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Posts by Homer_J_Simpson

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  • 2,000 U.S. PLANES ATTACK BERLIN AND 2 AIRCRAFT PLANTS NEAR CITY (4/19/44)

    04/19/2014 5:09:41 AM PDT · 8 of 9
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/thismonth/19.htm

    April 19th, 1944 (WEDNESDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM: USAAF tactics summary for Operation No. 308.

    “Me-109’s and FW-190’s participated in the only interception of the day, An estimated force of 50 fighters, protected by an additional 50 flying as top cover, made attacks which persisted for only about eight minutes on one Combat Wing. One mass attack was made head-on as the enemy aircraft dived through the formation in large Groups without taking any evasive action. After this one pass at the entire Combat Wing, the fighters directed their efforts at stragglers and the trailing elements. In these instances, the enemy aircraft attack in Groups of three astern, coming in level from the six o’clock position and closing to about 600 yards before breaking away.”

    (Scott Burris)

    FRANCE: Railway links and river crossings throughout northern and western France - vital for Germany’s defence against an Allied invasion - are being attacked with unprecedented fury by RAF and USAAF bombers. In 36 hours some 7,000 tons of bombs have been dropped. Pilots are ordered to pick their targets with care to ensure that French casualties are kept to a minimum.

    Last night, RAF Lancasters and Halifaxes struck at rail links outside Paris and at Rouen, dropping 4,000 tons of bombs. It was the biggest load carried in a single raid. In order to conceal the intended invasion area, for every ton of bombs dropped behind the invasion zone the Allies are dropping two tons elsewhere in France.

    Aircraft losses are falling; 14 bombers were lost last night and five in the earlier raids. The Germans are believed to be restricting their use of fighters because of dwindling supplies of aviation fuel caused by Allied bombing of oil refineries.

    The Eighth Air Force flies Part 2 of Mission 308 27 B-24s bomb V-weapon sites at Watten; 1 B-24 is lost; escort is provided by 47 Ninth Air Force P-47s without loss. (Jack McKillop)

    GERMANY: The Eighth Air Force Mission 308.

    During Part 1 of this mission: 772 bombers and 697 fighters are dispatched in 3 forces; they claim 17-1-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 bombers and 2 fighters are lost.

    - 271 B-17s hit the Kassel area, Eschwege Airfield, Limburg and a target of opportunity; 5 B-17s are lost.

    - 243 B-17s hit Lippstadt and Werl Airfields and a target of opportunity without loss.

    - 230 B-24s bomb Paderborn and Gutersloh Airfields, Soest, Koblenz, Buren and targets of opportunity without loss.

    Escort for the three forces above is provided by 127 P-38s, 439 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts and 131 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 16-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost.

    The Ninth Air Force dispatches 350+ B-26 Marauders and A-20s to bomb marshalling yards, city areas, and targets of opportunity at Gunzburg, Ulm, Neu Ulm, Donauworth, and Schelklingen; fighters fly over 1,200 sorties against a variety of targets in north-western Europe. (Jack McKillop)

    ITALY: Twelfth Air Force B-26s hit the Cecina railroad bridge and Ancona marshalling yard while B-25s hit a marshalling yard at Piombino; P-47s hit railroad tracks, a marshalling yard, junction, and railway cars between Pontedera and Empoli and between Figline Valdarno and San Giovanni Valdarno. (Jack McKillop)

    U.S.S.R.: The Red Army battles for Sevastopol.

    Action along the Soviet front subsides as spring mud and floods make movement impossible. The exception is the Crimea, where Tolbukhin’s 4th Ukrainian Army is closing on Sevastopol. (Jack McKillop)

    CHINA: Japanese troops strike south along the Peking to Hankow railway, in Honan province.

    The Japanese offensive gathers momentum as the 12th Army pushes down the Peking-Hankow Railroad toward four B-29 bases of the U. S. 14th Air Force. The Japanese easily defeat Chiang Kai-shek’s poorly led, equipped and trained army. (Jack McKillop)

    BURMA: Air Commando Combat Mission NO.45 4:05 Flight Time Hailiakandi, Assam to Mawlu, Burma Bombed Japanese troops (Chuck Baisden)

    Air Commando (2nd mission) Combat Mission N0.46 2:55 Flight Time Same as mission 45.

    Notes: Am now taking atabrine tablets and skin is turning a bit yellow but no fever, chills or backaches. We are getting a ration of beer and I’ve got a case under my cot. Officers coming around to swap their booze for beer.

    Our S/Sgt crew chief got himself all warped out of shape on a bottle of Bombay gin. Came into Col. Alison’s office with Gin bottle in one hand and a machete in the other. Demanded a promotion which of course he did not get. I was never sure of the exact outcome of this incident as he continued to do the maintenance work on our plane but in a rather subdued and quiet manner. (Chuck Baisden)

    The Tenth Air Force dispatches 6 B-25s and 8 P-51 Mustangs to attack troops and stores northwest of Banmauk; 10 P-38s hit the airfield near Meiktila; and 5 P-51s attack troop positions near Mawlu and a bridge at Shweli.

    Four Fourteenth Air Force P-40s attack the village of Takaw causing several fires and sink a ferry- boat in the area. (Jack McKillop)
    EAST INDIES: Sumatra: Admiral Sommerville’s British Eastern Fleet including the carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3), British carrier HMS Illustrious and three US destroyers attacks Japanese ships and positions at Sebang, as part of Operation Cockpit to divert attention from the start of landings at Hollandia, in New Guinea. This is the first joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean. (Jack McKillop)

    NEW GUINEA: Fifth Air Force B-24s hit Urarom and Manokwari while B-25s, A-20s, and fighter aircraft strike a wide variety of targets around Hollandia, Aitape, Bogia, Uligan, Bunabun, Madang and Cape Croisilles. (Jack McKillop)

    SOLOMON ISLANDS: Thirteenth Air Force fighters hit the Numa Numa area on Bougainville Island. (Jack McKillop)

    FRENCH INDOCHINA: Three Fourteenth Air Force B-25s damage a bridge at Thanh Moi and score hits on railroad and buildings south of the bridge. (Jack McKillop)

    BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: 38 Thirteenth Air Force fighter-bombers hit supply areas on Matupi Island. (Jack McKillop)

    CAROLINE ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-24s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll, bomb Truk Atoll while B-25s from the Gilbert Islands strike Ponape Island.

    21 Thirteenth Air Force B-24s bomb the airfield at Satawan Atoll, hitting the target area with about 50 tons of high explosives while B-24s bomb Woleai Atoll.

    During the night of 19/20 April, RAAF Catalinas mine the waters in and around Woleai Atoll. (Jack McKillop)

    U.S.A.: Washington: President Roosevelt has given the go-ahead to make Lend-Lease contracts for a further year. The House of Representatives approved the move by a huge majority today. But behind the scenes intensive talks are going on about what to do about international payments now that the war is ending. Lend-Lease has provided the munitions, industrial materials and food for Britain to fight; now some Americans feel that the country is strong enough to start paying its way again.

    In baseball, New York Giants manager and right fielder Mel Ott hits the first National League home run of the season, the 464th of his career, helping the Giants defeat the Boston Braves, 2-1. Ott will finish the season with a .288 batting average and 26 home runs.

    Ott retires from the playing field after the 1946 season with a career .304 batting average and 511 home runs. During the 1948 season, he is replaced as manager halfway through the season by Leo Durocher. (Jack McKillop)

  • 2,000 U.S. PLANES ATTACK BERLIN AND 2 AIRCRAFT PLANTS NEAR CITY (4/19/44)

    04/19/2014 5:08:18 AM PDT · 7 of 9
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1944/apr44/19apr44.htm#

    Soviets bombard Sevastopol
    Wednesday, April 19, 1944 www.onwar.com

    On the Eastern Front... The battle for Sevastopol continues as Soviet ships bombard the city. Elsewhere, Soviet advances end as the forces reach their logistical limits.

    In the Indian Ocean... The British Eastern Fleet (Admiral Somerville) is reinforced with the USS Saratoga. The carrier aircraft attack Japanese positions at Sabang and nearby airfields. One plane is lost and 27 Japanese planes are claimed to have been shot down.

    Over Occupied Europe... The RAF drops mines in the Danube River.

    In Washington... The House of Representatives approves an extension of Lend-Lease legislation.

  • 2,000 U.S. PLANES ATTACK BERLIN AND 2 AIRCRAFT PLANTS NEAR CITY (4/19/44)

    04/19/2014 5:07:21 AM PDT · 6 of 9
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    Fliers Strike Hard (Middleton) – 2-3
    Invasion Plan Told – 3-4
    Red Army Slashes beyond Balaklava (Parker) – 4
    War News Summarized – 4
    Britons Astride Torpedoes Sank Enemy Cruiser in Port – 5
    The British Reveal a Secret Weapon (page 1 photo) – 5
    Poles in Russia Score Ukrainians – 6
    Scientific Curbs on Reich Pledged – 6
    Allies’ India Push Continues to Gain – 7
    Asks Pacific Bases for Future Safety – 7
    Navy Now Turning to Shore Attacks – 8
    Latest War Casualties – 10
    Pole Tells Story of Ghetto Battle (Denny) – 11 United Nations Council (Krock) – 11
    Australia Sets Fighting Mark (Baldwin) – 12
    The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on the War – 13-14
  • 2,000 U.S. PLANES ATTACK BERLIN AND 2 AIRCRAFT PLANTS NEAR CITY (4/19/44)

    04/19/2014 5:05:45 AM PDT · 5 of 9
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    V-Mail from northern New Guinea.

     photo 0419-fliers17_zps335affbc.jpg
  • 2,000 U.S. PLANES ATTACK BERLIN AND 2 AIRCRAFT PLANTS NEAR CITY (4/19/44)

    04/19/2014 5:04:38 AM PDT · 4 of 9
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
     photo 0419-fliers16_zps3db173c4.jpg

    Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring

  • 2,000 U.S. PLANES ATTACK BERLIN AND 2 AIRCRAFT PLANTS NEAR CITY (4/19/44)

    04/19/2014 5:04:00 AM PDT · 3 of 9
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
  • 2,000 U.S. PLANES ATTACK BERLIN AND 2 AIRCRAFT PLANTS NEAR CITY (4/19/44)

    04/19/2014 5:03:20 AM PDT · 2 of 9
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
    Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Leningrad and Ukraine Offensives – Operations, 2 December 1943-30 April 1944
    Allied Advance to Volturno River, Reorganization, and Attack on Gustav Line (17 January-11 May 1944)
    Anzio-Cassino Area, 1943: Attempts to Cross Rapido and Garigliano Rivers, 17-20 January 1944. Anzio Landing, 22 January 1944. German Counterattack at Anzio, 16-19 February 1944
    New Guinea and Alamo Force Operations: Clearing the Huon Peninsula and Securing the Straits, 19 September 1943-26 April 1944
    Cartwheel, the Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, and Concurrent Air and Naval Operations, 30 June 1943-26 April 1944
    The Far East and the Pacific, 1941: Original Allied Strategic Concept, May 1943; Situation in Pacific, 1 November 1943
    China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
  • 2,000 U.S. PLANES ATTACK BERLIN AND 2 AIRCRAFT PLANTS NEAR CITY (4/19/44)

    04/19/2014 5:02:45 AM PDT · 1 of 9
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • Reading the Bible in the Dark (the Easter Vigil)

    04/18/2014 3:32:43 PM PDT · 3 of 10
    Homer_J_Simpson to NYer

    I’ll be reading from Exodus in the dark tomorrow night.

