Skip to comments.KING LEAVES ATHENS FOR CRETE; ONE GREEK ARMY QUITS STRUGGLE; NAZIS DRIVING ON THERMOPYLAE (4/23/41)
Posted on 04/23/2011 6:04:11 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
German raider returns to Brest
Wednesday, April 23, 1941 www.onwar.com
In the North Atlantic... The German raider Thor returns to Brest after a cruise of 322 days in which 11 merchant ships and one British auxiliary cruiser have been sunk and two more auxiliaries damaged.
In Greece... King George and his government are evacuated to Crete.
April 23rd, 1941
UNITED KINGDOM: Churchill to the Secretary of State for War:
All the lessons of this war emphasise the necessity of good anti-tank weapons and plenty of them. The number of anti-tank guns that can be produced is necessarily limited; all the more need therefore to press forward with whatever substitutes can do the trick.
There are persistent rumours that the Germans are constructing tanks with very thick armour - figures of four to six inches are mentioned. Such armour would be impervious to any existing anti-tank gun, or indeed and mobile gun; the tracks and other vulnerable parts are very small targets.
Tests have shown that plastic explosive applied to armour plate, as, for instance, in the bombard developed by Colonel Blacker and Colonel Jefferis, has very great cutting power, and this may be a solution to the problem. In any event, we must not be caught napping.
YUGOSLAVIA: The Italians occupy the island of Vis. (Perry Stewart)
GREECE: Greece severs diplomatic relations with Bulgaria.
King George and his government flees to Crete.
The northern Greek army surrenders to the Germans and Italians at Epirus and Macedonia.
The Wehrmacht High Command announced:
The movements of the German army in Greece are unfolding as scheduled. German forces have advanced through Lamia toward the south and have joined battle with British rearguard forces in the historic pass of Thermopylae.
Minesweeper HMCS Ganonoque launched Toronto, Ontario.
MV Kipawo departed Sydney , Nova Scotia. for refit Montreal to become HMCS Kipawa. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Charles Lindbergh addresses 30,000 people at the first mass meeting of the America First Committee in New York City. ‘The British government,’ he said, ‘has one desperate plan: ... to persuade us to send another American Expeditionary Force to Europe and to share with England militarily, as well as financially, the fiasco of this war.’ He condemned England for having ‘encouraged the smaller nations of Europe to fight against hopeless odds.’
The Truman Committee, of the US Senate, holds a hearing at Camp Meade in Maryland. They are investigating waste and fraud in the military buildup of the US Armed Forces. This is the first of 9 camps that will be visited by the committee in the coming weeks. “Cost Plus” contracts, “fantastically poor judgment” by the Army in selecting camp sites (Camp Meade is a primary example) and the rental of equipment instead of outright purchase are cited as wasteful.
Senator Truman’s intent is to find the waste before it can continue, rather than to investigate and make headlines “after the fact”. (David McCullough — “Truman”)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-101 encountered a British submarine in the North Atlantic, which fired two torpedoes, but both missed. (Dave Shirlaw)
Day 601 April 23, 1941
Greece. From the town of Ioannina, German troops rush down the West (Ionian) coast towards Delphi and the Peloponnese peninsula, both of which flank Allied positions at Thermopylae and threaten the evacuation. Luftwaffe wreaks havoc as Allies retreat South. Bombers destroy 13 RAF Hurricanes on the ground at Argos, Peloponnese peninsula, and the remaining fighters are removed to Crete. Dive bombers continue pounding shipping, sinking Greek torpedo boat Kios, minelayer Nestos, hospital ship Policos and the hulks of decommissioned WWI battleships Kilkis & Limnos plus 12 freighters & 1 tanker. Greek torpedo boat Doris is scuttled to prevent capture. King George II of Greece, his brother Crown Prince Paul and Prime Minister Emmanuel Tsouderos leave Athens for Crete on a British Sunderland flying boat. The King instructs that his wine cellar should be distributed to the Allied troops (1 bottle for each soldier, 2 for officers).
Libya. Rommel visits Carrier Hill at Tobruk and finds the Italian Fabris Battalion missing (captured in the Australian raid yesterday). Worried by Allied patrolling at Tobruk and on the Egyptian frontier, Rommel requests more troops and air cover. Instead, he is sent General von Paulus (Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of the Operations Section at OKH) to look over his shoulder and remind him of the limitations on resources. Luftwaffe bombers attack Tobruk habour in waves, sinking more ships but anti-aircraft guns and RAF Hurricanes shoot down 6 German aircraft.
British air reconnaissance spots an Afrika Korps convoy from Naples to Tripoli, with Italian destroyer escort. British destroyers HMS Jervis, Jaguar, Janus & Juno attempt to intercept but they cannot find the convoy. Overnight, HMS Juno sinks empty Italian troopship Egeo sailing alone from Benghazi to Tripoli.
German armed merchant cruiser Thor returns to Hamburg, Germany, after covering 57,532 miles in 322 days at sea. Thor has sunk 11 merchant ships (83,300 tons) and beaten 3 British armed merchant cruisers, sinking one.
Doesn't this title need punctuation? Do the British beat back the tanks even as they (the British) are harried by swarms of planes or are the British beat back by huge tanks while being harried by swarms of planes. I doubt the huge tanks are being harried by swarms of planes.
Also note that Sulzberger goes first person in this account. In a page one story no less.
Churchill is still fighting World War I. The British should have discarded him in the Spring of 1941 and looked for new leadership that could have negotiated a peace.
The New York Times is as unbiased as the United States is neutral at this point.
It’s somewhat ironic that Paulus, the general who refused to do anything to save his army at Stalingrad, because it would have meant disobeying Hitler, is sent to evaluate/ tattle on the general who WILL disobey Hitler and pull out of El Alamein to save his army.
I also find it interesting that they would send Paulus to advise Rommel after they had brushed aside his advice on operation BARBAROSSA. Last December, under Halder’s orders Paulus conducted a series of war games on the operation as it stood and determined that not only were 11 divisions in reserves too small to be of any usefulness along a 1,200 mile front, but also that the final line of advance from the Volga to Archangel as proposed by both Marcks and Lossberg was “far beyond anything that the German forces available could hope to achieve”.
Noticed that they have the barrels on the KAR 98s with rags stuffed in them. Either very dusty or raining.
Spoken like a true Pat Buchanan fan, but why?
Just because you like speaking German better than English, you think everyone else does too?
In spring 1941, there was no possible "deal" Britain could have offered Hitler except a free-hand in Russia (but Stalin was Hitler's ally, how could Hitler even discuss such a thing with his enemies?) in exchange for German withdrawal from conquered territories like France and the Low Countries.
And the possibility that Hitler would accept such a deal? Zero, zip, nada.
Hitler believed Russia would be as big a cake-walk as was France -- if not easier.
There's no way Hitler would trade away France for Russia, when he could easily have both.
And why should Britain ever negotiate with Hitler again for nothing more than a piece of paper with the word "peace" written on it??
In the end, Churchill and Britain did absolutely the right thing -- whether always for the right reasons might be debated.
The basic fact is that Britain's cards were very weak, except for one big ace: President Roosevelt.
Churchill's job "now" is to hold on, until his ace is ready to play.
By the way, CougarGA7 and Henkster, if you are growing weary of wrestling over Pearl Harbor, possibly you are familiar with Pat Buchanan's arguments (if not PAR35's) and would wish to address them here?
"Noticed that they have the barrels on the KAR 98s with rags stuffed in them. Either very dusty or raining."
That's pretty interesting-hadn't noticed
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