GUADALCANAL--From Hill 11, 2d Bn of 132d Inf marches slowly S and W over precipitous terrain to SE slope of Hill 27, arriving too late in day to open assault as planned. RCT 27, 25th Div, arrives on island.
NEW GUINEA--Urbana Force attacks toward Buna Mission from SE and from the spit after heavy preparatory fire, but makes little progress. In evening Japanese are seen swimming from the Mission. Co B, 127th Inf, moves E toward Giropa Pt to assist Warren Force, which encircles enemy between Giropa Pt and Old Strip. On left, Aus 2/12th Bn, supported by 6 tanks, drives to coast at Giropa Pt and turns SE, clearing coastal strip to Simemi Creek; 1st Bn, U.S. 128th Inf, mops up bypassed pockets. On right, 3d Bn of 128th Inf and Aus 2/10th Bn make slow progress in 2-pronged attack to clear enemy entrenched in dispersal bays off NW end of Strip.
NW AFRICA--Gen Eisenhower places Gen Fredendall in command of U.S. II Corps, which is planning for Operation SATIN, capture of Sfax, Tunisia, to prevent junction of Axis armies. TF SATIN is to consist of 1st Armd Div and RCT 26 of 1st Inf Div. AFHQ takes responsibility for communications lines from Bône to Constantine, relieving Br First Army.
USSR--Encircled German Sixth Army on Stalingrad front, now compressed into area some 25 by 40 miles, remains under attack from all sides. Efforts to supply it by air meet with little success and are costly in aircraft. Soviet troops of Kalinin Front capture Velikie Luki, important rail center, which has been under attack for some time. Elista, S of Stalingrad in Kalmyk steppes, falls to other Red Army forces.
GUADALCANAL--Gen Harmon activates XIV Corps, consisting of Americal and 25th Divs, former reinf by 147th Inf. 2d Mar Div and other Marine ground forces are attached to corps. Gen Patch is placed in command of corps, and Gen Sebree succeeds him as commander of Americal Div. After heavy arty preparation, 132d Inf of Americal Div continues offensive against the Gifu strongpoint. 2d Bn, taking enemy by surprise, advances quickly to crest of Hill 27, S of the Gifu strongpoint, and digs in; holds firm under a number of counterattacks. 3d and 1st Bns establish lines along N and E sides of the Gifu, respectively, but gaps remain between the 3 assault bns.
NEW GUINEA--Urbana Force overruns Buna Mission in concerted assault. Organized resistance ends at 1632. Top Japanese commanders, Capt. Yasuda and Col Hiroshi Yamamoto, commit suicide. With Mission clear, Co C of 127th Inf joins Co B in attack along coast toward Giropa Pt, and by 1930 makes junction with Warren Force. Warren Force, in final attack, finishes clearing region from Giropa Pt eastward. Japanese move forward from Giruwa to rescue survivors of Buna garrison. Japanese have lost at least 1,400 men at Buna: 500 W of Giropa Pt and 900 E of it. Casualties of U.S. 32d Div and Aus 18th Brig total 2,817 (620 killed, 2,065 wounded, 132 missing). In preparation for stepping up action on Sanananda front, where stalemate has existed for some time, Gen Herring orders 25-pound arty from Buna to that area. 1st Bn and Hq, U.S. 163d Inf, take responsibility for Huggins and Kano blocks on trail to Sanananda, gradually relieving Australians, 2-4 January. Huggins is renamed Musket.
USSR--German Army Group A begins withdrawing 1st Pz Army northward toward Rostov to prevent it from becoming encircled.
GUADALCANAL--1st Bn, 132d Inf, exerts pressure against E part of the Gifu and establishes contact with 2d Bn to left.
NEW GUINEA--Urbana and Warren Forces mop up.
TUNISIA--Enemy tank-infantry force, with arty and air support, overruns Fr 19th Corps troops at Fondouk. Br First Army's 5 Corps, employing 36th Brig of 78th Div, begins limited attacks to improve positions on Djebel Azag and Djebel Ajred, W of Mateur. Br 6th Armd Div conducts rcn in force on Goubellat plain.
USSR--Exploiting German withdrawal in the Caucasus, Red Army occupies Mozdok and Malgobek.
N PACIFIC--Adm Nimitz replaces Adm Theobald with Adm Kinkaid as commander, TF 8.
Rear Adm Charles H. McMorris relieves Adm W. W. Smith as commander of strike group.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese are ordered to withdraw from Guadalcanal to New Georgia Is. Final echelon of 25th Div (RCT 161) arrives. 2d Mar Div hq and 6th Marines, reinf, also land, bringing 2d Mar Div nearly up to full strength. 132d Inf completes semicircle about E part of the Gifu between Hills 31 and 27 with patrol contact between 1st and 3d Bns; halts and prepares defenses while awaiting relief. In 22 days of fighting on Mt Austen, 132d Inf has killed 400-500 Japanese and suffered 383 casualties.
NEW GEORGIA--U.S. cruiser-DD force bombards Munda airfield night 4-5.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese overrun outpost near Tarakena, forcing patrol there to swim for Siwori Village. With Tarakena spit in their possession, Japanese are able to rescue some of the survivors of Buna garrison. Gen Herring confers with commanding officers on plan for reduction of enemy W of Girua R.
LIBYA--Severe 2-day storm begins, sharply decreasing capacity of Benghazi port and forcing Br Eighth Army to make greater use of the more distant port of Tobruk. Because of this, Gen Montgomery alters plan of attack, scheduled for 15th, on Buerat position, from which Italians are already withdrawing. 10 Corps, which was to have advanced, is to remain in place while all its vehicles are used to move supplies forward from Tobruk. Size of the assault force, drawn from 30 Corps, is reduced by one div.
GUADALCANAL--Staff section chiefs of XIV Corps assume their duties. Gen Patch, in letter of instructions to 25th Div CG, Maj Gen J. Lawton Collins, directs 25th Div to relieve 132d Inf, Americal Div, on Mt Austen and attack W some 3,000 yards. 2d Mar Div, holding coastal sector from Pt Cruz to Hill 66, is to maintain contact with N flank of 25th Div.
NEW GUINEA--Advance elements of Aus 18th Brig (2/9th Bn and brig hq) and 4 tanks of Aus 2/6th Armd Regt reach Soputa. Additional tanks and arty are kept E of the river for some time because of poor road conditions. As preliminary to allout offensive against Sanananda, 127th Inf starts NW along coast toward Tarakena.
NW AFRICA--U.S. Fifth Army is activated under Lt Gen Mark W. Clark, with hq at Oujda, Morocco. (The army was previously constituted, effective 1 December 1942, by War Department memorandum to CG ETO, dated 8 December 1942, which assigned to it I Armd and II Corps. GO 67 of Hq ETO, dated 12 December 1942, constituted the army in accordance with above War Department authority.) Gen Eisenhower activates Allied Air Force, containing both EAC and Twelfth Air Force, under command of Gen Spaatz, who retains command of Eighth Air Force as well.
TUNISIA--5 Corps, Br First Army, breaks off action on Djebel Azag and Djebel Ajred after hard fighting in heavy rain, withdrawing assault force (36th Brig, 78th Div) to original positions.
USSR--Soviet forces take Nalchik, in the Caucasus; column advancing along the Don overruns Tsimlyansk.
SWPA--Japanese convoy bound for Lae (New Guinea) from New Britain is detected and subsequently attacked by Allied planes as it proceeds toward its destination.
BURMA--Ind 14th Div, renewing offensive on Arakan front, finds Japanese firmly entrenched at Donbaik and Rathedaung. Although fighting continues at these points for many weeks, positions remain about the same.
GUADALCANAL--In preparation for offensive on 10th, 35th Inf of 25th Div leaves Lunga perimeter for Mt Austen. 147th Inf TF, under Capt Charles E. Beach, embarks at Kukum in 2 LCT's for Beaufort Bay to block trail leading N toward Kokumbona. About 50,000 Allied air, ground, and naval forces are now in Guadalcanal area.
NEW GUINEA--127th Inf continues toward Tarakena. Cos G and F, with fire support of Co E, reach positions about 500 yards from objective. Aus 18th Brig completes movement to Soputa. 2d Bn, U.S. 163d Inf, arrives on Sanananda front. Japanese convoy with reinforcements reaches Lae despite efforts of aircraft to turn it back.
IRAQ--Americans take exclusive jurisdiction over port of Khorramshahr, where first U.S. troops arrived in December 1942.
GUADALCANAL--Gen Collins issues FO 1 to 25th Div concerning coming offensive. 35th Inf moves secretly up Mt Austen toward line of departure.
