January 1943

Jan

21

1943

Dr Mengele intervenes at Auschwitz

The Auschwitz II-Birkenau main guard house and rail entrance.

For this the S.S. had sound reason. When they opened the waggons, the sight was so revolting that they could not face it. So they whipped in the prisoners to handle some of the dirtiest work that even Auschwitz had witnessed. In some of the trucks nearly half the occupants were dead or dying, more than I had ever seen.

Jan

20

1943

Evading deportation from the Warsaw Ghetto

Jews are marched through the streets of the Warsaw ghetto on the way to the railway for 'deportation'.

There was one small electric lamp installed by the owners of the bakery, who had their own families among the crowd. Their children were the only youngsters in the bunker. Though the place seemed safe enough, the danger of discovery was considerable. The SS-men directing operations in the street would stop in the bakery above us, since the bakers had to provide them with food and drinks every day. The slightest noise would have betrayed us.

Jan

19

1943

Welcome to the British Army in North Africa

The Axis retreat and the Tunisian campaign 1942 - 1943: Anti-aircraft fire over Algiers during a night raid.

It was a vast concrete arena. We queued for an hour. When that had passed we queued for blankets. Next, find somewhere to sleep, like a football stadium in North Africa. We dossed down on the terraces. After ship`s hammocks it was murder. If only, if only I had a grand piano. I could have slept in that.

Jan

18

1943

No end to the bitter struggle on Guadalcanal

Supply dump which was set up on Kokumbona beach after pushing the enemy back; note shell and bomb craters which were used as foxholes by the troops. The enveloping movement trapped several enemy units at Kokumbona which were then quickly destroyed. By the end of the month U.S. troops had reached the Bonegi River.

On the Marine front last night a Jap came in with his hands up, saying ‘Me sick, me sick.’ The Major, knowing there were other Japs watching, motioned him to come on in – told his men not to fire. One Marine raised his rifle and the Major knocked it down – but on the other side of him another dope brought up a shotgun and blew the Jap apart. The Japs watching melted away – they’ll never give up as prisoners now.

Jan

17

1943

RAF Bomber Command visits the ‘Big City’

Halifax B Mark II Series 1, R9430 ‘19’, of No. 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit based at Riccall, Yorkshire, being test-flown on the starboard inner engine only by Squadron Leader P Dobson in order to determine the height loss for emergency flights on one engine.

Then I thought about the message from the Chief of Bomber Command which had been addressed to us tonight and read out at Briefing, ‘Go to it, Chaps and show them the red rose of Lancaster in full bloom.’ Someone behind a desk had given an order to a great organization and here we were a few hours later, one of the pawns in the game, sitting up over the North Sea with the temperature at minus 30° Centigrade, wondering if we would ever see England again.

Jan

16

1943

Royal Artillery open up for another attack

A Chevrolet FAT (Field Artillery Tractor) towing a 25-pdr leads a column of other vehicles on a road during the 8th Army's approach to Azizia, south of Tripoli, 27 January 1943.

The Jocks (ours are Gordons and Black Watch) are I suppose forming up, and somewhere a few thousand yards ahead, Germans and Italians know something is in the wind but not that an hour from now a curtain of steel and an armoured wall will move in to destroy them. The enemy guns are nervously banging away all the time. We are completely silent.

Jan

15

1943

The agony continues in Stalingrad

Hundreds of horses hooves discovered in German positions within Stalingrad, all that was left of the transport livestock that had been eaten in desperation.

They had no weapons, often no shoes. Their feet wrapped in rags, their emaciated faces encrusted with ice, suffering from their wounds, they dragged themselves deeper into the Kessel. At the edge of the road lay the dead and dying. I saw people crawling on their knees because their feet were entirely consumed by frostbite.

Jan

14

1943

Churchill and Roosevelt meet at Casablanca

The Casablanca Conference 14-24 January 1943. The President of the United States Franklin D Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill seated in the garden of the villa where the conference was held. Grouped behind them are British and American chiefs of staff.

Admiral King then did so, and it became clear at once that his idea was an ‘all-out’ war against Japan instead of holding operations. He then proposed that 30 per cent of the war effort should be directed to the Pacific and 70 per cent to the rest. We pointed out that this was hardly a scientific way of approaching war strategy!

Jan

13

1943

Chance escape for the sole survivor from U-224

HMCS Ville de Québec Gets a Sub
War artist Harold Beament's painting depicts the destruction by the Canadian corvette HMCS Ville de Québec of German U-Boat (submarine) U-224 on 13 January 1943.

As soon as his head appeared, “U 224″ was peppered with gunfire. Danckworth says he remembered seeing the bow of a ship bearing down on him, and after that he remembered nothing more except that he was at one moment some 5 to 6 yards below the surface and automatically making swimming movements.

Jan

12

1943

Living the German nightmare in Berlin

In the face of growing Allied strength Hitler now put his faith in a number of super weapons such as the Tiger tank, seen here in Tunisia.

To think Hitler as the Master of Europe! The picture supplement we had to get out for our New Year issue was entitled ‘The German Soldier Keeps Watch’ – in the Russian winter, under the African sun, in submarines in the Atlantic, beneath the palm trees of Southern France, in the ice of Finland. How can we possibly hold such an extended front for any length of time?