Skip to comments.PATTON 12 MILES FROM PARIS, DRIVING FOE TO NEW TRAP ON SEINE; TOULON ATTACKED (8/19/44)
Posted on 08/19/2014 4:11:07 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
#1 - Swinging on a Star Bing Crosby
#2 - Ill Be Seeing You Bing Crosby
#3 Ill Get By - Harry James, with Dick Haymes (reissue of 1941 recording)
#4 - Time Waits for No One Helen Forrest
#5 - Ill Walk Alone Dinah Shore
#6 Amor - Bing Crosby
#7 Ill Walk Alone Martha Tilton
#8 Ill Be Seeing You Tommy Dorsey, with Frank Sinatra
#9 - G.I. Jive Louis Jordan
#10 - You Always Hurt the One You Love Mills Brothers
Rebellion in Paris
Saturday, August 19, 1944 www.onwar.com
In Occupied France... In Paris French resistance members begin an open rebellion against German occupation forces.
On the Western Front... Elements of the US 3rd Army reach the Seine River at Mantes Grassicourt. There is heavy fighting between Falaise and Argentan.
August 19th, 1944 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Submarine FS Morse (ex-HMS Vortex) launched.
Corvette HMCS Tillsonburg arrived Londonderry from workups at Stornoway.
SHAEF orders the removal of invasion stripes from Allied aircraft. (Ron Babuka)
FRANCE: Paris: At 7am today 2,000 striking policemen take over the Préfecture de Police. They hold off a counter-attack and capture 700 Germans. The police took the initiative from the communists whose leader, Colonel Rol, was taken by surprise, turning up at the prefecture on a bicycle and giving the orders for a general rising. Today the Germans also cut the cities gas supply.
The US XV Corps reaches the Seine at Mates Grasicourt.
The Polish 1st Armored Division links up with the U.S. 90th Infantry Division at Chambois, a village 15 miles (24 kilometres) southeast of Falaise thereby closing the Falaise Pocket. German loses in the ensuing four day battle are 10,000 dead and 40,000 captured.
In southern France, US Twelfth Air Force A-20 Havocs hit marshalling yards while B-25s and B-26s bomb road and rail bridges throughout southeastern France; fighter-bombers and fighters continue to pound enemy communications north and west, of the beachhead and guns in the immediate battle area as the US Seventh Army’s Task Force Butler crosses the Durance River and moves north to Sisteron and Digne.
The USN battleship USS Nevada (BB-36), French battleship Lorraine, and heavy cruiser USS Augusta (CA-31) conduct reconnaissance in force off Toulon to support the U.S. Army’s Third Division and French troops making a drive on that port. Escorted by four destroyers, Nevada, Lorraine, and Augusta shell the harbour and batteries at St. Mandrier; heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA-71) provides counter-battery fire on Giens, from position south of Isle Port Cros.
VOF-1 from TULAGI shot down three He 111s. VF-74 from KASAAN BAY shot down one Do 217. Both of these carriers were of the CASABLANCA class. (Keith Allen)
Falaise, Normandy: A fleet of RAF Dakotas today landed 60 SAS soldiers led by Captain Roy Farran on an airstrip behind enemy lines at Rennes. The force disappeared into a forest near Orleans to ambush German columns. This is the 32nd operation of its kind since D-Day.
From Brittany to Dijon, SAS soldiers are creating havoc by direct attacks on railways and telephone lines, by targetting RAF strikes on military headquarters and by stiffening the Maquis with weapons, supplies and fighting leadership. It might have been otherwise. The Army top brass wanted to insert the SAS, now a brigade of 2,500 immediately behind the coastal area between the German infantry and their supporting tanks: a recipe for disaster which led the SAS commander, Bill Stirling (brother of the founder, the captured David), to resign.
Hitler has developed a special distaste for these special forces, “Such men are dangerous” he affirms in an order for their execution as terrorists of captured. At Chambon 11 days ago Major Ian Fenwick deliberately drove into a German ambush with all guns firing from his Jeep and was killed. Near Auxerre, with two jeeps and a few men, Captain Derrick Harrison stormed into a village square crowded with SS men, interrupting the execution of 20 hostages. His Vickers machine gun jammed; his driver dead, he escaped leaving 60 enemy bodies in the smouldering wreckage of their vehicles.
