The American World War: The Center Holds
CLASSIFIED TOP SECRET
FIS INTELLIGENCE REPORT
FAR EAST DETACHMENT
TO: General Joseph Stillwell, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Chinese Theater of Operations
FROM: Colonel Douglas Johnson, Chief Far East Detachment, FIS
RE: Japanese intentions
DATE: November 10, 1941
With the deaths of the Chinese Communist leadership in a gas attack, the Chinese Communist forces are in complete disarray. A small number of CCF forces have joined the Chinese Nationalist forces, some have simply gone home, the vast majority are continuing the fight.
The Japanese have shifted thirty divisions from the fight. Ten are being transferred to Burma. Twenty are being transferred to the border with Siberia. The majority of the fighting against the CCF and CNF are to be conducted by Japanese allied forces.
You are authorized to share this information with the Supreme Allied Commander Chinese Theater and you are to convince him to launch attacks against enemy forces.
Chapter 2 – The Secret Services
ACTORS & ACTRESSES WHO
SERVED THEIR COUNTRY IN WARTIME
By Wes Zumwalt
On November 10, 1941 Ensign Lord stepped off a B-17 onto the tarmac in Canberra. He was immediately met by his new team leader, Lieutenant Commander Sterling Hayden who drove him to meet the rest of the team. They would be leaving in less than a week and Lord had a lot of work to do.
CHAPTER XI RUSSIAN SPECIAL OPS
SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN
WORLD WAR II
by Sir Jeffery Katz
Snipers were in high demand during the Battle of Moscow. German snipers were able to take shots at President Timenshenko and General Konev at separate times during the battle. In both cases they missed.
On November 11, 1941 a Russian Army female sniper changed the course of the Battle of Moscow. Sergeant Lyudmila Pavilchencko had been scouting out the forward positions of the German 72nd Infantry Division when she noticed a number of German officers talking to some German soldiers. She didn't know (or care about) German rank insignia, but she did recognize senior officers when she saw them.
General of Mountain Troops Ludwig Kubler, Commanding General of the German 4th Army was inspecting the forward positions of the 72nd Infantry Division prior to them being pulled out of the line. He was talking to the sergeant in command of the position when Sergeant Pavilchencko put a bullet into his forehead.
NOVEMBER 12, 1941
FUERHER NOON COONFERENCE
Field Marshall Keitel: As you know my Fuehrer we lost General Kubler yesterday and we need to find a replacement for him. Right now his deputy had assumed command.
Hitler: General Kubler died as a true German general should! He was in the front lines with his men when that cowardly Communist shot him. He will be given a state funeral! Now who did you have in mind to replace him?
Keitel: General Fromm, Commander of the Reserve Army is available.
Hitler: Nervous old maid! Who else do you have?
Keitel: General von Reichnenau, he is commander of the 3rd Army.
Hitler: Leave him there, he is doing excellent work. General Paulus, come here please.
General Paulus: Yes my Fuehrer!
Hitler: You are a good National Socialist General, I want you to take over the 4th Army and finish the conquest of Moscow! How soon can you leave?”
Paulus: I can leave within the hour!
Hitler: Your Deputy can handle the 4th Army for a few days. Go home and see your wife and then proceed to the front lines. Field Marshall Keitel, what is next?
Then just browse through the list for what you want, namely the American World War stuff
TIMENSHENKO - KNONEV MEETING
10pm, November 12, 1941
The following was recorded on film by the GRU and declassified in 2013.
Timenshenko: What is the problem General?
Konev: Marshal Zhukov is the problem Mr. President?
Timenshenko: What are you talking about? He is coordinating efforts outside of Moscow to get us the supplies and men we need!
Konev: No sir he is not! We are only getting a trickle of what we need in men and supplies. He sends about a quarter of what we need in the way of men, weapons and food. He does send us plenty of ammunition. He must think we can use that to kill more Germans so that when he finally attacks there will be less for him to kill.
Timenshenko: Nonsense General. (The President picked up the phone) Patch me through to Marshal Zhukov's headquarters! General Konev, what is the progress of the swine today?
Konev: They have reached Gorky Park sir.
Timenshenko: What the hell are they doing there? How soon when Hitler is strutting around the Kremlin?
Konev: Without significant reinforcements, two weeks at the latest.
Timenshenko: STOP MAKING EXCUSES!! Execute some privates, even some officers if you have to, but make the men stand and fight! Now get out of my sight!
(The footage shows General Konev leaving the room. Seconds late two men walk in. The video portion was “accidentally” erased. The audio portion continues)
Timenshenko: What do you two want?