NEW GUINEA--Cos A, C, and F of 127th Inf overrun Tarakena. 163d Inf begins offensive to clear road to Sanananda: 1st Bn attacks 2 enemy perimeters located between Musket and Kano, making limited progress. Allied planes continue to attack enemy convoy as it unloads some 4,000 reinforcements at Lae.
CHINA--In message to President Roosevelt, Chiang Kai-shek turns down proposal for offensive in spring of 1943.
MADAGASCAR--Gen Platt, CG Br East African Command, turns over responsibility for island, except for Diego Suarez area, to Gen P. Legentilhomme, High Commissioner for French possessions in Indian Ocean.
TUNISIA--CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, is detached from 5 Corps, Br First Army, and reverts to 1st Armd Div.
USSR--Gen Rokossovski, commanding Soviet forces of Don Front, sends ultimatum to Field Marshal Paulus calling for surrender of German 6th Army at Stalingrad. Soviet forces seize Zimovniki, on Stalingrad-Novorossisk rail line.
GUADALCANAL--XIV Corps completes preparations for attack on 10th. 25th Div, which is to lead off, moves forward to line of departure. 27th Inf, on div right (N), takes up positions for assault on hill mass called Galloping Horse, between NW and SW forks of the Matanikau. 35th Inf, on left, prepares to make main effort against Hills 43 and 44, called Sea Horse, lying between the Gifu and Galloping Horse, while exerting pressure against the Gifu. 3d Bn, followed by 1st, completes wide circling movement about S flank of the Gifu to line of departure for attack on the Sea Horse. 2d Bn and Cav Rcn Tr take up positions about eastern part of the Gifu, relieving 132d Inf of Americal Div. Americal Div (-) holds perimeter defense. Capt Beach's 147th Inf TF lands at Beaufort Bay and establishes beach defenses.
NEW GUINEA--Enemy fire prevents 127th Inf from establishing bridgehead across Konombi Creek in Tarakena area. Relief of elements of 126th Inf, now greatly depleted in strength, is completed on Sanananda front. While 1st Bn, 163d Inf, continues efforts to reduce the 2 enemy pockets between Musket and Kano, 2d Bn establishes position, called Rankin after Capt Pinkney R. Rankin, astride Killerton trail W of Musket, isolating enemy in track junction. Japanese convoy departs from Lae early in morning shadowed by Allied planes. As result of recent attacks on the convoy, 2 transports have been sunk and about 80 planes destroyed.
GUADALCANAL--25th Div, reinf, begins largest and final offensive to clear Guadalcanal, immediate objectives being Galloping Horse, Sea Horse, and the Gifu strongpoint. After ½-hour arty preparation--first divisional TOT concentration of the campaign--followed by aerial bombardment, 27th Inf drives S through 2d Mar Div against Galloping Horse and clears more than half of the objective. 1st Bn on W, attacks from Hill 66 to objective, N part of Hill 57, and establishes patrol contact with 3d Bn to E. From Hill 55, 3d Bn advances 1,600 yards toward Hill 53, but is halted by stubborn opposition on Hill 52, intermediate position. 35th Inf's 3d Bn begins envelopment of S flank of Sea Horse, omitting preparatory fire, and takes preliminary objective, a small hill a short distance S of the Sea Horse, against scattered opposition. Combat patrols of 2d Bn move against the Gifu after preparatory fire but are unable to make any headway.
NEW GUINEA--Cos A and C, 127th Inf, establish bridgehead across Konombi Creek in Tarakena area. Action is then suspended temporarily. 1st Bn, 163d Inf, finds 1 of the 2 enemy positions between Musket and Kano evacuated. Kano is renamed Fisk after 1st Lt Harold R. Fisk, 3d Bn, 163d Inf, reaches front.
LIBYA--Gen Montgomery briefs assault forces of Br Eighth Army on projected drive through Buerat line to Tripoli, which must be accomplished within 10 days, beginning on 15th, to avoid supply difficulties.
USSR--Since ultimatum of 8th has not brought about surrender of German 6th Army at Stalingrad, Soviet forces with strong arty and mortar support are attacking to destroy it. Field Marshal Paulus is holding out in order to cover withdrawal of endangered German spearheads from the Caucasus to Rostov.
GUADALCANAL--3d Bn of 27th Inf, 25th Div, continues attack on Galloping Horse but is again unable to take Hill 53. Stiff opposition coupled with insufficient drinking water make action on this front very difficult. 3d Bn, 35th Inf, completes circle about the Gifu with capture of Sea Horse, where it is forced to rely on air supply until boat line can be completed. 3d Bn of 182d Inf, Americal Div, attached to 35th Inf, closes gap between Galloping Horse and Sea Horse. 2d Bn, 35th Inf, continues to meet heavy fire from the Gifu as it probes the position with combat patrols. Capt Beach's 147th Inf force, less elements holding beachhead, starts march to Vurai, SW of Kokumbona, to block this escape route from Kokumbona.
NEW GUINEA--Small Aus Kanga Force begins 3-day raid on Mubo, during which considerable damage is inflicted on enemy.
TUNISIA--6th Armd Div of 5 Corps, Br First Army, improves positions in local attack N of Bou Arada.
USSR--As Germans continue withdrawal from the Caucasus, Soviet forces occupy Pyatigorsk, Georgievsk, and Mineralnye Vody.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Small U.S. Army force under command of Brig Gen Lloyd E. Jones lands on Amchitka without opposition.
GUADALCANAL--27th Inf, 25th Div, continues attack on Galloping Horse, replacing 3d Bn with 2d, and makes limited progress toward Hill 53. Co C, 35th Inf, starts W toward corps objective along ridge SW of Sea Horse but is soon halted by enemy fire. Efforts of 2d Bn to break through the Gifu are frustrated by strong resistance.
NEW GUINEA--After arty preparation, 2 bns of Aus 18th Brig, with tank support, attack enemy positions at trail junction; 163d Inf supports assault with feints from Musket and Rankin. Japanese AT fire soon disables tanks, but Australians continue battle, progressing slowly at great cost. Japanese begin withdrawing from the junction, night 12-13
USSR--Soviet forces of Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts launch limited offensive, supported by air and arty, to raise siege of Leningrad.
POA--Gen Harmon activates U.S. Thirteenth Air Force under Brig Gen Nathan F. Twining, with hq at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
GUADALCANAL--XIV Corps offensive broadens as 2d Mar Div begins coastal attack from line Pt Cruz-Hill 66, to right of 25th Div. 8th Marines, on right, attempts to advance W From Hills 80 and 81 but is halted by enemy fire. 2d Marines advances 800 yards W from Hill 66. 27th Inf, 25th Div, completes capture of Galloping Horse with reduction of Hill 53 by 2d Bn. Americans now hold 4,500-yard front extending S from Pt Cruz over Hill 66 to Hills 57 and 55. Co C, 35th Inf, is again halted by enemy fire from SW as it endeavors to push W. 2d Bn makes negligible progress against pillboxes of the Gifu strongpoint.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Eichelberger assumes duties of Commander, Advance New Guinea Force, and takes control of all Aus and U.S. troops. Gen Herring commands New Guinea Force.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--10-day Anglo-American conference opens at Anfa, near Casablanca, Morocco, to plan Allied strategy for 1943.
GUADALCANAL--In costal sector, 8th Marines of 2d Mar Div is still unable to advance because of fire from ravine W of Hills 80 and 81. 6th Marines replaces 2d Marines on div left flank. Co C of 35th Inf, 25th Div, continues vain efforts to advance W, but patrols discover route around enemy's right flank. Depleted 2d Bn, reinf by AT Co, continues fruitless efforts to reduce the Gifu strongpoint. Capt Beach's 74th Inf force reaches Vurai; moves forward to Tapananja, about 6 miles S of Sealark Channel, when patrols find Vurai area free of enemy; establishes outposts on upper Poha. Japanese land about 600 replacements near Cape Esperance to cover withdrawal of forces from Guadalcanal.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Vasey, Aus 7th Div CG, launches offensive to intercept enemy withdrawal from trail junction. While 163d Inf pushes S to block escape routes, Aus 18th Brig quickly clears enemy remnants from the junction and joins forces with 163d Inf on Sanananda and Killerton trails. Final mop up is left to Aus 2/7th Cav and 39th and 49th Bns.
LIBYA--30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, moves forward in preparation for assault on Buerat line and drive on Tripoli.
GUADALCANAL--2d Mar Div continues to make slow progress in coastal sector, despite use of tanks and a flame thrower. Co B of 35th Inf, reinf by platoon of Co D, takes over westward attack from Co C. After ½-hour arty concentration followed by MG and mortar fire, Co B outflanks enemy position barring advance and finds it to be a bivouac area held by a single platoon. Enemy positions in the Gifu remain practically intact despite further efforts of 2d Bn, 35th Inf, to reduce them. Surrender request is broadcast to Japanese in the Gifu.
