16 November 1942

16 November 1942

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16 November 1942

War at Sea

German submarine U-173 sunk with all hands off Casablanca

Papua New Guinea

US and Australian troops link up on the Buna-Gona front

North Africa

British paratroopers are dropped in Tunisia


Darlan is stripped of all his posts in Vichy by Petain. He is also disowned by de Gaulle.

Rommel's letter to his wife from November 16, 1942

I'm looking for the original German version of Erwin Rommel's letter to his wife Lucie Rommel from November 16, 1942. You can find the English translation on page 354 of "The Rommel Papers". The English translation starts like this:

Dearest Lu, Another good step back. To cap it all it's now raining, which makes it all the more difficult to move. Shortage of petrol! It's enough to make one weep. Let's hope the British are having equally bad weather.

I want to find these two sentences in Rommel's original words: "Shortage of petrol! It's enough to make one weep." Google translate comes up with:

Mangel an Benzin! Es ist genug, um einen zum Weinen bringen.

My German is OK, and the above seems like a pretty good translation to me, but does anyone have the original?

I am giving a public lecture on Monday about the worldwide primary energy supply. I'm using the quote as evidence of the importance of oil in war. The book was first published in 1953 the editor and translator worked directly with Rommel's son Manfred, who had collected and organized the papers. So there were no archives consulted, per se. From what I've seen there's no note in the book indicating what was done with the originals after the book was written

French battleship Jean Bart at Casablanca, showing damage from 16-inch shells and 1000-pound bombs from U.S. Navy forces, 16 November 1942 [5345x4236]

Its was a Vichy France ship at the time. So nazi controlled. I think this was when allied troops landed in north africa.

A similar thing happened on 3 July 1940, when the British open fired and destroyed/damaged 8 French battleships and destroyers at Mers-el-Kébir as part of Operation Catapult in response to the fear that they would fall into German hands.

Prior to the attack, the British had sent an ultimatum to the French, which was refused as it contradicted the German-French armistice terms. Vichy France retaliated by conducting air raids on Gibraltar and the attack caused great tensions and animosities between the British and French (such as the forced expulsion of British/Gibraltan refugees from Casablanca).

To be fair to the French, they scuttled their fleet at Toulon when the Germans tried to capture it in November 1942 (in violation of the German-French armistice terms), keeping their promise that French ships would not be allowed to fall into German hands.

USS Lexington (CV 16)

USS LEXINGTON was the eighth ESSEX - class aircraft carrier. Initially named CABOT, the carrier was renamed LEXINGTON on June 16, 1942, to honor CV 2, making CV 16 the fifth ship in the Navy to bear the name. Redesignated as attack aircraft carrier CVA 16 on October 1, 1952, and antisubmarine warfare aircraft carrier CVS 16 on October 1, 1962, the LEXINGTON was chosen to replace the ANTIETAM (CVS 36) as aviation training aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Mexico in December 1962. In this new role the LEXINGTON was again redesignated training aircraft carrier CVT 16 on January 1, 1969, and auxiliary aircraft landing training ship AVT 16 on July 1, 1978. On November 8, 1991, the USS LEXINGTON was decommissioned after more than 48 years of service. The carrier was donated as a museum on June 15, 1992, and is now located in Corpus Christi, TX.

General Characteristics: Awarded: 1940
Keel laid: July 15, 1941
Launched: September 26, 1942
Commissioned: February 17, 1943
Decommissioned: April 23, 1947
Recommissioned: August 15, 1955
Decommissioned: November 8, 1991
Builder: Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.
Propulsion system: 8 boilers
Propellers: four
Aircraft elevators: three
Arresting gear cables: four
Catapults: two
Length: 910 feet (277.4 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 191.9 feet (58.5 meters)
Beam: 101 feet (30.8 meters)
Draft: 30.8 feet (9.4 meters)
Displacement: approx. 42,500 tons full load
Speed: 33 knots
Planes: 80-100 planes
Crew: approx. 3448 as AVT: 75 officers and 1365 enlisted
Armament: see down below

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS LEXINGTON. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


About the different armament:

  • 1945: 12 5-inch (12.7 cm) 38 caliber guns, 68 40mm guns, 30 20mm guns and 5 machine guns
  • 1956: 8 5-inch (12.7 cm) 38 caliber guns, ? 3-inch (7.6 cm) 50 caliber guns and Regulus I missiles
  • 1968: 4 5-inch (12.7 cm) 38 caliber guns
  • 1970: none

Accidents aboard USS LEXINGTON:

1959PacificUSS LEXINGTON and USS KAWISHIWI (AO 146) collide during an underway replenishment. Both ships suffer light damage. The photos below are from LEXINGTON's Far Eastern Cruise Book 1959 and show the extend of damage aboard the carrier.

