Skip to comments.MAJOR TANK BATTLE JOINED IN EGYPT; SOVIET TAKES INITIATIVE AT VORONEZH (7/17/42)
Posted on 07/17/2012 4:10:47 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Rommel wants to withdraw
Friday, July 17, 1942 www.onwar.com
Rommel (center) with Kesselring (left) [photo at link]
In North Africa... Rommel’s supply situation continues to deteriorate, but German and Italian troops are still able to halt a British advance near Miterirya Ridge. Rommel suggests a retreat to the Italian and German Commanders, Cavallero and Kesselring.
From Berlin... Hitler fearing that Army Group A will not be able to cross the Don River against growing Soviet opposition, switches the 4th Panzer Army from Army Group B. Without 4th Panzer Army, Army Group B’s progress toward Stalingrad is slowed.
July 17th, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: London: Churchill warns Stalin that, following the fate of convoy PQ-17, there will be no more convoys to northern Russia.
FRANCE: Paris: With the Grande Rafle still in progress, another Franco-German conference takes place, which Dr. Joseph Billig haas summarised: “Bousquet, secrétaire-général for the Police-Nationale, working in perfect harmony with Laval and Leguay, his representative in the occupied zone, intervened very vigorously in the question of the Jewish children at Drancy [concentration camp on the outskirts of Paris]......The representatives of the French police expressed the wish several times to see the children deported to the Reich.”
U.S.S.R.: Deprived of it’s armoured spearhead 4 Pz. Armee, and being low on fuel, the advance of Army Group B slows.
Moscow: The Germans are making further gains in their thrust towards Stalingrad, forcing the Russians to evacuate the towns of Boguchar and Milerovo yesterday. The Panzers are rolling through the ripening corn of the steppe, faced, in many cases, only by suicide squads with grenades and Molotov cocktails.
War correspondents with the advancing Panzers are writing about the Mot Pulk [motorized square] of trucks and guns guarded by an armoured skin of tanks crushing its way forward like an “irresistible mastodon”. But the fierce struggle is still going on for Voronezh, the vital communications centre, which was one of the first objectives. When the Germans crossed the Don, Hitler gave permission for the city to be bypassed in order to pursue Marshal Timoshenko’s escaping forces, but the commander, at that time Field Marshal von Bock, decided to take it by storm. On 13 July von Bock was replaced by General von Weich, but resistance at Voronezh has still not been wiped out; tanks which ought to be driving to Stalingrad are still fighting in the suburbs.
On 13 July Hitler made Stalingrad - not the Caucasus - the main objective for Army Group B, and today he switched the 4th Panzer Army to reinforce that attack. Despite the delays, he believes that Timoshenko and the Red Army are finished. This is not the view of his army chiefs of staff.
NORTH AFRICA: A British attack is finally broken by German and Italian forces around Miteirya Ridge. Rommel is having increasing difficulty, once again, with supplies and suggests retreat to Cavallero and Kesselring.
In Libya, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF) B-24s bomb Bengasi harbor and B-17s hit Tobruk. (Jack McKillop)
PACIFIC: USAAF B-17s bomb the harbor at Rabaul, New Britain Island, Admiralty Islands. (Jack McKillop)
Portugese Timor: The Kuru lands the first on many “Z Special Force” parties from AIB The Allied Intelligence Bureau. These teams, normally of 3 or 4 men with guerrilla and local language and customs skills are tasked with raising local troops; these troops will be sent back to Australia for specialist training then reinserted to cause the enemy as much mayhem as possible. (William L. Howard)(188, 189, 190, 191)
AUSTRALIA: Minesweeper HMAS Castlemaine commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: In the Aleutians, three 11th Air Force B-17s and 7 B-24s fly weather, bombing and photo missions; shipping is bombed and North and South Heads of Kiska Island are photographed; fighters down 1 B-17E. (Jack McKillop)
Submarine USS Hake launched.
Destroyer USS Satterlee launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-751 sunk NW of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 45.14N, 12.22W, by depth charges from an RAF 61 Sqn Whitley and a 502 Sqn Lancaster. 48 dead (all hands lost). (Dave Shirlaw)
Note the story of FDR aide Lauchlin Currie going to visit Chiang Kai-shek.
Currie had been named as a Soviet agent by Whittaker Chambers to Adolf Berle in 1939. Venona decrypts confirm his role as a Soviet agent. He fled to Colombia after the war but was never charged.
Lauchlin Curry was a Soviet asset.
I've been keeping an eye on this bird since his panegyric to political commissars in the Red Army a few months back. Has to be the same guy. He had to defect; how else could he pick up his Stalin Prize?
The transfer of 4th Panzer Army will create a massive traffic jam, and slow the impetus of Army Group A’s advance. Later, when Army Group A will need 4th Panzer Army, Hitler will re-assign it back to Army Group B, for commitment to the battle for Stalingrad.
Brings to mind an incident I read about in a book called Last Victory In Russia by George M Nipe Jr. The incident took place in Feb-March 1943 during the fighting for Kharkov-following is a quotation from the book:
The assault on Dergatschi was made by the SS tanks, unsupported by the SS Grenadiers, an unwise choice that could have resulted in unnecessary loss of armor. In fact, the tank of the commander 7. Kompanie, Obersturmfuhrer Rudolf von Ribbentrop, was nearly knocked out during the following battle. Ribbentrop was a bystander during the argument between Witt and Hansen that is described above, an event he recounted after the war. After Gross turned away from Hansen, he found Ribbentrop and ordered him to drive straight through the village. Ribbentrop was not happy with this decision and his fears were justified. When the tanks attempted to move down the narrow streets, a Russian jumped on Ribbentrop's tank, with a hand grenade or Molotov cocktail in his hand. The commander of the following tank, SS Untersturmfuhrer Stollmeier, ordered his gunner to load a high explosive shell and blast the Russian off Ribbentrop's tank. Understandably, the tremendous impact of the high explosive shell stunned and terrified Ribbentrop and his crew, although the tank itself was not damaged.Stollmeier told Ribbentrop what he had done over the radio. Ribbentrop, who was naturally somewhat disturbed by the drastic nature of this expedient, strongly suggested that Stollmeier could have used his machine gun for that task. However, Stollmeier's machine guns were jammed and the quick thinking tank commander had decided upon an alternate strategy for removing the Russian from the tank. It was effective, although providing a violent and frightening shock for Ribbentrop and his crew.
The defecting Ralph Parker was British, which doesn't mean he wasn't a Times correspondent. I don't know where I would start looking if I was really going to dig into this question. Probably the reference desk.
"Radio correspondent William L. Shirer conveyed to millions of Americans the news of France's capitulation to Germany in June 1940.
A perceptive observer of Nazism, and later the author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Shirer was one of the earliest voices to warn Americans of Hitler's demonic intentions.
In December 1942 he joined other Americans of German descent in signing a Christmas declaration denouncing the "cold-blooded extermination of the Jews" and urging Germans to overthrow Hitler and his government."
I shall never forget the portrayal of that in "War and Remembrance". One of the most chilling things I've ever seen.
Rudolf von Ribbentropp was the son of German Foreign Minister Jochem von ribbentropp.
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