  • BRITISH BAN ENVOYS’ TRAVEL AND CODE USE IN MOVE TO PROTECT INVASION SECRETS (4/18/44)

    04/18/2014 3:20:31 PM PDT · 34 of 39
    Homer_J_Simpson to BroJoeK
    Baguio -- there's a name my Dad used to talk about, by his telling, it was his unit's and his personal most serious trial by fire.

    My father's division also had a rough time on Luzon. He didn't make it that far himself, as his war ended on Leyte.

  • BRITISH BAN ENVOYS’ TRAVEL AND CODE USE IN MOVE TO PROTECT INVASION SECRETS (4/18/44)

    04/18/2014 1:36:33 PM PDT · 28 of 39
    Homer_J_Simpson to BroJoeK; henkster
    but what if there's actual fighting going on?

    One day the weak and ungainly helicopter will be able to provide an important edge in certain situations.

    "We Were Soldiers" final battle scene

  • BRITISH BAN ENVOYS’ TRAVEL AND CODE USE IN MOVE TO PROTECT INVASION SECRETS (4/18/44)

    04/18/2014 5:18:39 AM PDT · 7 of 39
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/thismonth/18.htm

    April 18th, 1944 (TUESDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM: In preparation for Operation Overlord; the British Government issues a ban on coded radio transmissions and telephone calls. Diplomatic bags are to be censored. (The only people, apart from armed forces and spies, with the privilege of sending coded messages were embassies — allied and neutral. The ban on coded telegrams referred to ALL traffic from neutral embassies and, I believe, “consular” traffic from allied ones. The security service — MI5 — was responsible for monitoring messages and diplomatic bags. (Cris Whetton))

    Incitement to strike is made a criminal act.

    Invasion stripes are ordered for aircraft. These stripes are to be applied to all aircraft except four-engined bombers, transports (not troop carriers), gliders, night fighters and sea planes. (Ron Babuka)

    125 Luftwaffe bombers, including five He-177A-5s take off for an attack on London. The Greifs climb as high as possible while over German territory and then make a shallow dive at high speed and return at low altitude. Even the speedy Mosquito has trouble catching the Germans when using these tactics. (Jack McKillop)

    FRANCE: RAF bombers tonight raid Rouen, Juvisy, Noisy-le-Sec and Tergnier killing 1,383 French people.

    The Eighth Air Force flies Mission 306 Part 2: 12 B-24s hit V-weapon sites at Watten; escort is provided by 36 P-47 Thunderbolts without loss.

    277 Ninth Air Force B-26 Marauders, including 24 dropping Window, and 37 A-20 Havocs bomb gun positions and marshalling yards at Dunkirk, Calais, and Saint Martin Airfield at Charleroi. (Jack McKillop)

    GERMANY: Hitler forbids all exports of weapons to Finland. This comes as a further retaliation for the Finnish peace feelers earlier in this year, even though Finland just recently decided to reject the Soviet terms for peace. (Mikko Härmeinen)

    The Eighth Air Force flies Mission 306 Part 1: 776 bombers and 634 fighters are dispatched to hit airfields and aviation industry targets; they claim 33-5-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 19 bombers and 5 fighters are lost; due to poor weather, several units bomb targets of opportunity in the Berlin area:

    - 275 B-17s hit aviation industry targets at Oranienburg, Perleberg Airfield, Wittenberge and targets of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost.

    - 210 B-17s hit Oranienburg, Brandenburg, Luneburg Airfield, Rathenow and targets of opportunity; 14 B-17s are lost.

    - 248 B-24s hit Brandenburg, Rathenow, Cuxhaven, Wittenberge and targets of opportunity; 2 B-24s are lost.

    Escort is provided by 119 P-38s, 296 P-47s and 219 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51 Mustangs; 1 P-38, 1 P-47 and 3 P-51s are lost. (Jack McKillop)

    NORWAY: During Eighth Air Force Mission 307, 5 B-17s drop 2.56 million leaflets on Stavanger, Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim between 2336-0041 hours without loss. (Jack McKillop)
    U.S.S.R.: German forces attack around Buchach.

    General Feodor Tolbukhin’s 4th Ukrainian Army reaches the outskirts of Sevastopol and takes Balaklava, scene of the charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. The 17th German-Romanian Army is trapped in Sevastopol and awaiting evacuation by ship. (Jack McKillop)

    ITALY: Twelfth Air Force P-47 fighter-bombers cut several rail lines in the Florence and Arezzo areas and strafe trains and motor transport; P-40s and P-47s hit Itri and a rail bridge and fuel dumps as the campaign against communications continues.

    Fifteenth Air Force P-38s and P-47s strafe Udine and Aiello Airfields and targets of opportunity in the Basiliano, Sant’ Andrea Island, and Cervignano del Friuli areas and in Golfo di Panzano; other fighters fly cover for the strafing missions. (Jack McKillop)

    BURMA: 7 Tenth Air Force B-24s bomb an oil plant at Yenangyaung while 5, along with 7 P-38s, hit Ywataung; 6 B-25s score numerous hits on the Mandalay-Shwebo railroad; and 15 B-25s and 4 P-51s bomb Kamaing and hit the Myitkyina-Bhamo road. (Jack McKillop)

    JAPAN: 3 Eleventh Air Force B-24s fly armed reconnaissance over Matsuwa, Onnekotan, and Paramushiru Islands in the Kurile Islands; cloud cover and lack of moonlight permit only bombing of Kashiwabara Airfield and the Banjo Cape area. (Jack McKillop)

    NEW GUINEA: Fifth Air Force B-24s bomb Manokwari and Babo while fighter-bombers attack the Madang area. (Jack McKillop)

    MARSHALL ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s from Abemama Island bomb Jaluit and Maloelap Atolls, using Majuro Atoll as a shuttle base between strikes. (Jack McKillop)

    CAROLINE ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-24s staging through Eniwetok Atoll hit Truk Atoll while B-25s from Tarawa Atoll bomb Ponape Island.

    Twenty two Thirteenth Air Force B-24s bomb Woleai Atoll and Mariaon Island. (Jack McKillop)

    PACIFIC OCEAN: Seven PB4Y-1P Liberators of Photographic Squadron Three (VD-3) and Marine Photographic Squadron Two Hundred Fifty Four (VMD-254), take off on a 1,252 mile (2015 km) flight from Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, to Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The next day, the aircraft take off, escorted by 5 Seventh Air Force B-24s, which bomb Saipan, and fly over 1,000 miles (1609 km) to Momote Airdrome on Los Negros Island, Admiralty Islands, via Saipan, Tinian and Aguijan Islands, in the Mariana Islands, obtaining complete photographic coverage which will be used for the upcoming invasions.

    The submarine USS Gudgeon (SS-211), CO Robert A. Bonin, is sunk, probably by Japanese naval aircraft (901st Air Group), southwest of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands. All hands lost. (Jack McKillop and Joe Sauder)

    Submarine USS Tambor (SS-198) sinks a Japanese guardboat 300 miles (483 km) northwest of Wake Island.

    Seventh Air Force B-24s from Kwajalein Atoll bomb Wake Island after failing to find shipping reported in the area. (Jack McKillop)

  • BRITISH BAN ENVOYS’ TRAVEL AND CODE USE IN MOVE TO PROTECT INVASION SECRETS (4/18/44)

    04/18/2014 5:17:00 AM PDT · 6 of 39
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1944/apr44/18apr44.htm#

    Last air raid on London
    Tuesday, April 18, 1944 www.onwar.com

    Over Britain... The last of the “Little Blitz” air raids on London is conducted by 125 aircraft (14 are lost on the mission). A total of 53 tons of bombs are dropped and a hospital is among the buildings hit.

    Over Germany... American B-17 and B-24 bombers attack the Heinkel works at Oranienburg and other targets near Berlin. British Mosquito bombers strike Berlin.

    Over Occupied France... RAF Bomber Command drops a record 4000 tons of bombs on marshalling yards and railway workshops at Juvisy, Noisy-le-Sec, Rouen and Tergnier.

    In Burma... Elements of the British 5th Brigade link up with the Kohima garrison, breaking the Japanese encirclement.

    On the Eastern Front... German and Hungarian forces begin counterattacks around Buchach, between the Dnestr and Pruth rivers, in an effort to free units trapped further east. In the Crimea, Soviet forces of the 4th Ukrainian Front capture Balaklava and reach the outskirts of Sevastopol.

    In London... The British government bans all coded radio and telegraph transmissions from London and elsewhere on the British Isles. Diplomatic bags are to be subject to censorship and diplomats are forbidden to leave the country. The only exemptions are for the USA, USSR and the Polish government in exile, in London. These measures are intended to maintain the secrecy of the preparations for D-Day. In addition, incitement to strike is made a punishable offense.

