1943

Apr

19

1943

The first Warsaw uprising – a desperate Jewish rebellion

19th April 1943: Warsaw uprising – desperate Jewish rebellion

I wait at my post anxiously but not for long. I cock my ears and hear the heavy tread of the uniformed killers. A detachment of murderers is marching down Zelazna toward Leszno, into the ghetto: one-two, one-two, more blood, more blood. But then comes the most beautiful moment in my life. A tremendous explosion rends the air. Crash! They’re falling to the ground. Again, Crash! All of a sudden the Ukrainians are rolling in puddles of blood. Blood for blood! The murderers disperse in a wild panic, seeking shelter in the entranceways.

Apr

18

1943

An English girl’s love letter for the Gestapo

18th April 1943: An English girl’s love letter for the Gestapo

Bill darling, do let me know as soon as you get fixed and can make some more plans, and don’t please let them send you off into the blue the horrible way they do nowadays – now that we’ve found each other out of the whole world, I don’t think I could bear it.

Apr

17

1943

USCGC Spencer’s mid Atlantic attack on U-175

17th April 1943: USCGC Spencer’s mid Atlantic attack on U-175

At 1138 a submarine [U-175] surfaced to conning tower depth at 2,500 yards, drawing slowly right, still underway but apparently damaged. At 1140 Spencer commenced firing all guns and observed many hits on the conning tower and at its base. The crew of the submarine was observed to be abandoning ship via the conning tower.

Apr

16

1943

Parachuting out of bomber shot down over France

16th April 1943: Parachuting out of bomber shot down over France

Then the pilot came on pleading, “Please get out!” and so forth. We went down to about 7,000 feet I think at that time. And so I quickly unbuttoned my intercom and my helmet and I just stood up and I jumped on the edge of the door and out it went and I went out too. And my first impression was just the black tail of the aircraft going over the top of my head.

Apr

15

1943

Eisenhower tours the Tunisian front line

15th April 1943: Eisenhower tours the Tunisian front line

When we reached the scene of destruction of twenty-seven tanks, many of which could still be seen on the hillsides, we had to take a one-way dirt track across a field. The track was marked by white tape and along it were signs, ‘Mines-Verges.’ Because of possible presence of booby traps, there was a noticeable reluctance to prod into the innards of the Tiger tanks or to touch the articles lying around them.

Apr

14

1943

U.S. troops on the lessons from combat in Tunisia

14th April 1943: U.S. troops on the lessons from combat in Tunisia

I got my men used to the German flares by getting all I could, including those I could borrow from the British, and we fired them all night at Jerry. Now we take flares with us and fire them at Jerry at night. We do this on all the nights that we don’t use them for signals, then we use them only for signals. But my men now pay no attention to the enemy flares.

Apr

13

1943

Nazis announce Katyn massacre of Polish officers

13th April 1943: Nazis announce Katyn Wood massacre of Polish officers

He told me that he had proofs that the Soviet Government had murdered the 15,000 Polish officers and other prisoners in their hands, and that they had been buried in vast graves in the forests, mainly around Katyn. He had a wealth of evidence. I said, “If they are dead nothing you can do will bring them back.”

Apr

12

1943

General Morgan is asked to draw up some plans

12th April 1943: General Morgan is asked to draw up some plans

The object is to defeat German fighting forces in Northwest Europe; The CCS have decided to appoint a Supreme Allied Commander (SAC) in the future; They have decided to appoint you Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (COSSAC) pending SAC’s appointment; You will prepare plans in the following order of priority:

Apr

11

1943

No respite from the war on the Home Front

11th April 1943: No respite from the war on the Home Front

I suggested ‘The Cheshire Cheese` for lunch, not bombed. We poked our way up an alley. No lunches on Saturday. … But we found ‘Ye Old Cock Tavern’ in the Strand. … We had Fish and potatoes and Xmas pudding. Not much of anything, but we enjoyed ourselves. 3/- each. Walked through the devastated Temple. The most serious scene of ruin concentrated on one set of historical buildings, just appalling!

Apr

10

1943

RAF trials – a high altitude radar guided dogfight

10th April 1943: RAF operational trials – a high altitude radar guided dogfight

The small, fierce sun threw harsh shadows on the wing, and as we climbed the sky became darker and darker, and the windows began to frost over until only part of the windscreen and a few patches at the side remained clear. This was all quite different from what I had known of even our fairly regular flights to the higher altitudes of about twenty-five thousand feet. The cabin pressure was at an artificial thirty-two thousand feet, but the altimeter needle, slowing down now, had just passed the mark for forty-three thousand feet.