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4 April 1943

4 April 1943

4 April 1943

April 1943

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War in the Air

Eighth Air Force Heavy Bomber Mission No. 49: 97 aircraft sent to attack industrial targets at Billancourt, Paris. Four aircraft lost.



Letter from Barry Erskine to my mother: 4 April 1943

Barrie was in the 8th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who were now on active service in the allied North African campaign in Tunisia aimed at expelling the Rommel’s German Army from Africa. From there he wrote this 11 page letter to my mother containing a wonderful description of rural Tunisia (then a French colony) 75 years ago

I was most happy to get your last letter. I love your letters above all from the others I get, you write just as you are, and so I can read and re-read them with more and more appreciation. Today I went for one of my rare baths and had with a complete change and, like the absent minded idiot I am, left your letter and one from Hunka Munka (the family nickname for his friend and brother-in-law Charles Higgins) in the pocket of my old battle-dress. It is now probably being churned round in some cleaning machine while I am left to mourn its loss.

Much has happened since I last wrote. As I think I told you Charles Cole my great friend of London days is missing and as if that was not enough six of my greatest friends here have all been wounded leaving me very much alone. I must thank my lucky stars for my own escape as last week when all this occurred I was away from the battalion acting as liaison officer with the French. My two particular friends were very lucky to come off so lightly. The battalion order group was getting its orders from the C.O.(I would inevitably have been there) when they were machine gunned by a Messerschmidt, which got them at the third attempt. Tommy was wounded in the side and James, whose haversack was ripped off him, got one through the arm.

I myself had one narrow shave on the same road when attacked by a Messerschmidt. I saw it coming, hopped off my motor-bike, ran up the bank and as luck would have it found a weapon pit and jumped in. Over he came with his guns rattling and dropped a bomb. It had a delayed fuse and went off with a bang just as I poked my head out of the hole. My left ear drum nearly burst and I could scarcely get out of my lair for the earth on top of me. I paced the distance from my shelter to the crater – it was ten yards.

The countryside is more perfect than ever. Today on my drive over to the baths the colours on the hillside made a most vivid impression on my European eyes. Bright emerald green fields thinning into unimaginable shades of brown and red against the soil which is in parts crimson. Stretches of pure orange where marigolds were thicker than clover, other fields clear yellow and some a more vivid magenta than any countess’s evening frock. Sharp sided wadis wriggled through the fields, changing into strong ravines as they reached the mountains. The mountains themselves were not to be outdone – some were crimson and on others outcrops of delicate pink glistened in the sun, but their shapes were best of all. Sculptured by the hammer and chisel of wind and rain wielded by the heavy hand of time they were pure fantasy. Here lions crouched, there a dragon or an army advanced in proud display along a skyline, trumpets blowing towards the battlements of an enchanted castle whose turrets, keep and loop-holed walls glowered down from inaccessible heights.

But I enthuse – to turn from nature to the hand of man.

Two days ago I visited a city of the dead – a Roman city in a remarkable state of preservation from where the high road ran straight to ancient Carthage.

I was lead round by an old and lecherous Arab who slunk along in a pair of British army socks and plimsolls over the massive stones of roman streets. Firstly the amphitheatre, where I imagine toga’d citizens sitting row on row on the granite seats while the players proclaimed from the stage below and I just thought how in 50 AD any good Roman who was tired with the play could gaze at the lovely Tunisian landscape as I had done. Thence on to a temple with its graceful Corinthian columns decorating the sky. Here I saw inscriptions carved in stone with a touch so fine and a spacing so precise as to make amateurs out our modern day carvings. Here and there a headless (?) added his vacancy to the roofless temple.The door was twenty feet high with door posts two foot square of one flawless stone on which was set the massive lintel. All weighing many tons each and brought from a quarry five miles away.

Then to the forum carpeted with green grass. On from house to house with their delicate mosaic floors, beautifully proportioned doorways the threshold still scraped by an ill-fitting door. The deep ingrained arcs an eternal witness to a clumsy Roman carpenter.

Then a twinkle came into my cicerone’s* eye. ‘This was a brothel’ said he indicating to me a phallic sign carved on a stone outside. A spacious court where fountains played and round it a pillared cloister off which gave little intimate rooms where the Romans might enjoy the pleasures of the house. And, sanitary people that they were, you might have a bath too.

Next came, from my Arab’s point of view, the piece de resistance – the public lavatory, which he called by its British Army name, having learnt it no doubt from the inevitable ejaculation of a hundred soldiers on seeing this monument to Roman sanitation.

There were twelve neat holes cut in a semi-circular stone plinth. Not unlike a type of garden seat on the terraces of English country houses. Just in case the physical application of the lavabo had not been fully grasped, my guide leapt neatly in a crouching position on one of the holes and began to make appropriate noises.

At last I paid him off in an olive grove littered with broken columns and moss covered stones. I sat down to muse over this strange city set on a hill and now fighting off the clustering Arab huts around it who had taken its stones but not its grandeur.