NEW GUINEA--Preparations are made for allout offensive to clear Sanananda area. Lt Col Merle H. Howe, 3d Div G-3, takes command of Urbana Force, which is to renew drive W along coast. Aus 18th Brig moves N along Killerton trail, passing through Rankin, in preparation for drive to coast. 2d Bn of 163d Inf--the Rankin force--then follows Australians northward and takes over trail junction E of a coconut plantation about 1½ miles N of Rankin perimeter. On Soputa-Sanananda road, 1st Bn of 163d Inf envelops enemy pocket remaining between Musket and Fisk, elements infiltrating to attack from inside the perimeter.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army opens drive on Tripoli, moving forward in 3 columns--those on right and in center under personal command of Gen Montgomery; outflanking force on left under 30 Corps command. 7th Armd Div and NZ 2d Div,
the enveloping force, drive enemy back to Wadi Zem Zem. Coastal advance by 51st Div begins at 2230 and meets little opposition. 22d Armd Brig moves forward in center prepared to assist wherever needed.
GUADALCANAL--CG XIV Corps orders a second co-ordinated westward offensive in order to extend positions through Kokumbona to Poha R; forms Composite Army-Marine Div (CAM) (consisting of 6th Marines, 182d and 147th Inf Regts, and 2d Marine and Americal Div arty units) to drive W on 3,000-yard front in coastal sector while 25th Div attacks SW on corps S flank to envelop enemy's S flank. In 35th Inf sector, Co B, reinf, advances W to corps objective, some 1,500 yards W of the Sea Horse, without opposition, gaining positions on precipice overlooking SW fork of the Matanikau. 2d Bn commander decides to make double envelopment attack against the Gifu on 17th and sends elements from Hill 27 to Hill 42 to attack from NW as other forces drive N from Hill 27.
NEW GUINEA--After preparatory bombardment, assault against enemy in Sanananda area opens. On left, Aus 18th Brig drives quickly along Killerton trail to coast and clears broad coastal strip from Cape Killerton to outskirts of Sanananda Village. On Soputa-Sanananda road, 1st Bn of 163d Inf, having been relieved of task of clearing enemy pocket by 3d Bn, attacks N, bypassing strongpoint immediately ahead to gain position some 400 yards W of road. 3d Bn finishes clearing pocket between Musket and Fisk. From trail junction E of the coconut plantation, 2d Bn of 163d Inf hacks its way SE to Soputa-Sanananda road about 1,000 yards behind enemy's main line and makes contact with 1st Bn and Aus 18th Brig. Attacking toward Sanananda from E, 1st Bn of 127th Inf makes negligible progress along coastal road.
IRAQ--Declares war on Germany, Italy, and Japan.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army, having passed through enemy's main positions at Buerat, pushes energetically toward Tripoli, coastal force reaching Churgia and enveloping force crossing Wadi Zem Zem.
USSR--Soviet forces of Voronezh front, having opened offensive S of Voronezh several days earlier, are W of the Don at Rossosh, on Voronezh-Rostov RR, where Italian forces are routed. On Stalingrad front, progress is being made in reduction of trapped German 6th Army.
GERMANY--RAF bombers attack Berlin, night 16-17, using target-indicator bombs for first time. This is the first raid on Berlin since 7 November 1941.
GUADALCANAL--8th Marines, 2d Mar Div, upon clearing ravine W of Hills 80 and 81 and moving forward to positions abreast 6th Marines, withdraws from line to perimeter defense. Coastal attack, which has gained almost a mile beyond Pt Cruz since 13th, is to be continued by 182d Inf on left and 6th Marines on right. 182d Inf (less 3d Bn) moves into CAM Div line. After ineffective broadcast calling for Gifu garrison to surrender, 2d Bn of 35th Inf, 25th Div, pulls back while 2½-hour arty concentration is placed on the strongpoint, then returns to previous positions. Since darkness is approaching rapidly, ground attack is withheld. 27th Inf, 25th Div, which is to conduct holding action during corps' coming offensive while 161st Inf makes main effort, begins forward movement. Co C, with light MG section attached, takes up positions on ridge SW of Hill 66, called Snake.
NEW GUINEA--Advance elements of Aus 17th Brig are flown to Wan. Brig M. J. Moten, CG Aus 17th Brig, takes command of Kanga Force. Aus 18th Brig continues to clear coastal region between Wye Pt and Giruwa. Sanananda Village and Pt are overrun, but enemy retains positions W and S of Sanananda and in outskirts of Giruwa. On Soputa-Sanananda road, 163d Inf probes enemy defenses N of Fisk. 127th Inf, replacing 1st Bn with 2d, continues W along coastal road toward Giruwa, handicapped by extremely difficult and skillfully defended terrain. 3d Bn pushes S along Konombi Creek and encounters enemy outpost.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army pursues enemy W toward Tripoli, hampered by desert terrain as well as mines and demolitions. Coastal forces reach positions 10 miles from Misurata. S column reaches Beni Ulid.
ALGERIA--U.S. II Corps' TF SATIN moves forward in preparation for drive on Sfax, but the operation is canceled.
USSR--Red Army extends its hold on Voronezh-Rostov RR with capture of Millerovo.
GUADALCANAL--Americans gain continuous line from Hill 53 northward to coast at point some 1,500 yards W of Pt Cruz. CAM Div continues W on N flank of XIV Corps with 6th Marines on right and 182d Inf on left. In 25th Div sector, 2d Bn of 35th Inf throws tight cordon about the Gifu and begins attack on it from NW.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese, although facing certain defeat, continue to offer last-ditch resistance on Sanananda front. Australians are stubbornly opposed near Sanananda and Giruwa. 163d Inf works on formidable bunker positions astride Soputa-Sanananda
road N of Fisk. 127th Inf, with Cos G and F in the lead, continues W along coast against weakening resistance and gains 300 yards.
BURMA--Ind 47th Brig opens attack on Japanese positions at Donbaik but can make little headway. Ind 123d Brig remains near Rathedaung but is threatened from the E as Japanese in Kaladan Valley skirmish in Kyauktaw area with elements protecting flank.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army continues to pursue enemy toward Tripoli but loses contact because of terrain and obstacles. Gen Montgomery orders pursuit accelerated and continued day and night.
TUNISIA--Col Gen Jurgen von Arnim, new Axis commander in Tunisia, opens offensive to restore Tunis bridgehead line by recovering ground lost to French on 12-13 January and then seizing control of passes W of Kairouan.
On Br First Army front, 6th Armd Div of 5 Corps contains tank-infantry thrust down Bou Arada Valley at junction of Br and Fr sectors. Main enemy attack, in which the new Mark VI "Tiger" tank participates, forces Fr 19th Corps back on N flank and reaches road leading SW to Rebaa Oulad Yahia. U.S. 1st Armd Div (-) is placed under U.S. II Corps command.
USSR--Soviet forces of Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts have reopened land communications with Leningrad, isolated since fall of 1941, and hold corridor 10 miles wide to it in region S of Lake Ladoga. In the Caucasus, Red Army troops along the Manych take Divnoe while Soviet units along the Kuban overrun Cherkessk.
GUADALCANAL--182d Inf, on CAM Div left, has gained slightly more than 1,000 yards since entering line on 17th, but gap exists between it and 6th Marines. 147th Inf, upon relief at Koh Pt by Americal Rcn Sq, moves to Pt Cruz area. Japanese in the Gifu strongpoint are beginning to weaken under blows of 2d Bn of 35th Inf, 25th Div.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Yamagata withdraws from Sanananda front by launch after issuing orders for general withdrawal westward through Allied lines on 20th. Gen Oda and Col Kiyomi Yazawa are killed while trying to escape after nightfall. Australians reduce enemy position immediately S of Sanananda but are still held up along coast W of Sanananda and in outskirts of Giruwa. Japanese along Soputa-Sanananda road, now compressed into 3 pockets, withstand intensified efforts of 163d Inf to dislodge them. 127th Inf advances steadily westward along coast toward Giruwa.
BURMA--Ind 47th Brig continues attack on Donbaik but is unable to reduce enemy positions.
LIBYA--Continuing toward Tripoli, Br Eighth Army regains contact with enemy. Coastal force reaches Homs while column on left presses toward Tarhuna. 22d Armd Brig, in reserve at Zliten, prepares to drive through 51st Div--the coastal force.
TUNISIA--As German offensive continues to press Fr 19th Corps back toward Rebaa Oulad Yahia, Br First Army refuses its S flank to conform with Fr withdrawal. Br and U.S. reinforcements are sent forward, to come under Fr command upon arrival: 36th Brig Gp of Br 8th Div is given mission of interdicting road to Rebaa; CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, moves N from Sbeïtla to Maktar, night 19-20.