USS LEXINGTON was laid down as CABOT 15 July 1941 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., renamed LEXINGTON 16 June 1942, launched 23 September 1942 sponsored by Mrs. Theodore D. Robinson and commissioned 17 February 1943, Capt. Felix B. Stump in command.

After Caribbean shakedown and yard work at Boston, LEXINGTON sailed for Pacific action via the Panama Canal, arriving Pearl Harbor 9 August 1943. She raided Tarawa in late September and Wake in October, then returned Pearl Harbor to prepare for the Gilbert Islands operation. From 19 to 24 November she made searches and flew sorties in the Marshalls, covering the landings in the Gilberts. Her aviators downed 29 enemy aircraft on 23 and 24 November.

LEXINGTON sailed to raid Kwajalein 4 December 1943. Her morning strike destroyed a cargo ship, damaged two cruisers, and accounted for 30 enemy aircraft. Her gunners splashed two of the enemy torpedo planes that attacked at midday, and opened fire again at 1920 that night when a mayor air attack began. At 2322 parachute flares silhouetted the carrier, and 10 minutes later she was hit by a torpedo to starboard, knocking out her steering gear. Settling five feet by the stern, the carrier began circling to port amidst dense clouds of smoke pouring from ruptured tanks aft. An emergency hand-operated steering unit was quickly devised, and LEXINGTON made Pearl Harbor for emergency repairs, arriving 9 December. She reached Bremerton, Wash., 22 December for full repairs completed 20 February 1944.

LEXINGTON sailed via Alameda, Calif., and Pearl Harbor for Majuro, where Rear Adm. Marc Mitscher commanding TF 58 broke his flag in her 8 March. After a warm-up strike against Mille, TF 58 operated against the major centers of resistance in Japan's outer empire, supporting the Army landing at Hollandia 13 April, and hitting supposedly invulnerable Truk 28 April. Heavy counterattack left LEXINGTON untouched, her planes splashing 17 enemy fighters but, for the second time, Japanese propaganda announced her sunk.

A surprise fighter strike on Saipan 11 June virtually eliminated all air opposition over the island, then battered from the air for the next five days. On 16 June 1944, LEXINGTON fought off a fierce attack by Japanese torpedo planes based on Guam, once again to emerge unhurt, but sunk a third time by propaganda pronouncements. As Japanese opposition to the Mariannas operation provoked the Battle of the Philippine Sea 19 and 20 June, LEXINGTON played a mayor role in TF 58's great victory. With over 300 enemy aircraft destroyed the first day, and a carrier, a tanker, and a destroyer sunk the second day, American aviators virtually knocked Japanese naval aviation out of the war for with the planes went the trained and experienced pilots without whom Japan could not continue air warfare at sea.

Using Eniwetok as her base, LEXINGTON flew sorties over Guam and against the Palaus and Bonins into August. She arrived in the Carolinas 6 September for three days of strikes against Yap and Ulithi, then began attacks on Mindanao, the Visayas, the Manila area, and shipping along the west coast of Luzon, preparing for the coming assault on Leyte. Her task force then blasted Okinawa 10 October and Formosa two days later to destroy bases from which opposition to the Philippines campaign might be launched . She was again unscathed through the air battle fought after the Formosa assault.

Now covering the Leyte landings, LEXINGTON's planes scored importantly in the Battle for Leyte Gulf, the climactic American naval victory over Japan. While the carrier came under constant enemy attack in the engagement in which USS PRINCETON (CVL 23) was sunk, her planes joined in sinking Japan's superbattleship MUSASHI and scored hits on three cruisers 24 October 1944. Next day, with ESSEX (CV 9) aircraft, they sank carrier CHITOSE, and alone sank ZUIKAKO. Later in the day, they aided in sinking a third carrier, ZUIHO. As the retiring Japanese were pursued, her planes sank heavy cruiser NACHI with four torpedo hits 5 November off Luzon.

