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  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:40:44 AM PST · 10 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/11/22.htm

    December 22nd, 1944 (FRIDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM:

    Three USAAF Ninth Air Force fighter groups (nine squadrons) of the IX Tactical Air Command are transferred to the XIX Tactical Air Command to concentrate air power for cooperation with the U.S. Third Army to which the main effort against the Bulge has been assigned; the groups return to control of the IX Tactical Air Command on 25 December. Fighters fly a few strafing, weather reconnaissance, intruder patrol, and alert missions; bad weather cancels all other missions.

    Destroyer HMS Zenith commissioned.

    BELGIUM: A German demand for surrender is delivered to the US 101st Airborne at Bastogne. General McAuliffe is reported to have said “Nuts!”.

    St. Vith is evacuated by the Allies and falls to the German offensive, behind schedule.

    Rundstedt, Model and Guderian recommend that the offensive be halted. This is due to Allied resistance, the arrival of reserve units, and the clearing weather.

    Another factor which greatly worried Generaloberst Guderian [as Chef des Generalstabes], was the precarious situation in the _tenatively_ dormant northern sector of the Eastern front, which [excluding Kurland] ran roughly from the Baltic in East Prussia following the Weichsel [Vistula] south over the Carpathians into the SE theater, where the Soviets were in the process of encircling Budapest, and because of Romania and Bulgaria’s defection from the Axis camp earlier in the year, were making deep strides into the Balkans. Guderian, through Gen.Maj. Reinhard Gehlen, Chief of the OKH intelligence section known as ‘Fremde Heere Ost’ [Foreign Armies East] , expected the Russian winter offensive to commence at any moment from the deep Soviet bridegheads over the Weichsel at Magnusew, Sandomierz, and the largest, at Baranow, south of Warsaw, all captured and exploited by the Red Army in the fierce rearguard fighting of fall 1944. Earlier in December, the fighting in the southeast prompted Hitler to take Guderian’s most potent mobile reserve from around Warsaw, the IV.SS-Panzerkorps, which included the top-rate 5.SS ‘Wiking’ and 3.SS-’Totenkopf’ Panzer divisions, and send them south to the Budapest salient. Despite a feeble attempt at creating a defensive line ‘in depth’ across Poland and into the eastern apporoaches of the Reich by creating a number of interlocking ‘Festungsta(e)dte’ or ‘Fortress Cities’, with which to anchor a defensive withdrawl, the actuality of the situation at this point in the East was bluntly surmised by Guderian in a conference at the FHQ just before the Ardennes offensive where he told Hitler that:, “The Eastern Front is like a House of Cards, one push, and it will collapse.” Hitler said that they had faced serious setbacks in the East before, and that they had always survived them, pronouncing, “the East will have to take care of itself, as in the past.” [The blow actually came on January 12, 1945, and there was indeed very little between the Vistuala and the Oder with which to stop the advance of the Red Army. By the end of February 1945 they would be on the Oder, at the gates of the Reichshauptstadt - Berlin.]

    See Tony LeTissier’s new book: ZHUKOV ON THE ODER, available through Frank Cass Publ.

    Russ Folsom

    Trapped here in a network of road links are several thousand lightly-armed men of the 28th Infantry and 10th and 101st US Airborne Divisions. The Germans with one infantry and two Panzer divisions around the town, this morning sent a courier with a message calling on the Americans to surrender. Brig-Gen Anthony C McAuliffe took the paper and scrawled: “To the German commander: NUTS! The American Commander.”

    Despite McAuliffe’s relaxed defiance the American position remains precarious, both here and elsewhere. A Panzer force passing north of Bastogne is headed for Ourtheville and Celle, within striking distance of Dinant and Namur. Further north the Americans, having lost 8,000 of some 22,000 men at St. Vith are pulling back.

    Three days ago in his headquarters at Versailles, Eisenhower met his field commanders, Bradley, Patton and Devers, of the US 6th Army Group in Lorraine. He told them he expected only cheerful faces - and then gave them the bad news. Part of Bradley’s 12th Army Group, cut off north of the Ardennes bulge, is being transferred to Montgomery’s command. Bradley took it badly, especially when told of Monty’s swaggering into a US operational HQ and refusing a lunch invitation.

    The tide of battle may be about to shift though. The German thrusts have repeatedly been stalled by fuel shortages and pockets of American resistance. Better still the days of sleet and low cloud, which have protected the Germans from Allied air power, are about to end, according to the forecasters.

    Meanwhile, Patton’s Third Army is on the move. Eisenhower did not believe Patton when he promised that he would be at Bastogne by today; he had to disengage his men from battle on the Saar front, execute a 90 degree change of course and move over 130,000 vehicles 75 miles to the north. And he has done just that.

    General der Infanterie Heinz Kokott, Commanding General 26 Volks Grenadier Division:

    “The elements of the division surrounding Bastogne in a wide arc - from Recogne to almost Mande-St. Etienne - could be supplied only with difficulty. This not only because the units were widely separated from each other but especially due to the fact that, owing to enemy air activity, supply movements had to be confined to the hours of darkness and nighttime. Movements by the horse-drawn supply columns, the regimental columns and the supply platoons of the battalions were carried out with untiring efforts, and the loading space of the motorized columns was utilized to thee limit of its capacity. (Jay Stone)

    7th U.S. Army had repositioned to cover ground formerly held by Patton’s 35d Army. Germans realized that this was a serious weakness in the U.S. force.

    Plans for “Operation Nordwind” were finalized with massing of the “lost German Divisions” (that Allied intelligence could not account for) along the Rhine for an assault against U.S. 7th Army in Alsace-Lorraine. Hitler wanted to drive to Paris. German generals were more realistic and wanted to recapture Strasburg, now held by the Free French First Army.

    [Strasburg was considered politically critical by both the French and the Germans since they had been fighting over it for 100 years.]

    To the dismay of German General Staff, Heinrich Himmler was given command of the Army of the Upper Rhine. (Joe Brott)

    FRANCE: The Canadians reportedly capture Tilly before dawn, but they only control half the village, and the German panzers counter-attack, destroying most Canadian tanks and cutting off the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.

    In the U.S. Third Army’s XII Corps area, the 35th Infantry Division moves from Puttelange to Metz. The 2d Cavalry Group (Mechanized) assembles near Vatimont.

    LUXEMBOURG: In the U.S. Third Army’s III Corps area, the 26th Infantry Division, to the right of the corps, marches about 16 miles (26 kilometers) before making contact with the Germans in the Rambrouch-Grosbous area. After a 5-mile (8 kilometer) advance, the 80th Infantry Division runs into stiff resistance at Merzig and Ettelbruck but clears most of Merzig. In XX Corps area, the 90th Infantry Division completes a withdrawal of the Dillingen bridgehead.

    GERMANY:

    In the U.S. Ninth Army’s XIX Corps area, the 5th Armored Division clears Untermaubach and Schneidhausen before being relieved in the line by the 8th and 83d Infantry Divisions. The 8th Infantry Division attack on Obermaubach fails.

    During the night of 22/23 December, RAF Bomber Command flies two missions: in the first mission, 166 Lancasters and two Mosquitos, but with some Pathfinders, are sent to bomb the Mosel marshalling yard (M/Y) at Koblenz; 162 aircraft bomb the target without loss. The aiming point is the Mosel railway yards. There is some cloud in the target area and the local report says that the main weight of the attack falls in the farming areas between 2 and 4 kilometers (1.2 and 2.5 miles) to the west where the villages of Güls and Rübenach are badly hit. But the fringes of the bombing falls on the railway yards, several main lines and two important road bridges. In the second mission, 106 aircraft, 90 Halifaxes, 14 Lancasters and two Mosquitos, are dispatched to bomb the Bingerbruck M/Y at Bingen; two Halifaxes and a Lancaster are lost. The attack is extremely accurate and all bombs fall into the yards or into the nearby Rhine River, where two barges are sunk. All movement of supp lies by rail through Bingen to the Ardennes battle front cease.
    U-2358, U-3028 launched

    U-3517 commissioned.

    HUNGARY: A provisional Hungarian government, under Soviet protection, is formed at Debrecen.

    ITALY: Clearing weather during the day enables USAAF Twelfth Air Force medium bombers to hit bridges at Torre Beretti, Pontetidone, and Chiari; fighter-bombers concentrate on railway targets, destroying five bridges in northern Italy and making numerous cuts in rail lines, several on the important Brenner Pass line. Motor transport and guns north of the battle area are also successfully attacked. During the night of 22/23 December, A-20 Havocs on intruder patrols hit Po River crossings and targets of opportunity.

    YUGOSLAVIA: Eleven RAF bombers of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group fly supplies to partisans.

    SWEDEN: A secret OSS report originating in Stockholm stated that U-boats armed with V-1s would shortly sail on a patrol against New York; this was the fourth such report in 8 weeks.

    BURMA: In the Northern Combat Area Command area, the 29th Brigade, British 36th Division, moving down the Irrawaddy River, gets patrols to Tigyaing, from which the Japanese have withdrawn. From Tigyaing the brigade is to cross the river for a drive on Mongmit while the rest of the division closes in on Mongmit from the north.

    Twelve USAAF Tenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells bomb a supply area at Magyidon; eight P-47 Thunderbolts knock out the Namhkai bypass bridge and damage two bridges at Kinu and 16 hit targets of opportunity along the Irrawaddy River from Tagaung to Thabeikkyin and along the road east and north to Mongmit and 12 P-47 Thunderbolts bomb and strafe a personnel area at Onbauk and bridge at Na-lang.

    USAAF Fourteenth Air Force aircraft strafe Heho Airfield and targets of opportunity at Wanling.

    CHINA: Two USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells bomb Yungning. Over 80 P-51 Mustangs and P-40s on armed reconnaissance over wide reaches of southern China, eastern Burma, and northern French Indochina hit numerous targets of opportunity. The Tien Ho Airfield in Canton is strafed and several aircraft are destroyed in battles over Canton and Kai Tek Airfield in Hong Kong. Rail facilities, river and road traffic, and other targets of opportunity are hit at Chinchengehiang and the Pingsiang-Yungning area.

    JAPAN: The USAAF Twentieth Air Force’s XXI Bomber Command flies Mission 14: 78 B-29 Superfortresses from the Mariana Islands are dispatched to hit the Mitsubishi aircraft industrial complex in Nagoya; 48 hit the primary target and 14 hit alternate targets. Total cloud cover prevents accuracy, and damage is light. B-29 gunners claim 9-17-15 Japanese aircraft; three B-29s are lost.

    FRENCH INDOCHINA: Four USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells damage a bridge at Song Hoa. Rail facilities, river and road traffic, and other targets of opportunity are hit by fighter-bombers at Gia Lam.

    COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: In the U.S. Sixth Army’s X Corps area on Leyte Island, the 127th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division reaches Lonoy. The 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, aided by a mortar platoon brought forward by sea, clears Tuktuk. In the XXIV Corps area, the 2d and 3d Battalions, 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, start west from Valencia toward the coast at Palompon, passing through the 1st Battalion, the 306th Infantry Regiment at the Togbong River and continuing across the Pagsangahan River toward Matagob. Engineers follow closely to work on the bridges.

    On Luzon, USAAF Far East Air Forces (FEAF) B-24 Liberators, with P-47 Thunderbolt support, bomb Clark Field while P-47 Thunderbolts bomb and strafe Lipa Airfield. On Negros Island, B-24s bomb Carolina Airfield while B-25 Mitchells, with P-47 cover, hit Fabrica Aerodrome. On Mindanao Island, B-24s bomb storage and personnel areas while B-25s hit the waterfront at Zamboanga. FEAF aircraft fly numerous shipping searches, armed reconnaissance, and sweeps over Mindanao and throughout the Netherlands East Indies.

    EAST INDIES: In the Moluccas Islands of the Netherlands East Indies, numerous fighter-bombers pound the Wasile Bay and Goeroea areas on Galela Island and Hate Tabako Aerodrome on Halmahera Island. USAAF and Australian B-24 Liberators, B-25 Mitchells, and fighter-bombers bomb Lolobato and Hate Tabako Aerodromes on Halmahera Island and the Goeroea area. The Australian First Tactical Air Force beings a four-day blitz on Japanese installations. A total of 384 Kittyhawk and 129 Beaufighter sorties are made in the four days.

    NEW GUINEA: The 14th Antiaircraft Artillery Group arrive. (Jean Beach)

    VOLCANO ISLANDS: During the night of 22/23 December, two USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators based in the Mariana Islands make harassing strikes on Iwo Jima.

    U.S.A.: Washington: Henry Arnold is promoted to the rank of General of the Army.

    Commissioning of first 2 African-American WAVES officers, Harriet Ida Pickens and Frances F. Wills.
    Light cruiser USS Oklahoma City commissioned.

    Destroyer USS Southerland commissioned.

    Destroyer escort USS Sutton commissioned.

  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:38:31 AM PST · 9 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    Liege Threatened (Middleton) – 2-4
    60-Mile Gap Torn in Lines, Nazis Say – 4
    Restoring Freedom of Worship to the People of Europe (photo) – 4
    Our Men Belt and Jolt Foe on Line Built under Stress (Denny) – 5
    U.S. Fliers Using Mindoro Airfield (Kluckhohn) – 6
    War News Summarized – 6
    The Ormoc Landing that Spelled Doom to the Japanese on Leyte (photo) – 7
    Sights Raised for Luzon (Baldwin) – 9
    The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones – 10-12
    Colorado Court Curbs Labor Law – 12
    Santa Claus Visits the Beekman Hospital (w/photo) – 12
  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:37:33 AM PST · 8 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    The first of the two following excerpts is continued from December 10. The second is continued from yesterday.

    1

     photo 1222-liege16_zpsab907fbb.jpg

    2

     photo 1222-liege17_zps755e8daf.jpg

    Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy

  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:36:41 AM PST · 7 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Continued from December 18.

     photo 1222-liege15_zps3bc67af5.jpg

    Major General H.W. Blakeley, USA, Ret., 32d Infantry Division in World War II

     photo 1222-liege18_zps8f00a7da.jpg

    Troops of the 127TH Infantry, 32D Div., look over burning Japanese tanks knocked out by American tanks north of Lonoy, Leyte, P.I. on 22 December 1944.

     photo 1222-liege19_zps6282e2b9.jpg

    T5 Russell W. Smith, Service Co., 127TH Infantry, 32D Div., of Clarksburg, W. Va., using bulldozer to clear destroyed Japanese tanks from road to Lonoy, Leyte, P.I., to make room for passage of Sherman tanks on 22 December 1944.