USSR--Soviet troops seize rail junction of Valuiki, NE of Kharkov, and Kamensk, N of Rostov on rail line to Voronezh.
CHILE--Severs relations with Germany, Italy, and Japan.
GUADALCANAL--3d Bn of 147th Inf (less Co I and plus Co C) begins moving into CAM Div line between 6th Marines and 182d Inf. Div attack halts to await completion of this move. Gen Collins issues orders to 25th Div for offensive on 22d. 161st Inf, upon assembling in S part of Galloping Horse, moves 2d Bn forward to Hill X, SW of Galloping Horse. 1st Bn of 27th Inf patrols toward Hill 87, meeting enemy fire upon approaching it. 2d Bn, 35th Inf, continues reduction of the Gifu.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 18th Brig continues to clear coastal region W of Sanananda, N part of Soputa-Sanananda road, and outskirts of Giruwa. 163d Inf battles the 3 pockets astride Soputa-Sanananda road. 127th Inf drives W along coast to within sight of Giruwa.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army presses more slowly westward toward Homs-Tarhuna area as enemy resistance stiffens.
TUNISIA--Enemy continues down Rebaa Valley to Rebaa Oulad Yahia; upon gaining entrance to Ousseltia Valley, which parallels Rebaa Valley, shifts main weight of attack there and reaches Ousseltia. Many Fr 19th Corps troops are isolated in mountains to E. Gen Alphonse Juin places CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, under command of Gen Louis-Marie Koeltz, CG Fr 19th Corps, who orders it to Ousseltia Valley. Gen Eisenhower, having decided against Operation SATIN by U.S. II Corps, issues directive prescribing that S flank remain on the defensive and that as much as possible of II Corps be held in mobile reserve.
USSR--Troops of Gen Yeremenko's South Front (previously called Stalingrad Front) capture Proletarskaya, on Stalingrad-Novorossisk RR; some
elements then force the Manych while others proceed toward mouth of the Donets.
GUADALCANAL--XIV Corps completes preparations for offensive on 22d. 2d Bn of 161st Inf, 25th Div, advances to Hill Y, SW of Hill X, where opposition is negligible. 3d Bn, 27th Inf, moves forward to Snake to follow 1st Bn--main assault force--turning over position on Hill 57 to 2d Bn. Action against the Gifu is continued by 2d Bn, 35th Inf.
NEW GUINEA--Aus and U.S. troops effect junctions along coast E of Sanananda and on Soputa-Sanananda road. 127th Inf column drives through Giruwa virtually unopposed to join Australians just W of the village. In afternoon AUS 2/9th and 2/10th Bns launch 3-pronged attack on enemy positions along coast W of Sanananda and clear all except small pocket. Aus 2/12th Bn, clearing southward along Soputa-Sanananda road from Sanananda Village, makes contact with 2d Bn of 163d Inf. 163d reduces 2 of the 3 pockets on Soputa-Sanananda road and in the course of the day kills more than 500 Japanese.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army continues to press W toward Tripoli, 51st Div overcoming resistance in Corradini area. Learning that enemy has strengthened Tarhuna at expense of Homs front, Gen Montgomery decides to make main effort along coast.
TUNISIA--Gen Eisenhower gives Gen K. A. N. Anderson, CG Br First Army, responsibility for coordinating operations of Br, Fr, and U.S. forces. Maj Gen Laurence S. Kuter, USAAF, is assigned to Gen K. A. N. Anderson's hq as executive air commander with mission of co-ordinating air action. CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, with strong arty and air support, begins attack in late afternoon to drive enemy back in Ousseltia Valley and makes considerable progress until halted by darkness.
USSR--Voroshilovsk, E of Armavir, falls to Red Army.
U.K.--CCS directive regarding bomber operations from U.K. relieves VIII Bomber Command to a large extent of necessity of supporting N African operations.
GUADALCANAL--XIV Corps opens final offensive toward the Poha R at 0630. Assault troops are supported by arty, air, and naval gunfire. CAM Div pushes W toward heights SE of Kokumbona (Hills 99 and 98) with elements of 3 regts in assault. 6th Marines, advancing along coast, is stopped by enemy fire from ravine W of Hill 94. 147th Inf in center and 182d on left are hampered more by terrain than by enemy. 147th Inf seizes Hill 95. 182d Inf makes contact with 27th Inf of 25th Div N of Hill 88. On corps S flank, 25th Div attacks toward Hill 87. 1st Bn, 27th Inf, with role of conducting holding action while 2d Bn, 161st Inf, envelops enemy's S flank, moves forward from Snake and quickly takes Hill 87, day's objective, from which enemy has withdrawn; continuing attack, also seizes Hills 88 and 89 by 1035. To exploit this advantage, div boundary is altered and 27th Inf is ordered to continue as rapidly as possible toward Kokumbona. By 1700, 27th Inf holds heights just E and S of Kokumbona (Hills 90 and 98). 2d Bn, 161st Inf, the enveloping force, advances slowly through jungle from Hill Y to Hill 87. 2d Bn, 35th Inf, assisted by a tank, forces 200-yard gap in N part of the Gifu strongpoint; repels final enemy counterattack, night 22-23.
NEW GUINEA--Papua Campaign ends in decisive defeat of Japanese. This is the first victory of the war against Japanese on land. Organized resistance on Sanananda front collapses as Aus 18th Brig eliminates last small pocket on coast W of Sanananda and 163d Inf finishes clearing Soputa-Sanananda road. Cost to each side has been heavy. Of the estimated force of 16,000 committed by enemy in Papua, about 7,000 are buried by Allied forces; prisoners, for the large part Korean and Chinese, total some 350. Aus troops sustain approximately 5,700 casualties and U.S. forces 2,788. Battle-weary 126th Inf is withdrawn from zone of combat.
LIBYA--Passing through 51st Div of Br Eighth Army, 22d Armd Brig continues coastal drive on Tripoli, reaching positions beyond Castelverde, while S column advances to within 17 miles of Tripoli.
TUNISIA--Allied attack to clear Ousseltia Valley is halted by strong opposition.
USSR--Soviet forces of Voronezh Front open assault on Voronezh. Troops of South Front overrun Salsk, on Stalingrad-Novorossisk rail line at its junction with line to Rostov. German 6th Army remains under attack at Stalingrad; Berlin admits Soviet penetration of positions from W.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--Casablanca Conference to determine strategy for 1943 ends, conferees having agreed: to continue assault against Germany, upon completion of Tunisian campaign, with conquest of Sicily (HUSKY) in July or possibly June of 1943; to give high priority to a combined bomber offensive against the European continent from the U.K.; to advance toward the Philippines through Central and SW Pacific; to build up U.S.
air forces in CBI and mount ANAKIM in fall of 1943, diverting U.S. landing craft and naval forces from the Pacific to assist; and to terminate hostilities only upon "unconditional surrender" of enemy.
GUADALCANAL--XIV Corps makes substantial progress, overrunning Kokumbona and pocketing enemy remaining E of the Poha in ravine E of Hill 99, between CAM and 25th Divs. Continuing W in coastal sector, CAM Div reaches Hill 91 on S and to N takes Hill 92. In 25th Div zone, 27th Inf's 3d Bn drives N to coast, taking Hills 98 and 99; 1st Bn seizes Kokumbona in 2-pronged attack; 2d Bn, on S flank, pushes NW to Hill 100. 2d Bn, 35th Inf, meets only slight resistance as it finishes clearing the Gifu, ending all Japanese resistance on Mt Austen.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army columns drive into Tripoli from E and S and secure the port.
TUNISIA--Fr 19th Corps, helped by Br and U.S. units, stabilizes positions on general line Bou Arada-Djebel Bargou-Djebel Bou Dabouss. Enemy breaks off attack and consolidates newly won positions. Elements of U.S. 1st Div join CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, and are temporarily attached to CCB in preparation for attack on 24th to recover Kairouan Pass. Isolated Fr forces in hills E of Ousseltia Valley withdraw to positions S of Ousseltia covered by CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div. U.S. II Corps constitutes CCC, U.S. 1st Armd Div, and gives it task of raiding Sened Station.
USSR--Red Army troops penetrate into Voronezh and begin clearing the town. Armavir, on Baku-Rostov RR, falls to other Soviet forces.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Enemy begins series of minor air raids on Amchitka.
GUADALCANAL--Continuing W in coastal sector, CAM Div reaches Hills 98 and 99 and gains contact with 25th Div. 25th Div, upon being resupplied, begins drive toward the Poha. 2d Bn, 27th Inf, attacks W from Kokumbona at 1300 and reaches Hill 102 on right and 103 on left.
