November 1941

Nov

10

1941

Warsaw Jews further isolated

A warning to Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and any Pole who might be thinking of helping them, 10th November 1941

The same punishment will apply to whoever consciously shelters Jews mentioned above or in any other way assists them (for instance, by providing overnight accommodation, or sustenance, by giving a ride in any kind of vehicle, etc.) The sentence will be imposed by the Special Court in Warsaw.

Nov

9

1941

Force K ambushes an Italian convoy

The cruiser HMS Penelope in Malta harbour, which was the base from which Force K operated.

We opened fire thirty seconds later on the right-hand destroyer, and continued to shoot her up for four minutes. Aurora then led round and passed up the western side of the convoy, and the ‘party’ started, as the merchant ships were deliberately and in turn engaged by the whole force.

Nov

8

1941

Hitler boasts about Russian losses

Hitler discusses the Russian situation with Field Marshals Keitel (at right)  and Walther von  Brauchitsch, October 1941.

And, if I now assume that in Russia, as here with us, there are three to four wounded for every fatal casualty, then the result is an absolute loss of at least eight to ten million, without considering those only slightly wounded, who might be cured and put back into action. My party comrades, no army in the world can recover from this, not even the Russian.

Nov

7

1941

Soviet troops march through Red Square

Despite all their losses the Russians were still finding men and tanks to bring into the battle.

On the the 7th November the annual military parade through Red Square commemorating the revolution went ahead as usual. It was a highly symbolic moment suggesting that things were not as desperate as they might otherwise seem. In fact the tanks and troops taking part in the parade were marched straight through Moscow and on the the defensive lines on the outskirts of the city.

Nov

6

1941

Low level attack on Naples

The small force of Wellington bombers based at Malta mounted a bomber offensive against the Italian ports from which the Afrika Korps was supplied.

‘Get the searchlightsi’ I yelled at the gunners, and took her down to rooftop height. We lost the searchlights, and the night-fighter as well; searchlights didn’t go down to street level, which was where we were now, and I guess the night-fighter had more sense.

Nov

5

1941

Conditions change for Army Group South

The thick mud that was hindering the advance on Moscow was now to start holding up Germans

Supply had become almost impossible and could only be achieved by using horse-drawn vehicles. Motor vehicles moved at a snail’s pace. The consumption of fuel and loss of equipment was disproportionate to what was achieved. An army was sinking into the mud. Losses due to illness mounted endlessly.

Nov

4

1941

The committed Wehrmacht soldier fights on

For a short time the mud froze and there was only light snow enabling the Wehrmacht to get moving again.

I guess the Russians never dreamed that we would engage in this kind of an offensive prior to winter. I’m convinced that the last cohesive forces of the enemy have been decimated and once again our Fuhrer has proven to the world that the German soldier can do incredible tasks.

Nov

3

1941

First submarine attack by radar

HMS proteus operated in the eastern Mediterranean in 1941 and pioneered the use of radar on submarines.

However, on one occasion we did actually detect a small convoy of ships taking Germans to Crete, and the first detection that we had of this convoy was at night, was from the radar cabinet, so this was a plus for the radar. And because it was brand new and nobody knew very much about it we had two Dundee University students manning the radar set.

Nov

2

1941

Coastal Command’s successful week

Aircrew and ground staff from RCAF No.407 'Demon' Squadron enjoy a tea break next to their Hudson aircraft on 2nd November 1941.

These consisted of a tanker and six merchant vessels (including the Reichenfels – 1,800 tons — claimed as sunk) off the Frisian Islands and four merchant vessels and a Flax-ship off the Norwegian coast. In these operations we lost only one aircraft.

Nov

1

1941

Russia’s deadly new weapon

The Katyusha rocket launcher was a highly mobile method of delivering a suprise area bombardment

They had both been waiting for orders from Battalion and were dismounted, leaning against the wall of a house, holding the reins of their horses. I was told that one minute they were laughing joking and the next they just disappeared and the earth erupted around them, even the small block-house was flattened.