May 1943

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.

May

31

1943

Churchill argues for the invasion of Italy

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 reflect 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

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

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

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

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.