Mantes-Gassicourt: During a night of pouring rain, units of Patton’s Third Army crossed the Seine, 40 miles from Paris. Some men walked across a dam, others went in assault craft at Mantes-Gassicourt, near La Roche Guyon, the German headquarters. While the heaviest fighting continues in the “Falaise Pocket”, near Argentan, where large Panzer forces are being concentrated, Patton has sent three of his corps south and east to capture Orleans and Chartres, with advance units poised to take Fontainebleau.
The Germans retreating from the Falaise/Argentan pocket are being attacked from the air with devastating effect; but the confusion on the ground has on several occasions led to Allied troops being bombed by their own air forces. The British 51st Highland Division has reported 40 accidental air attacks in one day, causing 51 casualties.
Field Marshal von Kluge, sacked by Hitler as C-in-C Army Group B, committed suicide today by swallowing poison. Four days ago his car was shot up by Allied planes, his radio was wrecked and he was cut off from contact with Army HQ in Berlin. Hitler was convinced, mistakenly, that he was trying to make peace with the Allies. When communications were restored von Kluge refused to obey an order from Berlin to mount a counter-attack. His suicide note protested his devotion to the Fuhrer, but urged him to end the war: “The German people have borne such untold suffering that it is time to put an end to this frightfulness.” Field Marshal Walter Model takes over.
U-466 (Type VIIC) which had been damaged on 5 July, 1944 by bombs from US B-24 aircraft at Toulon, France, is scuttled 19 Aug, during the Allied invasion of southern France. (Alex Gordon)
German submarines U-123 and U-129 are scuttled to avoid capture at Lorient.
U-123 taken out of service at Lorient, France 17 Jun 1944. Scuttled there 19 Aug 1944. Surrendered to France in 1945 and became the French submarine Blaison. Stricken 18 Aug 1959 as Q165. (DS)
VICHY FRANCE: German SS men today arrested Marshal Petain and ordered him to move to Belfort, where his prime minister, Pierre Laval, was sent two days ago. It is thought that both will be taken to Germany.
The troops broke down the door of the Hotel de Parc, where the head of the Vichy state has lived since 1940, and burst into the Marshal’s bedroom.
At first he refused German protection, but the Germans threatened to bomb the town of Vichy unless he agreed, and he was then arrested by the SS.
GERMANY: U-2330, U-2508 and U-3005U-3005 launched.
U-2327 and U-3502 commissioned.
U.S.S.R.: Riga: In an attempt to save its Army Group North, cut off in Estonia by the advancing Red Army which had reached the Baltic at the Bay of Riga, the German high command has unleashed three Panzer divisions in the Autse area,
Striking at the over-extended left wing of General Bagramyan’s First Baltic Front, the German tanks have crashed through the flank of the armoured column which had dashed to the coast. Despite desperate efforts by the Russians to seal the gap, the Germans have opened up a narrow corridor along the coast to restore land contact with General Schorner’s divisions. The corridor is narrow, but it is being held with great determination and Schorner can now withdraw his men and equipment from what threatened to become a “cauldron” in which they would have been cut up and destroyed.
This sudden blow by the Germans demonstrates, that despite their terrible defeats this summer, they can still muster strong reinforcements and defeat the Russians when not faced with overwhelming numbers of men and tanks. It also demonstrated the extent to which the Russians have stretched themselves since Operation Bagration. Their victories have been stupendous, but they have suffered great losses in men and material.
ROMANIA: Using H2X radar, 65 B-17 Flying Fortresses, supported by 125 P-51 Mustangs, of the USAAF’s Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy bomb two oil refineries at Ploesti for the third consecutive day.
YUGOSLAVIA: Two B-17 Flying Fortresses of the USAAF’s Fifteenth Air Force in Italy, visually bomb the railroad at Cuprija.
ITALY, Pisa: Nakae, Masato, Pvt., US 100th/442nd Infantry, awarded the MOH for actions today. (Posthumous). (William L. Howard)
KURILE ISLANDS: The US Eleventh Air Force dispatches a weather sortie and a shipping sweep by 4 B-25s with negative results.
PALAU ISLANDS: Radar-equipped B-24s of the US Thirteenth Air Force attack Japanese airfields and defenses during the night of 19/20 August.