TUNISIA--Implementing order of 21st for Gen K. A. N. Anderson to co-ordinate efforts of the 3 Allied nations, U.S. II Corps is attached to Br First Army. Gen Juin agrees to place Fr 19th Corps under Br First Army upon approval by Gen Giraud. Gen K. A. N. Anderson subsequently directs U.S. II Corps to take command of all ground troops S of line Morsott-Thala-Sbiba (all exclusive)-Djebel Trozza-Fondouk-Sidi Amor el Kenani (all inclusive), and N of line from the salt marshes (chotts) to Gabés. Full-scale Allied assault northward in Ousseltia Valley is canceled. Germans order attack on Faïd Pass as soon as possible. CCC of U.S. 1st Armd Div, U.S. II Corps, moving forward from Gafsa, conducts successful raid on Sened Station and retires to Gafsa as planned.
GUADALCANAL--XIV Corps, in FO 2, directs CAM Div to pass through 25th Div at Poha R and pursue enemy, now in full retreat. 25th Div, continuing advance with 2d and 3d Bns of 27th Inf, upon relief of 3d by 6th Marines on Hills 98 and 99, reaches the Poha on right and secures Hills 105 and 106 on left. 161st Inf protects corps S flank.
NEW GUINEA--Maj Gen Horace H. Fuller, CG first Div, takes operational control of all Allied troops in Oro Bay-Gona area. Aus 7th Div and U.S. 32d Div troops are relieved gradually during January and flown to Port Moresby; from there they are moved to Australia by sea.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army, employing 7th Armd Div in pursuit of enemy to Tunisia, reaches Zavia.
TUNISIA--Gen K. A. N. Anderson, CG Br First Army, becomes responsible for all Allied forces in Tunisia as Gen Giraud agrees to place Fr 19th Corps under his command. Benito Mussolini designates Gen Giovanni Messe to succeed Field Marshal Rommel, commander of German-Italian Panzer Army, who is to be withdrawn because of protracted service and ill health, but the shift does not take place for some time. In Fr 19th Corps sector, CCB of U.S. 1st Armd Div and elements of U.S. 1st Inf Div, under command of Col Stark, CO RCT 26, begin clearing rear-guard resistance from Ousseltia Valley.
USSR--Red Army completes capture of Voronezh.
GUADALCANAL--25th Div, after 2d and 3d Bns of 27th Inf establish contact and are passed through at Poha R line by CAM Div, is withdrawn to guard airfields since there are indications of an enemy attempt to recover Lunga perimeter. 161st Inf, its mission unchanged, passes to control of XIV Corps. CAM Div, with 6th Marines and 182d Inf abreast, former on right, pushes forward from the Poha about 1,000 yards against light resistance.
TUNISIA--Fr 19th Corps attacks to regain Kairouan Pass in Ousseltia Valley.
USSR--Russians report substantial gains against German pocket at Stalingrad, where defenses have been penetrated.
GUADALCANAL--CAM Div, in 2,000-yard advance, reaches Nueha R.
BURMA--Royal Ind Navy launch sinks large Japanese launch loaded with Japanese troops in Mayu R.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army's 7th Armd Div continues to pursue enemy toward Tunisia and meets stiffening resistance near Zuara.
GERMANY--U.S. Eighth Air Force makes first air attack on Germany, bombing docks at Wilhelmshaven.
GUADALCANAL--CAM Div continues W from Nueha R, eliminating sniper nests.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese make their last attempt at an overland drive on Port Moresby, striking at Wau where Australians of Kanga Force offer lively delaying opposition until rest of Aus 17th Brig can be flown in during next few days.
CHINA--T. V. Soong, Gen Chen Cheng, and Gen Stilwell reach agreement upon program to train and equip 30-division Chinese force in Yunnan.
TUNISIA--Fr 19th Corps continues to clear Ousseltia Valley, gaining control of W exit and half the length of Kairouan Pass. CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, is detached from corps; during night 28-29, moves to Bou Chebka. RCT 26 (less one bn) of U.S. 1st Div, ordered to Sbeïtla, breaks off action with enemy in afternoon. U.S. units remaining with French in Ousseltia Valley are 2d Bn, 26th Inf; 1st and 3d Bns of 16th Inf; 7th FA Bn; battery of 33d FA Bn; TD co; and bn of engrs. U.S. 1st Div (-RCT's 16, 18, 26) begins move from Guelma (Algeria) into Fr 19th Corps sector.
USSR--Soviet forces seize Kasternoe, rail junction between Voronezh and Kursk.
GUADALCANAL--CG XIV Corps detaches 147th Inf from CAM Div. 147th, reinf by pack howitzers of 2d Bn, 10th Marines, and Battery A of 9th FA Bn, under command of Brig Gen Alphonse De Carre, is ordered to pass through 6th Marines and continue drive along coast to Cape Esperance. 182d Inf reverts to control of Americal Div.
TUNISIA--U.S. 1st Div (-) is placed under command of Fr 19th Corps to help defend Ousseltia Valley. CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, reverts to U.S. II Corps.
USSR--Kropotkin, on Baku-Rostov rail line, falls to Soviet forces.
GUADALCANAL--147th Inf takes up pursuit of enemy westward. 1st Bn, on beach, reaches Bonegi R mouth but pulls back under fire from W bank; 3d Bn, on left, is halted by enemy 1,000 yards E of the Bonegi.
NEW GUINEA--Aus Kanga Force, which is being reinf by air, decisively defeats Japanese at Wau and forces them to begin retreating.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army area, Germans attack Faïd Pass and overrun it, forcing French back to Sidi Bou Zid. U.S. II Corps sends CCA, 1st Armd Div, from Sbeïtla area to help defend Faïd, but the combat command arrives too late. CCC starts NE from Gafsa toward Sidi Bou Zid-Maknassy road. CCD, with 1st Bn of RCT 168, U.S. 34th Div, attached, moves toward Maknassy. RCT 168 is concentrating in Tébessa area.
USSR--Rail junction of Tikhoretsk, S of Rostov, falls to Red Army, cutting main line of retreat of German Army Group A from Novorossisk area. Other Soviet forces regain oil center of Maikop. German Army Group Don is no longer an effective fighting body, having become separated from Army Group A during northward withdrawal.
GERMANY--RAF Mosquitoes make daylight attack on Berlin during celebration of tenth anniversary of Hitler's assumption of power.
GUADALCANAL--147th Inf, with arty and naval gunfire support, attempts to cross the Bonegi. Stiff resistance at river mouth prevents 1st Bn from crossing, but 3d Bn crosses about 2,500 yards inland from Tassafaronga Pt. Small party from 147th Inf sails from Beaufort Bay to Lavoro to outpost Titi area in preparation for landing by 2d Bn of 132d Inf, reinf, Americal Div; 6 of the party go ashore and suggest by radio that landing be made at Nugu Pt. 2d Bn of 132d Inf sails from Kukum for Nugu Pt at 1800. 2d and 8th Marines, 2d Mar Div, sail from Guadalcanal for New Zealand.
NEW GUINEA--Australians place arty fire on enemy in Wau area with good effect.
LIBYA--7th Armd Div of Br Eighth Army finishes clearing Zuara, near Tunisian border.
TUNISIA--Fr 19th Corps troops, Br First Army, are being withdrawn for rest and rehabilitation. U.S. 1st Div takes control of Ousseltia Valley area. In Rebaa Valley, 36th Brig of Br 78th Div repels tank-infantry attacks near Sidi Said, N of Rebaa Oulad Yahia, destroying 5 tanks of which 2 are Tigers. In U.S. II Corps area, CCA of 1st Armd Div begins action to regain Faïd Pass, but attack fails; CCC, continuing toward Eastern Dorsal, is ordered to join CCD in effort against Maknassy; CCD moves from Gafsa with task of seizing Sened Station and then reducing enemy positions near
Maknassy, but is subjected to demoralizing air attack and cannot be formed for assault.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Brereton becomes commander of USAFIME, succeeding Gen Andrews, who is to command U.S. forces in ETO.
GUADALCANAL--Command of western pursuit passes from Gen De Carre to Gen Sebree. 1st Bn of 147th Inf, assisted by arty and naval gunfire, again attempts unsuccessfully to cross Bonegi R mouth but forces enemy rear guards from E bank. 2d Bn of 132d Inf, Americal Div, makes unopposed landing at Verahue, to rear of enemy in Cape Esperance area. During night 1-2, Japanese begin evacuation of forces by sea from Cape Esperance.
NEW GUINEA--Co G of 163d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, starts NW along coast toward Kumusi R mouth.
