Jul

11

1944

A desperate Japanese breakout on New Guinea


11 July 1944: A desperate Japanese breakout on New Guinea

The dense jungle terrain greatly restricted vision and movement, and he endeavored to penetrate down the trail toward an open clearing of Kunai grass. As he advanced, he detected the enemy, supported by at least 6 light and 2 heavy machineguns, attempting an enveloping movement around both flanks. His commanding officer sent a second platoon to move up on the left flank of the position, but the enemy closed in rapidly, placing our force in imminent danger of being isolated and annihilated.

Jul

10

1944

9th Royal Tank Regiment – Death at Maltot


10 July 1944: 9th Royal Tank Regiment – Death at Maltot

My face became swollen and very tight making it difficult to see and the skin of my left hand hung down in black strips from an arm which was bloodless and white. Lieutenant Shep Douglas, my troop leader, crawled along the field. “Who are you” he said, not recognising one of his own troop to whom he had given orders earlier that morning. I followed him across the field of rape, crouched low because we could hear gunfire, to a gap in the hedgerow where infantry were in position.

Jul

9

1944

The ‘Culin hedge cutter’ on the Normandy battlefield


9 July 1944: The ‘Culin hedge cutter’ on the Normandy battlefield

Our tanks could help but little. Each, attempting to penetrate a hedgerow, was forced to climb almost vertically, thus exposing the unprotected belly of the tank and rendering it easy prey to any type of armour-piercing bullet. Equally exasperating was the fact that, with the tank snout thrust skyward, it was impossible to bring guns to bear upon the enemy; crews were helpless to defend themselves or to destroy the German.

Jul

8

1944

Charnwood: British launch another attack on Caen


8 July 1944: Charnwood: British launch another attack on Caen

It was some time in the afternoon that we emerged from the Wood, and pressed on over the open ground to a small hill marked on the map as Point 64. As we advanced to the hill we came under intense ground and air-burst shelling. There was no cover to escape the deadly effects of the air-bursts, and as I was urging my platoon forward toward CAEN now only a mile or two away, I felt a dull thud in my left arm just below the elbow. I looked down and saw blood oozing through battle-dress tunic. There was a knocked-out tank on the side of the road, so I crawled underneath it to assess the damage to my arm.

Jul

7

1944

T-34s attack Panzers cornered in the Russian forest


7 July 1944: T-34s attack Panzers cornered in the Russian forest

Shells were either striking sparks from the steel hulls of the armoured vehicles, or they were ploughing up the earth near the tracks. Enemy machine guns were spraying the battlefield with a multi—layered deluge of lead, so intense that our foot soldiers couldn’t even move forward in a belly—crawl, and were forced to advance exclusively within the tracks of the tanks and self-propelled guns, sheltered by their hulls.

Jul

6

1944

Typhoon tank busters over Normandy


6 July 1944: Typhoon tank busters over Normandy

An armed recce led by S.L. [Squadron Leader] Arhens brought very little joy, indeed it brought one of our most popular pilots to grief. F.S.[Flight Sergeant] Bob Blair flying as the C.O’s N°2 followed his N°1 down to bomb some suspected M.T. on a road. They both bombed but F.S. Blair must have dived too low and the blast and rubble from his own or the C.O’s 8 bomb damaged his aircraft and started a glycol leak.

Jul

5

1944

Japanese Americans hammer Germans in Italy


5 July 1944: Japanese Americans hammer Germans in Italy

In the ordinary projectile, you would fire, and it hit the ground, impacting on the ground, and bursting. So you almost have to have a direct hit on the person. People can get hurt with shrapnels and all that, but by that time, the Germans are all in foxholes. So as long as they’re in the foxhole, unless you have a direct hit above, in the foxhole, there’s no casualty by the Germans.

Jul

4

1944

The pitiful Japanese retreat from Imphal


4 July 1944: The pitiful Japanese retreat from Imphal

Icy rain fell mercilessly on us and we lived day and night drenched to the skin and pierced with cold. I remember how we longed for a place, any place at all, where we could take shelter and rest. Once we found a tent in the jungle; inside it were the bodies of six nurses. We had never imagined there would be female victims, especially so far over the Arakan Mountains. Why, we asked one another, had the army not taken the nurses to a place of safety?

Jul

3

1944

Montgomery explains the “Big Picture”


3 July 1944: Montgomery explains the Big Picture

Big picture — Hitler taken charge. Monty doesn’t think he’s decided whether to try and annihilate Allies in West and face losses in East, or to try and hold Russians. If he decides to concentrate on us, no bridges over Seine below Paris or on Loire between Orleans and the sea leaves a bottleneck. Hitler would probably go for writing us off here and with effect of buzz-bombs on England, try for peace. Monty says a successful German offensive is impossible against superior air forces.

Jul

2

1944

Japanese massacre surviving crew of SS Jean Nicolet


2 July 1944: Japanese massacre surviving crew of SS Jean Nicolet

And then I kicked my way, I kicked my way up to the surface. This was a long ways, but I made it, and I got my nose up there, and, it seemed like a long ways, but I got up there. I had my hands tied behind me, still, and I was laying back, getting my nose up in the water and kicking, and trying not to inhale water. And I was treading water that way for quite some time. And it was pitch black at this time, and the only thing you could see was the ship, still floating and burning in the distance.