Unidentified voice: Mr. President, you are relived of duty.
Timenshenko: What nonsense is this? Wait!
Gunfire is all that is heard, then footsteps, a single gunshot, followed by more footsteps and then the sound of the door closing.
JAPANESE ARMY INTELLIGENCE
ESTIMATE OF RUSSIAN FORCES IN
November 10, 1941
The Russian Air Force is mainly concentrated in and around Vladivostok. Most of the front line units have been shifted east to the Moscow Front.
6 Tupolev TB-1 bombers
4 Illyushin DB-3 bombers
Most of the TB-1 bombers have been grounded due to a lack of spare parts.
24 Kochyerigin DI-4 Fighters
4 Polikarpov I-16 fighters
The I-16 is the most advanced of the Russian fighters, they should be no match for our fighters.
3 Tupolev MTB-1 Flying Boats
16 Chyetverikov MDR-6 Flying Boats
The MDR-6 Flying Boats are frequently plagued by mechanical issues.
6 Douglas DC-3 transports
24 Yakovlev AIR-6 utility aircraft
Six of these aircraft have been modified as air ambulances.
3 second line infantry divisions
1 Cavalry division
1 Border Guard Division
1 Light Tank Brigade
2 Artillery Brigades
1 Railway artillery battery
The Cavalry division is horse mounted. The light tank brigade is composed on T-26 light tanks. The artillery brigades have 76mm and 107mm field artillery pieces. The railway artillery is composed of 12 inch naval artillery under army command.
1 cruiser - Prut
1 destroyer leader – the Baku (fleet flagship)
21 motor gun boats
1 cruiser (under construction) Kaganovich
two six gun batteries of 12” artillery
Six two gun batteries of 6” artillery
The Prut is still officially in commission, but she is being used as a barracks ship. The five destroyers all saw extensive service in the 1914-1918 and Russian Civil Wars, they all need extensive renovations. The most modern ships are the Baku and the MGBs, they will present the greatest danger to any sea attacks.
New Kobol II is up next
WAR DEPARTMENT MEMO
TO: General Marshall
FROM: General Thomas Handy
Re: Replacement pipeline
DATE: November 12, 1941
As per your orders, no further activation of divisions will occur without your orders.
As of November 2, 1941; the strength of the replacement depots are:
European Theater of Operations: 116, 890
ETO Replacement Depots: 63,890
6th Army Group 53,000
6th Army Group Depots 17,000
1st US Army Depots 20,000
7th US Army Depots 16,000
Mediterranean Theater of Operations: 288,350
MTO Replacement Depots: 108,000
8th Army Group 188,350
8th Army Group Depots 80,350
3rd US Army Depots 40,000
5th US Army Depots 68,000
Southern Theater of Operations: 40,000
STO Replacement Depots 10,000
2nd US Army Depots 20,000
4th US Army Depots 10,000
US Army Far East: 28,500
US Army Far East Depots 20,000
6th US Army Depots 8,500
Eastern Defense Command: 78,000
EDC Replacement Depots 45,000 12th US Army Depots 33,000
Western Defense Command: 589,655
WDC Replacement Depots 389,000
8th US Army Depots 200,655
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL IN DEPOTS: 1,141,395
We are prepared to ship large number of replacements to North Africa and England once combat is underway. In addition, the training camps are being expanded to accommodate the large number of draftees that will be needed. As per USAFE request, 10,000 troops are being shipped to Australia.
IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY
To: Commanding General, 18th Army
From: Commanding General, Southern Expeditionary Army Group
Date: November 10, 1941
By order of the Emperor, you are to build two additional airstrips and supporting structures on the island of Guadalcanal. The two new airstrips (to be started once the main airfield is completed) will be for fighters. You are also to construct seaplane bases on Florida and Tulagi Islands. Report on when the main airstrip is nearing completion.
EXCERPT OF MEETING
OF THE SENIOR COMMANDERS OF
THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC COMMAND
10am November 12, 1941
Field Marshall Blamey, Supreme Allied Commander SW Pacific
Lt. General Brett, Air Forces Commander
General Freyburg, Land Forces Commander
Vice Admiral Ghormley, Naval Forces Commander
General Wainwright, USAFE Commander
Blamey: Good morning gentlemen, as you may recall, the Combined Chiefs of Staff mentioned that it was time to go on the offensive. And using just using the assets we have in-theater. I asked General Freyburg for some plans. So General, what do you have?