PACIFIC OCEAN: USN submarine attacks on Japanese convoy HI 71, begun the previous day, continue off the west coast of Luzon, Philippine Islands, as USS Bluefish (SS-222) sinks fast fleet tanker/seaplane carrier HIJMS Hayasui, 80 nautical miles (92 miles or 148 kilometres) northwest of Cape Bolinao in position 17.34N, 119.23E, and damages hospital ship Awa Maru, 17.36N, 119.38E.
USN submarine USS Spadefish (SS-411) sinks a Japanese landing craft depot repair ship Tamatsu Maru west of Luzon, 18.48N, 119.47E.
USN submarine USS Redfin (SS-272) lays mines off Sarawak, Borneo.
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Smiths Falls launched Kingston, Ontario.
U.S.A.: Destroyer USS Massey launched.
Light cruiser USS Topeka launched.
Destroyer escort USS Presley launched.
Destroyer USS Little commissioned.
Destroyer escort USS Finnegan commissioned. Aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea laid down.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-413 sank SS Saint Enogat in Convoy ETC-72.
U-862 sank SS Wayfarer.
HMCS Arnprior (ex-HMS Rising Castle), a Castle-class corvette built in the UK and transferred to the RCN, departed Londonderry with the 153-ship convoy ON-249, bound for New York City. The convoy arrived safely with all of its ship intact on 02 Sep 44. ON-249 was the largest of that series of convoys run during the war. ‘ON’ stood for ‘Outward North’ from Liverpool to North America. This series was started in July 1941 and terminated in June 1945 with the arrival of ON 305. The average convoy size was approximately 50 merchant ships and eight escorts. In all, 14,864 ships sailed in the ON series and 162 (1.1%) were lost, most of them in 1942. Of the total lost, only 81 (.55%) were in the convoy at the time of their sinking. The remainder were either stragglers or were ‘out of convoy’ due to detachment, weather, engineering defect, or some other tactical situation that made independent movement necessary. The overall loss rate in 1942 was 2.95%, which was considered unsustainable. This loss rate did not include damaged ships that were effectively lost for the period that they were under repair. Nearly as many ships were damaged as were lost due to enemy action. The effects of weather, collision, grounding and other accidents added substantially to the efforts of the enemy.
Bottom of page 10: “2,210 New Zealand Fliers Dead.”
I’m sure that number would be even more shocking if we compared it to their population.
There will still be some nasty little battles as the Allies slog through those mountains toward Grenoble and beyond. Bad luck for the veterans of Anzio ... but at least they’re not stuck on the beachhead for months.
I had no idea that the general public was aware of the V2 even before it started flying in a couple of weeks.
You learn something new every day.
Mad man of St Malo
A German Soldier does not capitulate. The equivalent of “Aww nuts!”
Sounded like a professional soldier. held out for 11 days. treated our prisoners well. In final moments before surrender, released the prisoners, polished their boots, drank their cognac and then came out (from the article).
Not much infor on him except for this one event. Died in 1968
One of his awards was the Cuba Shield, wonder what the history of that was?
Captives Clean Up Debris
Hundreds of German prisoners, who have volunteered to work for their captors for pay, are busy clearing up the rubble and mess they left when they tried to demolish the port of Cherbourg before they surrendered. Many of these Herrenvolk (look this up, the word had meaning then) are guarded by Negroes with carbines and machine guns, but they seem quite happy with their lot. For them, as for the people of Normandy, the war at last is over.
Here is the answer to the Kuban Shield, (not Cuba)
US FLIERS SMASH AT IWO, NEAR JAPAN
First mention of Iwo Jima? Liberators had 1,300 mile round trip. Less thatn 650 mile from Japan. Light reaction from enemy.
Cool t-shirt at the linked site:
I noticed that article, too. When you grow up with the Alamo legend, you have to admire anyone who sticks to his post, no matter what ... especially if he does it with some style. "God and Texas! Victory or death!"
Thanks for your comment about the New Zealanders. Led me to the following:
Australia entered the war against Germany on 3 September 1939, shortly after Britain declared war when its ultimatum for Germany to withdraw from Poland expired. Unlike Canada and South Africa there was no legislative debate. The government of Australia believed that, as Prime Minister Robert Menzies said, “Britain is at war therefore Australia is at war”
While the government initially proposed deploying the entire RAAF overseas, it was instead decided to focus the force’s resources on training aircrew to facilitate a massive expansion of Commonwealth air power. In late 1939 Australia and the other Dominions established the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) to train large numbers of men for service in the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and other Commonwealth air units. Almost 28,000 Australians were eventually trained through EATS in schools in Australia, Canada and Rhodesia. While many of these men were posted to Australian Article XV squadrons, the majority served with British and other Dominion squadrons. Moreover, these nominally ‘Australian’ squadrons were not under RAAF control and Australians often made up a minority of their airmen. As the Australian Government had no effective control over how airmen trained through EATS were used, most Australian historians regard the scheme as having hindered the development of Australia’s defence capability. Nevertheless, RAAF airmen trained through EATS represented about nine percent of all aircrew who fought for the RAF in the European and Mediterranean theatres and made an important contribution to Allied operations.
Australian aircrew in Bomber Command had one of the highest casualty rates of any part of the Australian military during World War II. Although only two percent of Australians enlisted in the military served with Bomber Command, they incurred almost 20 percent of all Australian deaths in combat; 3,486 were killed and hundreds more were taken prisoner.
Not pertinent to your comment but interesting:
The Australian military’s role in the South-West Pacific decreased during 1944. In the latter half of 1943 the Australian Government decided, with MacArthur’s agreement, that the size of the military would be reduced to release manpower for war-related industries which were important to supplying Britain and the US forces in the Pacific. Australia’s main role in the Allied war effort from this point forward was supplying the other Allied countries with food, materials and manufactured goods needed for the defeat of Japan
We may criticize interment of civilians but war is war and we were not there. Was there any coverage of the august 5, 1944 event?
Thousands of Axis POWs were held in Australia during the war. A total of 25,720 POWs were held in Australia: 18,432 Italians, 5,637 Japanese and 1,651 Germans. These prisoners were housed in purpose-built camps and were treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. A total of 16,798 civilians were also interned. These included 8,921 Australian-resident “enemy aliens”, while the remainder were civilians sent to Australia for internment by other Allied countries. On the morning of 5 August 1944, approximately half of the 1,104 Japanese held at a camp near Cowra, New South Wales attempted to escape. The prisoners overwhelmed their guards and over 400 broke through the wire fences; however, every escapee was either recaptured or killed within 10 days.
Just that one page alone says so much about that war.
It is weird to see the same song, or I assume they are the same song, being in the top 10 by 2 different singers.
Indeed it does.
It is weird to see the same song, or I assume they are the same song, being in the top 10 by 2 different singers.
It happens every week. Sometimes 3 different performers.
Must not have been strange back then
Good pictures, backround and information here on siege of st malo. The number of hits on the metal pill box are telling.
Not related to today but imagine if the following had been in the newspapers:
American servicemen, led by wartime pro-Soviet propaganda to believe that Stalin was kindly “Uncle Joe” overseeing a noble human experiment in the USSR, were shocked at how most Russians in their charge reacted to the news that they were going to be repatriated to their Soviet homeland. This is illustrated by what took place at Dachau on June 17, 1946, after American authorities informed 400 Soviet refugees that they were going to be sent back to Russia:
“The scene inside was one of human carnage. The crazed men were attempting to take their own lives by any means. Guards cut down some trying to hang themselves from the rafters; two others disemboweled themselves; another man forced his head through a window and ran his throat over the glass fragments; others begged to be shot. Robert Murphy reported that ‘tear gas forced them out of the building into the snow where those who had cut and stabbed themselves fell exhausted and bleeding in the snow.’ Thirty-one men tried to take their own lives. Eleven succeeded: nine by hanging and two from knife wounds. Camp authorities managed to entrain the remaining 368. Despite the presence of American guards and a Soviet liaison officer, six of these escaped en route to the Soviet occupation zone. More and more the repatriation of unwilling persons was coming to disturb battle-hardened troops.”
The following month similar events took place at the Plattling camp in Bavaria. These were described by an eye-witness, U.S. Army translator William Sloane Coffin, Jr.:
“Despite the fact that there were three GIs to every returning Russian, I saw several men commit suicide, Two rammed their heads through windows sawing their necks on the broken glass until they cut their jugular veins. Another took his leather boot-straps, tied a loop to the top of his triple-decker bunk, put his head through the noose and did a back flip over the edge which broke his neck ... The memory is so painful that it’s almost impossible for me to write about it. My part in the Plattling operation left me a burden of guilt I am sure to carry the rest of my life.”