But in the same action, she was introduced to the kamikaze as a flaming Japanese plane crashed near her island, destroying most of the island structure and spraying fire in all directions. Within 20 minutes mayor blazes were under control, and she was able to continue normal flight actions, her guns knocking down a would-be kamikaze heading for the carrier USS TICONDEROGA (CV 14) as well. On 9 November LEXINGTON arrived at Ulithi to repair battle damage and learn that Tokyo once again claimed her destroyed.

Chosen flagship for TG 58.2 on 11 December, she struck at the airfields of Luzon and Formosa during the first 9 days of January 1945, encountering little enemy opposition. The task force then entered the China Sea to strike enemy shipping and air installations. Strikes were flown against Saipan, Camranh Bay in then Indochina, Hong Kong, the Pescadores, and Formosa. Task force planes sank four merchant ships and four escorts in one convoy and destroyed at least 12 in another, at Camranh Bay 12 January. Leaving the China Sea 20 January, LEXINGTON sailed north to strike Formosa again 21 January and Okinawa again 22 January.

After replenishing at Ulithi, TG 58.2 sailed 10 February to hit airfields near Tokyo 16 and 17 February to minimize opposition to the Iwo Jima landings 19 February. LEXINGTON flew close support for the assaulting troops 19 to 22 February, then sailed for further strikes against the Japanese home islands and the Nansei Shoto before heading for overhaul at Puget Sound.

LEXINGTON was combat bound again 22 May, sailing via Alameda and Pearl Harbor for San Pedro Bay, Leyte, where she joined Rear Adm. T. L. Sprague's task force for the final round of airstrikes which battered the Japanese home islands through July until 15 August, when the last strike was ordered to jettison its bombs and return to LEXINGTON on receiving word of Japanese surrender. During this period she had launched attacks on Honshu and Hokkaido airfields, and Yokosuka and Kure naval bases to destroy the remnants of the Japanese fleet. She had also flown bombing attacks on industrial targets in the Tokyo area. After hostilities ended, she continued to fly precautionary patrols over Japan, and dropped supplies to prisoner of war camps on Honshu. She supported the occupation of Japan until leaving Tokyo Bay 3 December 1945 with homeward bound veterans for transportation to San Francisco, where she arrived 16 December.

After west coast operations, LEXINGTON decommissioned at Bremerton, Wash., 23 April 1947 and entered the Reserve Fleet there. Designated attack carrier CVA 16 on 1 October 1952, she began conversion and modernization in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard 1 September 1953, receiving the new angled flight deck.

LEXINGTON recommissioned 15 August 1955, Capt. A. S. Heyward, Jr., in command. Assigned San Diego as her home port, she operated off California until May 1956 sailing then for a six-month deployment with the 7th Fleet. She based on Yokosuka for exercises, maneuvers, and search and rescue missions off the coast of China, and called at major Far Eastern ports until returning San Diego 20 December. She next trained Air Group 12, which deployed with her on the next 7th Fleet deployment. Arriving Yokosuka 1 June 1957, LEXINGTON embarked Rear Adm. H. D. Riley, Commander Carrier Division 1, and sailed as his flagship until returning San Diego 17 October.

Following overhaul at Bremerton, her refresher training was interrupted by the Lebanon crisis. On 14 July 1958, she was ordered to embark Air Group 21 at San Francisco and sail to reinforce the 7th Fleet off Taiwan, arriving on station 7 August. With another peacekeeping mission of the U.S. Navy successfully accomplished, she returned San Diego 19 December. Now the first carrier whose planes were armed with air-to-surface Bullpup guided missile, LEXINGTON left San Francisco 26 April 1959 for another tour of duty with the 7th Fleet. She was on standby alert during the Laotian crisis of late August and September, then exercised with British forces before sailing from Yokosuka 16 November for San Diego, arriving 2 December. Through early 1960 she overhauled at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

LEXINGTON's next Far Eastern tour began late in 1960 and was extended well into 1961 by renewed tension in Laos. Returning to west coast operations, she was ordered in January 1962 to prepare to relieve USS ANTIETAM (CVS 36) as aviation training carrier in the Gulf of Mexico, and she was redesignated CVS 16 on 1 October 1962. However, during the Cuban missile crisis, she resumed duty as an attack carrier, and it was not until 29 December 1963 that she relieved ANTIETAM at Pensacola.