    Now that the Ormoc Valley was secured, the majority of the remaining Japanese forces on Leyte had been forced into the northwest corner of the island. Sixth Army's next objective was to eliminate those enemy units and prevent their escape for future use elsewhere. Four U.S. divisions would now turn 90 degrees and push west off Highway 2 to the sea to finalize the capture of Leyte. The southernmost unit, the 77TH Division, would advance to seize Palompon, the last main port available to the Japanese. To the right (north) of the 77TH Division would be the 1ST Cavalry Division, then the 32D Division, and then the 24TH Division.

    “The northwestern mountains of Leyte west of Ormoc Bay provided a difficult barrier to any movement toward the northwest coast. The area was the last one available to the Japanese either for escaping from Leyte or for staging defensive actions. In general, the terrain was rough, increasing in altitude from broken ground and low hills in the north to steep rocky ridges and high hills in the south. The northern part was either under cultivation or covered with cogon grass. Toward the south, the cultivated fields and grasslands were gradually supplanted by dense forests.” (Cannon 347)

    32nd Division history in World War II

  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:32:12 AM PST · 6 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Continued from yesterday.

     photo 1222-liege14_zps70da8a50.jpg

    Stephen E. Ambrose, Band of Brothers

  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:31:17 AM PST · 5 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    [Continued from December 17.]

    On December 22, General Heinrich von Luettwitz, commander of the German XLVIIth Armored Corps, sent a written note to General A.C. McAuliffe, commanding the 101st Airborne, demanding surrender of Bastogne. He received a one-word answer which became famous: “NUTS!”

    William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:30:46 AM PST · 4 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:30:09 AM PST · 3 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
    The Philippine Islands: Leyte Island and the Visayas, 1944 – Sixth Army Operations on Leyte and Samar, 17 October-30 December 1944
    The Philippine Islands: Leyte Island and the Visayas, 1944 – Sixth Army Operations Mindoro and Marinduque Islands, 13 December 1944-24 January 1945
    The Ardennes Area, 1944: The Initial German Attack and Operations, 16-25 December 1944
    Eastern France and the Low Countries, 1944: Territorial Changes along the Front, 16 December 1944-7 February 1945 and Allied Plan for Rhineland Campaign
    Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Balkan and Baltic Campaigns – Operations, 19 August-31 December 1944
    Northern Italy 1944: Allied Advance to Gothic Line, 5 June-25 August and Gains 29 August-31 December
    China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
    China-Burma, 1941: Third Burma Campaign – Slim’s Offensive, June 1944-March 1945
  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:29:36 AM PST · 2 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • AMERICANS DRIVE 9 MILES INTO GERMAN FLANK, BUT ENEMY SPEARHEADS CUT TWO VITAL ROADS (12/22/44)

    12/22/2014 4:27:22 AM PST · 1 of 12
    Homer_J_Simpson
  • NAZI PUSH MOUNTS IN POWER, 13 DIVISIONS USED; FOG BALKS AIR BLOWS AT RAMPAGING COLUMNS (12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:54:46 AM PST · 8 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/11/21.htm

    December 21st, 1944 (THURSDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM: Submarine HMS Spearhead commissioned.

    BELGIUM:

    “THE FOLLOWING PERSONAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE WAS WRITTEN BY General der Infanterie Heinz Kokott, Commanding General 26 Volks Grenadier Division which was attacking Bastogne. COMMENTARY IS BY JAY STONE WHO SERVED THERE WITH THE 101st AIRBORNE DIVISION.”

    The US 101st Airborne has been almost completely surrounded at Bastogne. The US 82nd Airborne is pushed out of Hoffalize as the German offensive continues. US forces retake Stavelot and halts the German XLVII Corps.

    General der Infanterie Heinz Kokott, Commanding General 26 Volks Grenadier Division:

    “Towards 1000 hours the weather cleared up - for the first time since the start of the offensive.

    “This had been dreaded by everybody [not by me] for it was well known what a clear day would mean! And after barely two hours, the first enemy fighter-bombers appeared in the sky - though not yet in great numbers!

    ‘With that moment, the enemy was able to bring a dreaded and very effective weapon into battle, and - on the basis of the assurances and promises which had been given by the very highest command to both the combat leaders and men prior to the offensive - it could only be hoped that this time the German air force could knock the enemy out of the skies!

    “During the morning . . . Rifle Regiment 39 reported a successful advance . . . towards Assenois as well as fierce, but slowly progressing, fighting in the wooded terrain between Assenois and Villeroux. Everywhere the enemy fought determinedly and also made some counter attacks but was forced back steadily.”


    The 26th Reconnaissance, along with elements of the 5th Infantry Parachute Division, seized Sibret during the dark, early morning hours.


    “Bitter fighting had taken place - particularly inside the town [of Sibret] and around an anti-tank gun barricade in the southern part - and for a time the battle was fluctuating and dramatic. In the end, however, the brave defenders had succumbed to the incessant assault from all directions. Reconnaissance Battalion 26 stimulated by its success and the personal example set by the battalion commander kept at the heels of the withdrawing enemy and stormed into the enemy artillery which was then just ready for displacement in the area north of Sibert. In addition to a sizeable number of prisoners, more than 20 guns of all types with ammunition were captured, as well as a great number of tanks and armored vehicles with motors still running and also many truck and jeeps. The enemy had suffered bloody losses. The reconnaissance battalion’s losses had also been considerable.”

    “On the afternoon of 21 December, the reinforced Rifle Regiment 39 fought its way up to Assenois against stubbornly fighting enemy forces and penetrated the southern part of the village. The Engineer Battalion and elements of the Replacement Training Battalion (subordinated to Rifle Regiment 39) were advancing further to the right and were fighting in the Bois Bechu Forest, or the southern part of the Bois Hazy Forest respectively, which resulted in loose contact with Regiment 901 of there Panzer Lehr Division, located between Remoifosse and Marvie.

    “The enemy carried out several counterattacks which, though at times leading to critical situations for the Engineer Battalion and the Replacement Training Battaion could in the long run, always be checked.

    “Reconnaissance Battalion 26 in its continued advance came across stubborn enemy resistance outside Senonchanps and at the same time was being attacked from the area north of Villeroux. The battalion was in quite a predicament, especially since those elements which had been committed for the protection of the left flank, had failed to get past enemy occupied Chenogne and were engaged in a battle for the village.

    “With great difficulties and utmost effort only, the reconnaissance battalion, during fluctuating battles, was able to check the powerful armored counterthrusts of the enemy from the Senonchanps area and the north thereof as well as attacks from Villerous.


    Team Brown, 420th Armored Field Artillery Battalion and tanks of CC B, 10th Armored Division were located in the Senonchamps areas. Also located in the path of Reconnaissance Battalion 26 was Battery B, 797th AAA-AW Battalion. Its calibre .50 ‘meatchoppers” help stopped the German advance on Sensonchamps. The counterthrusts were made by elements of and CC B, 10th Armored Division.


    “The enemy pressure between Assenois and Villeroux also became so great by late afternoon that the attack by the left wing group of Rifle Regiment 39 towards Villerous gained ground with little progress only.

    “A noticeable relief for the fighting of Reconnaissance Battalion 26 arrived by the early evening of 21 December, after Chebogne had been captured by the left flank covering party and after elements of the left wing group of Rifle Regiment 39 had at last pushed their way up between Assenois and Villerous to about the highway south to and past the railroad line soutwest of Villerous.

    “Towards evening the enemy gave up his attacks against the right flank of Reconnaissance Battalion 26 and began to concentrate for a stubborn defence inside Villerous. Elements of Rifle Regiment 39 at first made futile attempts to attack these defenses. Late in the evening, “Reconnaissance Battalion 26 made several attempts - while neutralizing the enemy forces near Senonchamps - to push up to the north, or neartheast respectively, towards the Mande - St. Entienne road. Heavy fire from the north, however, as well as a number of furious enemy counterthrusts from the east, between Senonchamps and the highway, prevented these elements from reaching the road and from ‘digging in’ on both sides of the road.

    “Late in the evening, the division, prompted by the mounting losses of Reconnaissance Battalion 26, ordered these attacks against the road to be discontinued temporarily.. The division could afford this after it had been found that the reconnaissance battalion had the northern and northeaster edges of the Bois de Fragotte - and Bois de Valet Forests well in hand and that it was in a position to dominate the Bastogne - Ortheuville road [to the west]with fire and at least hinder traffic.”


    To the north and northeast of Bastogne the day was quiet. The Germans had apparently decided that there was no road through the 506th and 501st to Bastogne. For the next few days the action would be in the areas to the south and southwest of Bastogne. (Jay Stone)

    Operational control of the USAAF Ninth Air Force’s IX Tactical Air Command and XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional) is transferred to the RAF Second Tactical Air Force to operate against the northern line of the Bulge. Weather grounds all operations.

    The U.S. Ninth Army is reinforced by the British 51st Division as its zone expands. XIX Corps releases the 2d Armored Division to the U.S. First Army; takes over the VII Corps sector at 2400 hours. Under its command, in current positions, are the 104th, 83d, 5th Armored (less Combat Command R), 8th, and 78th Infantry Divisions, from north to south. XIII Corps takes over the former XIX Corps front and the 29th Infantry Division. The XVI Corps releases 75th Infantry Division to the U.S. First Army.

    In U.S. First Army area, Regimental Combat Team 60, 9th Infantry Division, is detached from the 104th Infantry Division and moves to Ouffet. The corps is to operate next against the northern flank of the German salient. Combat Command A, 3d Armored Division, reverts to its parent unit and moves from Eupen to the Werbomont area. 1st Infantry Division contains further attacks toward Elsenborn ridge. In the XVIII Corps (Airborne) area, Combat Command B, 7th Armored Division, withdraws from St Vith at night; Combat Command A contains an attack near Poteau; Combat Command R clears the Vielsalm-Poteau road. Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division, is attached to the 7th Armored Division. The 82d Airborne Division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment clears Cheneux and Monceau, forcing the Germans back across the Amblve River; the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment improves positions from the Salm River at Trois Ponts to the vicinity of Grand Halleux; the 508th Parachute Infan try Regiment and 325th Glider Infantry Regiment occupy the line Vielsaim-Hebronval-Regn, making no contact with the Germans; the division makes contact with friendly troops in the St Vith area. The 30th Infantry Division is unable to take La Gleize and Stoumont and continues to defend Stavelot and Malmedy. The 3d Armored Division, to which Combat Command A reverts, contains the Germans at Hotton and continues efforts to secure the Manhay-Houffalize road. The 84th Infantry Division is organizing perimeter defense of Marche.

    In the U.S. Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the Germans lay siege to Bastogne and extends westward; crosses the Neufchâteau-Bastogne highway in force. Ammunition and food supplies of the Bastogne garrison are running low. Provisional Corps troops are transferred to the XII Corps. Combat Command A, 10th Armored Division, tries unsuccessfully to recover Waldbillig. Combat Command A, 9th Armored Division, and Combat Command R, 10th Armored Division, are formed into Combat Command X, 10th Armored Division.

    LUXEMBOURG: In the U.S. Third Army’s VIII Corps area, the 4th Infantry Division repels attacks toward Consdorf and Osweiler but is out of communication with troops in Echternach. Regimental Combat Team 50, 5th Infantry Division, is attached to the 4th Infantry Division. The XII Corps opens a forward command post in Luxembourg. The 35th Infantry Division’s relief is completed.

    FRANCE: SS Lt-Col Otto Skorzeny leads the 150th Panzer Brigade in a pre-dawn attack on Malmedy.

    Alsace - Task Force Hudelson (CCA, 14th Armored Division) was assigned a 10 mile front in the Vosges Mountains as divisions had been sent North to the Ardennes. Barbed wire was strung, fox holes and trenches were dug in the frozen ground. Sand bag racks had been welded on tanks so a layer of sand bags could help stop 88’s and panzerfausts.

    Orders were to give ground rather than permit a break through like the Ardennes. Trees along roads were notched and prepared with explosives for road blocks, anti-vehicle mines were laid.

    Prisoners taken boasted that the Germans would retake all of Alsace German artillery was registering one or two rounds at each crossroads, and village.

    The weather was very cold, rain and snow. The Germans were moving large numbers of troops into position during periods of bad weather. (Joe Brott)

    GERMANY: In U.S. First Army area, Combat Command A, 5th Armored Division, pushes about half way through Schneidhausen; Combat Command B gains approximately half of Untermaubach. In the V Corps area, the 9th Infantry Division, reinforced by the 102d Cavalry Group (Mechanized), rounds up Germans in the Monschau area. The 99th Infantry Division breaks up German formations with artillery fire.

    Eighty four USAAF Fifteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb the main marshalling yard and railroad sidings at Rosenheim with the loss of one B-24; 40 P-51 Mustangs provide escort. Over 40 P-38 Lightnings fly photo reconnaissance and reconnaissance escort missions.

    During the day, 94 RAF Bomber Command Lancasters again attempt to bomb the railway yards at Trier in two waves. The bomber crews are unable to observe results because of the cloud cover, although a large column of smoke eventually appears.

    During the night of 21/22 December, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 207 Lancasters and a Mosquito to attack the Hydrierwerke synthetic-oil refinery at Politz, near Stettin; 183 aircraft attack with the loss of three Lancasters and five more crash in England. Post-raid reconnaissance shows that the power-station chimneys had collapsed and that other parts of the plant are damaged. In a second mission, 136 aircraft, 67 Lancasters, 54 Halifaxes and 15 Mosquitos, are dispatched to bomb the Nippes marshalling yard (M/Y) at Cologne; this M/Y is being used to serve the German offensive in the Ardennes. One hundred aircraft attack the target but it is cloud-covered and only a few bombs hit the railway yards but these cause the destruction of 40 wagons (cars), a repair workshop and several railway lines. In a third strike, 97 Lancasters and 17 Mosquitos attempt to attack railway areas in Bonn; 108 attack but thick cloud cover prevents an accurate raid and later reconnaissance shows that the railway target is not hit. No other details are available. A raid is flown by four Lancasters to Schneidemuhl as a diversion to the Politz raid. Finally, 19 RAF Bomber Command aircraft lay mines off Swinemunde in the Baltic Sea.
    U-1405, U-3011 commissioned

    U-3044 laid down.