  • BRITISH BAN ENVOYS’ TRAVEL AND CODE USE IN MOVE TO PROTECT INVASION SECRETS (4/18/44)

    04/18/2014 5:16:01 AM PDT · 5 of 39
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    U.S., Soviet Exempt (Daniell) – 2
    Foe Fights Harder – 2-3
    5,000 New Planes Lost by Germans (Middleton) – 4
    U.S. Troops Stab Again at Anzio Foe – 4
    Red Army Assault on Galati Gap Imminent; End of Crimean Drive will free Two Armies (Parker) – 5
    War News Summarized – 5
    Allies Cut Block Isolating Kohima – 5-6
    Fierce New Attack Rocks Hollandia – 6
    German Invasion Alarm Growing; Jutland Coast is Reported Mined – 7
    Giant Transport Plane after Completing Record Flight Yesterday (photo) – 9
    The Coast Guard Puts the Helicopter to a New Use (photos) – 9-10
    Latest Casualties of Army and Navy – 11
    The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones – 12-13
    War’s ‘Forgotten Men’ May Complicate Problem of Rehabilitation of Europeans – 13
  • BRITISH BAN ENVOYS’ TRAVEL AND CODE USE IN MOVE TO PROTECT INVASION SECRETS (4/18/44)

    04/18/2014 5:14:54 AM PDT · 4 of 39
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    The first of these excerpts is continued from yesterday.

     photo 0418-ussoviet15_zps35af5f47.jpg

    Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring

  • BRITISH BAN ENVOYS’ TRAVEL AND CODE USE IN MOVE TO PROTECT INVASION SECRETS (4/18/44)

    04/18/2014 5:14:02 AM PDT · 3 of 39
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
  • BRITISH BAN ENVOYS’ TRAVEL AND CODE USE IN MOVE TO PROTECT INVASION SECRETS (4/18/44)

    04/18/2014 5:13:30 AM PDT · 2 of 39
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
    Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Leningrad and Ukraine Offensives – Operations, 2 December 1943-30 April 1944
    Allied Advance to Volturno River, Reorganization, and Attack on Gustav Line (17 January-11 May 1944)
    Anzio-Cassino Area, 1943: Attempts to Cross Rapido and Garigliano Rivers, 17-20 January 1944. Anzio Landing, 22 January 1944. German Counterattack at Anzio, 16-19 February 1944
    New Guinea and Alamo Force Operations: Clearing the Huon Peninsula and Securing the Straits, 19 September 1943-26 April 1944
    Cartwheel, the Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, and Concurrent Air and Naval Operations, 30 June 1943-26 April 1944
    The Far East and the Pacific, 1941: Original Allied Strategic Concept, May 1943; Situation in Pacific, 1 November 1943
    China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
  • BRITISH BAN ENVOYS’ TRAVEL AND CODE USE IN MOVE TO PROTECT INVASION SECRETS (4/18/44)

    04/18/2014 5:12:57 AM PDT · 1 of 39
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • The Eucharist

    04/17/2014 5:44:02 PM PDT · 4 of 9
    Homer_J_Simpson to NYer

    Thanks for the post. I am assigned the reading from 1 Corinthians 11 tonight. I will read this article beforehand.

  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 9:09:52 AM PDT · 14 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson to Tax-chick
    Do they really save that much linear space by setting "M'Arthur" instead of "MacArthur"?

    About 1 1/2 characters. I think it is automatic by now. Like "foe" instead of "enemy" and "bar" instead of "prohibit."

  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 9:07:07 AM PDT · 13 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson to Haiku Guy; wetphoenix
    Looking at the headline, I thought this was today's news...

    I'm getting that a lot lately.

  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 5:27:28 AM PDT · 9 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/thismonth/17.htm

    April 17th, 1944 (MONDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM: 14 of 15 Eighth Air Force B-24s of the 93d and 467th Bombardment Groups (Heavy) bomb the primary target, V-weapon sites at Wizernes, France without loss. (Jack McKillop)

    London: Under pressure from the military commanders for the “Overlord” invasion of Europe, the British war cabinet has clamped down on diplomatic privileges, held up diplomatic bags and put all foreign embassies under surveillance.

    Even friendly embassies have been included, since it was reckoned that they could not be completely secure against spies, dupes or chumps. There has been only one protest against the restrictions - from officials of General de Gaulle’s Free French.

    The worrying gap in this security cordon is Eire, where de Valera’s government remains at peace with Nazi Germany. German agents in Dublin move freely. But the long, coiling border with Northern Ireland, where travellers pass to and fro freely in peacetime, is now under close guard.

    FRANCE:

    The Eighth Air Force flies two mission.

    Mission 304: 14 B-24s bomb the V-weapon site at Wizernes without loss; escort is provided by 33 P-47 Thunderbolts.

    Mission 305: 5 B-17s drop 1.48 million leaflets on Rennes, Brest, Nantes, Lorient and St Nazaire at 2248-2258 hours without loss. (Jack McKillop)

    ITALY: Naples: Italy’s return to democracy is not coming easily. Nine months after Mussolini’s downfall, the country if without a government. The dictator’s successor, Marshal Pietro Badoglio, has announced the resignation of his entire cabinet.

    Badoglio has been asked to form a new government with a broad base - and has approached the veteran communist leader Palmiro Togliatti as well as “Actionists”, led by Prince Caracciolo, at the other end of the political spectrum.

    From Zurich come reports that Mussolini, who has spent much of his time at his Lake Garda villa, has visited a Vienna cancer clinic, but has refused an operation.

    Twelfth Air Force B-25s attack bridges north of Orte and at Monte Molino, while A-20s pound a fuel dump NE of Rome; P-40, P-47 and A-36 Apache fighter-bombers hit motor transport stores and gun positions north of Anzio, bomb Fara in Sabina station, hit tracks, trains and guns in the Orte and Narni area and at other points north of Rome. (Jack McKillop)

    BULGARIA: Fifteenth Air Force B-24s bomb the marshalling yard at Sofia. (Jack McKillop)

    YUGOSLAVIA: Fifteenth Air Force B-17s bomb the industrial area, air depot and marshalling yard at Belgrade. (Jack McKillop)

    CHINA: The Japanese launch Operation Ichi-Go, to crush Chinese resistance between the Yellow and Yangtze rivers and wipe out USAAF bases in Honan and Kwangsi provinces.

    BURMA: 6 Tenth Air Force P-51 Mustangs support ground forces near Meza; 9 P-38s destroy several airplanes at Heho Airfield while 5 B-24s bomb Ywataung; 26 B-25s and 36 P-51s support ground forces at Mawlu and bomb a fuel dump at Kin; 13 other P-51s are diverted to intercept a Japanese force over the Imphal, India area and claim 3 airplanes shot down. (Jack McKillop)

    JAPAN: The submarines USS Barb (SS-220) and USS Steelhead (SS-280) shell phosphate works on Rasa Island which lies 254 miles (408 km) southeast of Okinawa. Officially, the island is named Okidaito-jima. (Jack McKillop)

    NEW GUINEA: Fifth Air Force P-39s attack AA positions at Bogia; other planes, operating individually or in pairs, attack Hollandia, Uligan Harbor and vicinity and the Madang area. A Japanese army vessel is sunk off Aitape by USAAF aircraft. (Jack McKillop)

    EAST INDIES: 20 Fifth Air Force B-24s bomb storage areas and troop concentrations in Kai Island, Moluccas Islands. (Jack McKillop)

    CAROLINE ISLANDS: 20 Thirteenth Air Force B-24s bomb the airfield at Satawan Atoll. (Jack McKillop)

    MARSHALL ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s, based on Tarawa Atoll, strike Maloelap and Mille Atolls, rearming at Majuro Atoll between the raids. (Jack McKillop)

    BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: On New Britain Island, 24 B-25s pound runway and revetments at Rapopo Airfield; 40+ fighter-bombers hit Matupi with incendiaries while 10 others pound the runway at Keravat. (Jack McKillop)

    PACIFIC OCEAN: Two Japanese ships are sunk by submarines at sea:

    - USS Harder (SS-257), in an attack on a convoy, sinks an army cargo ship about 150 miles (241 km) northwest of Woleai Atoll in the Caroline Islands.

    - USS Searaven (SS-196) sinks an auxiliary minesweeper 120 miles (193 km) south of Haha Jima, Bonin Islands. (Jack McKillop)

    ATLANTIC OCEAN: The German submarine U-986 is sunk southwest of Ireland by depth charges from the RN destroyer HMS Swift and the USN sub chaser USS PC-619. All 50 crewmen on the U-boat are lost. (Jack McKillop)

  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 5:26:07 AM PDT · 8 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1944/apr44/17apr44.htm#

    Americans bomb Sofia
    Monday, April 17, 1944 www.onwar.com

    Over Bulgaria... US B-17 and B-24 bombers attack Sofia.

    Over Occupied Yugoslavia... US B-17 and B-24 bombers attack Belgrade.

    In the English Channel and North Sea... The British Royal Navy and Bomber Command begin intensive mining of the approaches to the English Channel and as far north as the Danish coast. This operation is intended to prevent German interference with the D-Day invasion fleet. (It continues until June 5th by which time 7000 mines are laid. An estimated 100 light warships and other vessels are sunk by the mines.)

  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 5:25:19 AM PDT · 7 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    Siege Arc Closing – 2
    Danube Gate Town Blasted by RAF in Aerial Offensive – 3-4
    Record Plane Pool Formed in Britain (Graham) – 4
    War News Summarized – 4
    Allied Offensive Opened in Burma – 5-6
    Far-Flung Attack Hits Foe in Pacific (Trumbull) – 6
    Aitape Battered by U.S. Bombers – 6
    M’Arthur Insists His Sole Ambition is to Help Win War – 7
    Air Power and the War (de Seversky) – 9
    Our Post-War Defense (Baldwin) – 10
    The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones – 11-12
    M’Arthur Bars Case of Scotch for Bong – 12
  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 5:24:05 AM PDT · 6 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Here is a German news and music English language broadcast from this date. Click on the link to listen. (4:37)

    “We Are Waiting for You”

  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 5:23:32 AM PDT · 4 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    [Continued from yesterday.]