CBI--Generals Arnold and Somervell and Field Marshal Sir John Dill open conferences in New Delhi with Field Marshal Wavell and Gen Stilwell to prepare detailed plans for ANAKIM for submission to Chiang Kai-shek. During the conferences agreement is reached upon a series of operations, ultimate objective of which is to recapture Burma in order to attack Japan from China. Main effort would begin in November 1943,
BURMA--Ind 55th Brig, which has relieved Ind 47th Brig, attacks enemy's Donbaik positions but is no more successful than 47th had been: Of 6 supporting tanks, 2 are knocked out by AT fire and 2 others are abandoned.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army's U.S. II Corps area, CCA of 1st Armd Div continues attack toward Faïd Pass after very heavy arty preparation but makes little progress. Fr units and CCA then organize defense positions and remain in place to await reinforcements. Br First Army cancels projected attack on Maknassy because of enemy threat W of Kairouan. II Corps, protecting right flank of Allied forces, is to employ CCC and CCD of 1st Armd Div as mobile reserve near Sbeïtla, although CCD is to secure more favorable defense position 3-4 miles E of Sened Station first. Brig Gen Ray E. Porter is to command CCD temporarily, relieving Col Robert V. Maraist. CCD, reinf by 1st Bn of 168th Inf, 34th Div, attacks and captures Sened Station. CCC, almost through Maizila Pass, N of Maknassy, withdraws to Sbeïtla and thence to Hadjeb el Aïoun.
USSR--Red Army captures Svatovo, SE of Kharkov, cutting rail line from Kharkov to Donets basin.
GUADALCANAL--1st Bn, 147th Inf, succeeds in crossing Bonegi R at its mouth and makes contact with 3d Bn S of Tassafaronga Pt. 2d Bn of 132d Inf, Americal Div, begins advance northward along coast from Verahue, main body reaching Titi.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army's U.S. II Corps area, 1st Armd Div hq opens at Sbeïtla; CCD drives to ridge E of Sened, where it digs in and repels counterattack.
USSR--Final resistance of German 6th Army at Stalingrad ends, concluding epic struggle that has turned the tide against the Axis. Action in other sectors is unabated as Red Army endeavors to drive enemy as far W as possible before spring thaw sets in. Immediate objectives are key positions of Rostov, Kharkov, and Kursk.
GUADALCANAL--147th Inf establishes line extending S from Tassafaronga Pt and patrols to Umasani R. 2d Bn, 132d Inf, patrols northward toward Cape Esperance as far as Kamimbo Bay.
NEW GUINEA--After heavy arty preparation, Kanga Force counterattacks from Wau to drive enemy back to Mubo and makes steady progress.
BURMA--On Arakan front, Ind 123d Brig unsuccessfully attacks Rathedaung.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army's U.S. II Corps area, CCD of 1st Armd Div continues attack toward Maknassy until directed to withdraw; disengages and withdraws through Gafsa toward Bou Chebka, where it passes into corps reserve. CCB arrives at Maktar and is held in Br First Army reserve. 1st Armd Div (-) defends region from Fondouk Gap to Maizila Pass, CCC covering N sector from point N of Djebel Trozza to vicinity of Sidi Bou Zid and CCA covering area to S as far as Djebel Meloussi. First Rcn Bn is held in 1st Armd Div reserve at Sbeïtla.
USSR--Continuing toward Rostov, Soviet forces take rail junction of Kushchevkaya. Other Red Army troops seize Kupyansk rail junction, SE of Kharkov. Still others cut rail line between Kursk and Orel.
GUADALCANAL--147th Inf advances about 1,000 yards westward toward the Umasani against minor opposition. Concentration of 2d Bn, 132d Inf, with its arty, transport, and supplies at Titi is completed. Japanese withdraw additional forces by sea from Cape Esperance under cover of darkness.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese, harassed by aircraft, begin retreating in disorder from Wau area. Prolonged
period of intensive patrolling ensues as Kanga Force attempts to intercept and destroy enemy groups, remnants of which eventually reach Mubo.
TUNISIA--Br Eighth Army has completed the conquest of Tripolitania and crossed into Tunisia, where Rommel is hastily preparing for stand at Mareth Line. Enemy rear guards are imposing maximum delay as British approach Mareth.
ALGERIA--Hq, North African Theater of Operations (NATOUSA) is established as a separate command under Gen Eisenhower at Algiers. ETO boundary is altered to give Spain, Italy, and several Mediterranean islands to NATOUSA. Gen Andrews becomes head of ETOUSA.
USSR--Red Army spearheads continue to close in rapidly on Rostov, Kharkov, and Kursk. Soviet commandos land on Black Sea coast near Novorossisk and are being engaged by German Army Group A, which is almost isolated in Novorossisk-Krasnodar region.
GUADALCANAL--147th Inf activity is limited to patrolling. No organized enemy forces are found E of the Umasani. 2d Bn, 132d Inf, patrols northward from Titi.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army area, 2d Bn of RCT 16, Fr 19th Corps, joins U.S. 1st Div, to which it reverts from attachment to 36th Brig of Br 78th Div.
USSR--St Oskol, on rail line SE of Kursk, falls to Soviet troops, as does Izyum, on rail line SE of Kharkov.
GUADALCANAL--161st Inf, 25th Div, passes through 147th Inf to continue pursuit of enemy (3d Bn moving along beach and 2d Bn to S) and reaches Umasani R; patrols cross the river. 147th Inf, which moves to rear, is brought to full strength with arrival of 2d Bn from Fiji Is.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese planes make belated and unsuccessful attack on Wau airdrome. In air battles during day, 24 enemy planes are destroyed and many more damaged. No Allied planes are lost.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army area, U.S. 34th Div (-RCT 168) is attached to Fr 19th Corps.
USSR--On southern front, one Soviet spearhead is about 5 miles S of Rostov; another takes Yeisk, on Sea of Azov, completing isolation of German Army Group A in triangle Yeisk-Krasnodar-Novorossisk. Deepening salient in the Ukraine below Kharkov, Soviet forces take Lisichansk, on the Donets.
GUADALCANAL--161st Inf, 25th Div, crosses Umasani R and advances NW to Bunina Pt; patrols reach Tambalego R. Moving forward from Titi, 2d Bn of 132d Inf, Americal Div, arrives at Marovovo. Night 7-8, Japanese destroyers make final run down the Slot to Cape Esperance to evacuate troops.
CHINA--Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, in letter to President Roosevelt, presents enlarged version of the 3 demands and agrees to take part in Burma offensive.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army area, 1st Ranger Bn arrives at Gafsa by air and is attached to U.S. II Corps. RCT 168 (-1st Bn), 34th Div, is attached to 1st Armd Div.
USSR--Continuing toward Rostov, Soviet troops take Azov, on Sea of Azov. In the Ukraine, Kramatorsk, SE of Kharkov, falls to Red Army. Russians cut main highway between Kursk and Orel.
GUADALCANAL--161st Inf, 25th Div, overcomes light delaying opposition at the Tambalego and proceeds to Doma Cove. Pushing northward from Marovovo, 2d Bn of 132d Inf, Americal Div, reaches Kamimbo Bay.
AUSTRALIA--162d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, sails for New Guinea.
BURMA--Ind 77th Brig (called Chindits) under Brig Orde Charles Wingate begins guerrilla warfare program behind enemy lines: entering Burma through 4 Corps front, Chindits advance in 7 columns toward Mandalay-Myitkyina railway line.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army's U.S. II Corps area, enemy orders attack against Gafsa area with primary purpose of destroying allied forces. 1st Div's RCT 26 (-2d and 3d Bns) is released by CCA, 1st Armd Div, to corps and moves from Sidi Bou Zid to Fériana.
USSR--Soviet columns converge on Kursk and overrun this important enemy base.
GUADALCANAL--Organized resistance on Guadalcanal ceases at 1625 with junction of 1st Bn of 161st Inf, 25th Div, and 2d Bn of 132d Inf, Americal Div, at village of Tenaro. About 13,000 Japanese (12,000 from 17th Army and the rest naval personnel) have made good their escape to Buin and Rabaul.
TUNISIA--Kesselring, Rommel, and von Arnim modify attack plan because Americans are withdrawing from Gafsa; von Arnim is to attack Sidi
Bou Zid; Gafsa area is to be attacked later by 2 forces under Rommel's command.
USSR--Soviet troops capture Belgorod, rail junction on Kursk-Kharkov line.
NEW GUINEA--Co G of 163d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, reaches Kumusi R mouth and establishes defense perimeter.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army area, U.S. II Corps assigns 1st Armd Div responsibility for containing Axis forces at Faïd. In Br Eighth Army area, heavy rainfall delays operations against Ben Gardane, main outpost of enemy's Mareth positions.