    HUNGARY: Berlin reports fierce fighting southwest of Budapest between Lake Balaton and the Danube River where troops of the Soviet Third Ukrainian Front are again on the offensive. The Germans continue to withdraw from the Balkans.

    ITALY: In the British Eighth Army’s Polish II Corps area, the 5th Kresowa Division, having relieved the 3rd Carpathian Division, begins mopping up east of the Senio River. V Corps continues to clear northward astride the Naviglio Canal. The Canadian I Corps overruns Bagnacavallo and reaches the Senio River in the Cotignola-Alfonsine area, but the Germans retain positions along the river on both flanks.

    Bad weather grounds the USAAF Twelfth Air Force medium bombers and reduces fighter and fighter-bomber operations of the XXII Tactical Air Command however, aircraft are effective against railroad targets in the Treviso area and damage Ghedi Airfield. Trains, vehicles, guns, and buildings are attacked in or near La Spezia, Mantua, Mestre, Milan, Padua and Turin. During the night of 21/22 December, A-20 Havocs hit scattered targets in the Po Valley

    YUGOSLAVIA: Thirty four RAF aircraft of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb two targets at Majkovac: 26 hit tactical targets while eight bomb a highway bridge.

    CHINA: One hundred forty five USAAF Fourteenth Air Force P-40s and P-51 Mustangs fly armed reconnaissance over wide expanses of southern China, eastern Burma and northern French Indochina. The fighters attack chiefly troops and river, road, and rail traffic and a variety of targets of opportunity at numerous locations. Nine B-25 Mitchells bomb Kunlong and Minkiang, China.

    MANCHURIA: The USAAF Twentieth Air Force’s XX Bomber Command flies Mission 23: 49 B-29 Superfortresses from Chengtu, China, are dispatched to attack Mukden; 19 hit the primary objective (the Manchuria Airplane Manufacturing Company) but it suffers little damage and a nearby arsenal and rail yards are slightly damaged; eight other B-29s bomb alternate targets and targets of opportunity; they claim 21-6-19 Japanese aircraft; two B-29s are lost.

    BURMA: In the Northern Combat Area Command (NCAC), the Chinese 114th Regiment, 38th Division, with orders to cut the Burma Road in the Ho-si area, is now near the U.S. 5332d Brigade (Provisional). The 5332d Brigade is composed of the Chinese 1st Separate Regiment and the U.S. 124th Cavalry Regiment (Special), 475th Infantry Regiment (Long Range Penetration, Special) and the 612th and 613th Field Artillery Battalions (75mm Pack Howitzer).

    In the Allied Land Forces South East Asia (ALFSEA) area, the Indian XV Corps is making such rapid progress on the Arakan front that Admiral Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Theatre, holds a commanders conference at Calcutta, India, to discuss exploitation and presents alternative plans for assault on Akyab. By this time, river craft have been launched in the Kalapanzin River to assist the Indian 24th Division.

    Twelve USAAF Tenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells bomb a supply and personnel area at Magyidon, 13 P-47 Thunderbolts damage bridges at Hay-ti, Mong Long, and Pa-mao while rail targets of opportunity from Hsumhsai to Hsipaw are attacked by 12 P-47 Thunderbolts. Over 20 fighter-bombers hit troop concentrations at several points including Man Ka-lao and the general area east of the Shweli River and 12 P-47 Thunderbolts bomb and strafe the Lashio area.

    VOLCANO ISLANDS: Twenty three USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb Iwo Jima. During the night of 21/22 December, four B-24s fly three harassment strikes against Iwo Jima.

    EAST INDIES: In the Netherlands East Indies, USAAF Far East Air Forces B-25 Mitchells attack Goeroea, Anggai, and Lolobata on Halmahera Island.

    NEW GUINEA: In Northeast New Guinea, Australian Beaufort fighter bombers attack the Japanese east of the Danmap River. The Japanese withdraw to the south and run into an ambush set up by a platoon of the 2/4th Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division; 28 of 40 Japanese troops are killed.

    COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: On Leyte Island, the U.S. Sixth Army effects a junction between the X and XXIV Corps just south of Kananga at 1645 hours, opening Highway 2 from Ormoc to Pinamopoan and gaining complete control of the Ormoc Valley. In the X Corps area, the 12th Cavalry Regiment (Infantry) attacks and takes Kananga and makes patrol contact with the 77th Infantry Division to the south. In the XXIV Corps area, the 3d Battalion, 306th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, continues east along the Palompon road to its junction with Highway 2, then north along the highway toward Kananga, making contact with Troop A of the 12th Cavalry Regiment (Infantry) at 1645 hours. The 307th Infantry Regiment reaches the road junction north of Libongao without trouble and assists the 306th Infantry Regiment. On the division’s western flank, the 1st Battalion, 306th Infantry Regiment, after a concentrated artillery preparation, takes the ridge commanding the Togbong River bridge site a nd outposts it but is driven off. In preparation for the next task of the 77th Infantry Division, a drive west and seizure of Palompon, artillery is emplaced near San Jose within range of Palompon.

    On Mindoro Island, the Japanese, having received reinforcements by air for the defense of the island, attack a resupply convoy moving toward that island, destroying two tank landing ships (LSTs) and damaging other shipping. From the Pasugi-Pianag area, a patrol of guerrillas and the 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment sail north to Sabalayan; from there move on foot to Mamburao to reconnoiter toward Palauan and Abra de Ilog.

    USAAF Far East Air Forces B-24 Liberators, B-25 Mitchells, and fighter-bombers attack ten airfields mostly on Negros Island and elsewhere in the central Philippine Islands. Leyte Island-based fighter-bombers fly over 100 attack sorties. Likanan Airfield on Mindanao Island is also hit by B-24s.

    The US X Corps meets the XXIV Corps in the middle of Ormoc Valley on Leyte. With only isolated groups of Japanese holding out in this area, organized resistance is ending.

    Private First Class George Benjamin Jr., of the US Army, Company A, 306th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division, a radio operator left his comparatively secure position when a rifle platoon was held up by a Japanese strong point to guide his platoon to a light tank and then penetrated intense machine-gun and rifle fire to take the enemy position. He is mortally wounded. MOH

    CANADA: Submarine HMS L-26 paid off Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    U.S.A.: Washington: Henry H. Arnold is promoted to the rank of General of the Army.

    Destroyer USS George K Mackenzie laid down.

    Horse racing is banned until after World War II.

    In baseball, the Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Hal Newhouser is named the American League’s Most Valuable Player; he won by four points. The National League’s Most Valuable Player award goes to St. Louis Cardinals’ shortstop Marty Marion. Marion tallies one more vote than Chicago Cubs right fielder Bill Nicholson. Led by Marion, the Cardinals erred only 112 times and averaged a .982 fielding average. Both marks top the previous records held by the 1940 Cincinnati Reds.

    ATLANTIC OCEAN: During the night of 21/22 December, nine RAF Bomber Command aircraft lay mines in the Kattegat, the broad arm of the North Sea between Sweden and Denmark
    U-806 sank SS Samtucky in Convoy HX-327.

    U-995 sank MV Reshitel´nyj.

  • NAZI PUSH MOUNTS IN POWER, 13 DIVISIONS USED; FOG BALKS AIR BLOWS AT RAMPAGING COLUMNS (12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:51:27 AM PST · 7 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    West Front Crisis (Middleton) – 2-3
    Americans Taking, Giving Record Loss (Gallagher) – 3-4
    1st Army Stiffens, Germany Implies (Daniel) – 4
    1st Battles in Fog that Aids Germans (Denny) – 4-5
    7th Army Batters a Stubborn Enemy (Johnston) – 5
    Price to Nazis of Attack Aids Us in Final Strategy, Observers Say (Shalett) – 5
    SHAEF Giving News 24 to 48 Hours Late – 5
    Our Men Fighting on the Western Front – Prisoner Bag Yields Elderly Nazis (photos) – 6-7
    Some Decorations Picked Up on His War Travels (photo) – 8
    War News Summarized – 8
    Leyte Foe Fleeing (by Frank L. Kluckhohn) – 9-10
    War Over for Him (photo) – 10
    The Commander in Chief Inspects a Marine Base (photos) – 10
    Issue Held in Doubt (by Hanson W. Baldwin) – 12
    The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones – 13-14
    Himmler ‘Mission’ Stirs Speculation – 14
    Farm Groups Fight Japanese Return – 14
  • NAZI PUSH MOUNTS IN POWER, 13 DIVISIONS USED; FOG BALKS AIR BLOWS AT RAMPAGING COLUMNS (12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:50:24 AM PST · 6 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Continued from December 19.

     photo 1221-west18_zps0edfff3d.jpg

    Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy

  • NAZI PUSH MOUNTS IN POWER, 13 DIVISIONS USED; FOG BALKS AIR BLOWS AT RAMPAGING COLUMNS (12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:49:27 AM PST · 5 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    On 21 December, at about 1645, the lead elements of the 77TH Infantry and 1ST Cavalry Divisions linked up on Highway 2, at a road junction between Kananga and Libongao. The entire highway was now open from Pinamopoan in the north to Ormoc in the south.

    “The Ormoc Valley, in which the Japanese had so tenaciously resisted the American advance, was now securely in the hands of Sixth Army. The northern and southern prongs of the trap had closed. There remained only Palompon as an exit for the Japanese forces. To the securing of that port, the X and XXIV Corps, acting in concert, could concentrate their main efforts. Plans had been readied. The Sixth Army was poised in a position from which it could drive westward to the sea and bring the Leyte campaign to a successful conclusion.” (Cannon 346)

    32nd Division history in World War II

  • NAZI PUSH MOUNTS IN POWER, 13 DIVISIONS USED; FOG BALKS AIR BLOWS AT RAMPAGING COLUMNS (12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:48:29 AM PST · 4 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Continued from December 19.

     photo 1221-west16_zps263cb69e.jpg

     photo 1221-west17_zpsed46eac6.jpg

    Stephen E. Ambrose, Band of Brothers

  • NAZI PUSH MOUNTS IN POWER, 13 DIVISIONS USED; FOG BALKS AIR BLOWS AT RAMPAGING COLUMNS (12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:46:22 AM PST · 3 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
  • NAZI PUSH MOUNTS IN POWER, 13 DIVISIONS USED; FOG BALKS AIR BLOWS AT RAMPAGING COLUMNS (12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:45:53 AM PST · 2 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
    The Philippine Islands: Leyte Island and the Visayas, 1944 – Sixth Army Operations on Leyte and Samar, 17 October-30 December 1944
    The Philippine Islands: Leyte Island and the Visayas, 1944 – Sixth Army Operations Mindoro and Marinduque Islands, 13 December 1944-24 January 1945
    The Ardennes Area, 1944: The Initial German Attack and Operations, 16-25 December 1944
    Eastern France and the Low Countries, 1944: Territorial Changes along the Front, 16 December 1944-7 February 1945 and Allied Plan for Rhineland Campaign
    Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Balkan and Baltic Campaigns – Operations, 19 August-31 December 1944
    Northern Italy 1944: Allied Advance to Gothic Line, 5 June-25 August and Gains 29 August-31 December
    China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
    China-Burma, 1941: Third Burma Campaign – Slim’s Offensive, June 1944-March 1945
  • NAZI PUSH MOUNTS IN POWER, 13 DIVISIONS USED; FOG BALKS AIR BLOWS AT RAMPAGING COLUMNS (12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:44:30 AM PST · 1 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • “Winged Victory,” “The Sign of the Cross” (Movie Reviews-12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:40:46 AM PST · 2 of 2
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    TCM has no videos to link for either of these movies. I get the idea that “The Sign of the Cross” is the original 1932 version with some new material tacked on at the ends. As a consolation prize I found a recording of one of the sonatas played by Yehudi Menuhin and Wanda Landowska and reviewed on page 2. The recording was made by RCA Victor a week after that concert.

    Bach Sonata No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1016

  • “Winged Victory,” “The Sign of the Cross” (Movie Reviews-12/21/44)

    12/21/2014 4:38:55 AM PST · 1 of 2
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • NAZIS GAIN IN BELGIUM IN GREAT BATTLE; FORTRESSES CALLED UPON TO STEM PUSH (12/20/44)

    12/20/2014 8:56:29 AM PST · 16 of 37
    Homer_J_Simpson to Tax-chick; henkster; colorado tanker
    This German operation may be considered final proof that the German Army is no longer under Hitler's intuition or the Nazi party's inspiration, but is being run now by its own Gemerals.

    He couldn't get much wronger than that, could he?

    Well, I would love to stay home with my ear glued to the radio, waiting for updates on this German offensive, but I must go to the library to gather the news for the end of March 1945. Stay calm, everyone. I'm sure Ike will get this straightened out.

  • NAZIS GAIN IN BELGIUM IN GREAT BATTLE; FORTRESSES CALLED UPON TO STEM PUSH (12/20/44)

    12/20/2014 4:27:40 AM PST · 5 of 37
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    The onwar.com chronology has not been working since Thursday.

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/11/20.htm

    December 20th, 1944 (TUESDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM: Frigates HMCS Saint John, Stormont, Port Colborne, Nene, Loch Alvie and Monnow arrived Clyde with Convoy RA-62.

    WESTERN EUROPE: Weather grounds the USAAF Ninth Air Force bombers. Fighters fly armed reconnaissance in western Germany, escort RAF Lancasters, fly patrols from Belgium to the Rhine River, support the U.S. 1st, 2d, 99th, and 106th Infantry Divisions, and 7th Armored Division (north and east of Malmedy, Belgium, and southeast and southwest of Saint-Vith, Belgium), and fly cover for U.S. Twelfth Army troops and the XII Corps near Verdun and Saint- Avold, France.

    EIRE: An RAF Catalina Mk. IV assigned to No. 202 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command based at RAF Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, crashes on Stradbally Mountain, County Kerry. The wreckage is finally removed in 1978.

    NORWAY: German submarine U-737 is sunk in the Vestfjorden about 61 nautical miles (112 kilometers) north-northeast of Bodo¸, after a collision with MRS 25; 20 of the 51 crewmen survive.

    BELGIUM: Because of the German Ardennes counteroffensive, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Commander in Chief 21st Army Group, abandons a plan to employ XXX Corps, British Second Army, in the Nijmegen, The Netherlands, area and orders it to assemble in the Louvain-St Trond-Hasselt region to hold the Meuse River line.

