June 1942

Jun

30

1942

Lieutenant Schreder credited with “sure kill” – U-158


30th June 1942: U boat U-158 surprised and sunk by PBM1 Mariner

This attack was delivered after radar contact made while the plane was flying above scattered cumulus clouds. Visibility was unlimited and the pilot found himself in ideal position for attack when the U-boat was sighted visually. Surprise of the U-boat was apparently complete.

The hypothesis advanced in [Lieutenant R. E. Schreder’s report],that the second bomb stuck in the deck and was carried to set depth where explosion occurred is reasonable and is strengthened by the possibility that the explosion of the first bomb lifted the stern and caused submergence at a greater angle than usual which would account for part of the stern being visible at the time of the second explosion.

Jun

29

1942

Yet another ship torpedoed off Florida


29th June 1942: The sinking of the Empire MIca by U boat U-67

The whole of the after part of the ship was ablaze and the fire was beginning to creep towards the port side of the midship housing when, under the direction of the second mate, Mr P Sydney we were able to alert some of the engineers who escaped from their cabins, for a few minutes chaos reigned and then we attempted to release the starboard bridge life-boat, but the straps holding the boat to the boom were jammed and Mr McGilraith tried to cut them free only to have the boat lurch and throw the first mate into the sea, where he drowned.

The boat was lowered but now the forward falls jammed, so using all my strength I managed to pull the hook which held the falls clean out of the thwart, allowing the boat to be lowered on an even keel, although to this day I do not know where I got the strength from. We picked up survivors from the bridge boat deck and then pulled the boat forwards by the painter and took on board the three radio officers and two deckhands who were injured.

Jun

28

1942

Hitler launches ‘Fall Blau’ – a new attack on Russia


28th June 1942: Hitler launches ‘Fall Blau’ -a new attack on Russia

The land is bathed in a thick fog, because of the many mortar, artillery and bomb hits, as well as the smoke-screen. You can’t recognize anything at 20 feet.

All about us is still an ear-splitting, gigantic racket, shot after shot, the scream of rockets kicked off by rocket mortars, a never-ending inferno. Meanwhile, we’ve fallen in, stormed across the enemy artillery and mortar fire, got through, as if by a miracle (or was it my nose?) the Soviet minefields, and landed in the middle of a Russian ditch shielded by a row of bushes.

Jun

27

1942

Adam Wakenshaw mans his gun to the end

27th June 1942: Adam Wakenshaw mans his gun to the end

About 5.15am, the German infantry attacked supported by tanks and artillery. As they advanced, a tracked vehicle towing a light gun came to within close range of Private Wakenshaw’s anti-tank gun. The 2-pounder gun opened fire and a direct hit on the vehicle’s engine stopped it dead.

Jun

26

1942

The sinking of the Putney Hill

26th June 1942: The sinking of the Putney Hill

The Putney Hill was lying like a ghost ship on the gentle sea, the silence punctuated by occasional loud bangs as various bits of the structure gave way under the increasing pressure. Without warning an incendiary shell hit the funnel and started a fire. It was followed by a further sixty three shells into the hull, counted by those on the life-raft from their grandstand position. At approximately 0130 hours on June 26th, 1942, Putney Hill became almost vertical and still burning slid beneath the sea, bow first.

Jun

25

1942

Third thousand bomber raid hits Bremen

25th June 1942: Third thousand bomber raid hits Bremen

On the first of these nights (25th-26th June), 1,105 aircraft drawn from Bomber, Fighter, Coastal and Army Co-operation Commands were despatched. While the main attack was in progress against Bremen, a part of this force attacked aerodromes in Germany and occupied territory.

Jun

24

1942

‘Special Treatment’ for some Soviet prisoners

For the Communists, the ‘Kommissar Befehl’ was what the ‘Final Solution’ was to the Jews. I suppose that at that time most of us accepted that Communism was a crime, that Communists were criminals, and that there was no legal necessity to prove any further individual guilt. It dawned on me that I was now guarding a camp which had been set up to erase the evil of Communism.

Jun

23

1942

A proposal to sterilize 2-3 million Jews

Castration by means of X-rays, however, is not only relatively cheap, but can be carried out on many thousands in a very short time. I believe that it has become unimportant at the present time whether those affected will then in the course of a few weeks or months realize by the effects that they are castrated.

Jun

22

1942

Luftwaffe upgrades Reich air defence system

In front of this map there is another raised platform, equipped with a complicated arrangement of microphones and switches. From here every single fighter formation can be directed by ground-control officers individually by ultra-short-wave radio telephone. A glance at the map is all that is required to obtain a complete picture of the changing situation at any given moment.

Jun

21

1942

‘Stunned amazement’ and confusion in the desert

The NAAFI storemen are machine-gunning stocks of beer worth £20 000. I feel an enormous apathy as I watch others rushing about with cases of canned fruit, liquor, jam. There is a mad abundance. I see men hacking tins open with bayonets, drinking the syrup and chucking the cans aside.