    As matters reached a climax at Alexandria I telegraphed to the Naval Commander-in-Chief:

    17 Apr 44

    You should leave the senior member of the Averoff* in no doubt that his guarantee that the use of firearms will be avoided will not be reciprocated by us. We shall fire on mutineers whenever it is necessary. No officers or sailors of the Greek Navy have the slightest right to meddle in the formation of the new Government. Their duty is to obey the orders they receive from the Greek Government recognised by the Great Allies.

    *Greek cruiser.

    Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring

  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 5:22:50 AM PDT · 3 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 5:21:35 AM PDT · 2 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
    Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Leningrad and Ukraine Offensives – Operations, 2 December 1943-30 April 1944
    Allied Advance to Volturno River, Reorganization, and Attack on Gustav Line (17 January-11 May 1944)
    Anzio-Cassino Area, 1943: Attempts to Cross Rapido and Garigliano Rivers, 17-20 January 1944. Anzio Landing, 22 January 1944. German Counterattack at Anzio, 16-19 February 1944
    New Guinea and Alamo Force Operations: Clearing the Huon Peninsula and Securing the Straits, 19 September 1943-26 April 1944
    Cartwheel, the Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, and Concurrent Air and Naval Operations, 30 June 1943-26 April 1944
    The Far East and the Pacific, 1941: Original Allied Strategic Concept, May 1943; Situation in Pacific, 1 November 1943
    China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
  • RUSSIANS HAMMER SEVASTOPOL, SEIZE YALTA IN FLANKING DRIVE; ALLIES BOMB RAIL LINES TO FRONT (4/17/44)

    04/17/2014 5:21:06 AM PDT · 1 of 20
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • RUSSIANS IN SEVASTOPOL SUBURB, ANNIHILATE TARNOPOL GARRISON; BUCHAREST AND PLOESTI BOMBED (4/16/44)

    04/16/2014 5:02:08 AM PDT · 7 of 11
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/thismonth/16.htm

    April 16th, 1944 (SUNDAY)

    U.S.S.R.: Soviet General Eremenko’s Independent Maritime Army has taken Yalta in the Crimea. This is the last port apart from Sevastopol through which the Germans can escape the Crimea. Sevastopol’s airfield at Kacha has also been captured and, as fighting rages across the old battlefields of Balaklava and Inkerman, the position of Germany’s 17th Army looks hopeless.

    A terrible toll is being taken of the Germans as they try to escape. A German correspondent describes how “bombers, dive-bombers and fighters in endless procession are raining their bombs on our ships and riddling them with cannon fire.” Sevastopol harbour is choked with sunken ships and the bodies of drowned men.

    In the Ukraine, Marshal Rodion Malinovsky’s troops cross the Dniester at Tiraspol.

    ROMANIA AND YUGOSLAVIA: 432 Fifteenth Air Force B-17s and B-24s hit targets in Romania and Yugoslavia; B-17s bomb the industrial area at Belgrade, Yugoslavia and an aircraft plant at Brasov, Romania; B-24s hit marshalling yards at Brasov and Turnu Severin, Romania; 90+ fighters fly escort while 50+ others, failing to rendezvous with the bombers, strafe trains on the Craiova line east of Turnu Severin. (Jack McKillop)

    ITALY: Twelfth Air Force B-25s bomb approaches to Ficulle and Todi railway bridges; A-20 Havocs hit fuel supplies; P-40s, P-47 Thunderbolts and A-36 Apaches hit the Capranica viaduct, town of Zagarolo, railway at Spigno Monferrato, marshalling yard at Orte-Terni, tunnel at Capranica and tracks, vehicles, railway cars, ammunition dump, bridge, and targets of opportunity at various points in central Italy. (Jack McKillop)

    BURMA: Air Commando Combat Mission N0. 44 3:00 Flight Time Hailakandi, Assam to Mahnyin, Burma. Bombed supply dump. (Chuck Baisden)

    12 Tenth Air Force B-25s hit a bridge over the Mogaung River while 9 others, along with 12 P-51s, hit a warehouse and railroad station at Mohnyin; 9 P-38s destroy 3 medium bombers at Zayatkwin near Rangoon while 2 P-51s in the Mandalay area hit Anisakan Airfield, destroying 2 airplanes. (Jack McKillop)

    EAST INDIES: Fifth Air Force B-25s bomb Koepang on Timor Island. (Jack McKillop)

    NEW GUINEA: 170+ Fifth Air Force B-24s, B-25s and A-20s bomb Hollandia town and airfield and numerous other targets in the area; P-39Airacobras hit a wooded area and communications targets along Hansa Bay and attack villages and supply dumps from Bogia to Uligan Harbor; P-38s hit the Madang area; B-24s and PB4Y Liberators and PBY Catalinas fly a light strike against Wakde Island; other aircraft, operating singly or in pairs, attack targets of opportunity on the northern coast of New Guinea and south-eastern coast of New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago. (Jack McKillop)

    MARSHALL ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s, from Abemama Island hit Maloelap and Mille Atolls, using Majuro Atoll as a rearming base between the strikes. (Jack McKillop)

    BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: On New Britain Island, 24 Thirteenth Air Force B-25s hit the Ratawul supply area and alternate target of Raluana; at Rabaul 30+ fighter-bombers attack area inland from Toboi wharf. (Jack McKillop)

    CAROLINE ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll, strike Truk Atoll. 15 Thirteenth Air Force B-24s bomb the runway at Satawan Atoll.

    RAAF Catalinas mine the principal entrances to Woleai Atoll to prevent the Japanese from using them during the projected Hollandia operations. The evolution is repeated on 18 and 19 April. (Jack McKillop)

    PACIFIC OCEAN: The submarine USS Paddle (SS-263) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks an army transport and a merchant cargo ship in the Ceram Sea.

    The submarine USS Redfin (SS-272) continues to pursue the convoy attacked the previous day, sinking an army cargo ship in Moro Gulf, southwest of Mindanao, Philippine Islands.

    The movement of Japanese convoy TAKE No.1, carrying elements of the Imperial Army’s 32d and 35th Divisions to reinforce garrisons in the Halmaheras and in north-western New Guinea, gets underway as four transports, and escorts, depart Pusan, Korea. (Jack McKillop)

    U.S.A.: The U.S. Navy’s last battleship, USS Wisconsin (BB-64), is commissioned at the US Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Jack McKillop)

    ATLANTIC OCEAN: The armed U.S. tanker SS Pan Pennsylvania, in United Kingdom-bound convoy CU 1, is torpedoed by German submarine U-550 150 miles (241 km) east of Ambrose Light, New York. Later, destroyer escort USS Gandy (DE-764) is damaged when she intentionally rams U-550 off Nantucket Shoals, and teams with destroyer escorts USS Peterson (DE-152) and USS Joyce (DE-317) to sink the U-boat. Twelve of the 56-man U-boat crew survive. During the action, shells from the destroyer escorts set afire Pan Pennsylvania’s abandoned wreck. (Jack McKillop)

  • RUSSIANS IN SEVASTOPOL SUBURB, ANNIHILATE TARNOPOL GARRISON; BUCHAREST AND PLOESTI BOMBED (4/16/44)

    04/16/2014 5:00:39 AM PDT · 6 of 11
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1944/apr44/16apr44.htm#

    Germans counterattack along Dnestr
    Sunday, April 16, 1944 www.onwar.com

    Panther tank of SSTK preparing to counterattack [photo at link]

    On the Eastern Front... In the Crimea, Soviet forces of the Independent Coastal Army capture Yalta. To the west, the 3rd Ukrainian Front cross the Dnestr River to the north and south of Tiraspol. German forces counterattack the Soviet bridgeheads over the Dnestr but fail to dislodge the Red Army defenders.

    Over Romania... Soviet bombers strike Galatz.

    In Occupied Hungary... The Eichmann organization begins the systematic concentration of about 800,000 Jewish Hungarians in ghettoes.

  • RUSSIANS IN SEVASTOPOL SUBURB, ANNIHILATE TARNOPOL GARRISON; BUCHAREST AND PLOESTI BOMBED (4/16/44)

    04/16/2014 4:59:40 AM PDT · 5 of 11
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    Foe Fighting Hard – 2-3
    The Red Fleet Hampering Nazi Flight from Crimea (photo) – 3
    Ship Repairs Aid in Atlantic Fight – 3
    Air Officers Tell of Invasion Role – 3
    Double Air Strike – 4-5
    OWI to Hire 450 for Invasion Work – 5
    War News Summarized – 5
    Allies Bare Shifts in Fronts in Italy – 6-7
    Vital India Roads are Cut; Allies Lose Dimapur Route – 7
    ODT Again Curbs Child Camp Travel – 7
    India Propaganda is Aiding Japanese – 8
    Navy to Press Hunt in Pacific, King Says (Crider) – 8
    Japanese Planes Trapped on an Airfield at Hollandia (photo) – 9
    A Moment of Diversion on Bougainville (photo) – 10
    4-F’s in War Jobs Backed by Public (Gallup) – 12
    Hershey Demands Farms Sort Men – 12
    Getting the News of the World (photo) – 13
    Latest War Casualties – 13
    Day’s Communiques – 14-15

    The News of the Week in Review
    Fifteen News Questions – 16
    “Ach, It’s Noisy!” (cartoon) – 17
    Nazi War Lords Soon Must Show Their Hand (Baldwin) – 18-19
    Possible Russian Moves to West (map) – 19
    Answers to Fifteen News Questions – 19
    Offensive Strategy Rules Our Moves in the Pacific (map) – 20
    Indian Fighting Holds Far Eastern Spotlight (Shalett) – 21-22
    More Bombing is Required to Set the Invasion Stage (Middleton) – 22-23
    Report from the Nation (by Lawrence Dame, Virginius Dabney, James E. Crown, Louther S. Horne, Roland M. Jones, and Lawrence E. Davies) – 23-24

    The New York Times Magazine
    Britain’s Royal Princess Comes of Age (by Rebecca West, first-time contributor) – 25-27

  • RUSSIANS IN SEVASTOPOL SUBURB, ANNIHILATE TARNOPOL GARRISON; BUCHAREST AND PLOESTI BOMBED (4/16/44)

    04/16/2014 4:58:29 AM PDT · 4 of 11
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    The first of these two excerpts is continued from January 21. The second is continued from yesterday.