    German forces attack north from the area of Stavelot but are forced back. St. Vith and Bastogne are still held. The road junctions of these towns are vital to the German offensive.

    As German troops encircle the US 101st Airborne and 9th and 10th Armoured Divisions at Bastogne, the Allies impose a blackout on all news from the Ardennes fighting, which is now being called the “Battle of the Bulge.”

    General der Infanterie Heinz Kokott, Commanding General 26 Volks Grenadier Division:

    “. . . division, during the early hours of 20 December, had issued issued its orders to the regiments.

    “For Regiments 77 and 78 these orders called for a continuation of their attack . . . as had been planned and ordered for the previous day.

    “Regiment 78 had the additional mission to clear, before the start of the attack, the situation at Margeret as some enemy nests were still holding out in the southern part of the village. . . . and positive contact was to be established with the Panzer Lehr Division fighting near Neffe.

    “The main point of effort of the division attack was to be, as heretofore, in front of the (left) Regiment 78. The terrain (affording a good view for observation) as well as the intention to get hold of as quickly as possible of the dominating heights west of Bizory, were the decisive factors for selecting this sector as the central point of effort.

    “The main attack was to begin as soon as the customary morning fog would have lifted sufficiently to safeguard a clearly observed support by infantry and heavy weapons.


    The morning fog was, of course, supplied by nature. The fog of war would be supplied by elements of the 101st Airborne.


    “Towards 0700 hours on 20 December, Grenadier Regiment 78 reported that Margaret was “enemy free” [those words again] and that combat fit reconnaissance troops were on their way to the west.

    Grenadier regiment 77 reported regroupings during the assembly. It was a very foggy day and at first all observation was impossible.

    “Between 0900 and 1000 hours, 20 December, the commander of XLVIII Panzer Corps appears at the division command post. He pictured the situation as follows:

    “The 2nd Panzer Division has taken Noville. The enemy is in flight-like retreat from the 2nd Panzer Division via Foy to the south. The 2nd Panzer Division is in steady pursuit. The fall of Foy - if not already taken place - is to be expected at any moment. After the capture of Foy, the 2nd Panzer Division, according to orders, turns to the west and drives into open the terrain.”


    The corps commander, General der Panzertruppen Heinrich Freiherr von Luettwitz, has got it wrong. Perhaps the commander of the 2nd Panzer Division, Colonel Meinrad von Lauchert, has been sending “anticipatory” reports to corps. The facts are that Team Desobry and the 1st Battalion, 506th did not withdraw from Noville until 1330 hours. The order for the withdrawal came down on the Field Artillery

    FO radio and I passed it to the battalion commander. (See S.L.A. Marshall; Bastogne, The First Eight Days.) Luettwitz speaks of “The fall of Foy.” (It sounds almost like “the fall of Paris.”) At the time Foy was a collection of four or five farms. It was on low ground and could not be defended. The road from Noville to Foy ran downhill for 1.8 kilometres and then toward high ground for 200 meters. On that high ground the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 506 had established defensive positions through which we moved into a reserve position. This was not a text book retrograde but we were hardly in “flight-like retreat” and the 2nd Panzer was not coming down that road in pursuit. I think that they were happy to be rid of us so that they could continue the drive west to the Meuse. We had done them great harm.

    At the time the Noville-Foy-Bastogne road was the right boundary of the 506th. About 200 meters east of the road was Bois Jacques.

    During a period of 30 minutes approximately 50 German soldiers came out of the woods with their hands over their head and surrendered to us. I believe that they were members of the 26th VG Division, probably of Regiment 77 of that division. So much for high morale in that division.


    “It is now the primary mission of the 26th Division with all its available elements to proceed via Wardin - Remoifosse for an encirclement of Bastogne from the south, then to penetrate Bastogne from the soutwest and to intercept the enemy in his withdrawal and breakthrough to the southwest or west. The Panzer Lehr Division, with main effort on the left near Marvie, will close in on Bastogne from the southeast.

    “This unfortunate change in the situation came as a surprise to the division; all the more so since Regiments 77 and 78 had not detected or reported any signs of weakening on the part of the enemy.

    They only had to record unchanged heavy enemy resistance and powerful artillery - and mortar fire. The same impressions had continuously been reported by the Reconnaissance Battalion 26 which was facing the enemy.

    “On the basis of this orientation and instructions through the Panzer corps, the division now immediately turned its individual orders to the Regiments, utilizing all available means of communications. “


    XLVII Panzer Corps had ordered the 26th VG to send its Regiment 39, which had been guarding the left flank of both the division and corps, on a wide swing south of Bastogne to almost due west of the city while the 26th Reconnaissance Battalion would do the same and take up positions to the southwest of Bastogne. Between these two major elements of the 26th VG and its Regiments 77 and 78, corps would insert the Panzer Lehr Division to which the 77th and 78th would be attached.

    Kokott called meeting of the commanders of Regiment 39 and all separate battalions of the division in Wardin.where the division command post was located. He brifed them on the division’s mission of attacking and entering Bastogne from the southwest and west.

    During this meeting an officer who had recconnoitered the routes to the west reported that the road were impassable for vehicles. The vehicles, which contained much ammunition and equipment, would have to make a long detour to the east in order to get to their new positions in the southwest and west. This would cause an inordinate delay. Kokott ordered that the vehicles be unloaded and that the men carry as much of this load as possible.


    “The commanders reiterated their respective missions. Everything was clear. The rifle companies and the engineers company which had arrived in the meantime, unloaded their combat vehicles without delay. The staff of the First Battalion of Rifle Regiment 39 and parts of the regimental staff were moving up, additional units of the Replacement Training Battalion, engineers, and the Second Battalion of Rifle Regiment 39 followed. As they were approaching, they remained in the march and - after the equipment had been taken off the vehicles - disappeared in “single file”, loaded down heavily with weapons and ammunition, in the forest heading for Lutrebois. With exemplary calm and matter-of-factedness, weapons, ammunition and equipment were unloaded, stripped and picked up, with the stead flow of the arriving units continuing to the west and southwest.”

    “. . . the division commander was getting ready for his drive ahead [to the new area of operations in the west and southwest] via Doncols - Lutremange to Remoifosse when an artillery salvo - about 12 shots - landed straight in the center of Wardin [the division CP]. This was not particularly alarming until there was, shortly thereafter, another battalion salvo - this time at the western edge of the village - which broke the windows of the command car. Orders had just been issued to disperse the motor vehicles further and all drivers were busy with theri machines and motors - when the third time the dull drumming of fire and became audible and already the impact of the batteries hitting - this time straight into the assembled motor; this was immediately followed for several minutes by a fire concentration with devastating effects on this assembly of men and machines.

    “The fire ceased. The enemy observers - and this could only have been an observed fire - appeared to be satisfied with their success. “And they had reason to be satisfied. The command staff was considerably paralyzed. The vehicles, including the command car, were burning or had been knocked out of commission, a great number of men and almost all the officers had either been killed or wounded, among them the first liaison officer, the division intelligence officer (Ic), two officers of the Signal Battalion, one engineer officer and one liaison officer. The Ia (operations officer) and Iia (officer personnel officer) - same as the division commander - had only been slightly wounded.

    “This occurred towards about 1300 hours. “It was fortunate that all the necessary orders had been given before and that all movements had already been started. “The dead were laid out, the wounded were bandaged. From the command post of Artillery Regiment 26 - located in a house in the village and thus slecetd somewhat more appropriately - the command of the battle was taken over again and the command staff somewhat restored.”


    I doubt that this was an observed fire mission. In all probability information had been received that the 26th VG had its CP there and the location was fired upon as an unobserved fire mission. There was no place for observers to be located. I would like to believe that this mission had been fired by my battalion, the 321 Glider Field Artillery but we were engaged in the north and northeast in support of the 506th. Wardin was opposite the zone of the 501st which had the 907th Glider Field Artillery in direct support. So the mission was fired either by the 907 or one of the 155mm corps artillery battalions attached to the division. It is gratifying, however, to read how artillery can mess up a division headquarters.


    “Towards 1430 hours a message arrived from Rifle Regiment 39 to the effect ‘that the forward elements of the regiment, after having crossed the north-south highway (Bastogne - Mortelange) had become engaged with enemy forces.” [This was either the 327th Glider Infantry or the 326th Airborne Engineer Battalion.]

    “Dusk and darkness arrived very early on that winter day. From Doncols on the road necame poor, muddy, at some parts very narrow and there were many slopes. This, however, was the least. A lot more disagreeable was the fact that - in contrast with the exemplary traffic movements in the morning - now there presented itself a picture of considerable confusion; everything was crowding onto this road: tanks of the Panzer Lehr Division, so broad that they could barely squeeze through defiles and villages; trucks which had skidded off or had become stuck; motorized vehicles of an advance section of the 5th Parachute Infantry Division, supply vehicles, and motorcycles; marching in between or pushed to the side or came to a standstill due to exhaustion were the horse-drawn vehicles of the 26th Division which had again been overtaken by the companies on foot of the 5th parachute Infantry Division, with the men themselves pulling their vehicles. In addition - ambulances, damaged tanks and captured tanks driving back from the west! . . . traffic came to a standstill and became almost hopelessly entangled!”


    Kokott goes on to discuss a lack of training and discipline. The result of this hampered operations around Bastogne and in the withdrawal from the Ardennes.


    “These road conditions reached their peak later when SS-formations arrived in the Bastogne combat sector. These units - unduly boastful and arrogant anyway - with their total lack of discipline so typical for them, their well-known unreserved ruthlessness, paired with a considerable lack of reason, had a downright devastating effect and in all cases proved a handicap for any systematic conduct of fighting.”

    “. . . the division commander reached the [new] command post at Bras only after midnight, i.e. towards 0100 on 21 December. Based on incoming reports, the situation to him on that night appeared as follows:”

    “The Grenadier Regiments 77 and 78, while fighting some very costly battles, had made but small progress. “The heavily defended village of Bizory, however, had been taken by Grenadier regiment 78.

    “The regiments were now located immediately west of the Foy - Bizory road. Enemy resistance there: strong.” “The enemy forces opposite Rifle Regiment 39 fought stubbornly and were supported by tank (guns)?, artillery and, particularly, by strong mortar fire.


    This was the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment which would defend 50% of the circle around Bastogne.


    “As to the impression of the enemy, it appeared that - even if he would put up a stubborn and tough battle - he would be less strong and prepared in the southern sector than in the eastern sector.

    (Kokott probably received this impression from the fact that the 501st had handled his division roughly and no other units would be as severe with them.)

    “Here in the south - and perhaps in the west - the success had to be aimed for and to be fought for with all the strength!”


    At the end of the day, 5th Panzer Army described the organization for combat of the units to be involved in the reduction of Bastogne. Essentially they were the divisions already involved.


    “The division dutifully expressed its doubts and considered the chances for success under existing conditions unlikely. These doubts were eliminated, however, by the corps in its estimate of the enemy situation, which was about as follows: ‘There are certain indications that the enemy had already become softened. Furthermore it could be assumed that there could ‘not be much inside’ Bastogne. Aside of parts of an airborne division, which, however, could not be very strong, it was reckoned that there would be the remnants of those enemy divisions, which had been abdly battered at the Our River and which ahd taken refuge in Bastogne. On the strength of prisoner of war interviews, the fighting quality of the forces inside of Bastogne was estimated not to be very high.’”

    “The losses on 20 December for the division mounted to about: 8 - 10 officers and 300 men killed, wounded and missing. Most of this was suffered by Rifle Regiment 39 and Grenadier Regiment 78.”


    So ended another tough day for General Heinz Kokott. But that’s what they pay division commanders for.

    First Lieutenant Francis Canham, 321st Glider Field Artillery, was killed in action in Noville, Belgium observing fire on the 2nd Panzer Division.

    (Jay Stone)

    LUXEMBOURG: The U.S. Third Army forms a provisional corps from former First Army units south of the Ardennes salient, the 4th Infantry Division and the 10th Armored Division (- Combat Command B); the corps is to hold the Germans on the south flank of the penetration and plug a gap existing between it and elements of the 9th Armored Division and 28th Infantry Division near Ettelbruck.

    FRANCE: Patton starts moving his 250,000 strong army from the Saar to the Ardennes.

    The US 100th Infantry Division completes the capture of Fort Schiesseck. The fortress is 14 storeys deep, complete with disappearing gun turrets and 12-foot thick steel-reinforced concrete walls. (William L. Howard)

    Allied commanders conferring at Verdun decide to halt offensives toward the Rhine and concentrate on reducing enemy salient in the Ardennes. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, studies the situation map in his office and draws a line from Givet, France, on the Muese River through the Ardennes and across the German frontier to Prum. All Allied units north of the line are placed under command of British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Commander in Chief 21st Army Group, which means that he commands the U.S. First and Ninth Armies. South of the line Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, Commander in Chief 12th Army Group, would command the U.S. Third Army. He ordered that the change take effect on 1200 hours on 20 December. (John Nicholas and Jay Stone)

    The U.S. Seventh Army is ordered to go on the defensive. In the XV Corps area, the 44th Infantry Division finds that the Germans have abandoned Fort Simershof and Hottviller. Fort Schiesseck, barring access to Bitche, continues to hold out.

    GERMANY:

    The U.S. Third Army’s XX Corps begins withdrawal from hard-won positions east of the Sarre River. The 5th Infantry Division maintains a foothold east of the river at Saarlautern, but the 378th Infantry Regiment, 95th Infantry Division, is ordered to withdraw from Ensdorf. The III Corps is ordered north for an attack against the southern flank of enemy in the “Bulge.” In the XII Corps area, the 35th Infantry Division halts an attack to consolidate in preparation for relief. The 4th Armored Division and 80th Infantry Division are being transferred to III Corps.

    The USAAF Eighth Air Force flies Mission 756: 328 bombers and 45 fighters are dispatched to hit tactical targets (rail and road junctions, rail and road chokepoints and railheads) to impede the German counteroffensive launched in the Ardennes: 65 aircraft hit the Ehrang marshalling yard (M/Y) at Trier, 49 bomb a railroad junction at Kall, 40 attack Kyllburg, 28 hit the M/Y at Gemund, 25 bomb Blankenheim, 23 attack Bitburg, 22 bomb Hildersheim, 13 each bomb the Lutzel M/Y at Koblenz and a highway choke point at Schleiden, 12 attack a highway choke point at Glaadt and nine bomb Stadtkyll. The missions above are escorted by 37 P-47 Thunderbolts; they claim 7-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft.

    USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers attack oil and rail targets: at Blechhammer, 114 bomb the North I.G. Farben synthetic refinery and 47 hit the South refinery with the loss of five aircraft; at Rosenheim, 26 hit the West marshalling yard and 24 hit the Main marshalling yard; one other aircraft bombs Kassel.

    During the day, 30 RAF Bomber Command Lancasters, escorted by USAAF Ninth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts, carry out a G-H raid on the railway yards in Trier behind the front on which the Germans are attacking in the Ardennes.
    U-2369 laid down.

    U-1306 commissioned.

    U-2357, U-4702 launched.

    AUSTRIA: USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers hit rail targets: 35 bomb the Stroszhof marshalling yard (M/Y) in Vienna, 28 hit the Main M/Y at Graz, 19 bomb the South M/Y at Villach and two hit the North M/Y, 16 bomb the Main M/Y at Innsbruck and 14 bomb the North M/Y at Klagenfurt.

    CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Seven USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers bomb a synthetic oil refinery at Ostrava Moravaska and three other bombers hit targets of opportunity.

    BALTIC SEA: During the night of 19/20 December, 12 RAF Bomber Command Lancasters lay mines in the Cadet Channel, the strait between Storstrom Island, Denmark, and Germany.

    HUNGARY: USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers attack Sopron; 26 bomb the marshalling yard and one hits the city.

    GREECE: British General Scobie warns civilians of possible bombing in areas held by ELAS (communist) units.
    British tanks and armoured cars today raced to the rescue of 350 RAF and army personnel holding out against the communist-backed ELAS (Communist Hellenic People’s Army) rebels who captured the RAF rear headquarters at Kifissia, ten miles from Athens. An army statement alleged that women and children had taken part in the assault backed by mortars and light artillery. The British were making their last stand in a dynamited hotel when the relief column arrived. In Athens, ELAS attacked and burnt a prison holding collaborators awaiting trial.

    Despite the best efforts of No.2933 Squadron RAF Regiment, the headquarters is overrun tomorrow and a large number of British prisoners are taken and marched north. Supplies are dropped to the column by Wellington Mk. XIIIs of No.221 Squadron RAF.

    ITALY: Sgt Arthur Banks (b.1923), RAFVR, was executed. Shot down on 27 August, he worked with partisans until his capture earlier this month. He refused to talk under torture. (George Cross)

    In the British Eighth Army area, V Corps, renewing their offensive during the night of 19/20 December, clears the Faenza area sufficiently for deployment of the 56th Division. The Canadian I Corps begins an attack, during the night of 19/20 December to break out of the Naviglio Canal bridgehead.

    Weather grounds USAAF Twelfth Air Force medium bombers. XXII Tactical Air Command fighters and fighter-bombers, unable to reach the primary targets further north, hit communications north of the battle area but concentrate mainly on gun positions in the La Spezia area. During the night of 19/20 December, A-20 Havocs attack lights at five locations in the eastern Po Valley.

    YUGOSLAVIA: Forty nine USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers bomb two marshalling yards in Maribor with the loss of one aircraft.

    During the day, RAF bombers of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb three targets: 36 bomb tactical targets at Kolasin, 12 hit the West marshalling yard at Sarajevo and four attack a highway bridge at Matesevo.

    BURMA: In the British Fourteenth Army’s IV Corps area, the Indian 19th Division takes Kawlin and Wunthe. In the XXXIII Corps area, the British 2nd Division, having moved forward from Kohima, crosses the Chindwin River at Kalewa and is relieving the East African 11th Division.

    CHINA: Sixteen USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells, escorted by 24 P-40s, attack Pengpu. Four P-51s claim two freighters sunk off Hong Kong and two P-40s destroy three locomotives and a truck at Sinyang.

    Twelve USAAF Tenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells hit road junctions at Mongmit and south of Kyaukme, the Kyaukme railroad station, and Hsenwi bridge. Seven P-47 Thunderbolts severely damage the Tonbo road bridge, and 11 others hit targets of opportunity during a Onmaka-Hsoplong rail sweep. Forty two P-47s attack supply and personnel areas and troops at Myadaung, Tantabin, and Twinnge, the village of Nyaugbintha, and a truck park near Humon.

    Four USAAF Fourteenth Air Force P-38 Lightnings bomb the Wanling-Mongyu road causing a traffic block.

    JAPAN: The USAAF Twentieth Air Force’s XX Bomber Command flies Mission 22: 36 B-29 Superfortresses, from the Chengtu, China area, are dispatched to hit an aircraft plant at Omura; 17 hit the primary target and 13 others hit secondary target, Shanghai, China, and another two strike other alternates; they claim 5-4-12 Japanese aircraft; two B-29s are lost.

    VOLCANO ISLANDS: Twenty seven USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators from Saipan and 25 from Guam, Mariana Islands, strike Iwo Jima. Fourteen P-38 Lightnings from Saipan, with three Twentieth Air Force XXI Bomber Command B-29 Superfortresses as navigational escort, strafe airfields on Iwo Jima. Four B-25 Mitchells from Guam and Saipan carry out three snooper strikes against Iwo Jima during the night of 19/20 December.

    EAST INDIES: In the Netherlands East Indies (NEI), USAAF Far East Air Forces B-25 Mitchells, A-20 Havocs, and P-38 Lightnings attack the Kairatoe area on Celebes Island. Other FEAF aircraft on armed reconnaissance, sweeps, and small strikes hit targets of opportunity at many locations throughout the NEI.

    COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: While the fighting on Leyte and Mindoro continues, the Japanese high command decides that no more reinforcements or supplies will be sent to the 35th Army.

    In the U.S. Army’s X Corps area on Leyte Island, the 127th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division continues to battle the Japanese south of Limon. The 12th Cavalry Regiment (Infantry), 1st Cavalry Division, attacks toward Lonoy, on Highway 2, and seizes this barrio. In the XXIV Corps area, the 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division attacks north astride Highway 2 toward Libongao, gaining nearly 3 miles (4,8 kilometers); the 306th Infantry Regiment to the west pushes toward the Palompon road, which patrols reach. On Mindoro Island, the Western Visayan Task Force, helped by Mindoro guerrillas, begins a series of patrol actions along the south, west and northwest shores of Mindoro and a reconnaissance of small islands offshore.

    USAAF Far East Air Forces fighter-supported B-25 Mitchells bomb Fabrica Airfield on Negros Island. Fighters on a sweep over Ponay, and Leyte Islands hit Fabrica, Bacolod, Silay, Dumaguete and Alicante Airfields, and the town of Palompon on Leyte Island. On Luzon, B-24 Liberators bomb Legaspi Airfield while P-38 Lightnings hit Batangas Airfield.

    The planned bombardment of Luzon by the large carriers of U.S. Third Fleet is canceled because of weather conditions.

    NEW GUINEA: Australian Lieutenant General Frank Berryman, Chief of Staff Advanced Headquarter Allied Land Forces South West Pacific, is convinced that U.S. Lieutenant General Richard Sutherland, Chief of Staff South West Pacific Area, is trying to hinder Australian liaison with General Headquarters, and sends a message to U.S. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief South West Pacific Area, stating: “General (Thomas) Blamey (Commander in Chief Allied Land Forces South West Pacific and Commander in Chief Australian Military Force) desires direct liaison and would appreciate attachment of Lieutenant General Berryman and small personal staff to Advanced General Headquarters (at Hollandia) as early as convenient to you.”

    MARCUS ISLAND: Three USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators on armed reconnaissance from Guam bomb Marcus Island. The island is located in the North Pacific about 768 nautical miles (1 422 kilometers) west-northwest of Wake Island and is used as a refueling point for Japanese aircraft en route to the Central Pacific.

    PACIFIC OCEAN: In the East China Sea, the Japanese aircraft carrier HIJMS Unryu is torpedoed and sunk by the USN submarine USS Redfish (SS-395) about 204 nautical miles (379 kilometers) northwest of Naha, Okinawa, in position 28.19N, 124.40E. This was the first war voyage for HIJMS Unryu. The ship is carrying a special cargo of 30 Yokosuka MXY7 Navy Suicide Attacker Ohka (Cherry Blossom) Model 11 rocket propelled suicide aircraft before being sent on her way to confront the U.S. invasion forces in the Philippine Islands. The first torpedo strikes Unryu on the starboard side under the bridge; the second torpedo struck 15 minutes later under the forward elevator setting off the deadly Ohka bombs and aviation gas stored in the lower hanger deck. The detonations literally blows the bow area apart. After the boiler rooms flood, the ship lists to over 30 degrees and the order to abandon ship is given. Minutes later, with a 90 degree list, the carrier plunges headfirst into the wate r. There are only 147 survivors of the 1,241 crew plus an unknown number of passengers. Redfish is damaged in the resultant depth charging, and is forced to terminate her patrol.

    CANADA: Frigate HMCS Magog paid off as constructive total loss.

    U.S.A.:

    Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander of the Pacific Fleet and Commander of the Pacific Ocean Area, is promoted to the (five-star) rank of Fleet Admiral.

    A 3 by 4 feet (0,9 by 1,2 meter) piece from a paper Japanese Fu-Go balloon is found at Manderson, Wyoming. The date of the landing cannot be determined. Manderson is located about 105 miles (169 kilometers) south of Billings, Montana.

    Four fighters of the USAAF Fourth Air Force, directed by the Los Angeles Control Group to search for a Japanese Fu-Go balloon reported over Santa Monica, California, are unable to locate the target.

    Washington: Dwight D. Eisenhower is promoted to the rank of General of the Army.
    Destroyer USS Brinkley Bass laid down.

    Destroyer USS Dennis J Buckley launched.

    Submarine USS Menhaden launched.

    ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-870 sank USS LST-359 and damaged USS Fogg.

  • NAZIS GAIN IN BELGIUM IN GREAT BATTLE; FORTRESSES CALLED UPON TO STEM PUSH (12/20/44)

    12/20/2014 4:20:37 AM PST · 4 of 37
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    Our Men Confident (Denny, Middleton) – 2-3
    Nazi Tanks Halted by Epic U.S. Stand (Gallagher) – 3-4
    Joy Becomes Gloom in a Belgian Town (Denny) – 4
    Nazis Say Thrust Has Cut 1st Army – 5
    Parachuted Spies Linked to Big Push (Archambault) – 5
    Reporters Score SHAEF Censorship – 5
    Western Front: Our Men Take Shelter – Portrait of Captured Nazi (photos) – 6-7
    Attempted Landing behind Our Lines Fails (page 1 photo) – 7
    Kyushu Hit Again – 7-8
    Foe in Leyte Trap (Kluckhohn) – 8-9
    War News Summarized – 10
    Two War Surprises (Baldwin) – 11
    The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on Fighting in Various Zones – 12-14
    Army Acts to Curb War Good Waste – 14
  • NAZIS GAIN IN BELGIUM IN GREAT BATTLE; FORTRESSES CALLED UPON TO STEM PUSH (12/20/44)

    12/20/2014 4:19:33 AM PST · 3 of 37
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
  • NAZIS GAIN IN BELGIUM IN GREAT BATTLE; FORTRESSES CALLED UPON TO STEM PUSH (12/20/44)

    12/20/2014 4:18:57 AM PST · 2 of 37
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
    The Philippine Islands: Leyte Island and the Visayas, 1944 – Sixth Army Operations on Leyte and Samar, 17 October-30 December 1944
    The Philippine Islands: Leyte Island and the Visayas, 1944 – Sixth Army Operations Mindoro and Marinduque Islands, 13 December 1944-24 January 1945
    The Ardennes Area, 1944: The Initial German Attack and Operations, 16-25 December 1944
    Eastern France and the Low Countries, 1944: Territorial Changes along the Front, 16 December 1944-7 February 1945 and Allied Plan for Rhineland Campaign
    Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Balkan and Baltic Campaigns – Operations, 19 August-31 December 1944
    Northern Italy 1944: Allied Advance to Gothic Line, 5 June-25 August and Gains 29 August-31 December
    China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
    China-Burma, 1941: Third Burma Campaign – Slim’s Offensive, June 1944-March 1945
  • NAZIS GAIN IN BELGIUM IN GREAT BATTLE; FORTRESSES CALLED UPON TO STEM PUSH (12/20/44)

    12/20/2014 4:18:22 AM PST · 1 of 37
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • Ok all what are you personal goals for 2015?

    12/19/2014 4:11:36 PM PST · 6 of 189
    Homer_J_Simpson to US Navy Vet

    Bring World War II to a successful conclusion.

  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 10:42:28 AM PST · 30 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to alfa6
    I have read quite a bit about the Mighty Eighth AF in WW-II but have never heard of the “Secret Airfields” mentioned in the short article on page 12

    I link many of these threads to the site of my uncles outfit, the 381st Bomb Group. A reader there said the same thing and posted some additional information on the SOS sites. Currently the final post on the following thread.

    381st BG forum

  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 10:19:52 AM PST · 26 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to occamrzr06; PapaNew

    I just watched the depiction of the Verdun meeting on “Patton.” For some reason Ike was not at the meeting in the movie version, though it would seem to have added dramatic weight if he had. For some reason he never appeared as a character in the film. Maybe they thought it would detract from Patton’s role.

  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 9:04:28 AM PST · 18 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to SunkenCiv
    Nice catch, but where is it?

    I didn't save the article. I figured I would have my hands full preparing Battle of the Bulge items.

    (I was right.)

  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 8:46:21 AM PST · 15 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to occamrzr06

    Great post.

  • The Unbreakable Laura Hillenbrand

    12/19/2014 6:03:49 AM PST · 19 of 22
    Homer_J_Simpson to Hebrews 11:6; Seizethecarp; EternalVigilance; Tax-chick
    I'm two-thirds through Unbroken and just bought Seabiscuit. Sublime subject and crafting.

    Seabiscuit was one of the first books I excerpted on my threads. I think it was around 1940 when Seabiscuit was making his comeback at Santa Anita. I justified my departure from prewar-related information by the way she presented such a compelling picture of the American state of mind at the time.

    I heard an interview with the grandson of the subject of Unbroken on Hugh Hewitt's program yesterday. I better get the book.