Through suicide, several thousand Russians managed to escape the horrors that awaited returnees in the East.
“U-123 taken out of service at Lorient, France 17 Jun 1944. Scuttled there 19 Aug 1944. Surrendered to France in 1945 and became the French submarine Blaison. Stricken 18 Aug 1959 as Q165.”
I get blown away by these factoids! A Nazi sub...one of the most famous...gets recycled as a French NATO sub for over a decade!
Successes 42 ships sunk, total tonnage 219,924 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 3,209 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 683 tons
5 ships damaged, total tonnage 39,584 GRT
1 auxiliary warship damaged, total tonnage 13,984 GRT
Despite the universal condemnation of Stalin even to the present day for failing to immediately take Warsaw months ago...I note that from Aug 19 to Dec 31 Stalin STILL fails to take Warsaw...or make much of a dent into Prussia!
I doubt it was just to show FDR and Churchill that he was previously dithering...
Very interesting information! Thanks for your effort.
Articles about this escape in earlier news paper articles.
They have been hitting the Bonins and Volcano Islands for some time now, ever since we got Saipan and Tinian. There have also been carrier raids.
Yes, the “Mad Man” was doing his duty, but I have been struck by how many of these German officers who execute Hitler “fight to the death” orders interpret them to mean, you men fight to the death and when enough of you have died, I’ll surrender.
Well, that’s true. That sort of thing is pretty typical.
Looks like the Germans have sent forlorn hope detachments into Marseille and Toulon, but the main body is pulling out.
Wow, the rout sure is on. I see another green wishful thinking line to try set up a defense line on the Somme, but I don’t see the units to man it. Pulling out of Paris was a necessity. The Germans didn’t have the troops there to defend it, especially with the FFI rising up. And Patton has Rommel’s old HQ in his grasp.
The French also recycled those well-built German submarine pens, and operated their owm sub fleet from them for several decades.
But there is definitely a lull in Pacific operations right now. The Nimitz diary for today would fit on the back of a postcard. The series of amphibious operations and carrier raids that wiped out Japan’s maritime defenses is over. The current carrier raids don’t seem as momentous. Both side must be gearing up for the next big move.
Even the Volkischer Beobachter admits the Battle of France is over and the German army there is spent. Interesting how Ike had a conference with his top generals and came out tight-lipped.
Churchill wrote in a letter to FDR just the other day that he wanted reassurance that the pens would be destroyed before being returned to the French! I guess he didn’t trust them. He easily could have thought they would go commie. They almost did several times, of course.
I noticed the same thing. What occurred to me is he may have had a discussion about taking over direct command and stripping Monty of his ground command title. Was Hanson Baldwin as usual prescient about the subject?
The troops have just come through a grueling campaign in the Marianas and I’m sure need rest, refitting and training up replacements. Getting ready for the next one.
According to this it was U510 that became the French submarine
Notes: U-510 was of a small number of Type IXC u-boats modified for distant operations, with increased fuel, food, and enhanced AA gun armament. In 1943-1944 she conducted a patrol in the Indian Ocean, going as far east as Japanese-occupied Singapore where the Imperial Japanese navy refueled and resupplied her.
U-510 was stationed at Lorient in occupied France for most of WWII, before retreating to Flensburg in late October 1944. U-510 was at sea in the Atlantic when Germany surrendered. The crew elected not to scuttle the ship and instead proceeded to Ste. Nazaire, France where they surrendered. The Allies allocated the submarine to France as reparations.
Sometime in early 1946 the ex-U-510 was moved to Brest, France, where the French navy modified the vessel by eliminating all gun armament and adding a streamlined GUPPY-type sail, along with a new snorkel head. On 24 June 1947, the submarine was renamed Commandant Bouan and commissioned into the French navy. The French navy was fairly enthusiastic about this submarine as it had excellent range and good diving depth.
Would be interesting to see how much spalling occurred inside.
U-510 was captured by American forces at Saint-Nazaire on 10 May 1945. Awarded to the French in 1946, she was commissioned into the French Navy, and renamed Bouan (S.612) on 24 June 1947. She served until struck on 1 May 1959, renamed hull Q.176 on 23 November 1959, and was broken up in 1960.