    1

     photo 0416-foefighting29_zps3e049eeb.jpg

    2

     photo 0416-foefighting30_zpsf2dcf627.jpg

    Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring

  • RUSSIANS IN SEVASTOPOL SUBURB, ANNIHILATE TARNOPOL GARRISON; BUCHAREST AND PLOESTI BOMBED (4/16/44)

    04/16/2014 4:57:33 AM PDT · 3 of 11
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
  • RUSSIANS IN SEVASTOPOL SUBURB, ANNIHILATE TARNOPOL GARRISON; BUCHAREST AND PLOESTI BOMBED (4/16/44)

    04/16/2014 4:56:53 AM PDT · 2 of 11
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
    Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Leningrad and Ukraine Offensives – Operations, 2 December 1943-30 April 1944
    Allied Advance to Volturno River, Reorganization, and Attack on Gustav Line (17 January-11 May 1944)
    Anzio-Cassino Area, 1943: Attempts to Cross Rapido and Garigliano Rivers, 17-20 January 1944. Anzio Landing, 22 January 1944. German Counterattack at Anzio, 16-19 February 1944
    New Guinea and Alamo Force Operations: Clearing the Huon Peninsula and Securing the Straits, 19 September 1943-26 April 1944
    Cartwheel, the Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, and Concurrent Air and Naval Operations, 30 June 1943-26 April 1944
    The Far East and the Pacific, 1941: Original Allied Strategic Concept, May 1943; Situation in Pacific, 1 November 1943
    China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
  • RUSSIANS IN SEVASTOPOL SUBURB, ANNIHILATE TARNOPOL GARRISON; BUCHAREST AND PLOESTI BOMBED (4/16/44)

    04/16/2014 4:56:21 AM PDT · 1 of 11
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • RUSSIANS NEARING SEVASTOPOL; AIR BLOWS AT GERMANS CONTINUE; ALLIES SEIZE NEW GUINEA BASE (4/15/44)

    04/15/2014 6:22:51 AM PDT · 15 of 30
    Homer_J_Simpson to texanyankee
    These past few days I cant help but notice how quiet the reporting on the Italian front has become. I presume it’s due to the continued stalemate at Cassino?

    Due to lack of movement at Cassino and Anzio the coverage is lighter in April and May. Some days it is off page 1 altogether. On the other hand, the casualty lists for the Mediterranean theater just get longer.

  • RUSSIANS NEARING SEVASTOPOL; AIR BLOWS AT GERMANS CONTINUE; ALLIES SEIZE NEW GUINEA BASE (4/15/44)

    04/15/2014 5:07:00 AM PDT · 8 of 30
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/thismonth/15.htm

    April 15th, 1944 (SATURDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM: London: The US Eighth Army Air Force and RAF Bomber Command have switched their attention from the cities and factories of Germany to the railways of France and Belgium to prepare for the Allied invasion.

    It is not a move which pleases the commanders of the bomber forces. Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris of the RAF still believes that he can bring Germany to its knees by area bombing: despite the terrible casualties inflicted on his aircrews during the Battle of Berlin. Remembering the slaughter in the trenches of the First World War, he has no confidence in the invasion. But it is his men who are being slaughtered in this war. Lt-Gen Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, who commands the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe agrees with Harris, but for different reasons. Spaatz believes that he can destroy the Germans ability to fight by destroying their oil plants. He also fears that supporting the army will compromise the air force’s hard-won independence.

    Their resistance forced General Eisenhower to go to his political bosses for a decision. He argued that if the “Transportation Plan” bombing campaign was not carried out, the invasion would fail. He won, and has assumed command of both British and US bombers for the period of the invasion.

    FRANCE: Countdown to D-Day:

    The German Perspective

    Sunday, 15 April, 1944

    It is late in the evening of April 15th. A modest rain falls over the château of La Roche-Guyon. Cold sentries shiver miserably as they stand at their posts. Their soaked, camouflaged capes are wrapped tightly around them as they miserably watch the rain come down. Anti-aircraft crews thankfully have received permission to stand down.

    A lone army car enters the wrought-iron gates and pulls

    up to the château. The right rear door opens, and a single, unknown figure slowly emerges. As he stands up, raindrops began to softly strike his immaculate coat and hat. The sentries see that he is an army general.

    Staff members come out to welcome him, get his bags, and escort him inside. He is told that the field marshal is in, having just returned from a number of inspections along the coast. The newcomer’s arrival is announced, and he is shown the way to Rommel’s study. Calmly, he reports in.

    The field marshal stands up and greets him with a tired smile, then looks at the man. He is of medium height, squarish build — not really overweight. He wears thin-framed spectacles on a lightly-freckled, owlish face. He is 46-years old, and his new rank is that of -General der Infanterie-.His name is Hans Speidel. He is Rommel’s new Chief of Staff.

    But this man is an old acquaintance as well — a fellow Swabian. While he is not an aristocrat, he is by all means a stately, well-educated man. Fluid in several languages, he held a doctorate degree from Tübengen University. He is cultured in the finer arts and advanced contemporary literary works. That’s why Rommel had picked him as his next -Chef-.Rommel asks him about his trip, and then as an opening gambit, mentions that here they are again, back in France. Speidel is certainly no stranger to the country. He has fought here in both world wars, has once been the German military attaché in Paris, and was once Chief of Staff to the Military Governor of France. But when in 1942 the SS had taken over the judicial side of the military government, he had transferred to the Eastern Front. Now he s back.

    As the two men relax with each other’s presence, the dialogue speeds up. At a certain point, the conversation shifts gears from high German to Swabian, the southern German dialect that they had both been raised with.

    Speidel tells him about the briefing at OKW, and that there are no specific instructions. “I am to assume the duties of Chief of Staff for you.”

    Regarding policy? “I was told that none were needed. Basically, if the enemy lands, we must just drive them back into the sea.” That is it. Rommel is probably puzzled at this. It is as if the successful Allied landings at Salerno or Anzio. had never happened.

    They briefly talk over old times. They had met in the Argonne Forest during World War I, and later, between wars, their paths had crossed in the 13th Württemberg Infantry Regiment. Rommel remembers him as a rather quiet but sophisticated and very intelligent fellow. Now he finds himself warming up to the man. Yes, they will get along quite well.


    When Speidel had arrived at Berchtesgaden on April 1st as ordered, Jodl had informed of his new appointment and then had taken him aside and had pleaded for him to try and cheer the field marshal up. The appointee agreed to do so.

    Contrary to what he had promised Jodl though, and more along the lines of the conspirators’ plans, Speidel does not try to give Rommel inspiration. On the contrary. He depresses him. He has to, if he is to have any hope at all of winning Rommel over to the “Schwartz Kapelle.’.

    It is easy to do. Rommel is starved for news, and Speidel is willing to give it to him. He fills him in on the latest information about the Eastern Front, from which he had so recently come, including the latest updates from OKW. He tells him about the massive Soviet March offensive. About the 1st Panzer Army being trapped. The setbacks in the centre. Von Kluge and Manstein’s dismissal. About his own army, the Eighth, being trapped and having to desperately fight its way out.

    Speidel paints the already-bleak picture darkly, flavouring it negatively. He cannot help but present Germany’s hopeless position in the war. He describes in detail about how the eastern armies are losing hundreds of thousands of men and countless numbers of vehicles in the freezing cold, as dozens of divisions get chewed up. The rumours of atrocities...

    He relates briefly how the Crimea is now totally lost, and that the southern army front is in full retreat, while the weak Army Group Centre is moving back steadily. And of course, there is the next round coming up - the Russian summer offensive starts in a couple of months...

    The effect upon the field marshal is immediate and considerable. Rommel shakes his head more and more as Speidel goes on. By the time his new chief of staff is finished, his good mood is gone.

    Looking at him, Rommel shrugged his shoulders and says, “Well, I don’t think we have the slightest chance now of winning the war.”*

    His diary entry for that day reflects his sour change in disposition, and how upset he is at Manstein’s dismissal. He admires the man.

    “What will later historians have to say about these retreats? And what will history say in passing its verdict on me? If I am successful here, then everybody else will claim all the glory -just as they are already claiming the credit for the defences and the beach obstacles that I have erected. But if I fail here, then everybody will be after my blood.”

    Speidel has done his work well.

    Pete Margaritis

    GERMANY: The Eighth Air Force flies Mission 303: 616 fighters are dispatched on strafing sweeps of central and western Germany, airfields being the primary objectives; 132 P-38s claim 7-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft, 11 P-38s are lost; 262 P-47s claim 20-1-23 aircraft, 7 P-47s are lost; 222 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s claim 30-0-10 aircraft, 15 P-51s are lost. (Jack McKillop)

    FINLAND: Finland officially rejects the Soviet terms for peace, stating that they would be impossible to meet. This refers primarily to the Soviet demand for 600 million USD reparations, which the Finnish economic experts think impossible to pay in time without ruining the Finnish economy. As for the other Soviet demands, military experts think the Soviet demand of rapid demobilization together with the inevitable war against the Germans a dangerous combination. Majority of the people also still find it hard to accept the permanent loss of the territories lost after the Winter War, plus Petsamo, esp. as the Finnish lines of defence are still where the Finnish advance was stopped in 1941. Many are still confident that the German situation is not hopeless, although the highest Finnish leadership doesn’t share this hope.