  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 4:43:10 AM PST · 8 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/11/19.htm

    December 19th, 1944 (TUESDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM: Weather grounds the USAAF Ninth Air Force bombers. Fighters fly armed reconnaissance in western Germany, escort RAF Lancasters, fly patrols from Belgium to the Rhine River, support the U.S. 1st, 2d, 99th, and 106th Infantry Divisions, and 7th Armored Division (north and east of Malmedy, Belgium, and southeast and southwest of Saint-Vith, Belgium), and fly cover for U.S. Twelfth Army troops and the XII Corps near Verdun and Saint- Avold, France.

    EIRE: An RAF Catalina Mk. IV assigned to No. 202 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command based at RAF Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, crashes on Stradbally Mountain, County Kerry. The wreckage is finally removed in 1978.

    FRANCE: Versailles: Confined to his headquarters office by assassination threats, Eisenhower gives temporary command of the US First and Ninth Armies to Montgomery. Montgomery and Bradley are placed in command of the northern and southern sectors of the German offensive. A public announcement of this move will not occur until 5th January, 1945.

    Late in the evening of 19 Dec Eisenhower studied the situation map in his office and drew a line from Givet, on the Muese River through the Ardennes and across the German frontier to Prum. All Allied units north of the line were placed under command of Montgomery which meant that he commanded the US First and Ninth Armies. South of the line Bradley would command the US Third Army. He ordered that the change take effect on 1200 of 20 Dec.

    This was a meeting of American, not Allied, commanders. No British commanders were present, although Montgomery was represented by his chief of staff de Guingand which meant that the British did not want their presence to complicate matters. At the meeting Patton was ordered to attack toward Bastogne with the newly designated III Corps, commanded by Major General John Millikin. III Corps was to advance north toward St. Vith. Three divisions were attached to the corps: the 80th Infantry Division was on the right and maintained contact with XII Corps. The 26th Infantry Division was in the center, and the 4th Armored Division on the left. Bastogne was in its zone. This was the initial combat for Headquarters, III Corps and its commander, General Millikin. All of its attached divisions had been seen combat.

    While the mission of the 101st Airborne Division and attached units was to defend Bastogne, the digging in was done at positions five to seven kilometres from Bastogne.

    The Germans reach Stavelot and Houffalize areas, with US forces holding their ground in between near Gouvy and St. Vith. The US 82nd Airborne will hold Houffalize for several days, while the US 101st Airborne digs in at Bastogne.

    The fog of war was at its height during the initial days of the Battle of the Ardennes. When the 82nd and 101st were released to VIII Corps, Major General Troy Middleton, the commander, intended to employ the 101st at Bastogne and the 82nd at Houffalize. However, as the post above indicates the Germans were already at Houffalize. At this time First Army became concerned about the advance of Kampfgruppe Peiper and so the 82nd was attached to V Corps on the northern side of the German penetration and assembled at Werbomont. (Jay Stone)

    The U.S. Seventh Army is ordered to go on the defensive. In the XV Corps area, the 44th Infantry Division finds that the Germans have abandoned Fort Simershof and Hottviller. Fort Schiesseck, barring access to Bitche, continues to hold out.

    BELGIUM: SS troops under Lieutenant-Colonel Joachim Peiper massacre 130 civilians who they claim were harbouring US soldiers.

    Because of the German Ardennes counteroffensive, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Commander in Chief 21st Army Group, abandons a plan to employ XXX Corps, British Second Army, in the Nijmegen, The Netherlands, area and orders it to assemble in the Louvain-St Trond-Hasselt region to hold the Meuse River line.

    The Germans reach the Stavelot and Houffalize areas, with U.S. forces holding their ground in between near Gouvy and St. Vith. The U.S. 101st Airborne Division digs in at Bastogne. While the mission of the 101st Airborne Division and attached units is to defend Bastogne, the digging in was done at positions five to seven kilometers (3.1 to 4.3 miles) from Bastogne. (John Nicholas and Jay Stone)

    In the U.S. First Army area, VII Corps remains generally in place. In V the Corps area, the 2d and 99th Infantry Divisions repel further attacks and start toward new defensive positions from which they will defend the Elsenborn ridge. The 9th Infantry Division (less Regimental Combat Team 47 which is already in the corps zone, and Regimental Combat Team 6o) takes up defensive positions in the 2d Infantry Division zone, relieving elements of the 2d and 99th Infantry Divisions. The 1st Infantry Division holds the line east of Malmédy. Combat Command A, 3d Armored Division, relieves the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, of the defense of Eupen. The 30th Infantry Division holds at Stavelot and engineers blow a bridge across the Ambleve River there; this keeps the Germans from Stoumont in a costly battle. Combat Command B, 3d Armored Division, is attached to the corps to assist the 30th Infantry Division. The XVIII Corps (Airborne) takes responsibility for the r egion generally south of the Ambleve River, including Houffalize, a key road center between St Vith and Bastogne, with the mission of holding the northern flank of the Germans. The 82d Airborne Division, which reverts to the corps, upon closing at Werbomont relieves the 30th Infantry Division troops in that region. The 3d Armored Division, less Combat Command A and B, passes to corps control and starts toward the Hotton-Le Grand Pré area. In the VIII Corps area, hope of relieving the beleaguered 422d and 423d Infantry Regiments of the 106th Infantry Division in the Schnee Eifel fades. The 7th and 9th Armored Divisions (-) are aggressively defending the region just east of St Vith. The 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, is attached to the 106th Infantry Division. The28th Infantry Division is ordered to abandon Wiltz and return to friendly lines by infiltration withdraws from Diekirch area. The 101st Airborne Division arrives at Bastogne, which the Germans have almost encircled. Also employed in the defense of the Bastogne area are Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division and remnants of Combat Command R, 9th Armored Division, the latter coming under control of the 101st Airborne Division.

    LUXEMBOURG: The U.S. Third Army forms a provisional corps from former First Army units south of the Ardennes salient, the 4th Infantry Division and the 10th Armored Division (- Combat Command B); the corps is to hold the Germans on the south flank of the penetration and plug a gap existing between it and elements of the 9th Armored Division and 28th Infantry Division near Ettelbruck.

    NORTH SEA: U-737 sank in Vestfjorden, position 68.09N, 15.39E, after a collision with MRS 25. 31 dead and 20 survivors.

    BALTIC SEA: During the night of 19/20 December, 12 RAF Bomber Command Lancasters lay mines in the Cadet Channel, the strait between Storstrom Island, Denmark, and Germany.

    GERMANY:

    The U.S. Third Army’s XX Corps begins withdrawal from hard-won positions east of the Sarre River. The 5th Infantry Division maintains a foothold east of the river at Saarlautern, but the 378th Infantry Regiment, 95th Infantry Division, is ordered to withdraw from Ensdorf. The III Corps is ordered north for an attack against the southern flank of enemy in the “Bulge.” In the XII Corps area, the 35th Infantry Division halts an attack to consolidate in preparation for relief. The 4th Armored Division and 80th Infantry Division are being transferred to III Corps.

    The USAAF Eighth Air Force flies Mission 756: 328 bombers and 45 fighters are dispatched to hit tactical targets (rail and road junctions, rail and road chokepoints and railheads) to impede the German counteroffensive launched in the Ardennes: 65 aircraft hit the Ehrang marshalling yard (M/Y) at Trier, 49 bomb a railroad junction at Kall, 40 attack Kyllburg, 28 hit the M/Y at Gemund, 25 bomb Blankenheim, 23 attack Bitburg, 22 bomb Hildersheim, 13 each bomb the Lutzel M/Y at Koblenz and a highway choke point at Schleiden, 12 attack a highway choke point at Glaadt and nine bomb Stadtkyll. The missions above are escorted by 37 P-47 Thunderbolts; they claim 7-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft.

    USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers attack oil and rail targets: at Blechhammer, 114 bomb the North I.G. Farben synthetic refinery and 47 hit the South refinery with the loss of five aircraft; at Rosenheim, 26 hit the West marshalling yard and 24 hit the Main marshalling yard; one other aircraft bombs Kassel.

    During the day, 30 RAF Bomber Command Lancasters, escorted by USAAF Ninth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts, carry out a G-H raid on the railway yards in Trier behind the front on which the Germans are attacking in the Ardennes.

    U-2356 launched.

    AUSTRIA: USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers hit rail targets: 35 bomb the Stroszhof marshalling yard (M/Y) in Vienna, 28 hit the Main M/Y at Graz, 19 bomb the South M/Y at Villach and two hit the North M/Y, 16 bomb the Main M/Y at Innsbruck and 14 bomb the North M/Y at Klagenfurt.

    CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Seven USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers bomb a synthetic oil refinery at Ostrava Moravaska and three other bombers hit targets of opportunity.

    ITALY: In the British Eighth Army area, V Corps, renewing their offensive during the night of 19/20 December, clears the Faenza area sufficiently for deployment of the 56th Division. The Canadian I Corps begins an attack, during the night of 19/20 December to break out of the Naviglio Canal bridgehead.

    Weather grounds USAAF Twelfth Air Force medium bombers. XXII Tactical Air Command fighters and fighter-bombers, unable to reach the primary targets further north, hit communications north of the battle area but concentrate mainly on gun positions in the La Spezia area. During the night of 19/20 December, A-20 Havocs attack lights at five locations in the eastern Po Valley.

    GREECE: RAF Air Headquarters Greece at Kifisia is attacked by Communist Hellenic People’s Army (ELAS) troops. Despite the best efforts of No.2933 Squadron RAF Regiment, the headquarters is overrun tomorrow and a large number of British prisoners are taken and marched north. Supplies are dropped to the column by Wellington Mk. XIIIs of No.221 Squadron RAF.

    YUGOSLAVIA: Forty nine USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers bomb two marshalling yards in Maribor with the loss of one aircraft.

    During the day, RAF bombers of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb three targets: 36 bomb tactical targets at Kolasin, 12 hit the West marshalling yard at Sarajevo and four attack a highway bridge at Matesevo.

    CHINA: Sixteen USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells, escorted by 24 P-40s, attack Pengpu. Four P-51s claim two freighters sunk off Hong Kong and two P-40s destroy three locomotives and a truck at Sinyang.

    BURMA: In the British Fourteenth Army’s IV Corps area, the Indian 19th Division takes Wunthe. In the XXXIII Corps area, the British 2nd Division, having moved forward from Kohima, crosses the Chindwin River at Kalewa and is relieving the East African 11th Division.

    Twelve USAAF Tenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells hit road junctions at Mongmit and south of Kyaukme, the Kyaukme railroad station, and Hsenwi bridge. Seven P-47 Thunderbolts severely damage the Tonbo road bridge, and 11 others hit targets of opportunity during a Onmaka-Hsoplong rail sweep. Forty two P-47s attack supply and personnel areas and troops at Myadaung, Tantabin, and Twinnge, the village of Nyaugbintha, and a truck park near Humon.

    Four USAAF Fourteenth Air Force P-38 Lightnings bomb the Wanling-Mongyu road causing a traffic block.

    JAPAN: The USAAF Twentieth Air Force’s XX Bomber Command flies Mission 22: 36 B-29 Superfortresses, from the Chengtu, China area, are dispatched to hit an aircraft plant at Omura; 17 hit the primary target and 13 others hit secondary target, Shanghai, China, and another two strike other alternates; they claim 5-4-12 Japanese aircraft; two B-29s are lost.

    VOLCANO ISLANDS: Twenty seven USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators from Saipan and 25 from Guam, Mariana Islands, strike Iwo Jima. Fourteen P-38 Lightnings from Saipan, with three Twentieth Air Force XXI Bomber Command B-29 Superfortresses as navigational escort, strafe airfields on Iwo Jima. Four B-25 Mitchells from Guam and Saipan carry out three snooper strikes against Iwo Jima during the night of 19/20 December.

    PACIFIC OCEAN: In the East China Sea, the Japanese aircraft carrier HIJMS Unryu is torpedoed and sunk by the USN submarine USS Redfish (SS-395) about 204 nautical miles (379 kilometers) northwest of Naha, Okinawa, in position 28.19N, 124.40E. This was the first war voyage for HIJMS Unryu. The ship is carrying a special cargo of 30 Yokosuka MXY7 Navy Suicide Attacker Ohka (Cherry Blossom) Model 11 rocket propelled suicide aircraft before being sent on her way to confront the U.S. invasion forces in the Philippine Islands. The first torpedo strikes Unryu on the starboard side under the bridge; the second torpedo struck 15 minutes later under the forward elevator setting off the deadly Ohka bombs and aviation gas stored in the lower hanger deck. The detonations literally blows the bow area apart. After the boiler rooms flood, the ship lists to over 30 degrees and the order to abandon ship is given. Minutes later, with a 90 degree list, the carrier plunges headfirst into the wate r. There are only 147 survivors of the 1,241 crew plus an unknown number of passengers. Redfish is damaged in the resultant depth charging, and is forced to terminate her patrol.

    COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: While the fighting on Leyte, continues, the Japanese high command decides that no more reinforcements or supplies will be sent to the 35th Army.

    In the U.S. Army’s X Corps area on Leyte Island, the 127th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division continues to battle the Japanese south of Limon. The 12th Cavalry Regiment (Infantry), 1st Cavalry Division, attacks toward Lonoy, on Highway 2, and seizes this barrio. In the XXIV Corps area, the 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division attacks north astride Highway 2 toward Libongao, gaining nearly 3 miles (4,8 kilometers); the 306th Infantry Regiment to the west pushes toward the Palompon road, which patrols reach. On Mindoro Island, the Western Visayan Task Force, helped by Mindoro guerrillas, begins a series of patrol actions along the south, west and northwest shores of Mindoro and a reconnaissance of small islands offshore.

    USAAF Far East Air Forces fighter-supported B-25 Mitchells bomb Fabrica Airfield on Negros Island. Fighters on a sweep over Ponay, and Leyte Islands hit Fabrica, Bacolod, Silay, Dumaguete and Alicante Airfields, and the town of Palompon on Leyte Island. On Luzon, B-24 Liberators bomb Legaspi Airfield while P-38 Lightnings hit Batangas Airfield.

    The planned bombardment of Luzon by the large carriers of U.S. Third Fleet is canceled because of weather conditions.

    NEW GUINEA: Australian Lieutenant General Frank Berryman, Chief of Staff Advanced Headquarter Allied Land Forces South West Pacific, is convinced that U.S. Lieutenant General Richard Sutherland, Chief of Staff South West Pacific Area, is trying to hinder Australian liaison with General Headquarters, and sends a message to U.S. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief South West Pacific Area, stating: “General (Thomas) Blamey (Commander in Chief Allied Land Forces South West Pacific and Commander in Chief Australian Military Force) desires direct liaison and would appreciate attachment of Lieutenant General Berryman and small personal staff to Advanced General Headquarters (at Hollandia) as early as convenient to you.”

