July 2013

Jul

21

1943

The Jews are blamed as the war goes badly

Germany was now desperate for labour as more and more men were called up.  The solution was bringing in ' volunteer' workers from around occupied Europe. A group of workers somewhere in the 'East' who are being encouraged by their Mayor to volunteer, according to the caption.

The military situation – I am listening to the radio again now – appears very depressing for Germany, and so the Jew-baiting is on the increase again. Feder came to work very down. A new poster has been stuck up on Wiener Strasse: A Sturmer charicature of a Jew wearing the star; legend: ”Who is to blame for the war? — He is!” Abuse had been shouted at him twice on his way to Schluters [the factory where they were forced to work].

Jul

20

1943

A Spitfire ‘rhubarb’ over France ends badly

Spitfire F Mark XII, MB882 ‘EB-B’, of No. 41 Squadron RAF based at Friston, Sussex, in flight over Eastbourne.

On this occasion it didn’t turn out that way: as we crossed the coast there was an almighty bang and everything changed. After the roar and racket of the past quarter of an hour there was suddenly total silence. There was glass everywhere except in the instrument panel where it belonged. My right arm wouldn’t obey my commands but hung loose at my side. Almost every dial, indicator and gauge in front of me had gone haywire. Not a squeak from the radio; not a murmur from the engine; no wind noise; total silence; and around me total chaos. I was stone deaf.

Jul

19

1943

The wounded and dying of Oklahoma’s 45th Division

"Private Roy Humphrey is being given blood plasma by Pfc. Harvey White, after he was wounded by shrapnel, on 9 August 1943 in Sicily." Wever. 111-SC-178198.

He went from one doctor to another trying to get somebody to sign his card returning him to duty. The doctors explained patiently that if he returned to the front his wounds would become infected and he would be a burden to his company instead of a help. They tried to entice him by telling him there would be nurses back in the hospital. But in his peaceful Qklahoma drawl he retorted, “To hell with the nurses, I want to get back to fightin’.”

Jul

18

1943

Hitler is treated for flatulence and constipation

Hitler had long been an admirer of Mussolini,  their personal friendship went back to 1936. It was now a very unequal relationship.

During the actual flight Hitler let off wind, which resulted in some improvement. Upon reaching the Berghof I gave him another body massage, with more Euflat followed by the Luizym I have been giving him now repeatedly for some time. In the evening he had some quite easily digestible nutrition and went to bed around twelve-thirty, after taking a Phanodorm-Calc and half a Quadronox tablet.

Jul

17

1943

Roosevelt and Churchill appeal to the Italians

A soldier guards a group of German and Italian prisoners taken at Noto, 12 July 1943.

Your soldiers have fought, not in the interests of Italy, but for Nazi Germany. They have fought courageously, but they have been betrayed and abandoned by the Germans on the Russian Front and on every battlefield in Africa from El Alamein to Cape Bon. Today Germany’s hopes for world conquest have been blasted on all fronts. The skies over Italy are dominated by the vast air armadas of the United States and Great Britain. Italy’s seacoasts are threatened by the greatest accumulation of British and Allied sea-power ever concentrated in the Mediterranean.

Jul

16

1943

Hitler calls off the ‘Operation Citadel’ offensive

German Grenadiers on Sturmgeschütz assault gun.

As a matter of fact not even this could be accomplished, for only a few days later the Army Group was ordered to hand over several armoured divisions to Central Army Group. The assault groups of both formations had to be withdrawn to their original start-lines. And so the last German offensive in the east ended in a fiasco, even though the enemy opposite the two attacking armies of Southern Army Group had suffered four times their losses in prisoners, dead and wounded.

Jul

15

1943

Submarine stalks submarine in the Mediterranean

At the Malta submarine base within HMS TALBOT, three submarines: HMS UNITED (left) and HMS UNISON (right). Bows of HMS UNSEEN in the foreground.

orpedoes were fired individually. Two torpedoes hit 52 and 41 seconds after firing the first torpedo. The first torpedo was seen to pass ahead of the U-boat and the second seen to hit it under the forehatch, which made the running time 19 seconds, giving a running range of 500 yards. The third torpedo was heard to hit 10 seconds later, fitting in with the firing interval. Almost immediately after the second explosion I saw the stern of the U-boat rise high out of the water at an angle of 60 degrees and she then sank within about four seconds.

Jul

14

1943

Parachute assault on the Primasole Bridge

Planning and Preparations January - July 1943: Royal Air Force glider pilots and pilots of towing aircraft are briefed before the airborne invasion.

I saw what seemed to be a galaxy of coloured globes floating leisurely above the land. They peeled away from a dark mass, which I took to be a hill, and danced towards us like a swarm of angry bees rising from an upturned hive. They curved over, coming faster every second, then they were flaming comets roaring and crackling about the plane in streaks of light. We were running through the curtain of light flak – an interlocking apron of tracer shells flicking up in intricate patterns of gold, red and white.

Jul

13

1943

A miraculous release from the Gestapo in Warsaw

Polish farmers killed by German forces in German-occupied Poland, 1943.

Three pretty girls, their heads erect, were sitting by me in the van. Their quiet dignity caught my attention. I started to share my joy with them, but they told me that they were to be executed. The Germans had found out that they belonged to the Underground Army. They were Krystyna (16), Barbara (17) and Irena (20). They told me about their fate so simply and openly that I did not know how to reply.

Jul

12

1943

Kursk: Massive tank battle at Prokhorovka

Massed German Panzers including captured T-34s attack at Kursk.

All day long planes fired at each other in the sky. There was a hail of splinters and bullets. That was familiar enough: but watch out, you might get killed by falling aircraft! Pilots parachuted here and there. One had to be careful not to confuse our men with the Germans. We could often see how the parachuting pilots continued their fight by firing pistols at each other. We wanted to help them, but how? If only our parachutes had had stars on them or the fabric was of a specific colour.