February 1941

May

14

1942

The LRDG experiment with bombing vehicles

14th May 1942: Long Range Desert Group experiment with bombing vehicles

The patrol carried 45 gallon drums for blocking the road; and in the hope of creating the impression of a stretch of road under repair two long poles were to be put across the drums, and two red lamps were hung on them with the notice “Achtung! Strassenbau”. The truck was left 150 yards from the road with the driver and two machine-gunners. Two other ranks armed with a Tommy gun, a rifle and some hand grenades were in position 50 yards from the road. These two parties were to give covering fire.

May

13

1942

Night patrol across the desert in No Mans Land

13th May 1942: Night patrol in No Mans Land

Suddenly the officer kneels and holds up his hand. Everyone stops dead, kneels and listens intently A star shell bursts, burning whitely in the darkness. The light flickers and dies. Breathing more heavily the patrol rises and continues. Almost immediately a machine gun opens fire, chattering noisily, tracer bullets spitting in short bursts.

May

12

1942

Pasadena Japanese take taxi to internment

12th May 1942: Pasadena Japanese take taxi to internment

Since yesterday we Pasadena Japanese have ceased to be human beings – we are now simply numbers or things. We are no longer ‘Egamis’ but the number 23324. A tag with that number is on every suit- case and bag. Even on our breasts are tied large tags with this same number – 23324! Again, a sad and tragic feeling grips my heart!

May

11

1942

On the cattle wagon to Sobibor

11th May 1942: On the cattle wagon to Sobibor

We had to stand and the sea of filth grew bigger at our feet, and we went on and on like this for the whole day, locked inside the wagons, as if we were real beasts, in a stifling nauseating place, filled with dead bodies and putrid air. To add the finishing touch to the gruesome picture once in a while we would hear shots fired by the German soldiers who were on the outside of the convoy.

May

10

1942

The reality of Home Guard life in Britain

10th May 1942: The reality of Home Guard life in Britain

A few soldiers had got out of the ruins only slightly hurt. The first to be brought out was young John Nicholls, 19, a young Home Guard in Trice’s old section. He had only just received his papers for joining the Army, and was not on parade. He died soon after. The next was young Dray, brother of a Home Guard, very badly hurt. Then Old Hardinge, ex-soldier and Home Guard over 65. He could walk supported, but was very badly scalded.

Feb

28

1941

RAF fighters go on offensive

Our fighter patrols operated over Northern France on five days. Few enemy aircraft were encountered, but A.A. fire was generally heavy and accurate. On the 25th and 26th, an escort and screen was provided for a small bomber force which attacked shipping targets at Dunkirk and Calais. About 100 fighters were employed on each occasion.

Feb

27

1941

Daylight raid on Aircraft Works kills 53

The siren went off and immediately, before it had stopped, the bombs were dropping. It was a single aircraft. Some bombs dropped on the factory, but some dropped on a gunnery school which probably tested the gun turrets, a number of them were killed during the air-raid. In that first raid a number of factory workers were killed.The German aircraft came in so low that you could see the pilot…

Feb

26

1941

Where will the invasion come?

From the point of view of civilian efficiency and morale there are grave objections to evacuation. It means in the first place complete temporary ruin for large numbers of people In the second place it means dumping upon an already overcrowded district additional numbers of idle and disgruntled strangers. Reluctant hosts are condemned to entertain unwilling guests for an indefinite periods A better seed ground for the growth of rumour, warweariness and defeatism could hardly be imagined.

Feb

25

1941

Dogfight over Malta

I saw one straggling about half a mile behind the rest, so left the Squadron and attacked it from the stern. I could not get an underneath deflection shot, as he was too low, only at 500 ft. I had given him three seconds burst, when he opened up at me. He was a very good shot. His tracers were going well around me. It was lucky I was not shot. I broke away sharply to right about 1½ seconds of his fire and did not see him burst into flames, and go into the sea. But the A.A. people did, so that’s my second since coming here.

Feb

24

1941

Bombing of Brest continues

After three consecutive attacks on a lighter scale, over 60 aircraft bombed the docks at Brest on the 24th/25th, and though intense A.A. and searchlight activity hindered accurate observation, many bombs were seen to fall in the dock area and tb straddle the estimated position of the Hipper class cruiser.