November 1942

Nov

11

November 1942

Germans try to take the last pockets of Stalingrad

During the battle in the city, new characteristics developed within us. What we did not yet need in France we manage now: we hit the dirt at exactly the right moment, not too soon and not too late. We can look at the corner of a wall and see whether something is hiding behind it.
New guys don’t last long…

Nov

10

November 1942

U-505 survives devastating attack

This time the shock waves pushed our boat upward, sending anyone still standing after the first blast sailing through the air. One of the men who was standing watch on the bridge, a Petty Officer, was blown by the force ofthe first blast through the top hatch and down into the conning tower. The second set of blasts rolled his bloody, unconscious body down through the control room hatch, where he fell and landed on his head on the steel deck in front of me.

Nov

9

November 1942

The pursuit through Egypt continues

1630 – The enemy were seen to be withdrawing from their strongpoint and M Battery 3rd RHA laid a concentration on the road. At the same time A Sqn, together with D Coy KRRC, advanced. Between them 150 PoW were taken, all from the 90th Lt Div. A Sqn continued their advance until they met considerable A/Tk fire in the area of the aerodrome at Kilo 126.

Nov

8

November 1942

Operation Torch: U.S. forces land in North Africa

He accomplished the berthing of his ship, then went to the forward deck and assisted by one officer secured the forward mooring lines. He then with utter disregard of his own personal safety went to the quarter-deck and assisted in securing the aft mooring lines so that the troops on board could disembark. At that time the engine room was in flames and very shortly thereafter exploded and the ship turned on its side and sank.

Nov

7

November 1942

Hitler avoids facing his own troops

The atmosphere was tense. We were already many hours late, for at every sizable station a prolonged stop was made in order to connect the telephone cable with the railroad telegraph system, so we could get the latest reports. From early moming on a mighty armada of transports, accompanied by large naval units, had been passing through the Strait of Gibralter into the Mediterranean.

Nov

6

November 1942

SS Untersturmfuhrer Taubner’s private killing spree

Although the accused should have recognized that the extermination of the Jews was the duty of Kommandos which have been set up especially for this purpose, he should be excused for considering himself to have the authority to take part in the extermination of jewry himself. Real hatred ofthe Jews was the driving motivation for the accused. In the process he let himself be drawn into committing cruel actions in Alexandriya which are unworthy of a German man and an SS officer.

Nov

5

November 1942

El Alamein – collecting up the prisoners

I gave them an hour to find a lorry each and bring it to me and they ran off in the best of spirits. Almost immediately however there were despairing cries and I found that they were all being arrested by English patrols. I spent my time rushing round freeing them, but got my 15 lorries in the end and drove them back to the prisoner-of-war camp.

Nov

4

November 1942

El Alamein – the chase is on

Gradually the objects in the turret became visible: the crew of the tank – for, I believe, these tanks did not hold more than two – were, so to speak, distributed round the turret. At first it was diflicult to work out how the limbs were arranged. They lay in a clumsy embrace, their white faces whiter, as those of dead men in the desert always were, for the light powdering of dust on them.

Nov

3

November 1942

El Alamein – the tide turns against Rommel

The battle is going very heavily against us. We’re simply being crushed by the enemy weight. I’ve made an attempt to salvage part of the army. I wonder if it will succeed. At night I lie open-eyed, racking my brains for a way out of this plight for my poor troops. We are facing very difficult days, perhaps the most difficult that a man can undergo. The dead are lucky, it’s all over for them.

Nov

2

November 1942

El Alamein – the Eighth Army launches ‘Supercharge’

A couple of Messerschmitw had dropped a few bombs behind us and about a dozen Sherman tanks, rolling on chattering tracks had just made their noisy and dusty way through our guns to support the attack. There was a certain roused air of confidence as it was predicted that this could be the day of the break out from the bridgehead. A few shells in the ritual of the dawn chorus were coming our way canvassing for death, but nothing much to worry about.