September 1942

Oct

4

September 1942

Soviet troops in the trenches of the Eastern Front

In order to capture the knoll, the regiment commander had swept the rear area in order to create a reinforced platoon of forty men. Barbers, cobblers, orderlies and other men from the rear, ranging in age from teenagers to forty years old, had been gathered in that platoon. It was twice as frightening for these men to creep towards that hillock; it was frightening for any man to rise from the ground under fire, but these men also lacked any front-line experience.

Sep

30

September 1942

Britain celebrates Bomber Offensive against Germany

The ‘Second Front’ looked a long way off. The disasters of early 1942 in the Far East had been a humiliation for the British Empire. In the North Africa it still looked very much as if British Forces were on the back foot. Whatever plans were afoot for the future there was little to celebrate. The Ministry of Information did the best it could.

Sep

29

September 1942

Lone bomber hits Petworth School – 32 dead

There has been no damage of national importance. The more outstanding incidents were at Hastings on the 24th, when 19 people were killed and 17 seriously injured, and at Petworth (Sussex) on the 29th, where a boys’ school was completely wrecked; casualties are reported to be 23 killed, of whom 20 are children, and 30 seriously injured, of whom 24 are children. It is feared that 7 children are still missing and must be presumed dead.

Sep

28

September 1942

USS Sculpin survives a depth charging

It was incredible how much water could come in through a quarter-inch tube at a depth of 275 feet. Baldwin arrived with plugs, turnbuckles, and other equipment to plug the leak. With him and a helper working on that job, I went to the after end of the compartment to help remove the water. A bucket brigade was hurriedly formed. Jack trimmed the boat with a ten-degree up angle so the water would accumulate at the after end of the deck, in the officers’ country. He had to maintain two-thirds speed to keep Sculpin from going deeper. Sculpin was tons too heavy having taken on water from a number of leaks throughout the boat.

Sep

27

September 1942

The Home Front in Britain

He gets a constant flow of information from Norway. They have wireless sets in their forests, which they move every night. They ask that, though they will be glad to have law and order re-established in the world, they want 48 hours to themselves – to settle some accounts, before the United Nations get busy. The Quislings are ours, they say. After the war Norway would enter under the protection of the two great English-speaking powers.

Sep

26

September 1942

A day in the life of a Tank soldier in the desert

Then out with the fire tin, in with the petrol, brew tin filled with water, and we stood round shivering slightly in the cool air waiting for the sun to come up over the horizon, watching the reddening sky, waiting for the full flood of light before we could light up. The air was crystal clear and cold, our wadi etched with a dark-rimmed silhouette. Other tanks stood out stark in the morning light; other figures stood around their tins. Then over the horizon flooded a warm yellow glow, eating up the shadows, swallowing the tight-drawn outlines.

Sep

25

September 1942

RAF bomb Gestapo HQ in Oslo

An observer regretfully remarks that if the bomb had been only three metres lower it would have hit the centre of the front facade. He adds : ” German airmen and flak officers are impressed by the precision bombing, which was fantastically cleverly carried out; there are not so many German flags on the houses any longer.”

Sep

24

September 1942

Hitler sacks his Chief of Staff Franz Halder

After situation conference, farewell by the Fuehrer: My nerves are worn out, also his nerves are no longer fresh. We must part. “Necessity for educating the General Staffs in fanatical faith in the Idea.” He is determined to enforce his will also in the Army.

Sep

23

September 1942

Japanese treatment of attempted escapees

The amazing thing was the ability of the three men to stay alive, if indeed they were still alive at the end of the second day of this treatment — they were battered beyond recognition, with the ear of one prisoner hanging down to his shoulder. I think we all prayed for the men during this ordeal. I know I did. And I am sure all of us said a prayer of relief when the Japanese finally cut the men down and took them away for execution. Two of the men were shot. The third was beheaded.

Sep

22

September 1942

A Romanian officer arrives in Russia

In the station there was another German train of a Caucasian battalion. We were astonished to see these men in German uniform and we could not understand them because of their Kirghizian dialect. All officers were Caucasians but battalion’s commander who was German. These were volunteers previously captured by the Germans and that offered to fight against the Bolsheviks. After a training session of several months they were sent to front.