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On this day during W.W. 2


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    August 14, 1941. Eastern Front

    OKH Chief of Staff Franz Halder notes in the war diary on 14 August 1941 that Finnish achievements so far in the war are “truly remarkable.” Morale is good in the army, but he notes that “Losses in the armoured and rifle units considerable.” Due to tank losses, the armoured divisions have “an abundance of personnel,” while the rifle divisions are short of men. Field Marshal von Bock, commander of Army Group Centre, complains that Reichsmarschall Goering is shifting air support without consulting him, and a fierce debate rages whether Yelnya is worth keeping due to the heavy losses there.

    Reports in other army commands are a little more direct about the actual situation than Halder. Generalleutnant Hans Reichsfreiherr von Boineburg-Lengsfeld, commander of the 4th Panzer Division which is with XXIV Panzer Corps, notes in his war diary that: “Battles on 13 and 14 [August] very costly, also in material. There was little benefit [in the fighting] because the enemy mass had already evacuated. Trucks in bad condition. Men tired. Division increasingly more worn out…Russian tanks, especially the heavy ones, are good”. The troops may be tired, but there is a lot of fighting left, with no end in sight.

    In the Far North sector, Finnish 18th Division of II Corps captures the key town of Antrea (Kamennogorsk) in the centre of the Karelian Isthmus on the left bank of the Vuoksa River. The Finns now are 170 km (110 miles) northwest of Leningrad. Antrea is important strategically because it controls one of the few bridges across the river, and taking it traps Soviet 115th Rifle Division on the wrong side of the river. The Soviet division now must either succumb or find a way to cross the forests and river to re-join Soviet 19th Corps near Vyborg (Viipuri), the prime target in the sector.

    Going is slow in this region due to the harsh terrain with few roads, which slows down even the Finns who are experts at going across country. Already, some Soviet units such as 142nd Rifle and 198s Motorized Divisions are backed against Lake Ladoga with no way out except by boat. Finnish I Corps also is making good progress to the east, with 2nd, 7th, and 19th divisions on the verge of taking Sortavala, where the Soviets also have no landward line of retreat.

    A little further north, Finnish Group J of III Corps today confirms that the Soviets have brought in the 88th Rifle Division from Archangel (Arkhangel’sk) to the north in order to block their advance to Loukhi. Thus, the Finnish advance to the Murmansk railway, a key strategic objective only 20 miles away along a spur railway line and improved road, is stopped for the time being.

    In the Army Group North sector, the Germans make some forward progress at Luga and on either end of Lake Ilmen. The Soviets pierce the German line south of Lake Ilmen with a cavalry division, a reminder that the German line is being stretched thin with little behind the hard crust at the front.

    In the Army Group Centre sector, General Halder notes in the war diary that there are “gratifying successes against the enemy in the Rogachev salient” but that “costly fighting continues” at Yelnya. “All quiet elsewhere on the front.” Panzer Group 2 approaches Bryansk, where the Soviets are concentrating in order to protect Kiev from exactly what the Germans have in mind - an attack south toward Kiev.

    In the Army Group South sector, the German capture of Cherson on the Dneiper makes the Soviet position at Nikolayev (Nikolaev) untenable. Thus, after dark today the Soviets begin evacuating the port, and in the process destroy the unfinished 59,150-ton battleship Sovetskaya Ukraina and several other ships under construction. The Romanian 4th Army advance on Odessa is temporarily paused on direct orders from leader Ion Antonescu. The Romanians are busy bringing troops forward to reinforce their coastal positions along the Hadjibey bank, and the Soviets in the town are under orders to resist to the last man. The Germans advance to within sight of Krivoy Rog (Kryvi Rih) due north of the neck of the Crimea. It is a regional centre of iron-ore mining, one of the economic objectives that Hitler prefers over political objectives such as Moscow.

    Source: worldwartwodaily
    Photo: A German StuG III with 75mm gun carrying infantry across a swamp near the village of Berezhok in Ukraine, August 1941.

    stug.jpg


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    August 28, 1940. France
    Admiral Karl Dönitz calls his U-boat commanders to a strategy meeting despite a severe stomach ache. “It’s alright, it’s just that I’m having a baby, his name is Sealion.”

    donitz.jpg


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    17th Sept 1944, three Airborne Divisions ( or 2 1/2 to be precise) landed in the Netherlands. The plan was Monty’s and was audacious: capture all the bridges between the front lines and Germany.
    British 30 Corps would speed the 65 miles to the Rhine, relieving the Paras and win the war before Christmas.
    The Germans had other plans.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    The Germans had other plans.

