On this day during W.W. 2
Reminds me of a traditional three-part rule of thumb on shipboard conduct for enlisted sailors: if you see something, salute it; if it doesn’t salute back, pick it up; if you can’t pick it up, paint it.
Two U.S. Army infantrymen of the 84th Infantry Division decorate a Christmas tree in the cellar of a home in Geilenkirchen, Heinsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. December 1944.
The division entered combat, 18 November 1944, with an attack on Geilenkirchen, Germany, as part of the larger offensive in the Roer Valley, north of Aachen. They were supported by the British Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry. Taking Geilenkirchen, as part of Operation Clipper on 19 November, the division pushed forward to take Beeck (Geilenkirchen) and Lindern in the face of heavy enemy resistance, 29 November.
After a short rest, the division returned to the fight, taking Wurm and Würm (Geilenkirchen), Mullendorf, 18 December, before moving to Belgium to help stem the German winter offensive (Battle of the Bulge).
(Color Ghost of WW2)
Wishing everyone here a Merry Christmas!
January 3, 1941. Eastern Front
German command problems continue on 3 January 1942 as the Red Army counteroffensive broadens. Already, two army group commanders and numerous generals such as Heinz Guderian have been sacked. The generals now are fighting over retaining control over units which the OKH and Hitler want to be transferred between commands. General Georg-Hans Reinhardt, commander of 3rd Panzer Army, refuses an order from General Adolf Strauß at Ninth Army, who has been given control over 3rd Panzer Army. The situation in Army Group Centre always has had these ad hoc commands, where one army is given command of another, but Reinhardt is upset about the refusal of Strauß to give him command over V Panzer Corps, which had been transferred to his sector. Army Group Centre commander Field Marshal Guenther von Kluge finally has to threaten Reinhardt with a court-martial if he does not obey Ninth Army’s orders. This is a prime example of the diva-ish behaviour that regularly breaks out within the upper ranks of the Wehrmacht.
Soviet troops are advancing on Rzhev, which had been far behind the front lines a few weeks ago. The Luftwaffe manages to operate despite -40 °F temperatures and flies in a battalion of reinforcements. The Germans have requisitioned winter clothing from the local inhabitants and learned ways to keep their machine guns and other automatic weapons working. This gives them a fighting chance to hold Rzhev, which is an important railhead and the entrance to the “land bridge” to Moscow.
Further south, Junkers Ju 87 Stukas of StG 77 attack Soviet shipping off the Kerch Peninsula. They bomb and badly damage Soviet cruiser Krasnyi Kavkaz. It is under repair until October 1942. On land, the Germans begin building up forces for a counterattack along a line about 10 miles west of Feodosia while the Soviet 51st, which has occupied the entire Kerch Peninsula, begins moving slowly west to reinforce the 44th Army. General Erich von Manstein, commander of 11th Army, sends 30 Corps under the command of Generalmajor Maximilian Fretter-Pico and also two other divisions from the Sevastopol perimeter to buttress the new line in the east. The Germans plan a counterattack as quickly as possible but it will take a couple of weeks to launch.
@captainwalker Love the pic.
January 7, 1942. Eastern Front
The Soviet General Offensive begins as scheduled on 7 January 1942. North of Lake Ilmen, Soviet 4th and 52nd Armies and 2nd Shock Army (now under the command of Lieutenant General Andrei A. Vlasov) of Volkhov Front attack southwest of Leningrad. On the southern part of Lake Ilmen, ski troops and motor convoys of Soviet 11th Army cross the frozen lake while German outposts watch from the opposite shore. The Red Army attacks are not strong, but the defending German 16th Army does not have a continuous line but instead a chain of isolated strongpoints. The German generals quickly decide that the 11th Army thrust is the most dangerous because it threatens Staraya Russa, the main German supply depot for the entire region. Nothing appears too dangerous to them at the moment, but there are wide gaps in the German lines with no troops behind them for dozens of miles. Things could get difficult for the Germans, but it all depends on where the Red Army units head and how far they decide to go. The Battle of Moscow is generally defined to end on 7 January 1942 due to the Soviet offensive.
January 8th 1940 - Finland
Details of the Finnish victory over two Russian Divisions at Suomussalmi were released. The 44th Division was completely destroyed, trapped while going to the support of the defeated 163rd Division. The Finns captured 102 field guns, 43 tanks, over 300 vehicle and 1,170 horses.
On the night of 8th January in Helsinki the Church bells were ringing, flags were flying and strangers embraced on the streets in celebration.
Many Soviet tanks were burnt-out by Molotov cocktails thrown by Finns hiding in pits by the forest tracks, other Soviet troops froze to death with nothing to protect them from the cold except crude shelters of spruce branches.
When the Finns attacked some of the Soviet troops were too weak to stand, too cold to fight.
Picture shows Finnish soldiers preparing to tow a Soviet flamethrower tank OT-130. The OT-130 tank was based on the T-26 tank chassis, with the 45 mm gun replaced with a flamethrower.
January 9, 1942. Eastern Front
200 miles northwest of Moscow, Soviet Northwest Front is fully engaged. 3rd and 4th Shock Armies (hastily-assembled, poorly-trained troops with little equipment, ammunition or food) cross the icy marshes of Lake Seliger in waist-deep snow. 4th Shock, attacking southwest towards Andreapol, is decimated by German machineguns at Peno but sheer weight of numbers overcomes the Germans. 3rd Shock Army fails to make progress attacking west towards Kholm. Further north, Soviet 11th Army approaches the town of Staraya Russa, defended by the experienced but exhausted German 18th Motorised Division, resting after the battles at Tikhvin.
January 12, 1945. On the Eastern Front, Stalin launches the Vistula-Oder Offensive earlier than originally planned. Soviet forces attack with over 2,000,000 men, 4,500 tanks, 2,500 assault guns and 5,000 aircraft.
January 19, 1942. Eastern Front
The Soviet counteroffensive around Moscow continues unabated, with the Red Army capturing Mozhaisk about 100 km west of Moscow. This had been a key Red Army position during Operation Typhoon. In addition, Soviet paratroopers continue landing south of Smolensk in the Vyazma area. Their goal is to distract enough German troop strength from the front to help Red Army attacks further east and also to organise partisan forces. 225 miles northwest of Moscow, 3rd and 4th Shock Armies continue widening and deepening the gap between German Army Group North and Army Group Centre. 4th Shock Army continues it progress southwest towards Toropets while 3rd Shock Army aims west for Kholm having overcome initial German resistance.
In the Crimea, the German 30 Corps’ attack toward the Parpach Narrows continues with growing confidence. The German troops pursue two divisions of Soviet 44th Army east along the Black Sea Coast in the Feodosia area, undermining the Red Army defensive line just to the north. The main Soviet advantage is that the Parpach Narrows offers a shortened defensive line where the Red Army may be able to stop the advancing Germans.
Source: worldwartwodaily and worldwar2daybyday