Suddenly I became aware of a distant chanting. Thinking it might be some religious ceremony, I went to have a look. It took a long time pottering through the ruins before I tracked the wailing down. At the corner of a courtyard I saw a door, piled in the threshold was a heap of tiny shoes with one big pair balanced on top. It was bright sunlight outside so it wasn’t till I was very near I could see inside – an Arab school. Seated on the floor of a small room were twenty to thirty little cross-legged Arab boys each with a little red cap on his head and each clasping a board in his hands on which was written a verse of the Koran, as far as I could see a different verse for each one. All were chanting their verses as loud as they could., In the centre sat the (?) an old and wizened Arab in the traditional white robe. He (?) on the wailing of his pupils by an occasional Ah! Ah! and when that failed or if one particular boy offended he would whack at him or his lesson board with a long stick which he held in his hand and with which he could reach to the farthermost corner of the room.

When I arrived the wailing fell like a run down gramophone and when I executed a few lumbering pas or basques in the doorway complete silence reigned and the pupils giggled impishly at one another. No amount of ah ahing could avert the (?) wail. The Imam had to resort to his flail, the blows fell thick and fast on pupil and board alike. Till like a (?) gathering strength the requisite din was attained.

I crept away leaving the teacher and his class as they had been for the last one thousand years.

All love to you and Jack if he is back.

* An old fashioned word for a guide.

Within three weeks of writing this splendid letter Barrie was killed in action.


HistoryLink.org

On April 5, 1943, the Kaiser shipyard in Vancouver, Clark County, launches the Alazon Bay (later renamed Casablanca), the first of some 50 escort carriers the yard produces in little over a year. All told, the Vancouver shipyard, opened in early 1942, turns out more than 140 ships and two drydocks during World War II.

When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, following the Pearl Harbor attack, industrialist Henry Kaiser, who had been involved in constructing the Bonneville and Grand Coulee Dams on the Columbia River, turned his attention to producing ships for the war. Kaiser operated seven shipyards on the West Coast. His son Edgar became general manager of the Vancouver yard and two across the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon, which all opened in early 1942.

The three shipyards rapidly boosted employment, and population, in the Vancouver-Portland area. In 1940, the largest payroll in Portland was 1,100 workers. By the end of 1942, when Edgar Kaiser was named Portland's first citizen of the year, employment at the three yards had reached 76,000. Employment peaked a year later, when 97,000 men and women worked at the three yards, 38,000 at the Vancouver facility. More than 10,000 workers in the Vancouver yard were women.

There were only around 18,000 people in Vancouver in 1941. In order to provide for the new shipyard workers recruited from across the country and their dependents, six housing projects, accommodating 45,000 people, were constructed in the area during the war.

The Kaiser shipyards, using prefabrication and special construction methods, were able to substantially reduce the time it took to produce ships. By the time the war ended, the Vancouver yard had constructed more than 140 ships for the United States Navy and Maritime Commission, including Liberty cargo ships, LSTs (tank landing crafts), AP-5 troop transports, C-4 transports, and C-4 cargo ships, along with 50 escort aircraft carriers.

One of the largest crowds in the history of Vancouver, estimated at 75,000, turned out on April 5, 1943, for the launch of the first escort carrier, which was christened by Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), as the Alazon Bay. It was later renamed the Casablanca. The Vancouver yard launched its last carrier, the Munda, on June 8, 1944. Of the 50 carriers produced at Vancouver, at least 15 were sunk or damaged in the Pacific during the war.

As employment in the shipyard tapered off with the war's end in 1945, many employees returned to their home states. Many others, however, remained to become permanent residents of Vancouver and Clark County.

USS Casablanca (CVE-55), March 2, 1945

Courtesy U.S. Navy (80-G-320296)

Sources:

Ted Van Arsdol, Vancouver on the Columbia (Northridge, CA: Windsor Publications, 1986), 82-86 Housing in War and Peace (Vancouver: Housing Authority of Vancouver, 1972), 3-7.


Weapons

The Hellcat carried six 0.5in Browning machine-guns, fitted into the outer sections of the folding wings. Each gun was supplied with 400 rounds of ammunition.

F6F Hellcat.

The Hellcat could also carry up to 2,000lb of bombs, which could be used against Japanese ships or in attacks on ground troops as the Allies launched their island-hopping campaign towards the Japanese mainland.

Grumman F6F-3 “Hellcat” fighters landing on USS Enterprise (CV-6) after strikes on the Japanese base at Truk, 17-18 February 1944. Flight deck crewmen are folding planes’ wings and guiding them forward to the parking area.


Inhaltsverzeichnis

1940 Bearbeiten

Die Stiftung des Eichenlaubs zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes erfolgte am 3. Juni 1940. Bis zum Jahresende 1940 erhielten sieben Wehrmacht-Offiziere das Eichenlaub:

1941 Bearbeiten

Im Jahr 1941, ein Jahr nach der Stiftung des Eichenlaubes, wurde diese Stufe 50-mal an Angehörige des Heeres, der Luftwaffe, der Kriegsmarine sowie der Waffen-SS verliehen.

