May 1943

May

31

1943

Churchill argues for the invasion of Italy

Group photograph of participants in the Allied Planning Conference which took place at the Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ) in Algiers on 4 June 1943. From left to right: Mr Anthony Eden, General Sir Alan Brooke, Air Chief Marshal Tedder, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, General Alexander, General Marshall (USA), General Eisenhower and General Montgomery. The Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, who presided over the conference, is seen at the centre of the group.

Sometime during the dinner-table conversation, the question of diaries came up. The Prime Minister said that it was foolish to keep a day-by- day diary because it would simply reect the change of opinion or decision of the writer, which, when and if published, makes one appear indecisive and foolish.

May

30

1943

Bombers kill 21 children during Sunday School

Found by chance in a German magazine after the war. The photo comes from the German Goss/Rauchbach Archives and the caption reads: "Another attack, this time on Torquay 30 May 1943."

I declined and walked home with the WVS lady as I just wanted to get home. From the four avenues where I lived (First, Second, Third and Main Avenue) a pair of twins, a boy and a girl, were killed in my avenue and another girl killed in Third Avenue. Altogether 21 children died that day and 3 Sunday school teachers.

May

29

1943

The dead man’s guard after ‘Banzai’ suicide charge

The recapture of the Aleutian Islands in the Northern Pacific May 1943: American soldiers carry a wounded comrade to safety during the fighting on Attu Island.

He just glanced at the dead man’s head and withdrew, satifised that the destruction inside had been complete. He will never be cited for valor, but the mutilated, dead soldier held his position against the door of the tent more valiantly and more effectively than he could have in life, and to the twelve live men in the tent he was a hero. Five times during the morning Japs pulled back the tent flap and looked in and each time they were driven back. The sight of the dead boy convinced them.

May

28

1943

Last desperate hours of Japanese on Attu

Attu Invasion - Soldiers unload landing craft on the beach at Massacre Bay, Attu, on 13 May 1943. LCVPs in the foreground are from USS Zeilin (APA-3) and USS Heywood (APA-6).

The 303rd Brigade has been defeated. Yenagawa is still holding Ananous. There are many cases of suicide. Half the Sector Unit Headquarters has been blown away. I gave 400 shots of morphine to the severely wounded to kill them. Ate half fried thistle. It is the first time I have eaten anything fresh in six months. It is a delicacy.

May

27

1943

Gurkha NCO wins VC in Burma jungle battle

The Arakan Campaign January 1943 - May 1945: A Gurkha soldier at a camouflaged position in the Arakan jungle.

Part of a series taken by the fashion prhotographer  Cecil Beaton for the Ministry of Information.

Havildar Gaje Ghale dominated the fight by his outstanding example of dauntless courage and superb leadership. Hurling hand grenades, covered in own blood from his own neglected wounds, he led assault after assault encouraging his platoon by shouting the Gurkha’s battle-cry. Spurred on by the irresistible will of their leader to win, the platoon stormed and carried the hill by a magnificent all out effort and inflicted very heavy casualties on the Japanese.

May

26

1943

Benbecula – a remote outpost of RAF Coastal Command

A Boeing Flying Fortress Mk IIA of No. 220 Squadron RAF, based at Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, May 1943.

The presence of aircraft in an otherwise remote location, previously linked to the mainland by boat only, meant that No 220 Squadron flew its share of mercy missions from Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. This patient with acute appendicitis was airlifted to hospital on the mainland in one of the Squadron’s Fortresses, the open waist window serving as a convenient entrance to the aircraft, May 1943.

May

25

1943

Goebbels alarmed over the Dortmund raid

Vertical photographic-reconnaissance aerial taken over Duisburg, Germany, following the attack by aircraft of Bomber Command on the night of 12/13 May 1943. This shows severe damage to the Altstadt in the city centre, caused by high explosive and incendiary bombs.

One can now see what a very short-sighted proposal it was of Goering’s to evacuate bombed-out people to Burgundy and other sections of occupied France. In Dortmund, between eighty and a hundred thousand people are homeless. Let the Reich Marshal go to Dortmund himself and propose that they evacuate to France!

May

24

1943

Donitz withdraws his U boats from the Atlantic

The Sinking of U-752, 23rd May 1943
A German U-boat in rough seas being fired on by a Fairey Swordfish aircraft with rocket projectiles.

Now, however, the situation had changed. Radar, and particularly radar location by aircraft, had to all practical purposes robbed the U-boats of their power to fight on the surface. Wolf-pack operations against convoys in the North Atlantic, the main theatre of operations and at the same time the theatre in which air cover was strongest, were no longer possible.

May

23

1943

Dortmund: heaviest tonnage of bombs yet dropped

Silhouetted against the glare of incendiary fires, a Handley Page Halifax of No. 4 Group releases its bomb load through cloud during a successful night raid on Leipzig, Germany.

It was not often that I had a virgin target to aim at with no other bombing except the Oboe marker, but of course this also meant that we were way out front, an ideal target for the gunners below and, moreover, making life easy for them with the prolonged straight and level photo run. We had been getting a bumpy ride as the flak intensified almost to the point of realisation of the old line shoot, ‘The flak was so heavy you could get out and walk on it.’

May

22

1943

A surprise from the US 7th Division artillery

In this picture men can be seen carrying 105 howitzer ammunition to supply the guns already going into position. In the background, blanketed by the fog, can be seen other landing barges coming into land. This picture shows to a degree the weather conditions in which the landing was made. Holts Bay, Attu, Aleutian Islands May 11, 1943

A great flash ripped out of the very center of the tiny group, followed almost instantly by three other flashes, totally engulfing the five figures in a heaving mass of flying hunks of muck and smoke and rocks. The smoke hung in a big puff over the ripped area of our base point, and we could see five little piles of fabric lighter than the black holes over which they were scattered before the boom! baroomboom! of the explosions reached our ears.