Freyburg: Since we are limited to the assets we currently have, we have picked two strong possibilities. Operation Jericho is the total removal of all Japanese forces in New Guinea. Operation Moses is the the liberation of the islands of Guadalcanal, Florida and Tulagi.
Blamey: Fill me in on Jericho.
Freyburg: Yes sir, currently the 3rd Australian Division is holding back the Japanese near Port Moresby. We are planning on using two Corps HQs – I & II Australian Corps, the 1st , 3rd 7th Divisions, plus the 1st Australian Armored, British 1st Army Tank, 2nd Australian Motorized and the 3rd New Zealand Motorized Brigades.
I Corps consisting of the 3rd & 7th Divisions with the 1st Armored and 2nd Motorized Brigades will proceed up the Kokada Trail to Buna. We estimate that we should be over the Owen Stanley Mountains within six weeks of the start of the offensive.
Blamey: General, how do you propose to get armored vehicles up the trail?
Freyburg: Engineers will follow behind the forward combat elements building a road as they advance.
Blamey: I see, and II Corps?
Freyburg: The II Corps will move up the Southern coast of the island. It has been recommended that reinforced infantry battalions make amphibious landings behind the Japanese positions. Obviously this is a bare bones outline of the plan.
Blamey: General Brett, can the Air Forces support both corps?
General Brett: Yes sir we can. We are enlarging the Port Moresby airfields as we speak. They will be able to support three fighter and four light and medium bomber squadrons. We can stage the heavy bomber squadrons through Cairns. We will of course be building airfields as the army advances.
Blamey: Thank you General Brett, Admiral Ghormley can the Navy support this operation?
Admiral Ghormley: Yes and no sir. We can support the II Corps movement up the southern coast. However, until we can neutralize the enemy airfields around Buna and Rabaul we cannot send in naval forces.
Blamey: And what of Operation Moses?
Freyburg: I asked General Wainwright to look into that.
Wainwright: According to our intelligence, the Japanese have a company of infantry on both Florida and Tulagi. On Guadalcanal, there is approximately 3,000 engineers and a reinforced Infantry battalion with little in the way of heavy artillery. The 3rd US Infantry Division of General Eichelburger's XV Corps will land on Guadalcanal. One Battalion Combat Team from the 38th US Infantry Division will land on Florida and Tulagi Islands. The 3rd Division will land in the Lunga Point area. Once they have the airfield secured, the division will enlarge the bridgehead to allow the rest of the 38th Division and an Armored RCT from the 21st US Armored Division to land. The removal of all Japanese forces should take less than two months.
Blamey: Can this operation be supported by our air and naval forces?
Brett: Oh yes sir, especially once we capture the main airfield on Guadalcanal on the first day of the invasion. Our engineers feel that they can have it completely operational within two weeks of our arrival.
Blamey: And Naval?
Ghormley: The Navy can support the men once they are ashore.
Blamey: Operation Moses is a go. I need to think about Hydra some. You’ll have my answer in 24 hours.
Can only be achieved by some sort of miracle - or helicopters.
Even today there is no road across the Owen Stanleys.
EXCERPT OF ENCRYPTED RADIO MESSAGE
TO: Commanding General XXXIV Corps
FROM: Commander 18th US Armored Regimental Combat Team (Colored)
DATE: 0700 November 13, 1941
RE: Mission accomplished
Acting on the intelligence provided to this command, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 18th ARCT (Colored) raided the target complex 40 miles south of Mexico City at 0330.
After a brief firefight (3 enlisted WIA, 5 enemy KIA, 2 enemy WIA), compound was captured, along with six Mexican rebels and two Caucasian males. The informant has identified one of the Caucasians as Colonel Heinz. Documents, false identifcation – including US passports and money siezed. All, plus prisoners will be transferred to STO HQ.
EXCERPT OF ENCRYPTED RADIO MESSAGE
TO: Commanding General US Southern Theatre of Operations/4th US Army
FROM: Commanding General US XXXIV Corps
Date: 0735 November 13, 1941
RE: Operation Hotdog
Have received unconfirmed report from CO 18th US ARCT (COLORED) that Operation Hotdog was successful. Top Dog captured as well as 7 other pups – 1 Dacshound and 6 Chihuahuas. Extra fixings also in the menu. Picnic being delivered to you.
PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF SCRAMBLED TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN GENERAL GEORGE C. MARSHALL AND LT GENERAL CHARLES WHITTLESLEY
0800 NOVEMBER 13, 1941
Marshall: What do you have for me General?
