31Dec/14

Oslo tragedy as RAF Mosquitos attack Gestapo HQ

Mosquito bombers during the successful attack on Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen on 31st October.

I was doing a left-hand turn to head back when I saw a valley to our right. I slid down into the valley and kept at a low level. We passed over the coast and I began the climb back to our operational altitude of 28,000 feet. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and no enemy aircraft were in the vicinity. I didn’t know until years later that the second phase did not drop their bombs. All they saw was smoke and dust at the target site.

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30Dec/14

The Pacific war continues – next landing Luzon

November 1944: U.S. landing ship tanks are seen from above as they pour military equipment onto the shores of Leyte island, to support invading forces in the Philippines.

The steady progress of US forces across the Pacific continued. The first landings on the Philippines, on the island of Leyte, had now been consolidated and the US Navy was preparing for the next landings, on Luzon. Th Japanese were now hopelessly outgunned by the overwhelming might of the U.S. arsenal.They could only resort to […]

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27Dec/14

101st Airborne morale high as Bastogne is ‘relieved’

Typical conditions for the troops travelling up to Bastogne to break through.

t didn’t occur to us, until it was all over, that the eyes of the world were on the 101st Airborne Division and the attached armour during the defence of Bastogne. The first thing we heard was that we’d been ‘rescued’ by the 4th Armoured Division. Now I, and everyone else in the 101st, resent the implication that we were rescued or that we needed to be rescued.

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25Dec/14

A frozen Christmas Day in the Battle of the Bulge

Sergeant John Opanowski of the 10th Armoured Division, emerges from a dug-out built under snow in the Bastogne area. The 10th Armoured Division and the 101st Airborne Division were pinned down in the Bastogne area by General von Manteuffel's crack Panzer Divisions - the 2nd and the 116th.

I sat there and he went back in to chew down some more turkey, and then he came back in and looked and kind of frowned — he got some more equipment, started testing and pretty soon he told the guys, “You get a stretcher for this guy.” They got one and I had to lay on there and they pinned a tag on my jacket: “Bronchitis, Pleurisy, and Pneumonia.”

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23Dec/14

Eisenhower closely guarded against Nazi infiltrators

Germans who were tried and convicted as spies during the Battle of the Bulge, are bound to stakes by MPs before their execution, December 23, 1944]

Some units might have with them in their vehicle a German officer in uniform and, if questioned, would tell a false story that they were taking an important German prisoner to higher headquarters in the rear. They carry capsules of acid to be thrown in the faces of MPs or others to facilitate escape. Skorzeny’s group may be in staff cars, civilian cars, command and reconnaissance cars, as well as jeeps.

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