    And they also had a couple of units in Arnhem that weren’t supposed to be there, which is one reason why British intelligence overlooked their presence (they had been sent there get a bit of R&R after some hard fighting at the front).  As a result, the light-armed paratroopers of the British 1st Airborne Division ended up landing practically on top of a couple of Waffen SS Panzer divisions.  To their credit, the Paras lasted a lot longer than one could reasonably expect in such a mismatched situation.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    That’s right. Was only the cadre of two divisions, but was enough on which to build a solid defence, then to reinforce with replacements so as  to counter attack.


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    Men of No 3 Platoon, ‘R’ Company, 1st Parachute Battalion, 1st (British) Airborne Division armed with Bren gun and No. 4 rifles defend a large shell hole outside Arnhem, during Operation ‘Market Garden’, 17th September 1944.

    arnhem1.jpg


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    Four prisoners thought to be of the SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 9/9.SS-Panzer-Division “Hohenstaufen” shortly before being handed over to the Military Police at Wolfheze, captured during Viktor Graebner’s ill-fated attempt to rush through the British defences around Arnhem Bridge on the morning of Monday 18th September 1944.
    (Nb. the one second from left is a seventeen year old. All of them are wearing the pea dot 44 camouflage pattern)

    arnhem2.jpg


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    Two British Airborne troopers dug in near Oosterbeek, Holland on 18 September 1944, showing the woodland fought in on the western side of the British perimeter.

    arnhem3.jpg


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    A Dornier Do-17 (Fliegender Bleistift) medium bomber dropping a string of bombs on London, England, United Kingdom, 20th Sept. 1940
    Source: ww2dbase

    bomber.jpg


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    14th October 1944, FM Erwin Rommel committed suicide, rather than face a  Court Martial. He was one of the most famous of all German commanders, revered by the Allies as the �Desert Fox� He commanded the 7th Panzer Division in Germany�s invasion of France. His last command was AG B, holding the vital Northern France and Belgium in 43:44. He was also a decorated WW1 Battalion commander, fighting the Italians (later to be his African Allies). 
    He was one of my first heroes as a child.


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    This post is deleted!

  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    December 18, 1944. Battle of the Bulge

    Troops of Kampfgruppe Peiper begin their attack on Stavelot, using several Tiger II heavy tanks. The attempt failed due to American resistance, who managed to destroy several German tanks.

    Source: WWII Picturesbulge tiger.jpg


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    On the day after Christmas in 1944, C-47s drop provisions over the embattled area around Bastogne. Photo courtesy National Archivesbastogne.jpg


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    On this day in 1944, Patton’s Third Army links up with the 101st Airborne at Bastogne.Patton.jpg


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    @captain-walker said in On this day during W.W. 2:

    December 18, 1944. Battle of the Bulge

    Troops of Kampfgruppe Peiper begin their attack on Stavelot, using several Tiger II heavy tanks. The attempt failed due to American resistance, who managed to destroy several German tanks.

    Source: WWII Picturesbulge tiger.jpg

    I like the pic; thanks Capt Walker.


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    On this day in 1941, Vågsøy, Norway. Operation Archery

    Operation Archery, also known as the Måløy Raid, was a British Combined Operations raid during World War II against German positions on the island of Vågsøy, Norway, on 27 December 1941.

    The raid was conducted by British Commandos of No. 3 Commando, two troops of No.2 Commando, a medical detachment of No.4 Commando, a demolition party from 101 Troop (canoe) of No. 6 Commando and a dozen Norwegians from Norwegian Independent Company 1. The action was supported by Royal Navy gunfire, led by the light cruiser HMS Kenya, with the destroyers HMS Onslow, Oribi, Offa and Chiddingfold. The submarine HMS Tuna was in support as the force navigational check. For troop transport the Prince Charles and Prince Leopold were used. Also in support were Royal Air Force bombers and fighter-bombers.

    The commando force of 570 troops was divided into five parties to;

    1. Secure the area north of the town of Måløy in South Vågsøy and engage any enemy reinforcements
    2. Subdue and secure Måløy town
    3. Eliminate the enemy on Måløy Island which dominated the town
    4. Eliminate the enemy strongpoint at Holvik west of Måløy
    5. Provide a floating reserve offshore

    Central to the operation was the destruction of fish-oil production and stores which the Germans used in the manufacture of high explosives. Another intention was to cause the Germans to maintain and increase forces in Norway which might be employed on the Eastern Front.

    The dawn landing was preceded by a very effective naval bombardment and objectives were achieved, except in Måløy. German opposition in the town was much stiffer than expected as, unknown to the British, a Gebirgsjäger (mountain rangers) unit of experienced troops from the Eastern Front was there on leave. The defenders’ experience in sniping and street fighting caused the operation to develop into a bitter house-to-house battle. The British commander, John Durnford-Slater, called on the floating reserve and troops from Vågsøy Island. A number of local citizens assisted the commandos by acting as porters for ammunition, grenades and other explosives and in carrying away the wounded.