Whittlesley: From all appearances sir Hot Dog was a complete success. Major Student was captured alive along with another white male and six Mexican rebels. The report indicates that we hit the mother lode, we've captured all of their files before they were destroyed.
Marshall: What do you plan on doing with the captured rebels General?
Whittlesley: They fired on my troops, which means they are in violation of both the Mexican Government surrender terms and the General Amnesty Agreement. They get tried and then hung.
Marshall: Cremate the remains and dump them at sea. I want no shrines. What about Student? How do you plan on interrogating him?
Whittlesley: We are going to use sleep deprivation, his health will be monitored by Dr. Paris. He assures me that we can break the Major within a week especially if we use Scopolamine.”
Marshall: Do it General, and while you are questioning him, see if he knows where Colonel Willoughby's remains can be found.
CHAPTER TWO – THE PACIFIC 1941-42
U-BOAT CRUISER AT WAR:
THE VOYAGES OF THE U-99
By Admiral Friedrich Ruge
November 13, 1941
0730 The U-99 was on the surface looking for prey. The lookouts spotted smoke on the horizon north east of the U-Boat. After two hours chasing the smoke, the U-Boat submerged and approached the target. She appeared to be a small American freighter of about 5,000 tons, her name was Seattle Sally and she was out of Seattle, Washington.
Not wanting to use his torpedoes on a small target, Commander Topp decided that his gun crews needed the practice, Topp ordered his crews to Battle Stations Surface. As soon as the freighter's crew saw the U-Boat surface, they started to abandon ship. Topp made the decision to allow the crew to abandon ship.
As the crew began lowering the life boats, Topp leaned over the railing to address the Gun Captain of the 8 inch gun. He and most of his sailors were surprised when panels began dropping on the Seattle Sally. The ship was actually a Q-Ship, the USS Garden Snake armed with 3x6 inch guns and 4x20mm cannons. She was under the command of Lt. Kelly Bonnerman USNR.
The Americans struck first when the forward 20mm raked the conning tower and 8 inch mount scattering the gun crew. The forward machine gun on the U-99 opened up on that 20mm cannon in an attempt to silence it. Seeing that his men could not get the 8 inch working he ordered full astern and ordered the forward tubes flooded. For a short time (estimated later as 10 minutes) it was a knife fight, the Americans managed to disable, but not destroy, the 8 inch main gun when a 6 inch shell hit the barrel but did not detonate. The Americans managed to cause some damage to the U-99 before the Germans were able to put two torpedoes into the Garden Snake. The U-boat managed to submerge but not before the Americans managed to hit a glancing blow to the Conning Tower with a six inch shell, the shrapnel neatly severing Topp's left leg.
The U-99 limped away heading toward Truk. The official logs of the U-99 states that when they left the area, the Q-ship was on fire and drifting, but still afloat. The Garden Snake never returned to port, neither she or her crew were ever found.
US ARMY OPERATIONS ORDER
TO: CG US XV CORPS
FROM: CG USAFFE
DATE: NOVEMBER 14, 1941
RE: OPERATION MOSES
You are ordered to form Task Force Grant – consisting of the 3rd US Infantry Division, the 97th Armored Regimental Combat Team plus supporting elements.
You will draw up preliminary plans for seizing the islands of Florida, Guadalcanal, and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands. Both Air Force and Naval Liaison officers have been assigned to you and will be reporting to you to assist in the preliminary planning. You will forward a preliminary plan to SACSWP in twenty-one (21) days. Commanding General 3rd US ID is the TF Commander.
EXCERPT OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN FIELD MARSHAL BLAMEY AND
NOVEMBER 14, 1941
Blamey: General how sure are you that you can build a road over the trail and get armored vehicles over it?
Freyberg: Sir, my Chief Engineer has assured me that it will take a lot of effort on our part. He is planning on using at least one Engineer Brigade plus about 1,000 native laborers. He feels that we can be over the Owen Stanelys within 90 days sir.
Blamey: What does the I Corps CRE say?
Freyberg: He believes that we can do this with another Engineer Brigade sir, but it can be done.
Blamey: Jericho is a go General. I expect to see prelimiary plans in three weeks.
CHAPTER II – THE KOKODA TRAIL
HELL ON THE TRAIL:
AN AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER REMEMBERS
By Brigadier Liam Kelly, MC, DSO & Bar
The bastards never asked me about the trail. I had only spent 25 years in and around Port Moresby. I had walked over the Owen Stanelys more times than I could remember. I was the Commander of the 9th Battalion, Victorian Scottish Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.
