to happen.
Poland’s fate was inevitable.
I guess it’s true: possession is nine-tenths of the law.
Agreed. Americans tend to underrate the fighting qualities of the Red Army in World War 2. We listened too much to the Germans after the war, and were put off by the Soviet propaganda which was way over the top.
The Red Army would have been a handful, to be sure. Look at what they’ve done to the cream of the Wehrmacht the past two years. But the biggest problem would have been motivating our soldiers to fight them. Their hearts wouldn’t be in it.
To illustrate, in 8th grade gym class, Mr. McCormick had an unwritten rule. If you had a problem with another kid, you were expected to go into the locker room and settle it between yourselves. Jeff Stone (who was well named because that’s how he showed up to school most days) wanted to see me and Rick Carson fight each other. One day he got us in the locker room and tried to egg us into fighting. We didn’t have a problem with each other, so there was no motivation to fight. So we didn’t fight.
Well, we didn’t fight each other. Jeff Stone wanted a fight, and he got one. We both beat the crap out of him.
I just noticed this is the 4th column in a row that begins with “Americans”. Three of the next four will also begin with “Americans” or “American”. The other one is “Four U.S. Columns.” I hope our allies are not offended.
Well it is, or was, and American paper. I’m sure the Daily Mail was lauding Monty.
If I could just get one original map, I’d want one of the p3 maps.
The time for that was prior to Munich.
Some of them appear to be in better condition than others; you can see the creases where some of them were folded.
The originals were brought to the United States after the war. In 1958, the originals were returned to the West Germans after we made these copies. I would assume high quality copies are available from the Library of Congress upon request.
I seriously doubt the Germans will give you an original, but even these scanned copies are way cool to look at. I wish I’d found them a couple years ago.
At that time, nobody thought we had a dog in that fight.