August 1943

Aug

31

1943

Wehrmacht troops adjust to Eastern front realities

German infantry on the march, Russia 1943. From now on it was often a retreat.

The chances of surviving if taken prisoner were, therefore, slim. Even if you weren`t finished off right away with a bullet to the back of the skull – because you were unable to march due to a wound, or the Russians had just received an order to that effect from above, or they just wanted to have a little fun – you at least faced years of existence as a slave and the hardest form of drudgery with the underlying thought that could not be suppressed: Who knew whether you would be able to hold out?

Aug

30

1943

The Soviet airforce fights back

Soviet IL-2 combat aircraft attack an enemy formation. The Kursk Bulge (Operation Citadel), The Voronezh Front, Russia.

The Stormoviks immediately went into the attack, followed by the Hurricanes. Bombs and rockets exploded. The dispersal area was enveloped in flames. Again and again, our aircraft passed over it. One after another, the enemy machines burst into flames. ‘Take that for Nizino! That for Bolshaya Vruda! That for Leningrad!’ I shouted. Four Messerschmitts tried to taxi out for take-off. Two Hurricanes brought down a squall of fire on them. Pilots leaped from their cockpits, ran across the aireld, fell and lay motionless.

Aug

29

1943

Denmark defies Nazi Martial Law

German troops on the streets of Denmark, 29th August 1943.

Every strike is prohibited. Invitation to strike at the expense of the German Wehrmacht promotes the enemy and will be punished usually by death. Violation of the above rules will be punished by the German state courts. Against any violence, the gathering of crowds etc. ruthless use will be made ​​use of weapons …

Aug

28

1943

Steinbeck describes the GI in North Africa

Patients undergoing treatment in the burns treatment centre at No. 2 RAF General Hospital at Maison Carée, Algiers. Standing by the trolley is Sister Hipkin PMRAFNS of Wroxham, Norfolk. The hospital was established in June 1943, in a building formerly occupied by Headquarters, North-West African Air Force, prior to which it functioned as a school. The burns treatment centre was located in the former linen store of the school, into which locally-made concrete baths were installed.

Many Gls with a magpie instinct will never be able to get home, such is their collection of loot. They have bits of battle debris, knives, pistols, bits of shell fragments, helmets, in addition to their colored baskets and rugs. In each case the collector has someone at home in mind when he makes the purchases. Grandma would love this Algerian shawl, and this Italian bayonet is just the thing to go over Uncle Charley’s replace, along with the French bayonet he brought home from the last war.

Aug

27

1943

French hero Rene Mouchotte’s last flight

spitfire in flight

I pressed the multiple button and this time fired all my guns at once — two cannon and four machine guns — to have done with it. Two shells exploded simultaneously just behind the engine and the cockpit belched forth a cloud of black smoke. We were only 1,000 feet up. Roads and villages passed below our wings. Flames now gleamed through the smoke — the blow had been mortal. We went on down still further. A church steeple went by on a level with me….

Aug

26

1943

Barbaric Japanese punishment for PoWs seeking food

Singapore: The cookhouse, Changi Gaol. British POW's prepare their main meal of rice. Leslie Cole, 1945.

Meanwhile, in his solitary confinement, the PoW involved was being systematically starved by the Japanese, who reduced his ration to one small dish of cold rice a day and one cup of water. No arrangements were made for washing or tending his many cuts and bruises, and his cell — none too clean on his arrival — became progressively filthier.

Aug

25

1943

A letter from a Bomber Command Group Captain

The wireless operator of a Handley-Page Halifax of No. 35 Squadron RAF, in his position prior to take-off at Linton-On-Ouse, Yorkshire.

Experience up to the present has shown that quite a fair proportion of our flying personnel who are reported missing in operations against the enemy have managed to make a safe descent by parachute or in the aircraft itself. Therefore I am able to assure you that there must be some hope that your son is safe and a prisoner in enemy hands.
 Your son was very well reported on by his Squadron Commander, and I am sure that he and his companions gave a very good account of themselves under whatever circumstances prevented them from bringing their aircraft back.

Aug

24

1943

Facing a Japanese night attack on New Guinea

The Campaign in New Guinea, December 1942 - 1943: Australian troops move up along the north coast of New Guinea toward Sanananda.

At the same time Jack Parker, who was wounded in the leg early in the piece by a bullet before he had time to get out of bed, and Lt. Bryant, were in the command post unarmed when three or four Japs came in. Jack was still in bed and Bryant hid in a corner while the Japs rummaged around looking for documents. They knocked all the command post equipment about, knocking the wireless set to the ground but not damaging it.

Aug

23

1943

Bomber Command crews are briefed for Berlin

Pilots and ground personnel airfield taking pictures against a background of an Avro Lancaster W4364 Billie from 103 2nd Squadron of the Royal Air Force. W4364 became the first Lancaster to compleat 50 successful sortie's over occupied Europe. Airpfield in in Lincolnshire.
taken: 23.08.1943

Sadly W4364 was lost on a raid to Nurnberg just 4 days later. W4364 was delivered to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds in October 1942. She carried the code PM-D2 and was a B MkI produced by AV Roe (Chadderton).

Two hours later, the main brieng hall was packed. This time the gunners, wireless operators and flight engineers were in the big room. The wing commander, a billiard cue in his right hand, traced on the map the course and heights they were to fly at, the estimated time of arrival at their turning points. He told them — and there was a sigh of relief at his words — that twenty minutes before they crossed the enemy coast 22 aircraft from the OTUs would make a dummy feint a hundred miles from their landfall.

Aug

22

1943

Patton congratulates his troops for success in Sicily

General George S. Patton in command of US forces on Sicily.

Pitted against the best the Germans and Italians could offer, you have been unfailingly successful. The rapidity of your dash, which culminated in the capture of Palermo, was equalled by the dogged tenacity with which; you stormed Troina and captured Messina. Every man in the Army deserves equal credit. The enduring valor of the Infantry and the impetuous ferocity of the tanks were matched by the tireless clamor of our destroying guns.