USSR--N of Rostov, Soviet forces cut Novocherkassk-Rostov rail line. Red Army columns converging on Kharkov take Chuguev and Volchansk.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army area, RCT 135 of U.S. 34th Div, Fr 19th Corps, begins relief of French in Pichon-Maison des Eaux region. In Djebel Rihana area, 2d Bn of RCT 26 is relieved by 2d Bn of RCT 16 and becomes U.S. 1st Div reserve. Gen Fredendall, CG U.S. II Corps, issues directive on defense of Faïd position.
USSR--S of Kharkov, Germans are forced from RR junction of Lozovaya.
SWPA--GHQ issues draft "Plans for the Seizure and Occupation of the New Britain-New Guinea-New Ireland Area," coded ELKTON.
TUNISIA--Br First Army, which has been strengthened by arrival of 46th Div during first week of February, receives orders for reorganization. Shifts are scheduled to begin on 15th.
USSR--Soviet forces take Krasnodar rail center on the Kuban and are pressing W toward Novorossisk. German escape corridor from Rostov is narrowed as Red Army troops cut main RR extending NW from Rostov at Krasnoarmeisk. Shakhty, on Rostov-Voronezh line, also falls to Russians.
TUNISIA--CinC Allied Force visits U.S. II Corps area to review disposition of forces, since an enemy attack is imminent. Axis commanders meet to review attack plans.
USSR--Germans are containing Soviet attacks toward Novorossisk, last enemy stronghold remaining in NW Caucasus. Red Army gains complete control of Rostov-Voronezh rail line with capture of Novocherkassk and Likhaya.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army's U.S. II Corps area, enemy begins strong westward push at dawn with tanks and infantry supported by arty and dive bombers. CCA, 1st Armd Div, is forced to fall back toward Sbeïtla from positions E of Sidi Bou Zid. Elements of CCA and attached 168th Inf are isolated on Djebel Lessouda, NE of Sidi Bou Zid, and on Djebel Ksaira and Garet Hadid in region SE of Sidi Bou Zid. To assist CCA, which suffers heavy tank losses, CCC, reinf by 2d Bn of 1st Armd Regt of CCB, is released by corps for counterattack on Sidi Bou Zid on 15th. Because of loss of Sidi Bou Zid on N flank of corps, Fr and U.S. forces (U.S. being 3d Bn of RCT 26, 1st Div, and 1st Ranger Bn) withdraw from Gafsa to Fériana, night 14-15
USSR--Red Army occupies Rostov, key communication center through which Germans have been extricating their forces from the Caucasus. Voroshilovgrad, already bypassed by Soviet thrust toward Stalino, also falls. Germans reorganize forces. Army Group South (formerly Don) takes control of remnants of Army Groups Don and B. 2d Army transfers to Army Group Center. Army Group A retains Kuban bridgehead in Novorossisk area.
NW AFRICA--Gen Alexander, selected at Casablanca Conference to head all Allied forces in Tunisia, arrives at Algiers for conference at AFHQ.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army area, Gen K. A. N. Anderson, CG, orders forces holding high ground W of Faïd withdrawn and Kasserine Pass organized for defense. In U.S. II Corps area, Hq, SOS NATOUSA, is established under Brig Gen Thomas B. Larkin. 1st Armd Div's CCC counterattacks in Sidi Bou Zid area in effort to relieve encircled forces on hills, but is unable to accomplish its mission and falls back with heavy tank losses. Most of the U.S. force on Djebel Lessouda succeeds in escaping during night 15-16. While action at Sidi Bou Zid is in progress, Gen K. A. N. Anderson directs Gen Fredendall to withdraw all forces, after isolated troops have been extricated, to positions defending Sbeïtla, Kasserine, and Fériana. Axis forces, moving cautiously against Gafsa, discover that it has been evacuated. Fr 19th Corps is quietly and gradually moving right flank forces back to Shiba.
In Br Eighth Army area, improving weather conditions permit resumption of operations toward Mareth Line.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Japanese make their last nuisance raid on Amchitka as first Allied plane lands on new fighter strip there.
GUADALCANAL--In preparation for invasion of Russell Is.--Operation CLEANSLATE--first echelon of 43d Div assault force (RCT's 103 and 169) under 43d Div CG, Maj Gen John H. Hester, arrives at Guadalcanal.
SWPA--U.S. Sixth Army is established in SWPA under command of Lt Gen Walter Krueger. Army consists of I Corps (Gen Eichelberger), 2d Engr Special Brig, and 503d Para Inf Regt; 1st Mar Div is attached.
TUNISIA--Br First Army releases CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, to U.S. II Corps. RCT 18, U.S. 1st Div, is released by Br 5 Corps for movement to Shiba, where positions are being strengthened. In U.S. II Corps area, enemy, anticipating evacuation of Sbeïtla, which 1st Armd Div is too weak to hold as result of heavy losses at Sidi Bou Zid, begins drive on the town late in day; despite opposition of screening force, of 1st Armd Div between Sidi Bou Zid and Sbeïtla, arrives at outskirts of latter and is briskly engaged by CCA and CCB, CCB having arrived from Maktar, as withdrawal of Americans toward Western Dorsal begins. Because of unexpectedly sharp resistance, enemy breaks off attack for night. Isolated Americans on Djebel Ksaira and Garet Hadid, under attack throughout day, make unsuccessful attempt to withdraw, night 16-17, and are virtually wiped out. From Gafsa, Germans advance 25 miles NW toward Fériana and SW through Metlaoui to Tozeur.
In Br Eighth Army area, 7th Armd Div drives into Ben Gardane, Mareth Line outpost.
USSR--Soviet troops occupy Kharkov as Axis forces withdraw toward Poltava.
SOLOMON IS.--Small party of U.S. officers sails from Guadalcanal to Russell Is. to reconnoiter in preparation for invasion; goes ashore on Banika I. after dark.
CHINA--It is announced that Gen Chen will be CG Chinese Expeditionary Force.
BURMA--Ind 55th Brig again attempts to reduce enemy position at Donbaik, on Arakan front, but is unsuccessful.
MEDITERRANEAN--Mediterranean Air Command is constituted and activated by AFHQ under Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur W. Tedder, with unified control over all Allied air forces based in Middle East, NW Africa, and Malta. Air Vice Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham assumes command of Allied Air Support Command (AASC). Pursuant to decision reached by CCS on 20 January, AFHQ issues directives to Gen Alexander, naming him Deputy CinC of Allied Forces in French North Africa and Commander of the Group of Armies (18 Army Group, combining numbers of Br First and Eighth Armies) operating in Tunisia, effective 20 February.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army area, Fr 19th Corps withdraws W to conform with withdrawal of U.S. II Corps. RCT 18, U.S. 1st Div, is attached to Br 6th Armd Div at Sbiba. U.S. II Corps falls back to Western Dorsal and stations troops to defend passes at Sbiba (Fr 19th Corps sector), Kasserine, Dernaïa, and El Ma el Abiod. Defensive positions are being organized. CCB covers withdrawal of 1st Armd Div from Sbeïtla. Germans enter Fériana and overcome rear-guard opposition; take Thélepte air base. 3d Bn of RCT 39, 9th Div, which has moved forward from Souk Ahras (Algeria) comes under corps command.
Br Eighth Army, with 51st Div and 7th Armd Div in assault, captures Médenine and its airfields.
USSR--Red Army takes Slavyansk, rail junction N of Kramatorsk.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Adm McMorris' strike force bombards Attu, but weather conditions prevent observation of results. This is the first time naval gunfire is employed against Attu.
SOLOMON IS.--Rear echelon of Russell Is. assault force from 43d Div lands on Guadalcanal. Russell Is. rcn party returns to Guadalcanal, night 18-19, after learning that Japanese have withdrawn from the islands.
INDIA--Gen Wheeler, charged with Ledo Road construction in late December, is given responsibility for defending the road.
BURMA--Ind 77th Brig (Chindits) crosses the Chindwin unopposed; subsequently reaches and cuts Mandalay-Myitkyina railway line without interference.
MEDITERRANEAN--Mediterranean Air Command (U.S. Ninth and Twelfth Air Forces; RAF EAC, ME, Malta, Gibraltar) begins functioning. Under Mediterranean Air Command, Northwest African Air Forces (NAAF), consisting of EAC and Twelfth Air Force, is activated under command of Gen Spaatz.
TUNISIA--In Br First Army area, U.S. II Corps continues organization of defenses at passes through
Western Dorsal as enemy action subsides to rcn. Enemy stages demonstration at E exit of Kasserine Pass in evening, alerting provisional U.S. defense force (19th Combat Engr Regt and elements of 26th Inf, 1st Div). Reinforcements are moved to the pass, among them 1st Bn of 39th Inf, 9th Div. During night 18-19, Co of 26th Inf takes responsibility for defense of the pass, relieving Co 19th Engrs. As a precautionary measure, 26th Armd Brig, Br 6th Armd Div, is sent to Thala, coming under corps control.