    MARCUS ISLAND: Three USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators on armed reconnaissance from Guam bomb Marcus Island. The island is located in the North Pacific about 768 nautical miles (1 422 kilometers) west-northwest of Wake Island and is used as a refueling point for Japanese aircraft en route to the Central Pacific.

    EAST INDIES: In the Netherlands East Indies (NEI), USAAF Far East Air Forces B-25 Mitchells, A-20 Havocs, and P-38 Lightnings attack the Kairatoe area on Celebes Island. Other FEAF aircraft on armed reconnaissance, sweeps, and small strikes hit targets of opportunity at many locations throughout the NEI.

    U.S.A.: Washington: Chester W. Nimitz is promoted to Fleet Admiral.

    A 3 by 4 feet (0,9 by 1,2 meter) piece from a paper Japanese Fu-Go balloon is found at Manderson, Wyoming. The date of the landing cannot be determined. Manderson is located about 105 miles (169 kilometers) south of Billings, Montana.

    Four fighters of the USAAF Fourth Air Force, directed by the Los Angeles Control Group to search for a Japanese Fu-Go balloon reported over Santa Monica, California, are unable to locate the target.

  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 4:40:29 AM PST · 7 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    Nazis Still Moving – 2-3
    War’s Length Said to Hang on German Drive’s Outcome (Middleton) – 3-4
    Germans Stiffen in Southern Reich (Johnston) – 4
    Big Bombers Blast 8 Reich Rail Hubs (Daniel) – 4-5
    The Seventh Army Moves from France into Germany (photos) – 5
    Proof of Destructive Power of Our Airmen during Assaults on Enemy (photo) – 6
    28 Ships also Sunk (Kluckhohn, Horne) – 7
    Submarines Erase 88 Ships, a Record – 7-8
    B-29’s Strike Again after a Twin Blow – 8
    War News Summarized – 8
    The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones – 9-11
    5,000 Crippled Allied Planes Landed Safely on 3 Secret SOS Fields near British Coast – 11
    Supreme Court Upholds Return of Loyal Japanese to West Coast (Wood) – 12
  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 4:39:37 AM PST · 6 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    The first of the following 3 excerpts is continued from December 10. The second from December 17.

     photo 1219-nazis15_zps66671ee9.jpg

    Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy

  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 4:39:02 AM PST · 5 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    On 19 December, the 126TH launched another attack at 1100, with its 1ST and 2D Battalions side by side, against strong enemy positions on another ridge to their front. The left flank of 1ST Battalion was immediately pinned down by heavy fire from six machine guns. The battalion pulled back while it called in a mortar concentration (over 200 rounds) and placed heavy machine gun fire on the Japanese positions. The battalion resumed their advance but still ran into determined resistance.

    “Elements of the 1st [Japanese] Division had dug in on the top and both sides of a ridge and had utilized caves to construct a defensive position in which there were more than 100 foxholes with communicating trenches. Heavy fighting continued throughout the day. The 1ST Battalion used mortars, flame throwers, white phosphorus grenades, hand grenades, rifles, and supporting flanking fire from its heavy and light machine guns, but was able to advance only seventy-five yards. Although the battalion overran many emplacements, a determined Japanese force remained to be overcome when the battalion established its night perimeter on the eastern slope of the ridge.” (Cannon 341)

    The 2D Battalion, 126TH Infantry, met scattered, light resistance and was able to advance 200 yards and secure its area of responsibility by 1200. Throughout the day 2D Battalion was able to provide supporting machine gun and rifle fire for 1ST Battalion's attack to its right. At about 1530 on 19 December, the 2D Battalion was relieved by 1ST Squadron of the 112TH Cavalry Regiment and moved to an assembly area to the rear. The 112TH Cavalry had been conducting operations in support of the 1ST Cavalry Division's advance further to the east and had also been protecting the 32D Division's left flank.

    By nightfall on 19 December, Co. B, 126TH Infantry, which had encountered the most stubborn opposition in 1ST Battalion's area, had one platoon established on the east side of the ridge, another platoon on the west side, and the remainder of the company to the south. Throughout the night Co. B was able to keep constant pressure on the Japanese position, by firing on it from 3 sides. “At dawn, and without breakfast, the company rushed the position and by 1000 had complete control of the area. Two hundred Japanese dead were found. (Blakeley 197)”

    32nd Division history in World War II

  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 4:38:27 AM PST · 4 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Continued from yesterday.

     photo 1219-nazis14_zps0849dc1a.jpg

    Stephen E. Ambrose, Band of Brothers

  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 4:37:40 AM PST · 3 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 4:37:12 AM PST · 2 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Selections from West Point Atlas for the Second World War
    The Philippine Islands: Leyte Island and the Visayas, 1944 – Sixth Army Operations on Leyte and Samar, 17 October-30 December 1944
    The Philippine Islands: Leyte Island and the Visayas, 1944 – Sixth Army Operations Mindoro and Marinduque Islands, 13 December 1944-24 January 1945
    The Ardennes Area, 1944: The Initial German Attack and Operations, 16-25 December 1944
    Eastern France and the Low Countries, 1944: Territorial Changes along the Front, 16 December 1944-7 February 1945 and Allied Plan for Rhineland Campaign
    Eastern Europe, 1941: Russian Balkan and Baltic Campaigns – Operations, 19 August-31 December 1944
    Northern Italy 1944: Allied Advance to Gothic Line, 5 June-25 August and Gains 29 August-31 December
    China, 1941: Operation Ichigo, April-December 1944 and Situation 31 December
    China-Burma, 1941: Third Burma Campaign – Slim’s Offensive, June 1944-March 1945
  • GERMANS DRIVE 20 MILES INTO BELGIUM; ALLIED FLIERS POUND TANK SPEARHEADS (12/19/44)

    12/19/2014 4:36:40 AM PST · 1 of 60
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
    Reading assignment: New York Times articles and the occasional radio broadcast delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
    To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile. Also visit our general discussion thread.
  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 6:02:17 PM PST · 54 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Tax-chick; GreenLanternCorps
    The character played by Ricardo Montalban in a 1960s “Star Trek” episode, and then in a movie, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”

    You got me. I should have searched on the name and not just scanned the entire cast of "Battleground."

    As I recall the studio was reluctant to make the movie in 1949, figuring the public was about warred out. It succeeded at the box office nonetheless. It had an air of being made by men who had personal knowledge of service in the war. Little things like the truckload of paratroopers saying with sarcastic relish "you found a hooome in the army".

  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 5:25:52 PM PST · 52 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to GreenLanternCorps

    Agreed. For its time “Battleground” was a great picture. Who was Khan Noonien Singh? I looked for the name at imdb.com but didn’t see it.

  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 12:40:19 PM PST · 34 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to dfwgator; Tax-chick
    When you watch the Band of Brothers episode that takes place during the Battle of the Bulge, you literally can feel the cold.

    It was ingenious how they did the snow effect. It is mostly paper. The Bastogne scenes were shot partly indoors so it requires the actors' ability to communicate how cold it is. I learned all that from the bonus disk of the series that has segment called The Making of Band of Brothers.

  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 11:49:57 AM PST · 28 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Tax-chick
    This and Guadalcanal have be in the top five for “World’s Worst Campout.”

    Germans who fought on the eastern front in the winter of '41-'42 might nominate that for the top spot.

  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 10:39:36 AM PST · 19 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to henkster

    Yep. The Nips didn’t have any Kraut tanks.

  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 4:55:53 AM PST · 11 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1944/dec44/18dec44.htm#

    TF38 caught in typhoon
    Monday, December 18, 1944 www.onwar.com

    In the Philippine Sea... US Task Force 38 is caught in a typhoon while retiring to refuel and replenish. Three destroyers are sunk and 3 fleet carriers, 4 escort carriers and 11 destroyers sustain damage.

    Over Japan... US B-29 Superfortress bombers raid Nagoya (nominally the Mitsubishi aircraft assembly works).

    Over Occupied China... Some 200 US 14th Air Force planes, and 84 B-29 bombers, attack the Japanese supply base at Hankow causing fires that burn for three days.

    Over Occupied Poland... An RAF nighttime attack sinks the Schleswig-Holstein and 8 other ships at Gotenhafen (Gdynia).

    In Liberated Greece... British troops begin an offensive against the rebellious Communist forces and capture on of the ELAS strong points on the Piraeus road.

  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 4:40:33 AM PST · 10 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    The onwar.com chronology seems to be out of action today. I will check for it later.

    http://www.etherit.co.uk/month/11/18.htm

    December 18th, 1944 (MONDAY)

    UNITED KINGDOM: Submarine HMS Turpin commissioned.

    Submarine HMS Scorcher launched.

    During the night of 18/19 December, the USAAF Eighth Air Force flies Mission 755: four B-17 Flying Fortresses and nine B-24 Liberators are sent to drop leaflets in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

    One hundred sixty USAAF Ninth Air Force A-26 Invaders, A-20 Havocs, and B-26 Marauders hit defended positions at Harperscheid, Hellenthal, Blumenthal, Dreiborn, and Herhahn; fighters fly sweeps and armed reconnaissance over western Germany (claiming over 40 German airplanes downed plus hitting numerous ground targets) and support the U.S. 2d, 4th, 28th, and 106th Infantry Divisions west of Butgenbach and west of Trier; southeast of Clervaux, Luxembourg; and southeast of Saint-Vith, Belgium; and the XII Corps at Niedergailbach. The IX Tactical Air Command hits Panzer units spearheading the Bulge.

    FRANCE: Mittelwihr: Technical Sergeant Bernard Bell of the United States Army, Company I, 142d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division, leads a squad of troops to clear a German held schoolhouse then holds it against a heavy enemy counter-strike. MOH.

    BELGIUM: Huy: The Americans who turned up to guard the bridge over the Meuse at Huy, south-west of Liege, was unusually well-informed. American reinforcements moving up to the front were regaled with hair-raising stories of massive German Panzer forces wreaking havoc among the Allies.

    It was some time before this talkative “American” was identified as an English-speaking German commando in GI uniform, driving a captured Jeep. Hitler had told SS Lt-Col Otto Skorzeny to train men to pose as GIs and infiltrate them behind American lines to spread panic and confusion and sabotage communications. The first wave succeeded, forcing the Americans to introduce time-consuming identity checks and trick questions about comics, the name of Roosevelt”> Roosevelt’s dog or baseball scores.

    Three major organizations from outside US VIII Corps are on the move to corps headquarters in Bastogne in the Ardennes. Late in the day CCB, 10th Armored Division arrives in Bastogne and is directed by the corps commander, Major General Troy Middleton, to establish road blocks at three locations east of Bastogne. The teams sent to these locations will slow the advance of the Germans but at a high cost. The 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division are on the road toward Bastogne. (Jay Stone)

    In U.S. First Army’s V Corps area, the Corps’ mission, on its smaller front, is to stabilize the line Monschau (Germany)-Butgenbach-Malmedy-Stavelot. Corps holds firmly at Butgenbach and Elsenborn ridge but the Germans continue to move west through the gap south of Butgenbach. Regimental Combat Team 26 reverts to the 1st Infantry Division, which joins in action to keep the Germans from Malmedy, combing the woods near Eupen and organizing the perimeter defense of Waimes. The 99th Infantry Division is attached to 2d Infantry Division. The Germans now hold Honsfeld and Buellingen and push into Stavelot. The 30th Infantry Division recovers most of Stavelot northwest of the Amblève River and organizes defense positions in the Malmdy-Stavelot area; blunts enemy spearheads at Stoumont and Habiemont. In the VIII Corps area, the 106th Infantry Division’s encircled 422d and 423d Infantry Regiments try in vain to break out toward Schonberg. The 7th Armored Division is too heavil y engaged at St Vith to assist with eastward push. The Germans occupy Recht and cut the St Vith-Vielsaim road at Poteau but Combat Command A recovers Poteau. The 14th Cavalry Group (Mechanized), which falls back to Petit Thier, is transferred from the 106th Infantry Division to the 7th Armored Division control. The 28th Infantry Division is unable to stop the Germans in its zone and becomes completely disorganized. The Germans get almost to Houffalize and Bastogne; smash through roadblocks of Combat Command R, 9th Armored Division, on the Bastogne-St Vith road.

    NETHERLANDS: In the British Second Army area, VIII Corps extends southward to the line Meeuwen-Maeseyck.

    LUXEMBOURG: Troops of 4th Infantry Division and 10th Armored Division remaining south of the breakthrough are placed under Third Army command. Combat Command B, 10th Armored, remains with VIII Corps to help defend Bastogne, Belgium; Combat Command A attacks north and east through the 4th Infantry Division to the Berdorf and Echternach areas. The 4th Infantry Division mops up infiltrators beyond Osweiler and Dickweiler and repels thrust from Dickweiler.

    FRANCE: In the U.S. Seventh Army’s VI Corps area, elements of 45th Infantry Division attack across the Lauter River into Budenthal but are isolated there.

    In the French First Army area, II Corps overruns Ammerschwihr.

    GERMANY: US aircraft attack German tactical and communications targets, including Cologne, Koblenz, Kaiserslautern, Bonn and Mainz.

    At 1320 a 451st/727 Sq. B-24G #42-78436 commanded 2lt. Walter D. Holland goes MIA (missing in acyion) about twenty kilometres from where the 485th encountered SAMs yesterday. Also this afternoon a B-17 of the 2nd Bomb Group reports that they are under attack by Rheintochter SAMs over Wiener Neustadt. (John D. Bybee)

    The USAAF Eighth Air Force flies Mission 754: 985 bombers and 773 fighters are dispatched to hit rail and tactical targets in Germany using PFF; 4 fighters are lost. One hundred seventy B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb the marshalling yard (M/Y) at Mainz; 102 hit the Lutzel M/Y at Koblenz; 74 attack the M/Y at Kaiserslautern; and 32 bomb the Kalk M/Y at Cologne. Twenty four other B-17s hits targets of opportunity. Escort is provided by 260 P-51 Mustangs.

    USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bomber attack three synthetic oil refineries: 169 bomb the Deschowitz refinery at Odertal with the loss of two bombers; 87 bomb the I.G. Garben North refinery at Blechhammer and 61 bomb the I.G. Garben South refinery at Blechhammer with the loss of two aircraft.

    During the night of 18/19 December, Mosquitos of RAF Bomber Command attack two cities: 39 bomb Nurnburg and 14 hit Munster. Meanwhile, ten Lancasters lay mines in Danzig Bay.

    14th Armored Division, VI US Corps, 7th Army began assault on Siegfried line by blasting out Dragon Teeth with TNT, bypassing Maginot line emplacements. Germans responded with heavy firing.

    Allied commanders met the day before to plan action for stopping Ardennes counter Attacks. Patton promised he could move his 3rd Army by December 22nd.

    7th US Army was ordered to spread out to cover Patton’s 3rd Army pivot and his move North, orders included statement that if unsuspected attack was delivered by unaccounted for German Divisions at Ardennes to pull back to Vosges Mountains for defence.

    In U.S. First Army’s VII Corps area, the 83d and 9th Infantry Divisions finish clearing their respective zones. The Corps extends southward because of Ardennes breakthrough to take over part of the V Corps zone, new boundary running from the Eupen area to the Roer River near Dedenborn. With boundary change, the 8th and 78th Infantry Divisions and attachments pass to corps control in current positions. The Corps releases Combat Command A of the 3d Armored Division and the 9th Infantry Division, less Regimental Combat Teams 47 and 60, to V Corps, 104th Infantry Division takes responsibility for the 9th Infantry Division zone as well as its own and is reinforced by Regimental Combat Team 6o. The 78th Infantry Division, reinforced by the 2d Ranger Battalion and 102d Cavalry Group (Mechanized), is to hold the road center north of the Konzen and Paustenbach knoll.

    In U.S. Third Army’s XX Corps area, the 90th Infantry Division, attacking cautiously with two battalions, clears most of Dillingen against surprisingly light resistance. The 5th Infantry Division takes charge of the Saarlautern bridgehead, and attacks at once, gaining ground. The 95th Infantry Division, less 378th Infantry Regiment, which continues to be responsible for the Ensdorf area, is withdrawn from combat. In the XII Corps area, the 2d Battalion, 320th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, takes Nieder Gailbach in hard fighting. The 87th Infantry Division breaks off attack upon order.

    In the U.S. Ninth Army’s XIII Corps area, 84th Infantry Division attacks for its last objective, Wurm and Muellendorf, and takes both with ease.

    A Memory of a Seventh Army Veteran: the 14th Armored Division, U.S. VI Corps, Seventh Army began an assault on the Siegfried line by blasting out Dragon Teeth with TNT while bypassing Maginot line emplacements. The Germans respond with heavy firing. Many individual fox holes were 100 yards (91 meters) apart. (Joe Brott)
    U-3027 launched.

    U-2333, U-3516 commissioned.

    AUSTRIA: USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers hit eight targets: 102 bomb the Florisdorf oil refinery in Vienna with the loss of one aircraft; 28 bomb the Main marshalling yard at Graz; and 19 other aircraft hit targets of opportunity in six cities.

    CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Fourteen USAAF Fifteenth Air Force bombers attack the railroad at Ostrava Moravaska and five others hit three targets of opportunity.

    POLAND:

    Forty nine USAAF Fifteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb the I.G. Farben oil refinery at Oswiecim with the loss of two aircraft.

    During the night of 18/19 December, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 236 Lancasters to attack the Gdynia on the Baltic coast: 187 bomb the port area with the loss of three aircraft and 40 bomb the heavy cruiser Lutzow with the loss of one aircraft. The cruiser is not damaged but the dockyard and a floating dock are wrecked.

    Off Gdynia, RAF bombers hit the German liner Schleswig-Holstein, which burns out, and sink eight other ships.

    HUNGARY: Soviet Army forces reach the Hungarian-Czechoslovak border on the 70-mile (113 kilometer) front north of Miskoic and are crossing it.

    Thirty three USAAF Fifteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators aircraft bomb the marshalling yard at Sopron while two others hit targets of opportunity.

    U.S.S.R.: Black Sea Fleet: (Sergey Anisimov)(69)Submarine loss. “L-25” (uncompleted hull) - sunk under tow, supposedly on mine, West to cape Pitsunda.

    ITALY: A freight train carrying hundreds of civilians, who had jumped on board because no other transport is available, stalls in a tunnel near Salerno. Toxic fumes from the engine fill the tunnel and a total of 426 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Benito Mussolini, head of the Italian Socialist Republic (RSI), has moved his office to Milan. German Ambassador to the RSI Rudolph Rahn, had suggested he move to Merano on the Brenner Pass, but Mussolini chose Milano due in part to his wish to distance himself from German authority.

    Weather again curtails operations. The USAAF Twelfth Air Force’s XXII Tactical Air Command sends fighters and fighter-bombers to hit communications in the eastern Po River Valley, scoring particular success against lines in the northern part of the Valley in the Padua region, and support U.S. Fifth Army operations in the battle area south of Bologna.

    YUGOSLAVIA: Sixty six RAF Bombers of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb tactical targets at Matesevo.

    CHINA: Thirty three USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb barracks and administrative buildings at Hankow. Twenty three B-25 Mitchells hit Wuchang, seven bomb barracks and damage a bridge at Siaokan Airfield while six others attack storage buildings at Kunlong;. One hundred forty nine P-40s and P-51 Mustangs support the Hankow, Siaokan, and Wuchang raids and claim 42 Japanese aircraft downed and destroyed on the ground. Twenty P-51s and P-38 Lightnings follow the B-25 strike on Kunlong with napalm attacks, causing considerable damage while 28 other P-40s and P-51s attack various targets of opportunity around Hochih, Nanning and Mengmao.

    USAAF Tenth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts destroy a bypass bridges at Hinlong.

    The USAAF Twentieth Air Force’s XX Bomber Command flies Mission 21: 94 B-29 Superfortresses, flying out of the Chengtu area, are dispatched to drop incendiaries on the docks at Hankow in the first mass firebomb attack by B-29s; the strike is made in conjunction with 200 aircraft of the Fourteenth Air Force; 84 bomb the primary target and five others hit alternate targets; they claim 1-3-10 Japanese aircraft.

    BURMA: Seventeen USAAF Tenth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts destroy bypass bridges at Wingkang. Twelve B-25 Mitchells knock out two railroad bridges at Wetlet and damage another at Saye and 11 P-47s hit the airfield at Nawnghkio while 12 others sweep airfields at Anisakan, Hsumhsai, and Nawnghkio. Nine fighter-bombers provide close support to ground forces in Namhkam and 17 P-47s attack personnel and supply areas at Man Ton and Hseing-hkai. Two hundred ninety two transports fly men and supplies to forward bases and battle areas.

    USAAF Fourteenth Air Force fighter bombers attack Wanling.

    JAPAN: The USAAF Twentieth Air Force’s XXI Bomber Command flies Mission 13: 89 B-29 Superfortresses flying out of the Mariana Islands are sent to hit the Mitsubishi aircraft plant at Nagoya; 63 hit the primary target and ten bomb last resort targets and targets of opportunity. They claim 5-11-12 Japanese aircraft; four B-29s are lost.

    VOLCANO ISLANDS: During the night of 18/19 December, four USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators from Guam and Saipan fly snooper strikes over Iwo Jima.

    EAST INDIES: In the Netherlands East Indies, USAAF Far East Air Forces fighter-bombers attack targets of opportunity in the Tarakan Island, Borneo, area, strafe seaplane facilities at Sanga Sanga, Borneo, and bomb Haroekoe Airfield on Haroekoe Island off Ambon Island.

    FRENCH INDOCHINA: USAAF Fourteenth Air Force fighter-bombers attack Sang Song and Phu Lang Thuong.

    COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: A typhoon capsizes three destroyers and damages three carriers, 11 destroyers and four escort carriers of US naval TF 38, drowning 757 out of 831 sailors and sweeping 150 aircraft off the decks of carriers. TF 38 has completed attacks on Luzon, and is returning to Ulithi to refuel.
    Destroyer USS Hull capsized in a typhoon, east of the Philippines. 7 officers and 55 men survived the sinking, 8 crewmembers were lost. She received 10 battle stars for her WWII service.

    Destroyer USS Monaghan lost in the infamous typhoon east of the Philippines. Only six of her crew was ever found by the destroyer USS Brown. All six were put onboard the hospital ship USS Solace at Christmas Eve. They had been in the water for 4 days. All were in fair shape considering the experience. Before her loss, USS Monaghan received 12 Battle Stars for her services.

    By early morning, escort carrier USS Altamaha had been hit by a raging typhoon while performing transfer operations in the Philippine Sea. By 0900, the escort carrier was labouring heavily and rolling as much as 25 to 30 degrees to either side. An hour later, visibility dropped to zero, and the vessel abandoned all effort to keep station. Almost one-half of the aircraft on board Altamaha broke loose and plunged overboard. The ship also experienced problems with flooding in the forward elevator pit. Many ships, including the Altamaha were heavily damaged, and some even sunk. No personnel were lost aboard the Altamaha.

    In the U.S. Sixth Army’s X Corps area on Leyte Island, the 126th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division, works slowly forward south of Limon and closes the gap between it and 127th Infantry Regiment. The 12th Cavalry Regiment (Infantry), 1st Cavalry Division, patrols and prepares to drive on Lonoy and Kananga. In the XXIV Corps area, the 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, takes Valencia and its airstrip without opposition. The 306th Infantry Regiment overtakes the 307th at Valencia and makes patrol contact with the 305th Infantry Regiment. The 305th blocks off the road to Dolores. The southern part of the Ormoc Valley from Ormoc to Valencia is now clear of Japanese.

    On Leyte Island, USAAF Far East Air Forces fighter-bombers destroy a bridge on the Palompon-Cananga road and attack Calatagan Airfield on Cebu Island; B-25 Mitchells hit San Roque Airfield on Mindanao Island; and fighter-bombers attack Tanao harbor on Panay Island.

    CAROLINE ISLANDS: Six USAAF Seventh Air Force Guam- based B-24 Liberators fly armed photo reconnaissance over Moen, Param, and Eten Islands and bomb Dublon Island, all in Truk Atoll. After photographing the airfields on the three islands, the B-24 Liberators return by way of Woleai and Puluwat Atolls, and Namonuito Island and photograph all three.

    SOLOMON ISLANDS: On Bougainville, “Arty Hill” as it was known, is captured by the Queensland 9th Battalion, 7th Brigade, and is a major Japanese position on the Numa Numa Trail leading across Bougainville.

    CANADA:
    Corvette HMCS Strathroy arrived Saint John, New Brunswick with Convoy HF-47 and completed fitting out.

    Frigate HMCS Buckingham departed Halifax for workups in Bermuda.

    U.S.A.: Washington: Douglas MacArthur is promoted to the rank of General of the Army.

    The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the U.S. Army’s removal of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast early in 1942 was constitutional at the time it was carried out, but that citizens must be permitted to return to their homes when their loyalty to U.S. is established. The tribunal acted in two cases. It upheld the constitutionality of the removal program by a 6 to 3 decision, and was unanimous in holding that loyal citizens should be released. The ruling came one day after the War Department announced that loyal citizens of Japanese ancestry would be permitted to return to their former homes after 33 months of enforced absence in relocation centres.

    Submarine USS Manta commissioned.

    ATLANTIC OCEAN: Frigates HMCS Ribble and Montreal rescued 44 of 53 crewmembers of U.1209 OLtzS Ewald Hülsenbeck CO scuttled in the Channel off Scilly Isles, 49-57N, 005-47W, subsequent to hitting Wolf Rock. Both frigates contended their attacks were cause, but this was denied by RN Admiralty findings. Montreal and Ribble were members of Escort Group 26. They had attacked several asdic contacts but these produced no results and the contacts were classified as wrecks, of which there were many in the area. When the survivors were found and recovered a short time later the two ships were quick to claim that their attacks were the cause of a sinking. Actually, U-1209 had been scuttled after hitting Wolf Rock subsequent to her successful efforts to evade her pursuers. OLtzS Hülsenbeck was among those lost.

    U-486 sank SS Silverlaurel in Convoy BTC-10.

  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 4:34:44 AM PST · 9 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; 2banana; henkster; meandog; ...
    Belgium Entered (Middleton) – 2-3
    German Assault is a Major Effort (Denny) – 3
    Faenza Captured after Long Siege (Bracker) – 4
    U.S Role in Greece Limited to Succor – 4
    Rallies in Britain Protest on Greece – 4-5
    Fate of Poland Determined in Teheran, Diplomats Say (Daniell) – 5-6
    War News Summarized – 6
    2 M’Arthur Gains (Kluckhohn) – 6-8
    Tokyo Papers See Perils on Mindoro – 8
    B-29’s Blast Japan and Hankow, China – 8-9
    Superfortresses Smash at Japanese Plane Production Center (page 1 photo) – 9
    B-29 Pilot, Badly Wounded, Risks Life in Vain for Dying Engineer – 10
    U.S. Unit Spearheads Burma Push, Routing Japanese above Mandalay (Durdin) – 11
    China Communist Assails Chungking – 11
    Ban on Japanese Lifted on Coast (by Lawrence E. Davies) – 11-12
    The Texts of the Day’s Communiques on the War – 13-15
    Three-Power Conference (by Hanson W . Baldwin) – 15

    Editorials – 16-18
    Germany Strikes Back
    The Tax Freeze
    An Award Well Earned
    Funds for Small Business
    Pictures from Vught
    Best of Christmas Giving
    Our Planes Can Take It
    The Ell
    Topics of the Times

  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 4:33:36 AM PST · 8 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Robert Barr reports on Ardennes withdrawal (1:16).

    BBC

  • NAZI OFFENSIVE PIERCES FIRST ARMY LINES; CHUTISTS AND LUFTWAFFE SUPPORT PUSH (12/18/44)

    12/18/2014 4:33:04 AM PST · 7 of 71
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson
    Prime Minister to Minister of Production 18 Dec 44

    Your report on penicillin, showing that we are only to get about one-tenth of the expected output this year, is very disappointing. It is discouraging to find that, although this is a British discovery, the Americans are already so far ahead of us, not only in output but in technique. I hope you are satisfied that we have the right people in charge and that labour and material difficulties are being tackled early enough and energetically enough.

    Pray let me have a realistic estimate of 1945 production.

    Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy