Posts Tagged ‘WWII February’

Feb 03

World War II Today: February 3

1941 33 Italian Fascist Party leaders are dispatched to bolster morale on the Albanian front.

Hitler reviews the plans for Operation ‘Barbarossa’, as German intelligence estimates that 155 Red Army divisions are deployed in western Russia against just 116 German and Axis divisions. The starting date is again confirmed as the 15th May 1941.

The British ‘Northern Force’ bumps into the Italian defenses at Keren, but fail to crack them open. General Platt decides he must build up his forces for a major assault.

1942 German forces of Army Group Centre launch a counterattack at Vyazma, cutting off and encircling several Red Army divisions.

Japanese air raids on Port Moresby.

President Quezon of the Philippines proposes to President Roosevelt that his country should be granted total independence from the USA so that it could declare itself neutral, but Roosevelt dismisses this idea. General MacArthur warns Roosevelt that the Bataan garrison has suffered over 50 per cent casualties and it was ‘near done’. MacArthur was given permission by Roosevelt to surrender Filipino, but not US troops who were to fight until the end.

Irish Prime Minister Eamon de Valera predicts the war will continue for at least 4 more years.

1944 An attempt to breakout of the Anzio Beachhead ends after an advance of just three miles in three days. The German begin their first counterattacks against Anzio.

The Japanese open their counter-offensive against the British in Arakan, Burma.

The United States shells the Japanese homeland for the first time at Kurile Islands.

The United States captures the Marshall Islands.

1945 The Russians capture Landsberg, 80 miles Northeast of Berlin.

The US 8th Air Force, with 937 bombers and 613 fighters, carries out the heaviest attack to date against Berlin which levels large areas of the city and kills more than 25,000 civilians.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Yank Magazine Pin Up: Frances Vorne WWII Today: September 3 WWII Today: September 23

Feb 02

World War II Today: February 2

1939 Hungary breaks relations with the Soviet Union.

1940 Big Russian offensive continues on the Karelia front.

Italian Jews banned from serving as engineers, professors, or journalists, and from serving Gentiles as doctors or lawyers.

1941 5th Indian Division captures Barentu, forcing the Italians to withdraw towards the mountain fortress at Keren.

Indian & British forces take Italian fortifications at Barentu, Eritrea, and take 8000 POWs.

In East Africa, aircraft from HMS Formidable attack the harbor installations at Mogadishu.

1942 Japanese invade Java in the Dutch East Indies.

The Japanese launched their 1st air raid on Port Moresby in New Guinea.

The commander of the British XIII Corps, Godwin-Austen, resigns as a result of Lieutenant General Ritchie bypassing him and dealing direct with his divisional commanders.

A supply convoy bound for Malta sets sail from Alexandria. It consisted of 3 fast freighters, 2 cruisers, 8 destroyers and an anti-aircraft ship. However, the Luftwaffe still managed to sink all three merchantmen before they reached Malta.

Congress appropriates $26.5 billion for the U.S. Navy, bringing total U.S. war costs since June of 1940 to more than $115 billion.

US 808th Engineer Aviation Battalion arrives in Melbourne to build airfields near Darwin, Australia.

Allied ships begin withdrawal from Singapore to East Indies.

1943 The remnants of 6th Army under General Strecker in the northern pocket cease fighting and surrender to the Red Army. In all, over 96,000 survivors of the once 300,000-strong Army are captured, of which, only about 5,000 will live to return to Germany after the war. At Moscow, the victory over the Germans is celebrated with a salute of several hundred guns.

1944 The Germans stop an Allied attack at Anzio, Italy.

The 1st Ukrainian Front captures Luzk and Rovno. Stalin agrees to USAAF using Russian bases.

U.S. Marines complete the capture of Roi and Namur in the Marshall Islands.

1945 Ecuador declares war on Germany.

The 1st Belorussian Front reaches the Oder River near Frankfurt-an-der-Oder.

French troops occupy Colmar.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 13 WWII Today: April 9 WWII Today: August 11

Feb 01

Amazing B-17 Bomber Survival Story

Amazing B-17 Bomber Survival Story on February 1, 1943

A mid-air collision on February 1, 1943, between a B-17 and a German fighter over the Tunis dock area, became the subject of one of the most famous photographs of World War II. An enemy fighter attacking a 97th Bomb Group formation went out of control, probably with a wounded pilot then continued its crashing descent into the rear of the fuselage of a Fortress named All American, piloted by Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, of the 414th Bomb Squadron. When it struck, the fighter broke apart, but left some pieces in the B-17. The left horizontal stabilizer of the Fortress and left elevator were completely torn away. The two right engines were out and one on the left had a serious oil pump leak. The vertical fin and the rudder had been damaged, the fuselage had been cut almost completely through connected only at two small parts of the frame and the radios, electrical and oxygen systems were damaged. There was also a hole in the top that was over 16 feet long and 4 feet wide at its widest and the split in the fuselage went all the way to the top gunners turret.

Although the tail actually bounced and swayed in the wind and twisted when the plane turned and all the control cables were severed, except one single elevator cable still worked, and the aircraft still flew – miraculously! The tail gunner was trapped because there was no floor connecting the tail to the rest of the plane. The waist and tail gunners used parts of the German fighter and their own parachute harnesses in an attempt to keep the tail from ripping off and the two sides of the fuselage from splitting apart. While the crew was trying to keep the bomber from coming apart, the pilot continued on his bomb run and released his bombs over the target.

When the bomb bay doors were opened, the wind turbulence was so great that it blew one of the waist gunners into the broken tail section. It took several minutes and four crew members to pass him ropes from parachutes and haul him back into the forward part of the plane. When they tried to do the same for the tail gunner, the tail began flapping so hard that it began to break off. The weight of the gunner was adding some stability to the tail section, so he went back to his position.

The turn back toward England had to be very slow to keep the tail from twisting off. They actually covered almost 70 miles to make the turn home. The bomber was so badly damaged that it was losing altitude and speed and was soon alone in the sky. For a brief time, two more Me-109 German fighters attacked the All American. Despite the extensive damage, all of the machine gunners were able to respond to these attacks and soon drove off the fighters. The two waist gunners stood up with their heads sticking out through the hole in the top of the fuselage to aim and fire their machine guns. The tail gunner had to shoot in short bursts because the recoil was actually causing the plane to turn.

Allied P-51 fighters intercepted the All American as it crossed over the Channel and took one of the pictures shown. They also radioed to the base describing that the empennage was waving like a fish tail and that the plane would not make it and to send out boats to rescue the crew when they bailed out. The fighters stayed with the Fortress taking hand signals from Lt. Bragg and relaying them to the base. Lt. Bragg signaled that 5 parachutes and the spare had been “used” so five of the crew could not bail out. He made the decision that if they could not bail out safely, then he would stay with the plane and land it.

Two and a half hours after being hit, the aircraft made its final turn to line up with the runway while it was still over 40 miles away. It descended into an emergency landing and a normal roll-out on its landing gear.

When the ambulance pulled alongside, it was waved off because not a single member of the crew had been injured. No one could believe that the aircraft could still fly in such a condition. The Fortress sat placidly until the crew all exited through the door in the fuselage and the tail gunner had climbed down a ladder, at which time the entire rear section of the aircraft collapsed onto the ground. The rugged old bird had done its job.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: November 1 Words at War: Der Fuehrer WWII Today: October 30

Feb 01

World War II Today: February 1

1940 General Timoshenko launches his big offensive across the iced up straits of Viipuri Bay, although Finnish aircraft raids disrupt these attacks.

The battleship Alabama (BB-60) is laid down at the Norfolk, Virginia.

In Japan, expenditure on the military accounts for half of the national budget for 1940.

1941 The Admiral Hipper slips out of Brest for another sortie into the Atlantic.

Agordat in Eritrea falls to the 5th Indian Division after 2 days of fighting.