I began hearing rumors about an offensive being planned up the Kokoda Trail to clear the enemy out. On November 15th, 1941 I was summoned to Brigade HQ and told to report to Division HQ. The Division Commander, Major General Edmund Drake-Brockman wanted to have a word with me. I was uneasy, had my lads done something wrong to come to his attention?
As it turned out he had been asking around the division about officers and men who were familiar with the Owen Stanley Mountains and the Kokoda Trail in particular. There were eight of us – three enlisted men and five officers. After swearing us to secrecy, the General began asking us about the trail and how hard it would be to get a road built capable of carrying tanks. The General was not amused when we all laughed. At first we thought he was joking, but we shut when we saw his glare. He had had a talk with I Corps' CRE who assured him it was possible.
We spent the rest of the day going over what the General could expect on the Trail and he became unhappier with every sentence. About 1600, he called an end to our meeting, he thanked us and called the Corps Commander and asked for a meeting.
OF THE RESISTANCE
By JB Hunicutt
Province Books 1985
They called themselves the 1st Company, Ypres British Battalion. At first, they were the children of the workers of the British War Graves Commission in Ypres charged with taking care of the graves. Most of the adults had been arrested by the Germans and taken away. The only adults who had been left were three men and two women. The men, veterans of the Great War, were missing limbs and not considered a threat, the two women were married to two of the men and were charged with keeping the 39 children under control. Their numbers increased a few months after the end of the German Western campaign as other children from other War Graves Commission sites were brought to Ypres.
By the middle of 1941, there were 110 children, 5 women and 7 men. The children were to tend the graves and get an education. The adults were to supervise the children. By order of the Germans, when the children turned 17, they were to report to the same prison where their parents were being held.
The former soldiers had picked the best and brightest of the children to conduct sabotage. Of the five men – 1 was a former artillery sergeant (and in “command”), 2 were former Royal Engineers and two were former infantrymen. Thirty children (boys and girls) were picked to carry out sabotage missions, forty of the younger children (aged 11 on up) were used to keep an eye out for the Germans (as well as tending the graves.)
Their best success was when they managed to smuggle a fertilizer bomb aboard a German troop train, the bomb exploded two hours after they put it on the train. 450 German soldiers were killed or wounded.
The mission on the night of November 15/16 was a simple one. The 10 children (3 girls, 7 boys) would leave just after 11pm, walk two miles where their bikes had been hidden, ride another 6 miles to a well traveled road. Once there, they were to spread nails, broken glass and few trip wires attached to explosives. They were to then return home without firing a shot (they had hunting rifles)
The plan began to fall apart when half way to their target, they encountered a drunken German Sergeant walking along the path they were on. They attempted to go around him, but he pulled 15 year old Sally Hudson off her bike.. Before he could hurt her, 14 year old Timothy Reardon jumped on the Sergeant stabbing him repeatedly in the back.1 After hiding the body, the group continued onward the rest of the way to the road. As a percaution, one girl rode down the road a mile to keep a lookout. Another girl rode up the road a mile.
Less than 15 minutes after leaving, the lookout from down the road came pedaling back. She informed Pierre Tindon, the group's leader (His mother was Belgian, father English) that a large group of people were coming their way. They would be there in about 20 minutes. Tindon ordered everyone to get under cover, they would set up the explosives (they also had 6 German hand grenades), attack these soldiers and get away in the confusion.
Twenty-five minutes later, two bored looking Germans appeared on horseback, followed by a large number of people carrying each other or a few with their belongings. The children watched as a few hundred people shuffled passed them. Confusion turned to horror when they saw an older woman stumble and fall only to be shot. Tindon realized that this was way over his head, and signaled for the others to fall back.
Reardon saw the signal and considered heading back, but he wanted to kill more Germans. He felt excited when he killed that German earlier. Pulling out his two German hand grenades, he quickly unscrewed the caps, pulled the cords and threw them. His first grenade landed in the lap of a very surprised SS Corporal. The grenade exploded killing him, his horse and three SS privates and their horses who were bringing up the rear. A few seconds later, Reardon's other grenade exploded among the civilian prisoners. No one knows how many prisoners were killed or wounded by Reardon's grenade, as soon as the grenades went off, the SS guards, not used to combat situations, opened fire on their prisoners. The other young resistance fighters threw their grenades and other explosives and essentially ran away. They did help approximately 30 people escape. Within three hours, the Germans declared a curfew around the area, rounded up every Jewish escapee they could find and killed them. The bodies were burned in the fields beside the road.