LEXINGTON operated out of her home port, Pensacola, as well as Corpus Christi and New Orleans, qualifying student aviators and maintaining the high state of training of both active duty and reserve naval aviators. LEXINGTON marked her 200,000th arrested landing 17 October 1967, and was redesignated CVT 16 on 1 January 1969. She continued as a training carrier for the next 22 years until decommissioned 8 November 1991. On 15 June 1992, the ship was donated as a museum and now operates as such in Corpus Christi, Tex.

LEXINGTON received the Presidential Unit Citation and 11 battle stars for World War II service.

Click here to get a view of the deployments of USS LEXINGTON

USS LEXINGTON Patch Gallery:

USS LEXINGTON Image Gallery:

The photos below were taken by Matze Lange during a visit to the preserved USS LEXINGTON at Corpus Christi, Tx. All photos were taken on September 29, 2010.

A Gentle War 16 Nov - 30 Nov 1942

During his RAF posting at Predannack Airfield in Cornwall my father, Kenneth Crapp, kept a diary. The diary runs from October 27th 1942 — June 7th 1944 and the first 4 month extract is included below. It shows an unexpectedly tranquil aspect of war — quiet background work on a somewhat isolated airfield, where an interest in birds and nature was undoubtedly ‘a saving grace’.

Monday, November 16th
Cycling down to the Lizard, I remembered Auntie Lucy’s birthday, and went to the Post Office and sent her a telegram.

This afternoon the intercom trouble was investigated at the control end — two fuses were the cause of the trouble but still the buzzer would not work. I think that being designed to work on 24 volts — the 15 volts (which is all we’re getting) won’t work it.

The 8th Army are still pursuing Rommel — have seized the landing grounds at Martubo and air-strafed Axis troops at Benghazi and El Agheila. The first Army advancing into Tunis has clashed with Axis forces — mostly landed by air.

Noticeable songs of late have been those of the robin, song-thrush, wren, linnet, goldfinch, starling. Once I have seen a yellowhammer carrying off a piece of straw and once a house sparrow bearing away a white feather.

Tuesday, November 17th
My electrician visitor this morning told me that off Guadalcanal, the Americans have sunk a battleship, two heavy cruisers, three light cruisers and six destroyers — as well as 12 transports. Wonderful news, I hope it’s completely true — what a blow to the Japs! He also told me that, a few days ago, when our Typhoons were roaring over our heads, one of them bore down on a workman working on a 40 — 50 foot pole and bearing an electric cable. The plane passed between the wire and the ground and the man so terrified that they had to bring him down.

The farmer’s new clump of marigolds, just over our hedge, is an attraction for the birds, as it has a straw cover. Goldfinch, great tits, blue tits, yellow hammers, dunnocks have been here this morning.

At last I got the buzzer working — it just needed a little adjustment. Now there is not much wrong here, and the stand-by set is even wired up.

To Kynance this afternoon, with clear blue skies and a cold wind. There, under the lee of the cliffs, it was quite warm — but no black redstarts. However, up the path winding up the rocky valley due eastwards, I saw one, recognised it by its dainty dip and then by the red flash at the tip of its tail. I also saw two ravens, a couple of stonechats, and a little owl: and found the corpse of a brownish owl, either a short-eared owl or a tawny owl. I wrote a long letter to my headmaster and enjoyed it all.

Our mouse visitor, an engaging little field mouse, has been in and is quite unafraid. He has climbed up the wire to the heater and reached the table top. Tonight he’s had to scrounge tiny grains of sugar or cheesy bits from the floor. When I told Uncle C how we’d been having big breakfasts, he told me we were being fattened up for the slaughter.

Wednesday, November 18th
I enjoyed the clear cold of early morning as I rode into Helston, most typical of all Cornish towns.

Out on the Falmouth road, a flock of peewits passed over, and with them were several curlews. Last night, at dusk, I saw three birds flying over and thought immediately ‘lapwings’. This time, the flock brought the word ‘peewits’ straight into my head. I must use both words equally often for the same bird.