    From now on, the Finns see two possibilities. The first is that the Soviets think the Finnish front too unimportant to warrant a major transfer of troops from the most important effort against the Germans. In this case Finland could perhaps secure better terms later. The second is that the Soviets will attack, but that the attack could be repulsed, and after that Finland could have better terms. The latter is essentially what eventually happened, but whether the somewhat lighter terms received in September 1944 were worth the almost 20 000 deaths suffered in the battles of summer 1944 (not to mention the Russian losses), is another matter. (Mikko Härmeinen)

    U.S.S.R.: The Red Army captures Tarnopol. One of the principal cities of Eastern Galicia, across the former Polish border. Tarnopol, traditionally a part of Poland, then part of the Soviet Union, had become German-occupied territory in the great German offensive eastward in June 1941. (Jack McKillop)

    Vilna: 40 Jewish prisoners working as a “Blobel Commando” digging up and incinerating massacre victims buried at Ponar Woods escape; 25 are shot dead.

    HUNGARY: With today’s round-up of Jews in the German-occupied areas of Ruthenia and Croatia, Hungary is no longer a safe refuge for Jewish people. The Hungarian government has hitherto stood up to German demands for the 767,000 Jews to be deported for “special treatment” in Poland. Miklos Kallay, who was premier until 22 March, refused to take any measures against the Jews, refusing German pressure to institute ghettoes and badges for them.

    In April last year, Hitler reproached Hungary’s regent, Admiral Miklos Horthy, for his liberal attitude. Horthy said he could not “beat the Jews to death”; the Führer treated him to a lecture, saying that nations which did not rid themselves of Jews perished.

    They met again last month. With the Red Army approaching the Hungarian border, Hitler was insistent. Horthy was to replace Kallay with Dome Sjotay, who boasted that he was a “true pioneer of anti-Semitism”. It was agreed that a German plenipotentiary, Edmund Veesenmayer, and a security police force under SS Maj-Gen Otto Winkelmann were to supervise Hungary’s internal affairs.

    On 19 March German troops moved into Hungarian combat zones. At the same time Adolf Eichmann, the head of the Gestapo Jewish office, arrived in Budapest. His painstaking attention to detail has ensured the shipment of millions of European Jews to the extermination camps. He has brought a team of Einsatzkommandos with him to carry out the deportations with their customary brutality.

    Meanwhile, at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the guards chuckle that “soon we’ll be eating Hungarian salami”. Engineers are checking and overhauling the gas chambers and crematoria. They are clearly expecting some big transports to arrive soon.

    ROMANIA AND YUGOSLAVIA: Clearing weather again permits Fifteenth Air Force bomber operations. 448 B-17s and B-24s attack marshalling yards; B-17s hit Ploesti, Romania and Nis, Yugoslavia; B-24s hit Bucharest, Romania; 150+ fighters provide escort.

    A special group, led by Lieutenant Colonel Louis A Neveleff, flies from Fifteenth Air Force HQ at Bari, Italy to Medeno Polji, Yugoslavia and from there the group proceeds to Marshall Tito’s HQ at Drvar, where Colonel Neveleff confers with Tito and spends several days laying the groundwork for the evacuation of downed US airmen in Yugoslav hands. Also, much information is gathered regarding the military organization and political trend of the partisan movement. The mission returns to Italy on 2 May and 122 men, mostly Fifteenth Air Force airmen, are also evacuated. (Jack McKillop)

    ITALY: The French take San Giorgio as the German Gustav Line starts to crumble.

    Foggia: A force of 448 B-17s and B-24s of the US 15th Air Force escorted by 150 Mustangs fought its way to the Ploesti oilfields and the Romanian capital, Bucharest, today against packs of German fighters to drop its bombs on railway targets.

    The attacks were part of the Allied air assault on Nazi communications with the southern front and has brought US bombers within 140 miles of the Russian spearheads in eastern Romania.

    The Germans adopted new tactics by sending rock-firing Do-217 nightfighters against the Liberators attacking Bucharest. The Luftwaffe lost 13 aircraft in the day’s battles, while the Americans lost ten bombers and four fighters.

    The raids were followed tonight by RAF Wellingtons which carried 4,000-pound bombs in their first raids on Romania. Their target was Turnu Severin, a railway town on the north bank of the Danube, on the main line to Bucharest from Budapest and Belgrade.

    The crews of the last wave of Wellingtons said that they could see the glow from fires 60 miles away. They went in low, machine-gunning flak barges on the Danube and shooting up an airfield before dropping their bombs on the railway yards.

    Twelfth Air Force B-25s and B-26s strike a marshalling yard at Leghorn and a tunnel and railroad bridges in central Italy; P-47 Thunderbolts attack rail lines, bridges and ammunition dumps northeast of Rome with good results; other P-47s, P-40s and A-36 Apaches hit numerous targets, including rail lines, motor transport shop, vehicles, tanks and gun positions, in central Italy and in the US Fifth Army battle areas. (Jack McKillop)

    INDIA: 12 Tenth Air Force B-24s over the Andaman Islands attack shipping and other targets at Port Blair. (Jack McKillop)

    BURMA: 12 Tenth Air Force P-38s hit Heho Airfield destroying several parked airplanes. (Jack McKillop)

    FRENCH INDOCHINA: 3 Fourteenth Air Force B-25s knock out a bridge at Viet Tri and damage another. (Jack McKillop)

    JAPAN: During the night of 14/15 April, 3 Eleventh Air Force B-24s on armed reconnaissance mission over Matsuwa and Onnekotan Islands in the Kurile Islands, hit several targets including Matsuwa Airfield; reconnaissance over Paramushiru Island fails due to overcast. (Jack McKillop)

    BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: On New Britain Island, 24 Thirteenth Air Force B-25s bomb an ammunition dump on Talili Bay; 11 P-39Airacobras follow with a strike on the same target; 3 P-38s fire the Wunapope supply area; other fighter-bomber strikes on the same area are cancelled by weather. (Jack McKillop)

    MARSHALL ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s, based on Tarawa Atoll, bomb Maloelap Atoll, rearm at Majuro Atoll and hit Jaluit and Mille Atolls on the return trip. (Jack McKillop)

    NEW GUINEA: 180+ Fifth Air Force B-24s, B-25s and A-20 Havocs bomb landing strips, off-shore islands and the entire coastal area in the vicinity of Aitape; 16 P-40s strafe barges at nearby Seleo Island; 20 P-39s hit villages, supply dumps, trucks and other targets along Hansa Bay and in the Alexishafen area. (Jack McKillop)

    SOLOMON ISLANDS: A few Thirteenth Air Force P-38s hit targets in the northeastern part of Bougainville Island. (Jack McKillop)

    PACIFIC OCEAN: Two Japanese ships are sunk at sea:

    - A merchant cargo ship is sunk, probably by a mine laid by submarine USS Steelhead (SS-280), off Honshu, Japan.

    - British submarine HMS Storm sinks a minesweeper in the Andaman Islands. (Jack McKillop)

  • RUSSIANS NEARING SEVASTOPOL; AIR BLOWS AT GERMANS CONTINUE; ALLIES SEIZE NEW GUINEA BASE (4/15/44)

    04/15/2014 5:05:32 AM PDT · 7 of 30
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1944/apr44/15apr44.htm#

    Soviets capture Tarnopol
    Saturday, April 15, 1944 www.onwar.com

    On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of the 1st Ukrainian Front capture Tarnopol after several weeks of fighting. The German commander, General von Neindorff, is killed in the fighting and only a part of the garrison escapes to reach the German lines.

    Over Romania... The US 15th Air Force sends 500 sorties to Bucharest and Ploesti.

  • RUSSIANS NEARING SEVASTOPOL; AIR BLOWS AT GERMANS CONTINUE; ALLIES SEIZE NEW GUINEA BASE (4/15/44)

    04/15/2014 5:04:45 AM PDT · 6 of 30
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    Foe Flees to Fort – 2-3
    Gen. Vatutin Dies, Liberator of Kiev – 3
    War News Summarized – 3
    Poet-Partisan from Vilna Ghetto Says Nazis Slew 77,000 of 80,000 (Parker) – 4
    Kuban Cossacks (photo) – 4
    Plane Base Struck – 5
    Turkey Promises Full Material Aid – 5
    Australians Take Madang Outpost – 6
    Capital to Speed War-News Flow – 6
    Tito Besieges Nazis in Bosnian Fortress; Foe is Trapped as Partisans Capture Cazin – 6
    Group to Consider Army, Navy Merger – 6
    Allied Base in India is Isolated; Foe is at Last Trail to Imphal – 7
    A Tribute to the Men Who Died in the Attack on Palau (photo) – 8
    Latest Casualties Reported by Army – 10
    Texts of Day’s War Communiques – 11-12
  • RUSSIANS NEARING SEVASTOPOL; AIR BLOWS AT GERMANS CONTINUE; ALLIES SEIZE NEW GUINEA BASE (4/15/44)

    04/15/2014 5:02:46 AM PDT · 5 of 30
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Billboard Top Ten for the Week of April 15, 1944

    #1 - “Besame Mucho” – Jimmy Dorsey, with Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen
    #2 - “Holiday for Strings” – David Rose
    #3 - “It’s Love Love Love” - Guy Lombardo, with the Skip Nelson Trio
    #4 - “When They Ask about You” - Jimmy Dorsey, with Kitty Kallen
    #5 - “Mairzy Doats” – Merry Macs
    #6 – “San Fernando Valley” - Bing Crosby
    #7 – “I Couldn’t Sleep a Wink Last Night” – Frank Sinatra
    #8 - “Poinciana” – Bing Crosby
    #9 – “Shoo Shoo Baby” - Andrews Sisters
    #10 – “Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me” – Woody Herman

  • RUSSIANS NEARING SEVASTOPOL; AIR BLOWS AT GERMANS CONTINUE; ALLIES SEIZE NEW GUINEA BASE (4/15/44)

    04/15/2014 5:02:01 AM PDT · 4 of 30
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    [Continued from yesterday.]

    And the next day:

    Prime Minister to Mr. Leeper 15 Apr 44

    Do not be influenced by possible anti-British sentiment among the local Greeks. It would be a great mistake to end this grave business up in a pleasant kiss all round. That might come later as an act of clemency from the King and his new Government. We have got to get these men into our hands disarmed, without conditions, and I trust without bloodshed.

    Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring

  • RUSSIANS NEARING SEVASTOPOL; AIR BLOWS AT GERMANS CONTINUE; ALLIES SEIZE NEW GUINEA BASE (4/15/44)

    04/15/2014 5:01:14 AM PDT · 3 of 30
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
  • RUSSIANS NEARING SEVASTOPOL; AIR BLOWS AT GERMANS CONTINUE; ALLIES SEIZE NEW GUINEA BASE (4/15/44)

    04/15/2014 5:00:36 AM PDT · 2 of 30
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
    Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Leningrad and Ukraine Offensives – Operations, 2 December 1943-30 April 1944
    Allied Advance to Volturno River, Reorganization, and Attack on Gustav Line (17 January-11 May 1944)
    Anzio-Cassino Area, 1943: Attempts to Cross Rapido and Garigliano Rivers, 17-20 January 1944. Anzio Landing, 22 January 1944. German Counterattack at Anzio, 16-19 February 1944
    New Guinea and Alamo Force Operations: Clearing the Huon Peninsula and Securing the Straits, 19 September 1943-26 April 1944
    Cartwheel, the Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, and Concurrent Air and Naval Operations, 30 June 1943-26 April 1944
    The Far East and the Pacific, 1941: Original Allied Strategic Concept, May 1943; Situation in Pacific, 1 November 1943
    China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
  • RUSSIANS NEARING SEVASTOPOL; AIR BLOWS AT GERMANS CONTINUE; ALLIES SEIZE NEW GUINEA BASE (4/15/44)

    04/15/2014 4:59:55 AM PDT · 1 of 30
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • Nothing To See Here: ABC, CBS and NBC's Sunday Shows Ignore Latest In IRS Scandal

    04/14/2014 7:26:37 AM PDT · 5 of 21
    Homer_J_Simpson to Cheerio

    The IRS and the FEC conspired with Congressional Democrats to prevent their opposition from raising campaign funds while preventing U.S. citizens from exercising their Constitutional right to free speech. The Obama White House certainly knew and approved of this activity. Along with Obama administration lies about the Benghazi attack and “you can keep your insurance plan,” prior to the 2012 election, that election was very probably stolen by deceit and fraud. Certain swing state precincts that voted 100% for Obama were just in case. Put it all together and you have what could be the biggest political scandal in U.S. history. But I guess it is not a scandal until the state-controlled media says it is.

  • 3,000 U.S. PLANES IN TWO-WAY BLOW HIT REICH, HUNGARIAN AIR PLANTS (4/14/44)

    04/14/2014 6:15:42 AM PDT · 8 of 23
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/thismonth/14.htm

    April 14th, 1944 (FRIDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM: DeGaulle retires Free French General Giraud.

    U.S.S.R.: Kiev: General Nikolai F Vatutin, injured on 29 February, dies of his wounds.

    Moscow: The Red Army has re-conquered the Crimea in a lightning campaign which lasted just six days. Only the southern tip around Sevastopol is holding against Marshal Tolbukhin’s Fourth Ukrainian Front. The attack was launched following the liberation of the Black Sea port of Odessa from which the Germans supplied General Jaenecke’s 17th Army in the Crimea.

    Tolbukhin’s men stormed across the Perekop peninsula in the north, outflanking defences by crossing the Sivash lagoon, thus unlocking the northern gate of the Crimea. General Eremenko then came in by the side door, attacking from his toehold at Kerch in the east.

    Since then the Russians have rolled up the Germans, who, under Hitler’s orders, tried to hold a second line of defence south of Perekop instead of giving ground as Jaenecke wanted to do.

    Now the Germans and their Romanian allies have no choice. They have to fall back on the “Gneisenau Line” covering Sevastopol. Thousands of German and Romanian non-combatant personnel and Russian auxiliaries are being evacuated from the Crimea to Constanta. Jaenecke wants to get his fighting men away before they are trapped, but Hitler has ordered that Sevastopol must be held at all costs.

    That cost will be high. Moscow radio today broadcast this order: “Sailors and airmen. Don’t allow them to escape! Destroy their ships! Shoot down their planes! Don’t allow a single enemy to escape retribution!”

    ITALY: Twelfth Air Force B-25s attack Viterbo Airfield and Leghorn marshalling yard, B-26 Marauders strike at Poggibonsi, Certaldo, Cecina and Magra, attacking mostly rail facilities and hit Arezzo bridge and viaduct and Bucine viaducts; fighter-bombers also concentrate on rail lines and bridges and hit many supply dumps, gun positions and factories, generally located northeast of Rome. (Jack McKillop)

    INDIA: Bombay: The merchant ship Fort Stikine catches fire while at No. 1 berth, in the early stages of cargo discharge. From a sister-ship Fort Crevier, berthed 400 yards away, smoke is seen spiralling from the Fort Stikine’s ventilators. Later it is also seen by the steamer Iran, and also by an inspector from the dock police. On a Norwegian ship, the Belray, Able Seaman Roy Haywood, going below noticed what looked like a wisp of smoke coming from a ventilator on the Fort Stikine. To no one did it occur that the ship might be on fire, and it was not reported. Some time later the fire was seen by returning stevedores. The stevedores scrambled up from the hold shouting “Fire!”

    Men from a Bombay fire brigade pump on the quay promptly ran with their hoses to the ship. Not until their section leader was on board however did he remember that, for a fire in a ship carrying explosives, his instructions were to send an immediate No.2 alarm which would call out a larger force. With orders to dial 290, his sub-leader struggled back down the gangway, crowded with dock workers pushing to get ashore, and dashed to a telephone. But the telephone had no dial. Confused, he ran along the dockside, broke the glass of a fire alarm and rang the bell. Thus the fire brigade control room received only a normal call for two pumps. The hands of the harbour clock tower stood at 2.16.

    In the previous five years there had been over 60 fires in ships in Bombay, but only one vessel had been lost, although 15 had carried explosives.

    Because of the stink from the fish manure, the master of the Fort Stikine, Captain A.J. Naismith had told the dockers at Bombay to unload the fish first. When the fire broke out among the cotton bales they still had 6,000 cubic feet of timber on top of them. Above the timber the upper part of No.2 hold was packed with explosives. Below the cotton lay a thick layer of ammunition.

    Eight minutes after receiving the alarm the fire station officer arrived with two pumps. He sent an immediate No.2 call to the control room. Eight more pumps and an emergency tender turned out. At 2.35 p.m. Norman Coombs, chief of the Bombay fire brigade, arrived dressed in slacks and jacket. he had had no time to change into uniform.

    In the meantime, Captain B.T. Oberst, an ordnance officer rushed on board and secured a plan of the ships stowage. Then he hurried to Captain Naismith: “You have enough explosive here to blow up the whole of the docks,” he said. “The only way out is to scuttle the ship,” Coombs joined Oberst in his plea for scuttling, but Colonel J.R. Sadler, general manager of the docks, disagreed. He told Naismith that the only safe action was to take the ship out to sea; there was only four feet of water between her keel and the harbour bed, a distance so short that the water would not cover even the lower part of No.2 hold. Captain Naismith confused by conflicting advise, made no decision except to try to get in touch with Lloyd’s surveyor.

    Soon the serious nature of the fire became apparent, and every effort was made to contain it. Thirty-two hoses crossed her decks and a thousand tons of water poured onto the seat of the fire in No. 2 hold. Decks and shell plating grew red-hot.

    For nearly an hour the firemen poured water into the burning ship. During this time most of the dockside workers went un-concerned about their jobs. The Fort Stikine did not display the red flag indicating that she carried explosives. She sounded no warning blasts at any time. A sailor on the Japalanda, which lay astern the Fort Stikine, grew so bored watching the fire fighting that he went below to read.

    But at least one onlooker saw trouble ahead. Able Seaman Roy Hayward, on the Belray, had fought fires in the London blitz. he saw the flames from the Fort Stikine turn a yellow brown colour, and a phrase from his old fire service drill book leapt into his mind: “Yellow brown fire - explosives!” he shouted to his comrades, “Down! and fell on his face in the Belray’s gun pit.

    At 15:45 the explosive caught fire. Five minutes later a great sheet of flame shot up and the ship became a flaming torch. At 16:06 the fore-part of the ship exploded with a deafening roar. Flaming drums, blazing cotton and damaged. Dock gates, bridges and berths were destroyed, sheds warehouses and offices were demolished and the ruins afire; roads, railways and equipment a mass of tangled wreckage. No. 1 berth was a devastated crater, very few persons remained alive nearby, and smoke and flame enveloped the wreck.

    Of the firemen scrambling from the Fort Stikine sixty six where killed outright and eighty three injured. The blast created a tidal wave which hurled the 5,000 ton, 400 foot long Japalanda from her berth and lifted her bow 60 feet to come rest on the roof of a dockside shed.

    The explosion played capricious tricks. White hot metal, flung haphazardly into the town, picked out victims at random. Captain Sidney Kielly strolling with a friend, was cut in half by a piece of metal plate. His friend was unhurt.

    On the dock C.W. Stevens, a marine surveyor was talking with Captain Naismith and Chief Officer Henderson of the Fort Stikine. Stevens was flung along the quayside. After the blast swept over him he stood up to find himself blackened and naked. Nobody saw Naismith and Henderson again.

    Nearly a mile from the docks, D.C. Motliwala was sitting on his third floor veranda. A bar of gold crashed through the roof and lay on the veranda floor.

    The million pounds-worth of gold had disintegrated. In the explosion the fore-part of the ship had blown off and sunk. The after-part remained afloat and on fire.

    Meanwhile, on the Belray, Able Seaman Hayward made his way from the gun pit to the boat deck which was strewn with the injured and dying. He picked up a man who had lost a leg, carried him down the gangway, then went back for others. Time after time he made his awful journey of mercy, placing the injured between two intact walls where they would be relatively safe from the continual bursts of ammunition.

    The last man was an Indian seaman who had lost both legs. Hayward picked him up and carried him towards a small car on the quay. He had just reached the car when, from the red glow inside the pall of smoke that hid the Fort Stikine, there came a second roar, far greater than the first.

    Thirty-four minutes after the first blast this after-part containing 784 tons of explosive, also blew up with a blast even more shattering than before. Hayward hastily bundled the man underneath the car, then pushed under as far as he could himself, lying there until the hail of fragments ended. Then he put the man into the car and saw him off to hospital. Flying, flaming debris fell again into the dock area and into other parts of the city, causing terrible devastation and many more casualties.