    At around 14:00, the commandos started their withdrawal having destroyed four factories, the fish-oil stores, ammunition and fuel stores, the telephone exchange and various military installations, leaving much of the town in flames. The naval assault force of one cruiser and four destroyers had sunk 10 vessels, some found in the act of being scuttled to prevent capture. Technical difficulties had prevented the German coastal artillery from being fully effective, with one of their three 130 mm guns scoring one hit on the cruiser.

    No Royal Navy ships were lost but the navy suffered four men killed and four wounded. The Commandos sustained 17 killed and 53 wounded, the commander of the Norwegian Armed Forces in exile, Captain Martin Linge, was killed in an attack on the local German headquarters and eight Royal Air Force aircraft were shot down. (A Norwegian civilian was killed during the raid, probably by shrapnel.) The commandos accounted for at least 120 defenders killed and returned with 98 prisoners and a complete copy of the German Naval Code. Captain O’Flaherty was hit by sniper fire and lost an eye, later wearing an eye-patch as a brigadier. Several Quislings and over 70 loyal Norwegians were also brought back. In conjunction with this raid, Operation Anklet was mounted by No. 12 Commando on the Lofoten Islands as a diversion. The raid was enough to persuade Adolf Hitler to divert 30,000 troops to Norway and to build more coastal and inland defences. Hitler thought that the British might invade northern Norway to put pressure on Sweden and Finland.
    Source: Wikipedia
    norway.jpg


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    The “high-water mark” days of the II SS Panzer Corps are over. The 2nd and 9th SS Panzer Divisions couldn’t break through the lines of the 82nd Airborne and are withdrawn.

    The SS Panzer Divisions are ordered to move south to meet General Patton’s forces at Bastogne.

    Photo - A Sherman tank passes an German Panther tank from the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich at Grandmenil.

    Source: WWII Picturesbulge panther.jpg


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    December 31, 1944. Western Front

    Hitler launches Operation Nordwind, attacking south near Strasbourg, France, with the goal of breaking through the lines of the U.S. 7th Army and French 1st Army.

    Hitler: “This attack has a very clear objective, namely the destruction of the enemy forces. There is not a matter of prestige involved here. It is a matter of destroying and exterminating the enemy forces wherever we find them.”panther.jpg


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    On this day in 1944, Hitler’s generals carry out Germany’s last major offensive in the West. Operation Nordwind sees Wehrmacht and SS troops strike at U.S. and French forces in Alsace and Lorraine. The push fails to forestall the Third Reich’s inevitable collapse.

    Photo: Apparently these are captured Shermans used by the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg during Operation Nordwind.captured shermans.jpg


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    @captain-walker Nice Capt Walker . Enjoyed the photos


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    January 1, 1945. Western Front

    Hitler launches Operation Bodenplatte, hundreds of planes of the Luftwaffe begin attacking Allied airfields in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

    Operation Bodenplatte (Baseplate), launched on 1 January 1945, was an attempt by the Luftwaffe to cripple Allied air forces in the Low Countries during the Second World War. The goal of Bodenplatte was to gain air superiority during the stagnant stage of the Battle of the Bulge so that the German Army and Waffen-SS forces could resume their advance. The operation was planned for 16 December 1944, but was delayed repeatedly due to bad weather until New Year’s Day, the first day that happened to be suitable.

    Secrecy for the operation was so tight that not all German ground and naval forces had been informed of the operation and some units suffered casualties from friendly fire. British signals intelligence (Ultra) recorded the movement and build-up of German air forces in the region, but did not realise that an operation was imminent.

    The operation achieved some surprise and tactical success, but was ultimately a failure. A great many Allied aircraft were destroyed on the ground but replaced within a week. Allied aircrew casualties were quite small, since the majority of Allied losses were grounded aircraft. The Germans, however, lost many pilots who could not be readily replaced.

    Post-battle analysis suggests only 11 of the Luftwaffe’s 34 air combat Gruppen (groups) made attacks on time and with surprise. The operation failed to achieve air superiority, even temporarily, while the German ground forces continued to be exposed to Allied air attack. Bodenplatte was the last large-scale strategic offensive operation mounted by the Luftwaffe during the war.
    messerschmidts.jpg


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    @captain-walker The 109 is my favourite WW2 Ft. I think those might be K4s. They were the bsst and last mass produced ones. They only had a 30mm cannon and two heavy Mgs (in The nose). They could reach 440 mph. They were the best 109 built and a match for the Allied planes. The problem was the inexperience of the late War pilots.



  • you should start doing these again.



  • I want to and need to along with the “What if’s”. I still cant send you a notification or a chat


  • 2017 2016 2015 '13

    This post is deleted!

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