As I got out of the bus, Mrs Bray spoke and revealed her presence there with Mrs Allport. I spent most of the afternoon playing records over to myself, Auntie and her visitor, Mrs Patt. Some I put on especially for their benefit, such as ‘No, No, a Thousand Times No’ others out of curiosity, as the lovely Easter Hymn from Cavallieria Rusticana, but best of all, after tea, was ‘He shall feed his flock’ and ‘Che faro senza Euridice’.

I said I would buy them a record for Xmas a token, or one I could order. I consulted Uncle and he called Auntie ‘What about A Midsummer Night’s Dream?’ he said. ‘Where?’ she asked and at her unconscious joke Uncle was so overcome that he was at a loss for words. I bought a token.

Bacon, eggs and fried potatoes and apple tart (flavoured with blackberry jam) for dinner and a most tasty vegetable soup for supper.

On the way back, down in Bochyn woods, there was quite a chorus from the rooks and jackdaws. The mouse was scratching last night, and somehow had got the bench top.

Yesterday’s news of the US naval victory off the Solomons is good — Japs have lost a battleship, 3 heavy cruisers, 3 light cruisers, six destroyers — over 20,000 men lost — and it was an old time hulk to hulk scrap.

Thursday, November 19th
In Cyreneia, 8th army have clashed with Axis forces south of Benghazi.

Friday, November 20th
At bicycle inspection Mr Adams said something about a few bicycles being as good as new, and the rest not worth £2 the lot. I wondered which category he put mine.

I’m finding ‘A Cornish Childhood’ by A L Rowse of Tregnissey, a book that interests me very much because it reminds me in many ways of my own early days. He is an interesting man, rather conceited and vain and a snob, but an honest one, for he admits he is glad to have little more to do with the working classes: he is always referring to his acquaintance and friendship with notable men — as Bernard Walbe and Dr Frere and Q.

A party here tonight, Fred and Frank and Brian and I — supper and mutual leg-pulling and facetiousness, ending with loud recital of ‘Before the Roman came to Rye’ and ‘Soldier’s Dream’.

Saturday, November 21st
Brian stayed down here this morning it was really his day off. We had oxtail soup for breakfast and we soaked bread in it and made a good meal.

In the afternoon I took him to Poltesco where the gold leaves of the elms were carpeting the ground and where the brook rushed in its rocky bed with the increased vigour of autumn. From there we got to Carleon and rambled over the cliffs towards Cadgwith, keeping as much as possible to the cliff edge and clambering at length down a rocky point to sea-level, round to a little pebbled beach and so up to the steep slope before us. In one spot where we took shelter from a brief little shower, I found a few berries on the butcher’s room, and black fruit on the wild madder.

In the evening I finished ‘A Cornish Childhood’. I found it most interesting, though the man is a prig and a snob, I fear.

Benghazi is ours: it is inevitable that there should be a lull in the North African fighting, prior to the last phase of the offensive to clear the Axis out. Rommel’s army is still retreating, but some troops may find a delaying action at El Agheila. In Tunis the Germans arriving by air will have to be ejected. Significantly, our reports here are very vague, hardly anything is being told us.

Sunday, November 22nd
I stayed in bed late and had breakfast here. After a wash and a shave at the camp, I went to Poltesco again. Today I counted up to 33 bird species, amongst them heron and green woodpecker. At Caerleon Cove I found a black redstart, still actively seeking insect prey. There was a big bank of decaying seaweed there that had attracted crows, pipits, stonechats and the redstart.

I began to read ‘Wessex Wine’ and found it interesting to discover that A G Street had not begun to write until he was 37.

At the Music Circle, the chief work was Beethoven’s Concerto in D Major for violin: Kreisler was the violinist. Most certainly, I would like to hear this piece again. Very lovely, too, was Elgar’s Serenade for Strings.

At the camp gate, service police were checking up cycle lamps — the upper half of the glass and the lower half of the reflector have to be blacked out. I was passed.

Monday, November 23rd
Perhaps a trade board soon for LAC — perhaps — so I’m reading through my ‘Foundation of Wireless’.

Tuesday, November 24th
In George’s Café, with Uncle and Auntie, we conversed with a couple, he a painter and she, aged perhaps 45, but 32 she has told Uncle. Referred to me as ‘another of our gallant young men’, while Uncle made rude remarks about ‘being blessed with nephews’. The old man has painted the view of the harbour from the window where we sat.