    Whereas the first explosion had burst sideways, losing some of its shock in the water and the quayside sheds, the second bore straight up, flinging flaming metal, timbers and cotton to a height of 3,000 feet. At the top of its trajectory the mass mushroomed and fell over an area of 900 yard radius.

    Another huge crater was born where the remains of No. 1 berth had previously been. Chaos followed, for no organisation was equipped to deal with a disaster of such magnitude, and the two docks at the heart of the fire were virtually abandoned. Norman Coombs, the fire brigade chief saw that the harbour was ringed with fires. leaving the docks to the military, he ordered the remnant of his forces into the residential district, where houses where now burning. The radius of the fire was over a mile; hundreds of sheds, the edge of the oil depot and the western part of the city burnt furiously.

    The human toll taken by the second blast was frightful. In two hours St. Georges Hospital took in 231 victims, and treated 140 more in the casualty department. The chief theatre sister at the hospital took on some of the surgical cases herself to help the overworked doctors.

    After the injured came the dead. By Sunday morning the hospital mortuary was packed to the ceiling with corpses. Hundreds of bodies where never recovered.

    In the Alexandra Dock area were three ammunition ships and four others with explosive cargoes and many sheds filled with explosives. A loaded tanker lay nearby. Fires had to be extinguished and the injured rescued. A central organisation was finally formed and the task of salvage and rescue got under way as confusion turned into efficiency. By the light of searchlights from the cruiser HMS Sussex, soldiers, sailors and harbour officials moved sixteen ships into the open sea. Men with no previous experience handled the tugs. This delicate operation took 19 hours, but the amateur pilots did not lose a single ship.

    The work of rescue, fire fighting and salvage went on for many days. In a town where racial tension ran high (Bombay had only recently been the scene of bitter rioting) men of all nations joined in the common effort.

    British and Indian soldiers, RAF men and Allied servicemen moved 39,398 cases of ammunition, weighing up to 115 pounds each, from Alexandra Dock. A party of WRNS set up a first-aid post. They worked all night, with only the flames to give them light. Red Cross girls parked a mobile canteen between the blazing warehouses. With ammunition exploding round them, they stayed until every fireman and rescue worker had had a drink.

    Subsequently piles of debris were cleared, sunken vessels scrapped or lifted, quay walls, sheds and other buildings repaired or rebuilt. Docks were drained and cleared and other ruins and wreckage swept into the open sea.

    When the damage was added up, it was found that all twenty seven ships in the two docks were sunk, burnt out or badly damaged. Three swing bridges over the entrances of the docks were blown partly from their seatings. The entrance to Victoria Dock was fouled by a 500 ton ship sunk inside and a 300 ton water boat sunk outside, and the gateway itself was blocked by a mound of rubble. Some 6,000 Indian and 2,000 British servicemen worked night and day for six months moving a million tons of debris, to get the harbour working again. Clearance and reconstruction would normally have taken years, but wartime requirement called for action on a grand scale, and the docks were operating again some six months later.

    Allied shipping losses in the Bombay explosion were:
    FORT STIKINE (7,142 grt) FORT CREVIER (7,131 grt) JALAPADMA (3,935 grt)
    BARODA (3,205 grt) GRACIOSA (1, 773 grt) KINGYUAN (2,653 grt)
    TIMOMBA (872 grt) ROD EL FARAG (6,842 grt) IRAN (5,704 grt)
    GENERAL VAN DER HEIJDEN (1,213 grt) GENERAL VAN SWIETEN (1,300 grt)

    Pictures from Bombay after the blast. Picture1 Picture2

    BURMA: The British 2nd Indian Division breaks the Japanese position at Zubza and relieves the British 161st Brigade.

    Under pressure from the US, Ho Ying-chin, China’s war minister, orders troops to cross the Salween river to attack the Japanese.

    20 Tenth Air Force P-40s over the Mogaung Valley attack a camp at Manywet; 20 P-51 Mustangs and 3 B-25s support ground forces in the Mawlu area. (Jack McKillop)

    JAPAN: 3 Eleventh Air Force B-24s fly an armed photo reconnaissance mission during the early morning over Matsuwa, Onnekotan, and Paramushiru Islands, Kurile Islands. Photographs taken are negative due to cloud cover. (Jack McKillop)

    BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: The Thirteenth Air Force dispatches 24 B-25s and 40+ fighter-bombers to attack a supply area at Ratawul; and 8 other fighter-bombers hit Wunapope; both targets are on New Britain Island. (Jack McKillop)

    CAROLINE ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s from Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands bomb Ponape Island.

    19 Thirteenth Air Force B-24s on a mission to the Caroline Islands bomb Eten, Param, and Kuop Islands and targets of opportunity in Truk Atoll. (Jack McKillop)

    In the Pacific, the I Marine Amphibious Corps was redesignated the III Amphibious Corps. Marine Night Fighter Squadron 532 flew the Marine Corps’ first successful interception by F4U night fighters, near the Marshalls.

    MARSHALL ISLANDS: Shortly after 0100 hours local, 12 Mitsubishi G4M, Navy Type 1 Attack Bombers (Allied Code Name “Betty”) approach Engebi Island in Eniwetok Atoll to attack the airfield. They are intercepted at 20,000 feet (6096 meters) by four F4U-2 Corsair night fighters of a detachment of Marine Night Fighting Squadron Five Hundred Thirty Two [VMF(N)-532] based on Engebi. The Marines shoot down 2 Bettys and get a “probable” on a third.

    All enemy bombs fell into the water; one Marine plane and pilot are lost and another pilot has to bail out with the loss of the aircraft. This was the first successful interception by F4U night fighters. Unfortunately for the squadron, it was their first and last victory of the war.

    A single Seventh Air Force B-24, en route from Kwajalein Atoll to Tarawa Atoll, bombs Jaluit Atoll while B-25s from Abemama Island strike Jaluit and Maloelap Atolls, using Majuro Atoll as an arming station between strikes. (Jack McKillop)

    SOLOMON ISLANDS: 20+ Thirteenth Air Force fighter-bombers strike various targets in the northeastern part of Bougainville Island.

    NEW GUINEA (Fifth Air Force B-25s and P-39Airacobras hit barges and luggers in Vanimo Harbor and at Bogia.

    On Palmyra, a Marine garrison designated Marine Detachment, 1st defence Battalion, was established for the defence of the island. (Richard Gaines)

    U.S.A.: Chart topping songs in the U.S. today include “It’s Love, Love, Love” by Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians with vocal by Skip Nelson; “I Love You” by Bing Crosby; “Besame Mucho” by Jimmy Dorsey And His Orchestra with vocal by Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen; and “Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry” by Al Dexter and his Troopers. (Jack McKillop)

  • 3,000 U.S. PLANES IN TWO-WAY BLOW HIT REICH, HUNGARIAN AIR PLANTS (4/14/44)

    04/14/2014 6:14:10 AM PDT · 7 of 23
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1944/apr44/14apr44.htm#

    Bombay rocked by ship explosion
    Friday, April 14, 1944 www.onwar.com

    Fort Stikine [photo at link]

    In India... The transport ship Fort Stikine, carrying explosives and cotton bales, catches fire and explodes in the Bombay Docks. A total of 27 ships are wrecked in the harbor, about 740 people are killed or missing and 476 servicemen and about 1000 civilians are injured. (In the following six months, some 10,000 troops and civilians remove one million tons of rubble from the area.)

    On the Eastern Front... Both the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front and 2nd Ukrainian Front reach the Carpathian foothills — creating a gap between the defenses of German Army Group North Ukraine and Army Group South Ukraine.

    In the Soviet Union... General Nikolai F. Vatutin, the former commander of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front, dies of wounds received in a partisan ambush, by Ukrainian nationalists, on February 29, 1944.

    In Burma... British forces break through the Japanese road block at Zubza and the British 161st Brigade at Jotsoma is relieved by attacks of other elements of the 2nd Indian Division.

    In Algiers... Free French General Giraud is placed on the retired list.

  • 3,000 U.S. PLANES IN TWO-WAY BLOW HIT REICH, HUNGARIAN AIR PLANTS (4/14/44)

    04/14/2014 6:12:38 AM PDT · 6 of 23
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    8 Targets Bombed (Middleton) – 2-3
    Swiss Shoot Down American Bomber – 3
    War News Summarized – 3
    Vivid Film of Daylight Bomb Raid Depicts Daring of Our Air Forces (Crowther) * – 4
    Women Appeal for Red Cross Aid – 4
    Capital Also Won (Parker) – 5-6
    Commander in Chief Meets Crew of the ‘General Ike’ (photo) – 6
    Action Flares Up in Eastern Italy – 7
    Heroes Honored for Exploits in Italy (photos) – 7
    Seesaw Battling in India Continues – 8
    Ship Sunk, 9 Fired in Hollandia Blow – 8
    Bong Downs 27th Japanese Plane and Becomes U.S. ‘Ace of Aces’ (Kluckhohn) – 9-10
    Latest Casualties Reported by Army – 11
    Blows Impend in Pacific (Baldwin) – 12
    The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones – 13-15
    De Gaulle Plans Return to Army (by Harold Callender) – 15
    South Won’t Open Polls to Negroes, Maybank Warns (by C.P. Trussell) – 16
    Ickes Defend Shift of Loyal Japanese; Calls West Coast Critics ‘Race Mongers’ – 16

    * Bosley Crowther makes a rare appearance on the news thread today with his review of the newly released film “The Memphis Belle.” This is the documentary that presumably inspired the 1990 fictionalized movie of the same name. Youtube has the whole 41 ½ minute film. Link below. If you want the full screen version you can get it on DVD from Netflix.

    “The Memphis Belle”

  • 3,000 U.S. PLANES IN TWO-WAY BLOW HIT REICH, HUNGARIAN AIR PLANTS (4/14/44)

    04/14/2014 6:11:14 AM PDT · 5 of 23
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Continued from April 9.

     photo 0414-8targets19_zps1c165adf.jpg

    Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring