June 2012

Jun

30

1942

Lieutenant Schreder credited with “sure kill” – U-158

When they were directly overhead they saw their second Depth Charge actually hit the U-Boat.

This attack was delivered after radar contact made while the plane was flying above scattered cumulus clouds. Visibility was unlimited and the pilot found himself in ideal position for attack when the U-boat was sighted visually. Surprise of the U-boat was apparently complete.

Jun

29

1942

Yet another ship torpedoed off Florida

U Boat crews enjoyed a warm reception when they returned to base. Amilitary band on the quayside at St Nazaire, June 1942.

The whole of the after part of the ship was ablaze and the fire was beginning to creep towards the port side of the midship housing when, under the direction of the second mate, Mr P Sydney we were able to alert some of the engineers who escaped from their cabins, for a few minutes chaos reigned and then we attempted to release the starboard bridge life-boat….

Jun

28

1942

Hitler launches ‘Fall Blau’ – a new attack on Russia

A German Panzer Division passes through a burning Russian village.

In the midst of this roar, the men are crossing the Tim with their little rafts in feverish haste. We are attacking on a broad front: many, many divisions are moving simultaneously across the Tim. Hundreds of thousands can now move again after the banishment of the winter, can move eastwards; we are so happy about it.

Jun

27

1942

Adam Wakenshaw mans his gun to the end

A 2-pdr anti-tank gun being manned by members of 2nd Rifle Brigade, 24 March 1942.

About 5.15am, the German infantry attacked supported by tanks and artillery. As they advanced, a tracked vehicle towing a light gun came to within close range of Private Wakenshaw’s anti-tank gun. The 2-pounder gun opened fire and a direct hit on the vehicle’s engine stopped it dead.

Jun

26

1942

The sinking of the Putney Hill

An undated picture of U- 203. She was on her seventh war patrol in June 1942 and was to have a lucky escape when she was depth charged repeatedly.

The Putney Hill was lying like a ghost ship on the gentle sea, the silence punctuated by occasional loud bangs as various bits of the structure gave way under the increasing pressure. Without warning an incendiary shell hit the funnel and started a fire. It was followed by a further sixty three shells into the hull, counted by those on the life-raft from their grandstand position. At approximately 0130 hours on June 26th, 1942, Putney Hill became almost vertical and still burning slid beneath the sea, bow first.

Jun

25

1942

Third thousand bomber raid hits Bremen

Avro Lancaster B Mark I, R5620 'OL-H', of No 83 Squadron RAF, leads the queue of aircraft waiting to take off from Scampton, Lincolnshire, on the 'Thousand-Bomber' raid to Bremen, Germany. R5620, flown by Pilot Officer J R Farrow and his crew, was the only aircraft to be lost by the Squadron that night.

On the first of these nights (25th-26th June), 1,105 aircraft drawn from Bomber, Fighter, Coastal and Army Co-operation Commands were despatched. While the main attack was in progress against Bremen, a part of this force attacked aerodromes in Germany and occupied territory.

Jun

24

1942

‘Special Treatment’ for some Soviet prisoners

The Germans kept their Russian prisoners of war in the most primitive conditions, although in 1942 they began to supply them with food, as they began to be seen as a useful source of labour.

For the Communists, the ‘Kommissar Befehl’ was what the ‘Final Solution’ was to the Jews. I suppose that at that time most of us accepted that Communism was a crime, that Communists were criminals, and that there was no legal necessity to prove any further individual guilt. It dawned on me that I was now guarding a camp which had been set up to erase the evil of Communism.

Jun

23

1942

A proposal to sterilize 2-3 million Jews

'Soviet Union, North - Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler  standing in a car during a parade of a mounted military band of the SS Cavalry Division.'

Castration by means of X-rays, however, is not only relatively cheap, but can be carried out on many thousands in a very short time. I believe that it has become unimportant at the present time whether those affected will then in the course of a few weeks or months realize by the effects that they are castrated.

Jun

22

1942

Luftwaffe upgrades Reich air defence system

As part of its revitalised defences against bombers Germany was now building 'Flak towers' - massive concrete structures upon which anti aircraft guns were placed.

In front of this map there is another raised platform, equipped with a complicated arrangement of microphones and switches. From here every single fighter formation can be directed by ground-control officers individually by ultra-short-wave radio telephone. A glance at the map is all that is required to obtain a complete picture of the changing situation at any given moment.

Jun

21

1942

‘Stunned amazement’ and confusion in the desert

The Axis Offensive 1941 - 1942: The exposed nature of the terrain made air raids a serious hazard for troops in the desert. The crew of a British truck lie on the ground and cover their heads while their vehicle is bombed.

The NAAFI storemen are machine-gunning stocks of beer worth £20 000. I feel an enormous apathy as I watch others rushing about with cases of canned fruit, liquor, jam. There is a mad abundance. I see men hacking tins open with bayonets, drinking the syrup and chucking the cans aside.