August 2012

Aug

31

1942

Panzers halted at Battle of Alam Halfa

Boston Mark III, Z2183 'E', of No. 24 Squadron SAAF, in flight on an air test shortly after the Squadron re-equipped with the type at Shandur, Egypt.

There were estimated to be three and a half thousand tanks, troop carriers, armoured cars and transport vehicles spread out in the cauldron below. Forty enemy tanks had dug in immediately below us and were pounding the top of the ridge and another hundred enemy tanks were mustering to the north between the New Zealand Division and ourselves.

Aug

30

1942

Rommel’s last throw of the dice

Rommel in his command vehicle in the summer of 1942 with Panzer Geenral Fritz Bayerlein.

Shortly after passing the eastern boundary of our own minefields, our troops came up against an extremely strong and hitherto unsuspected British mine belt, which was stubbornly defended. Under intensely heavy artillery fire, the sappers and infantry eventually succeeded in clearing lanes through the British barrier, although at the cost of very heavy casualties and a great deal of time…

Aug

29

1942

Victoria Cross won on the Kokoda Track

Studio portrait of VX19139 Private Bruce Steel Kingsbury VC, Australian 2/14th Infantry Battalion.

He rushed forward firing his Bren Gun from the hip through terrific machine-gun fire and succeeded in clearing a path through the enemy. Continuing to sweep the enemy positions with his fire and inflicting an extremely high number of casualties on them

Aug

28

1942

‘Nuisance raid’ on Bristol kills 44

A passing newspaper photographer took these images moments after the raid on Bristol on 28th August 1945.

When I walked past the three buses, I heard the sound of a single-engine aircraft far above in the clear blue sky — it was a lovely summer’s day then. It never crossed my mind that it was an enemy plane; it had been eighteen months since the last major German air-raid on Bristol. Yet the lone raider was from the Luftwaffe; maybe returning from a raid in the North with one bomb left, which he decided to jettison before homing to his base airfield.

Aug

27

1942

India prepares for battle

The War Effort In India, 1942. Workers at an Indian railway workshop now employed in the construction of armoured vehicles.

I told the doctor attending them that, whatever was or was not the matter with them now, I relied on him to see that they really did feel ill within the next couple of hours. What dismal drench he administered I do not know, but, pale and shaken, they were on parade next morning. When I asked how they felt and inquired whether they would not like to see the doctor again, they assured me most earnestly that they were in no further need of medical attention.

Aug

26

1942

The strain of a long U-boat patrol

U-564 is resupplied with torpedoes from another U Boat whilst in the Caribbean in early August 1942.

‘Have you seen anything? ‘No, not a thing? There’s still a bit of time to go. I take a look through the glasses, as a matter of routine since nothing is happening. A glance behind us and I am thunderstruck. That has to be … ‘Look, you lot the entire convoy is steaming along behind us; it’s just about on top of us! What the devil’s happened to your eyes?’

Aug

25

1942

Perils of low level Mosquito bombing

Mosquito B Mark IV Series 2, DZ313, in flight shortly before delivery to No. 105 Squadron RAF at Horsham St Faith, Norfolk, as ‘GB-E.

When I awoke I was covered in branches and bits of aeroplane and there was a strong smell of petrol. I was amazed I had no injuries; not even a scratch. I must have been flung out of the top of the cockpit as Iwas right in the front with the nose of the aircraft.

Aug

24

1942

USS Saratoga planes sink the Ryujo

The U.S. aircraft carriers USS Saratoga (CV-3) (foreground) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) are underway with aircraft spotted for launch, circa August 1942.

I had many other things to do. My ship was moving out to a 5,000-meter distance from Ryujo, just as were Tone and Tokitsukaze, to fight the oncoming enemy planes. Ryujo radioed the 21 planes which had struck Guadalcanal, ordering them to go to Buka, midway between Rabaul and Guadalcanal, instead of returning to the carrier.

Aug

23

1942

Black Sunday in Stalingrad

The bombing of Stalingrad in began on the 23rd August 1942 - the Soviet airforce was relatively weak and the block by block destruction was largely unopposed.

After ten minutes the sun was blocked out; everything was covered in smoke and dust. The ground beneath my feet was shaking. There was a continuous roaring on all sides, and fragments of bombs and broken stone were falling from the sky. It went on like this until darkness fell. The voice from the 1oud~speaker was still saying: ‘Citizens, the air-raid warning is still in effect!’

Aug

22

1942

Hitler struggles to understand purpose of Dieppe raid

The wounded were photographed as they lay on the beach.

A particular talking point was the mysterious British landings at Dieppe on 19 August. I have never been clear what the purpose of this operation was. Enemy commandos came ashore on heavily fortified beaches, and after suffering heavy casualties left twelve hours later. Hitler and Krancke examined the affair from all angles but neither could come up with a satisfactory explanation