Discovered in some of my own music books a charming piece Valse Arietta by Ambrosio and Prairie Rose by Schwarenka. Uncle ordered the Casse Noisette Suite played by the Philadelphia SO, under Stokowski. In the shop he puzzled the girl with his ‘Nutcracker’ Suite — ‘You’ll find it under C’ he said. When she found it, he said ‘I couldn’t say more, as I couldn’t pronounce it’.

Spent a happy afternoon sorting out his ‘white elephant’ records and discarding unwanted ones. Maurice Elwin has a pleasant voice, as I discovered from his record of ‘Josephine’ and ‘Just Once For All Time’.

Bacon and egg and fried potato for dinner and soup for supper, Heinz Tomato.

Auntie makes delicious flapjack of rolled oats, margarine and treacle and chocolate dainties made with 1oz of cornflakes and a melted 2oz box of plain chocolate.

Uncle found, to my surprise and amusement, a record amongst the discarded ones of the Lambeth Walk, presented to them by their friend Ruth. He was amused at my amusement.

A hilarious journey back in the bus, due to the drunken woman next to me, who was very garrulous and made out loud such remarks as ‘Th’old woman in the corner’s gone sleep’ and ‘Stop the bus, Daisy, I want to get out! I can’t wait! I’ll go in the bloody cornfield. Oh, stop the bus’ and who sang in a tuneless voice, ‘You push your backside in, you push your backside out’ to the tune of a modern dance ditty.

Everyone laughed, but it was a sorry state of affairs for that feeble young woman.

Wednesday, November 25th
The leave ban has been raised at last. I’ve got to come to some arrangement with another lad who wants the same time as I do, for reasons less good than my own.

I got hauled in to unload the new transmitter (HF/DF) that came this afternoon — driven down all the way from Middlesex by a WAAF.

The great Russian offensive, begun on November 19th, news of which is just coming through, seems to be making excellent progress. The German army attacking Stalingrad is in danger of encirclement and destruction. Thousands of prisoners have been taken and casualties are very heavy.

In North Africa, news of Allied progress is scanty. Such a lull is to be expected, before the offensive is resumed. Meanwhile enemy troops are being airborne to Tunisia.

Japs hold on to Brena in Papua, but are slowly being driven out.

Thursday, November 26th
Two years ago today, I was on my way to Blackpool to join up. How different was the war situation then!

Early morning trip to Gunwalloe to see the departure of the starlings. Quiet flock of oyster-catchers on the beach. Hawk beating over the starling roost. I was surprised at the apparent smallness of numbers. I heard the incessant chatter and I smelt the faint, unpleasant smell. About 8.40, a dark mass heaved away from the colony, rose and went off and thereafter, for about 15 minutes, they streamed away: it was thus obvious that they must roost in tiers, or hidden deep in the reedy stems.

I talked with the keeper on the links, who was full of weather lore and tales of the coast. He was Scottish.

At the back of Gunwalloe Head I saw a black redstart.

Several small flocks of curlews passed over: I wondered if the weird screaming from the rushes came from water-rails.

A short sentence heard from two women passing through Mullion Churchyard revealed to me that certain information which should have been secret was known to them, and so, most probably, to the village.

The Russian offensive succeeds admirably.

Friday, November 27th
At dawn German troops entered Toulon, no doubt in the hope of seizing the French fleet, but, led by the Strasbourg, they were all scuttled — so France has found her honour once more.

The leave position is getting clearer, I hope to get mine while Betty is at home from school. Yesterday, in addition to the parcel from home, I had a box of apples from Peggy.

Yesterday, too, I had a tiff with Mr Adams over the waste of note-paper in our diary. He wants six lines left every day — and I said it was a waste of paper. He also wants no criticisms from me.

Saturday, November 28th
Leave position gets worse. D, who wants the New Year and so clashes with me, now proposed to sandwich himself in between the return of H and my going, so knocking 2 days off my time with Betty. We shall never agree unless he will do some giving as well as taking and Mr A will get fed up soon.

Black redstart seen at Caerleon also green woodpecker, grey wagtail, ringed plover.

Fitting party came today to fit T1190: found that our fitters had put 12v on the filaments of the 6.3v valves.

Sunday, November 29th
The tea I made this morning for ourselves and the fitting party was the best I’ve made down here — due to the milk straight from a newly opened tin, and not much diluted.