When the children straggled into Ypres several hours later, they were scared and tired. They had six wounded and one dead – Sally Hudson had been killed by an SS trooper as he fired wildly into the night.
Aside from helping Allied air crews escape and the occasional reconnaissance mission; the children stayed close to home for the next month.
Chapter 3 – The Aviators
ACTORS & ACTRESSES WHO
SERVED THEIR COUNTRY IN WARTIME
By Wes Zumwalt
Eugene “Gene” Roddenberry*
November 16, 1941 began as the day before ended – he was kneeling in the dirt in front of the Camp Commandant's office. He had been caught trying to smuggle in some food for some of the camp's sick prisoners. He had been discovered and beaten. The Camp Commandant decided that he should be punished more as an example to the other prisoners, as a result he was kneeling on the ground, his arms extended behind his back tied to a wooden pole. All throughout the night, every time one of the guards walked by, they hit him to make sure he was awake.
Just before 6am, the camp commandant came out for the morning roll call smoking an American cigarette. He walked over to Roddenberry, “Good morning, did we have a good night's sleep?” Before Roddenberry could say anything, the Major kicked him in the gut and walked on.
SCOTTISH WARRIOR: THE LIFE OF
FIELD MARSHAL JAN NIEMCZYK, 1ST VISCOUNT NIEMCZYK OF CARACAS, KBE, DSO AND 2 BARS,
LEGION OF MERIT
COLONEL SIR DAVID MILLER, KCMG, MC
CHAPTER XII – INDIA
November 18, 1941 Colonel Niemczyk was hip deep in paperwork, converting straight leg infantry into glider troops required a lot of paperwork. His brigade consisted of the 9th Battalion, 9th Jats; 15th Battalion, Burma Rifles, and the British 5th/8th Battalion, the Middlesex Regiment.
Just before 9am, the Brigade Signals Officer and Brigade Sergeant Major walked into his office and stood at attention. The BSO informed the Colonel that his presence was required at Divisional HQ at Noon, he was to bring his battalion commanders with him. The NCO simply informed the Colonel that a) the battalion commanders were being summoned to HQ and b)transport would be ready in ten minutes.
Just before noon, the officers from the 2nd Brigade arrived at Division HQ. They were ushered into the Division Commander's Mess. They were quite surprised to see Montgomery, a rather messy looking Brigadier, and two Americans – one a black man. Montgomery was the first to speak. “Thank you for coming gentlemen, you are late. Some introductions are in order.” Indicating the Brigadier, “This is Brigadier Wingate, and these two gentlemen are Major Prosser, Executive Officer of the American 555th Parachute Battalion. Captain Samuels is the Battalion Operations Officer.”
“Colonel, the American Parachute Battalion is being offloaded in Calcutta as we speak, they will be attached to your Brigade. Please give them all the assistance they will need to fit in. Meanwhile your Brigade is being attached to Brigadier Wingate's Chindit Force. If the Chindits wind up in trouble Colonel, your brigade will go in and rescue them.”
November 20, 1941 100 nm east of Norfolk, VA
The aircraft carrier USS United States, damaged earlier in the year during a strike on Oslo, had completed her repairs, declared ready for service, and had departed Norfolk for Scapa Flow. A day and a half after leaving harbor, her task group encountered the U-91. After eight hours of getting into the perfect firing angle, she fired off three torpedoes, two hit the carrier causing serious damage forward of the island. She limped back into port. The U-91 got away.
3pm November 24, 1941 Imperial Palace, Tokyo Japan
The conference was supposed to last two hours, the conference was now in hour four. His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Hirohito had taken three hours to convince the Army leadership that this was not the time to go to war against the Russians. They were still fighting the Americans, the British, the Chinese and others. Their allies were beating the Russians badly and the would be able to get what they wanted when the Germans forced the surrender (he also brought up the disaster at Khalkin Gol)
There had been a 30 minute break, the Army was ready to discuss a new operation and they wanted the Emperor's blessing. Operation Fu-Go would launch hydrogen filled balloons – 60% would contain biolgical agents, 40% incendiary agents. They would be launched from areas on Honshu and be flown by the jet stream to the US. The emperor, having just talked the Army out of war with Russia, decided to give the operation his blessing.
CHAPTER IV - MOSCOW
OUR POISON DWARF
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
FIELD MARSHAL GOTTHARD HEINRICI
By JACOB SPEER
6pm November 25, 1942 German I Corps HQ
General of Infantry Heinrici, Commanding General I Corps had been reading the reports from his reconnaissance people. Zhukov was coming. Heinrici began giving orders to the commanders of the German 36th, 41st, and 47th Divisions to begin QUIETLY pulling their front line troops back 1 ½ kilometers beginning at 2am. They were to leave behind small detachments to give the appearance of the German front lines. The 46th Division was to have battle groups ready to assist the other three divisions. He also had 10th Bulgarian Mechanized Cavalry Group (25th and 33rd Bulgarian Mechanized Cavalry Battalions) Kampfgruppe von Steiger (39th German Cavalry Battalion, the 200th Independent Panzer Battalion, and the 39th Bulgarian Infantry Regiment in Corps Reserves.
He then put into a call to Lt. General Stilyan Kovachev, Commanding General 1st Bulgarian Army to inform him of his intelligence and his recommendations. General Kovachev disagreed with Heinrici's assesments. He all but called Heinrici a coward and ordered him not to pull his troops back.
Heinrici disobeyed his orders.
OPERATION FALL HARVEST
THE RUSSIAN NOVEMBER 1942
President and Chief of the General Staff Zhukov wanted to drive the Germans out of Moscow. However Zhukov had a number of major problems. They were 1- trained solders in organized combat units – he had nearly 200 divisions scattered throughout the county in various states of capability; 2 – supplies - Supplies were a major problem. The Germans had advanced so fast that they had over run the major Russian supply depots – including vast amounts of American and British supplies and a number of Russian arms factories. The rest were still being moved to the other side of the Urals.; 3 – Communist partisans were still attacking Russian supply lines – which forced Zhukov to divert forces to protect his supplies. The only good thing was that the Communists were also attacking the Germans; 4 – he also had to supply troops to other areas.
By late November, Zhukov managed to form 70 divisions into a sembelance of order into the Moscow Front – 2 airborne, 8 tank, 6 cavalry, 10 mechanized, and 44 infantry divisions. His plan was to smash through the German lines and relieve Moscow. Their main target was the German Army Group E's 1st Bulgarian Army and the German 9th Army. Zhukov planned to send the 49th Cavalry & 69th Armies (20 divisions) against the Bulgarian 1st Army and the 4th, 26th and 33rd Armies (20 Divisions). The 30th Tank and 49th Armies (20 divisions) were to keep the German 3rd Panzer Army busy. The 44t and 51st Armies were to keep the rest of Army Group E occupied. Zhukov also have Penal Battalions to lead off the attack and four MRD Divisions ready to enforce disipline. GRU Special Forces were to cause havoc behind the German lines.
To convince the Germans that the attack was coming elsewhere he ordered all other fronts to launch attacks on the morning of November 27th. General Winter, for once, obeyed orders. Temperatures dropped to freezing and it was snowing.
EVALUATION OF M10 HEAVY TANK
TO: Commanding General, 44th US Armored Division
FROM: Lt. Colonel William Westmoreland, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, 14th Armored Regiment
RE: M10 HEAVY TANK
DATE: NOVEMBER 27, 1942
General, this tank is a fine tank in good weather. A beast in poor weather.
The Pros: the tank is well armored, has plenty of room for the crew, ample storage space for ammunition and gear., the main gun will destroy just about any German tank it encounters.
The Cons: this tank is too heavy. The tank tears up paved roads, the tank performs adequetly cross county, unless it encounters mud. It performs poorly in mud less than two feet deep., any deepers and it gets stuck. We flooded a field until it was a foot deep in water and drove the tank into the field. It got stuck and it took us nine hours to get it out. Getting across bridges will also be a problem.
This tank will be problematic to say the least. As long as the weather holds out this tank should be fine.
Editor's note: This memorandum was passed up the Chain of Command to the Army Ground Forces Command where it was ignored.
VOICE OF THE AMERICAS
NOVEMBER 28, 1942
This is the noon time news.
Russia – Radio Moscow is denying reports that Red Square is now in the hands of the German Army. The Russians are reporting that Marshal Zhukov's counter offensive has torn open a 30 km hole in the German lines. The Germans are claiming that the Russian counter offensive has failed.
Mexico City – the remains of Colonel Charles Willougby were escorted to the US military airfield outside of Mexico City this morning. Colonel Willoughby was executed by Mexican rebels in 1941 and is being flown to the US for burial.
Hollywood is reporting that 1942 will be another record year of movie attendance and box office sales.
