May

1

1943

The US 34th ‘Red Bull’ Division takes Hill 609

1st May 1943: The US 34th Division takes Hill 609

Toward morning one platoon succeeded in forcing its way up the goat trail, which the Germans had believed was not a feasible means of approaching their positions, and took the stubborn men of the “Barenthin” Regiment by surprise from the rear. Temporarily stunned, the enemy was quickly overcome and Hill 609 was ours. Immediately a battalion was placed in occupation of it and our artillery forward observers accompanying the foremost infantry elements soon were directing fire upon the rapidly retreating enemy causing great havoc.

Apr

30

1943

John Keneally’s second attack from the ‘Bou’

30th April 1943: John Keneally’s second attack from the ‘Bou’

The air was full of the chatter of machine and the ground we lay on trembled with the explosions of grenades. There was no time for fear; a strange ‘don’t-give-a-damn’ feeling took a grip — something every infantryman feels when he is constantly exposed to death in brutal and violent forms. Two German figures loomed over us and I cut one of them in half with the Bren. Pollock shot the other in the face

Apr

29

1943

Conditions inside the burning Warsaw ghetto

29th April 1943: Conditions inside the burning Warsaw ghetto

After their attempts to penetrate the Ghetto had failed, they decided to to spare themselves casualties by destroying it from outside with cannon and aerial bombings. A few days later the Ghetto was totally destroyed. Those who survived continued living in bunkers. Apparently the Germans concluded there weren’t many Jews left in the Ghetto and decided it was safe to enter during the day.

Apr

28

1943

John Kenneally’s one man attack on German positions

28th April 1943: John Kenneally’s one man attack on German positions

I achieved complete surprise. I hose-piped them from the top of the gully. They were being bowled over like nine-pins and were diving in all directions. I had time to clip on another magazine and I gave them that too. Enough was enough, and I fled back to the boulders and safety. The remaining Germans had scattered and were firing everywhere, even at each other. Bullets were shattering off the boulder in front of me.

Apr

27

1943

Another posthumous V.C. In Tunisia

27th April 1943: Another posthumous V.C. In Tunisia

So quickly had this officer acted that he was in among the crew with the bayonet before they had time to fire more than one shot. He killed a number of them before being overwhelmed and killed himself. The few survivors of the gun crew then left the pit, some of them being killed while they were retiring, and both the heavy machine gun and 88 millimetre gun were silenced.

Apr

26

1943

Last letters from an unknown Holocaust victim

26th April 1943: Last letters from an unknown Holocaust victim

In Petrikow it looks like this: before the grave one is stripped naked, then forced to kneel down and wait for the shot. The victims stand in line and await their turn. Moreover, they have to sort the first, the executed, in their graves so that the space is used well and order prevails. The entire procedure does not take long. In half an hour the clothes of the executed return to the camp.

Apr

25

1943

The battle of the Warsaw Ghetto continues

25th April 1943: The battle of the Warsaw Ghetto continues

274 Jews were shot, and as on other days, uncounted Jews were buried alive in the blown-up bunkers and, as near as can be determined, burned. With today’s bounty of Jews, a very large portion of the bandits and lowest elements of the Ghetto has, in my opinion, been captured. Immediate liquidation was not carried out due to the onset of darkness.

Apr

24

1943

Manhattan Project calculates the effects of The Gadget

24th April 1943: Manhattan Project calculates the effects of The Gadget

The effect of the radioactive fission products depends entirely on the distance to which they are carried by the wind. If 1 kg of fission products is distributed uniformly over an area of about 100 square miles, the radioactivity during the first day will represent a lethal dose (=500 R units): after a few days, only about 10 R units per day are emitted, If the material is more widely distributed by the wind, the effects of the radioactivity will be relatively minor.

Apr

23

1943

Two V.C.s in fierce Tunisian battles

23rd April 1943: Two VCs in fierce Tunisian battles

On the first objective and still under continual enemy fire, Major Anderson re-organised the Battalion and rallied men whose Commanders, in most cases, had been either killed or wounded. The Commanding Officer having been killed, he took command of the Battalion and led the assault on the second objective. During this assault he received a leg wound, but in spite of this he carried on and finally captured ” Longstop ” Hill with a total force of only four officers and less than forty other ranks.

Apr

22

1943

German Me 323 transport plane fleet shot down

22 April 1943: German Me 323 transport plane fleet shot down

While the Germans had complete command of the skies the Me 321, and later the Me 323, were to prove their worth in transporting heavy equipment over the vast distances of Russia. When the German campaign in North Africa began to unravel, the Me 323 was pressed into service to transport men and munitions between Tunisia and Sicily.