Poltesco in the afternoon and Caerleon, with a glimpse of a green woodpecker packed in the Cliffside. I love Poltesco and its little cove of Caerleon.

I’ve seen swans, four of them, on the large pool at the north end of the ‘drome. I haven’t been able to identify them yet.

I wrote up the dawn trip to the starling roost, and my conversation with the Scottish groundsman on the links.

Monday, November 30th
War news is still good. A new Russian offensive has been in progress for some days in the neighbourhood of Rhezoh and has almost surrounded this vital town. The Stalingrad offensive has hemmed in the attacking Germany army.

In Tunisia, a ‘drome close to Tunis has been captured by our paratroopers. Mr Churchill, in his speech last night to the world, warned Italy of her peril, and spoke of the great struggle ahead ‘when the war in Europe is over’, he declared, ‘ we must help our American friends to crush the enemy in Asia’.

My first job back at the section meant a long tramp over the moors, bearing a test telephone set over my shoulder. As soon as I heard a tractor in the distance, I guessed I should find a broken cable in the gateway.

I saw the swans in flight this evening and they uttered a strange hoot, which drew my attention to them.

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Outcomes of Operation Gunnerside

D/F Hydro that operated between Rollag and Mæl as a railway ferry. Sunk by Norwegian resistance during World War II. Photo Credit: Anders Beer Wilse [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Operation Gunnerside successfully destroyed the Vemork heavy water production facility and supplies. The raid caused the Germans to lose about 500 kg of heavy water and decommissioned the plant for a few months. The mission’s success, however, was not a final blow to the Germans’ heavy water production. By May 1943, the heavy water production facilities were rebuilt and operating again.

Even though bombing the plant was initially ruled out, the United States decided to bomb the Vemork plant following the Germans’ reconstruction of the heavy water facilities. On November 16, 1943, 140 American bombers flew over Rjukan and bombed the Vemork plant. According to Thomas Gallagher’s Assault in Norway: Sabotaging the Nazi Nuclear Program, the heavy water production facilities experienced minimal damage from the bombing (p. 168). Figuring the attacks would only continue, the Germans decided to stop producing heavy water at Vemork after the bombing. Unfortunately, there twenty-two Norwegian civilian casualties in the bombing raid, the tragedy Tronstad had hoped to avoid (Powers, p. 212).

Germany’s attempt to move their heavy water supplies from Norway to Germany also ended in failure at the hands of Norwegian saboteurs. Led by Knut Haukelid, a group of Norwegian saboteurs was ordered to sink a ferry carrying the Germans’ semi-finished heavy water products to research centers in Germany. On February 20, 1944, the “Hydro” ferry was sunk by an explosion in the boat’s bow, and the Germans lost their last supplies of heavy water from the Vemork plant. There were four German and fourteen Norwegian casualties from the explosion.

Food, gasoline and other essential items are often precious commodities during wartime. Prices are determined by availability and governmental regulation. In World War I, our federal government established the U.S. Food Administration, headed by Herbert Hoover. During World War II the Office of Price Administration (1942-1945) set the prices of various consumer goods to stabilize the economy in the United States. War ration books were required to purchase some items.

Finding local historic prices is a great project, as long as you can be flexible with the items.

Burma, autumn 1942–summer 1943

On the Burmese front the Allies found they could do little to dislodge the Japanese from their occupation of that country, and what little the Allies did attempt proved abortive. Brigadier General Orde Wingate’s “ Chindits,” which were long-range penetration groups depending on supplies from the air, crossed the Chindwin River in February 1943 and were initially successful in severing Japanese communications on the railroad between Mandalay and Myitkyina. But the Chindits soon found themselves in unfavourable terrain and in grave danger of encirclement, and so they made their way back to India.

In May 1943, however, the Allies reorganized their system of command for Southeast Asia. Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten was appointed supreme commander of the South East Asia Command (SEAC), and Stilwell was appointed deputy to Mountbatten. Stilwell at the same time was chief of staff to Chiang Kai-shek. The British–Indian forces destined for Burma meanwhile constituted the 14th Army, under Lieutenant General William Slim, whose operational control Stilwell agreed to accept. Shortly afterward, Auchinleck succeeded Wavell as commander in chief in India.

Watch the video: ΕΑΜ-ΕΔΕΣ: Γοργοπόταμος 25η Νοεμβρίου 1942 μέρος 12 (December 2022).