US NAVY INTERNAL MEMO
TO: Chief of Naval Operations
FROM: Chief BuShips
Date: November 28, 1942
RE: Commandant Class Command Ships
As per your orders, two Cleveland Class light cruisers – the Passadena and the Amsterdam, are being converted into Commandant Class command ships – the Samuel Nichols and William Barrows. They are approximately 30% complete and should be operational in December 1943 or January 1944.
THE WAR DIARY OF
THE USS SEA TIGER
3rd WAR PATROL
COMMANDER N. HOLDEN, USN COMMANDING
1500 November 29, 1942
We are currently resting on the bottom of Savo Sound waiting for sunset. Our orders are to drop off reconnaisance teams on Florida, Guadalcanal, and Tulagi islands and then return to Australia for refiting and shore leave.
Yesterday we dropped off the Florida (one Coastwatcher and four Marines) and the Tulagi (one Coastwatcher and six Marines) teams. We will drop off the Guadalcanal Team (three Coastwatchers and fifteen Marines) near the village of Ruaniu. One of the Coastwatchers has relatives there and is familiar with the area. We will land the team at Midnight.
Chapter 3 – The Aviators
ACTORS & ACTRESSES WHO
SERVED THEIR COUNTRY IN WARTIME
By Wes Zumwalt
Eugene “Gene” Roddenberry
November 30th was a rather dangerous day for the former Catilina pilot. He and 9 other POWs were out on a wood gathering detail. They had been informed that if anyone of them escaped, the remaining prisoners would be shot. If all ten escaped their fellow prisoners would suffer. At one point, Roddenberry, with permission from the guard, went into the bushes to relieve himself. As he was finishing up, he heard someone behind him. Turning around he saw a black man with a Thompson sub machine gun and a big smile. He identified himself as Sergeant George Washington Bolling, US Army, he was one of Fertig's fighters and he wanted Roddenberry to smuggle in a bottle of Quinine to the medics in the camp. He also wanted to know if Roddenberry would pass on information and smuggle items into the camp? Roddenberry didn't even think about it, he said yes. The first thing Fertig wanted was a complete list of the prisoners. Bolling would be back in one week.
Six hours later, Roddenberry and the rest of the POWs (who knew nothing of the drugs) were given a perfunctuary search by their guards. The drugs, hidden in the wood, were missed. Roddenberry took the firewood over to the “hospital” and handed over the drugs to a very surprised medical staff. He told the Chief Medical Officer that he had “found” them (He was not going to say anything about the Sergeant until he talked to the Senior Officer.). He found Colonel Hogan outside of his barracks talking to a few other prisoners. He and Colonel Hogan, a POW since before the fall of Bataan, went for a walk while telling him of his encounter with Sergeant Bolling. Colonel Hogan told him not to tell anyone else, he would get the names to Roddenberry. In the meantime he was to carry on as usual.
OPERATION FALL HARVEST
THE RUSSIAN NOVEMBER 1941
By December 1st it was obvious that the Russian offensive had failed. Among the many supplies captured by German soldiers were hundreds of thousands of cold weather uniforms which the Germans put to good use. In addition, morale of the Russians was low because of all their previous defeats and constant attacks by Communist rebels.
The German forces in the north not only stopped the Russian attacks but pushed them back 20 km taking over 20,000 prisoners. The Russian forces in the south made no headway against the German and Axis forces, although they did make minor temporary gains against the Romanian forces. Over 100,000 Russians were killed or captured.
The Moscow Front made some gains against the Bulgarian 1st Army, their attacks were made easier when Spentnatsz took out the Bulgarian 1st Army Headquarters. For six hours, until General Heinrici, Commanding General German I Corps was able to assume command, the Russians deveastated the Bulgarian II Corps, almost destroying the 2nd and 6th Bulgarian Infantry Divisions. That was the only major success that the Russians had during the battle. The 30th Tank Army was destroyed when it took on and failed to destroy the 3rd Panzer Army. Surprising to most German Army officers and men the II SS Corps not only stood their ground, but forced the 49th Army to retreat in disorder (of course the combined fire of three 21 inch siege mortars helped).
The Russians suffered a maor blow when the Germans launched a gas attack on the headquarters of the 2nd Russian Army in Moscow while General Konev was visiting. General Konev and most of the command staff of the 2nd Army. The Moscow Front lost 40% of its men and 60% of their equipment before Zhukov ordered a retreat. The Russians lost many men to desertion and defections to the Germans. The forces inside Moscow were on their own.
Lots of action on tbevvarious fronts. Some good for Allies and some not. Thanks for the update and I look forward to more.