The US Navy is reorganized in to the Atlantic, Pacific and Asiatic fleets and ordered to gradually bring ship crews up to war establishment.

1942 The Red Army begins an offensive toward Vyazma. Zhukov is promoted to command the West Theatre, which includes the Kalinin, West and Bryansk Fronts.

Quisling forms a puppet government in Norway.

All U-boats adopt a new Enigma cipher known as ‘Triton’. The new cipher replaces the previous cipher, ‘Hydra’ and has an additional rotor in the Enigma machine. This meant that the British were unable to read U-boat coded communications traffic until much later in the year, seriously affecting there ability re-route their convoys around U-boat wolf packs.

First U.S. aircraft carrier offensive of the war as YORKTOWN and ENTERPRISE conduct air raids on Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.

USS Enterprise is damaged in attacks on Japanese-held airfields in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.

1943 German troops evacuate Demyansk.

Twenty Japanese destroyers begin the evacuation of 13,000 troops from Guadalcanal.

1944 The Polish underground executes Major Fritz Kurschera, the chief of the Gestapo in Poland.

1945 The U.S. First Army takes Remscheid, 20 miles to the East of Düsseldorf. The U.S. Seventh Army reaches Moder and Siegfried Line.

Troops of the 1st Belorussian Front surround the fortress town of Küstrin. Since the 20th January, the Kriegsmarine has evacuated 140,000 civilian refugees and 18,000 wounded soldiers by sea from East Prussia.

U.S. troops land unopposed to the Southwest of Manila.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WW2 Manuals WWII Today: October 3 WWII Today: September 24

Feb 27

NBC Words At War Episode 62 “Simone“

Words At War “Simone“ Released August 29, 1944.

Words At War, the series that brings you radio versions of the leading war book another adaptation of an important war book, “Simone”. Sponsored by: Johnson’s Wax. A story about patriotism in occupied France. A young girl burns her uncle’s garage to keep it from the approaching Nazis, and who pays the price.

https://d1yw3lrn36lfta.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/15102644/1944-08-29NbcWordsAtWar62Simone.mp3

 

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 8 WWII Today: February 12 WWII Today: February 11

Feb 20

NBC Words At War Episode 59 “The Nazi’s Go Underground“

Words At War “The Nazi’s Go Underground“ Released August 8, 1944.

Words At War, the series that brings you radio versions of the leading war book another adaptation of an important war book, “The Nazis Go Underground”. Sponsored by: Johnson’s Wax. A story about a plan hatched by Nazi industrialists to start an underground Nazi movement after the Allied victory.

https://d1yw3lrn36lfta.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/15102053/1944-08-08NbcWordsAtWar59NazisGoUnderground.mp3

 

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 9 WWII Today: February 2 Words at War: Paris Underground

Feb 13

NBC Words At War Episode 58 “Headquarters Budapest“

Words At War “Headquarters Budapest“ Released August 1, 1944.

Words At War, the series that brings you radio versions of the leading war book another adaptation of an important war book, “Headquarters Budapest”. Sponsored by: Johnson’s Wax. A dramatization of the actual political mess in the Balkans before the war and why World War III will possibly start here.

https://d1yw3lrn36lfta.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/07102212/1944-08-01NbcWordsAtWar58HeadquartersBudapest.mp3

 

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: January 30 Words at War: Lost Island Words at War: Captain Retread

Feb 06

NBC Words At War Episode 57 “Lost Island“

Words At War “Lost Island“ Released July 25, 1944.

Words At War, the series that brings you radio versions of the leading war book another adaptation of an important war book, “Lost Island”. Sponsored by: Johnson’s Wax. A troop ship arrives on a sleepy Pacific Island and completely ruins a tropical paradise.

https://d1yw3lrn36lfta.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/25153700/1944-07-25NbcWordsAtWar57LostIsland.mp3

 

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: January 16 Words at War: War Below Zero WWII Today: November 1