1942 Bearbeiten

Im Jahr 1942, zwei Jahre nach der Stiftung des Eichenlaubes, wurde diese Stufe 111-mal an Angehörige des Heeres, der Luftwaffe, der Kriegsmarine sowie der Waffen-SS verliehen. Davon wurde eine am 29. April 1945 (Nr. 157) aberkannt. Das Eichenlaub wurde damit etwa doppelt so oft verliehen, wie im Jahr zuvor mit 50 Verleihungen. Ferner erfolgte die Verleihung auch an zwei ausländische Staatsangehörige, die jedoch nicht nummeriert wurden und daher auch nicht in diesem Jahrgang erwähnt werden.

1943 Bearbeiten

Im Jahr 1943, drei Jahre nach der Stiftung des Eichenlaubes, wurde diese Stufe 192-mal an Angehörige des Heeres, der Luftwaffe, der Kriegsmarine sowie der Waffen-SS verliehen. Sie wurde damit im Gegensatz zum Vorjahr (111 Verleihungen) 81-mal mehr verliehen. Ferner erfolgte die Verleihung auch an zwei ausländische Staatsangehörige, die jedoch nicht nummeriert wurden und daher auch nicht in diesem Jahrgang erwähnt werden.

1944 Bearbeiten

Im Jahr 1944, vier Jahre nach der Stiftung des Eichenlaubes, erhielten das Eichenlaub 328 Angehörige des Heeres, der Luftwaffe, der Kriegsmarine sowie der Waffen-SS. Ferner wurde es letztmals an vier ausländische Staatsangehörige verliehen, die jedoch nicht nummeriert wurden und daher auch nicht in diesem Jahrgang erwähnt werden.

1945 Bearbeiten

Im Jahr 1945, fünf Jahre nach der Stiftung des Eichenlaubes, wurde das Eichenlaub in den letzten Kriegsmonaten 168-mal an Angehörige des Heeres, der Luftwaffe, der Kriegsmarine sowie der Waffen-SS verliehen. Die letzte offizielle Verleihung erfolgte am 5. Mai 1945. Insgesamt ist somit das Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz von 1940 bis 1945 insgesamt 863-mal innerhalb der Verbände der Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS verliehen worden, wobei die fortlaufende Nummerierung bei 843 endete. Auffallend sind die sinkenden Verleihungszahlen für Angehörige der Luftwaffe, die im Jahr 1945 in Hitlers Ungnade gefallen war, sowie der enorme Zuwachs von Verleihungen an Heeresangehörige.

Ausländische Verleihungen Bearbeiten

Nicht rechtmäßig verliehene oder abgelehnte Verleihungen Bearbeiten

Insgesamt sind durch Geschichtsverfälschung der „Ordensgemeinschaft der Ritterkreuzträger“ (OdR) 39 Personen betroffen. Von denen sind 13 reale Eichenlaubträger (hier  gelb markiert) mit einer frei erfundenen Verleihungsnummer nachträglich versehen worden. 26 Personen (14 Heer, 2 Luftwaffe, 1 Kriegsmarine und 9 Waffen-SS) wurden als falsche Eichenlaubträger deklariert. Angebliche Verleihungen ab dem 9. Mai 1945 sind in dieser Liste nicht enthalten, da sie auf Grund der bedingungslosen Kapitulation vom 8. Mai 1945 zweifelsfrei unwirksam sind.


November 22nd, 1943 is a Monday. It is the 326th day of the year, and in the 47th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 4th quarter of the year. There are 30 days in this month. 1943 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 11/22/1943, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 22/11/1943.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.


April 8th, 1945 is a Sunday. It is the 98th day of the year, and in the 14th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 2nd quarter of the year. There are 30 days in this month. 1945 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 4/8/1945, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 8/4/1945.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.


November 18th, 1943 is a Thursday. It is the 322nd day of the year, and in the 46th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 4th quarter of the year. There are 30 days in this month. 1943 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 11/18/1943, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 18/11/1943.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.


May 9th, 1960 is a Monday. It is the 130th day of the year, and in the 19th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 2nd quarter of the year. There are 31 days in this month. 1960 is a leap year, so there are 366 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 5/9/1960, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 9/5/1960.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.


26 April 1943

The Easter Riots is the name given to a period of unrest in Uppsala, Sweden, during the Easter of 1943. The National Socialist group Swedish Socialist Unity held its national congress in Uppsala, amid the Second World War and only days after events like the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The unrest climaxed on 26 April, when the SSS – who after initially belonging to a Strasserist wing of National Socialism began adopting a more indigenous form of fascism in 1938, and included Ingvar Kamprad among its early members – ended the congress by holding a demonstration at the Royal Mounds of Old Uppsala.

Thousands of anti-fascists gathered to protest against the Nazi gathering at the Royal Mounds, a historical site that held much political symbolism among Swedish nationalists. Policemen had been called in from Stockholm to defend the demonstration, and after the situation became increasingly tense they resorted to violence, dispersing the peacefully protesting crowds and onlookers alike with heavy force.

In addition to writing a book about it, the historian and playwright Magnus Alkarp has depicted the riots in a play, 4 dagar i april. The play, produced by the Uppsala City Theatre and directed by Sara Cronberg, was put up in 2012.[4] Alkarp received death threats from the Swedish Resistance Movement, a militant neo-Nazi group, after the play’s premier.

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