Br Eighth Army, continuing toward Mareth Line, takes Foum Tatahouine.
USSR--II Corps of German 16th Army begins withdrawal on northern front.
SWPA--Naval elements of SWPA force are redesignated U.S. Seventh Fleet.
TUNISIA--Gen Alexander, upon visiting the front, finds situation so serious he takes command of 18 Army Group at once, a day ahead of schedule. 18 Army Group comprises Br First and Eighth Armies, Fr 19th Corps, and U. S. II Corps. Br First Army retains command of the Fr and U.S. corps. Upon taking command, Gen Alexander orders Br, U.S., and Fr forces organized under separate commands and their respective commanders at once; the front held by static troops while armored and mobile forces are withdrawn as reserve striking force; plans made to regain the initiative.
In Br First Army area, Fr 19th Corps contains German tank-infantry attack on Sbiba Pass, where strong defense force (U.S. 34th Div (-), RCT 18 of U.S. 1st Div, elements of Br 6th Armd Div, and Fr units) is stationed. In U.S. II Corps area, enemy opens attack on Kasserine Pass with tanks and infantry, supported by arty, and succeeds in gaining positions within it but cannot drive defenders out. Some reinforcements are sent forward to bolster Allied positions. CCB, 1st Armd Div, is alerted for possible commitment.
USSR--Red Army reports progress S and SW of Kharkov and announces that Kharkov-Kursk RR and highway are cleared of enemy.
SOLOMON IS.--U.S. naval force under Adm Turner leaves Guadalcanal for Russell Is. with initial assault echelon of 43d Div.
TUNISIA--Axis forces are being reorganized. Gen Messe assumes command of Italian First Army; Rommel's German-Italian Panzer Army ceases to exist. Rommel remains in Tunisia, however, a few weeks longer.
18 Army Group: In Br First Army area, Fr 19th Corps repels another enemy attack against Sbiba, after which enemy in the area shifts from the offensive to aggressive defensive. U.S. 1st Div (-) moves to Bou Chebka and reverts to U.S. II Corps. In U.S. II Corps area, enemy breaks through Kasserine Pass and thrusts N toward Thala and W toward Tébessa. Br force of all arms, based on 26th Armd Brig of 6th Armd Div, under Brig C. G. G. Nicholson, is given responsibility, under II Corps control, for co-ordinating operations to check enemy and restore positions. Nicholson's force is to operate NE of Hatab R before Thala. CCB, 1st Armd Div, under command of Nicholson, and other troops operating S of the Hatab are to defend passes in Djebel el Hamra before Tébessa. Preparations are made for counterattack on 21st.
USSR--In region S and SW of Kharkov, Soviet forces take Pavlograd and Krasnograd.
SOLOMON IS.--U.S. 43d Div invasion force lands on 3 beaches in Russell Is., 2 of them on Banika I. and the other on Pavuvu I, without opposition. Initial landing force consists of 43d Div hq, BLT's 1 and 2 and of RCT 103, 43d Cav Rcn Tr, 3d Mar Raider Bn, 11th Mar Defense Bn detachment, and 43d Signal Co. LCT's bring rest of 43d Div, less RCT 172, from Guadalcanal to Russell Is. by end of February, at which time 9,000 men are ashore.
BURMA--During night 21-22, coastal craft of Royal Ind Navy land party at Nyebon, SE of Akyab; party successfully raids enemy positions and withdraws.
N AFRICA--Gen Spaatz takes control of Western Desert Air Force (WDAF).
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Gen Alexander orders Gen Montgomery to apply pressure against enemy's S flank as diversion for Br First Army. In Br Eighth Army area, Gen Montgomery, who is now planning for assault on Mareth Line, is not yet ready for large-scale operations but decides to risk sending small forces forward along coast and to move Fr force under Gen Leclerc (called L Force), which has recently joined Br Eighth Army and driven from Nalut to Ksar Rhilane, northward from Ksar Rhilane.
In Br First Army area, Fr 19th Corps halts probing thrust toward Sbiba with assistance of newly arrived Churchill tanks. In U.S. II Corps area, strong enemy forces continue attack from Kasserine Pass toward Thala and are barely contained short of this objective after hard fighting. Nicholson's force defending Thala is augmented by 2 Hampshires and by 2 FA bns of U.S. 9th Div, latter
arriving from W Algeria after 4-day forced march. Limited enemy thrust toward Tébessa is contained by CCB of 1st Armd Div, reinf by elements of RCT 16, 1st Div.
USSR--Enemy opens counteroffensive toward Kharkov from Stalino.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's U.S. II Corps area, enemy continues offensive until afternoon, when Rommel abandons effort to drive through to Le Kef and orders withdrawal. Attack is broken off and enemy starts back toward Kasserine Pass, leaving many mines behind. 1st Armd Div assumes command of Nicholson's force at Thala and of its own CCB.
USSR--On central front, Soviet forces open offensive in Orel-Bryansk area and renew efforts to take Rzhev.
TUNISIA--Rommel assumes command of German Army Group, Africa, as Axis forces continue reorganization.
18 Army Group: Gen Alexander informs Gen Montgomery that situation at Kasserine has improved and orders him not to take undue risks.
In Br First Army's U.S. II Corps area, final enemy forces withdraw into Kasserine Pass during morning, followed unaggressively by Allied forces. Enemy and Allied planes are active during day.
USSR--Sumy, in the Ukraine NW of Kharkov, falls to Red Army.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's U.S. II Corps area, CCB of 1st Armd Div and 26th Armd Brig of Br 6th Armd Div continue to follow withdrawing enemy. 1st Armd Div prepares to attack to recover Kasserine Pass; attached 16th Inf, 1st Div, is to lead off on 25th. RCT 26 (-2d and 3d Bns), reverting to 1st Div control, moves to El Ma el Abiod to defend pass.
In Br Eighth Army area, Gen Montgomery orders 7th Armd and 51st Inf Divs to maintain pressure on enemy along coast and on Gabès road, respectively.
SWPA-S PACIFIC--Rough draft of long-range plan for advance to the Philippines (RENO) is drawn up.
RUSSELL IS.--Torpedo boat base at Wernham Cove becomes operational.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army area, U.S. II Corps, hampered only by mines and booby traps, recovers Kasserine Pass. 9th Div is concentrating in Tébessa area under corps command.
U.K.--RAF begins round-the-clock air offensive against enemy.
SWPA--All units of the U.S. Army in SWPA and all elements of the Philippine Army called into the service of the USA are assigned to USAFFE, which has been inactive since April 1942.
BURMA--Pipeline that is to parallel Ledo Road gets high priority from CCS. Royal Ind Navy launches sink enemy launch loaded with troops and damage another N of Ramree I.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, German 5th Panzer Army, under von Arnim, opens offensive on broad front, threatening Bédja and Medjez el Bab. On N, attacks W of Jefna are contained. Br outpost at Sidi Nsir, on road from Mateur to Bédja, is overwhelmed after vigorous battle that gains time for 46th Div to concentrate for defense of pass to Bédja. Attack on Medjez itself is repulsed, but in region to S enemy makes deep penetration that is contained N of El Aroussa. 38th Brig contains attack N of Bou Arada, but is in an exposed position because of enemy's success to N. Gen K. A. N. Anderson, to strengthen defenses of Goubellat-Bou Arada region, forms provisional div, called Y, from 38th Brig and 1st Para Brig. In U.S. II Corps area, RCT 16 reverts to 1st Div, which assumes responsibility for Kasserine Pass and for maintaining contact with 34th Div, which comes under II Corps command. 1st Armd Div is assembling as reserve S of Tébessa.
In Br Eighth Army area, Gen Montgomery sets 20 March as D Day for attack on Mareth Line (PUGILIST); expects to have sufficient troops and supplies in forward area by 4 March. Because of enemy movements, Gen Alexander warns Gen Montgomery that enemy will attack as soon as possible.
NEW GUINEA--162d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, reaches Milne Bay.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, hard fighting continues around Bédja, but enemy is unable to advance. In U.S. II Corps area, 9th Div relieves 1st Div at El Ma el Abiod and Dernaa Pass, NW of Fériana, and 1st Div assembles E of Tébessa.
SWPA--GHQ revises ELKTON plan for drive on Rabaul.
NEW GUINEA--1st Bn of 168d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, having arrived at front and relieved elements of 163d in Sanananda-Killerton-Gona area and at Kumusi R mouth, starts N from Killerton by water, leapfrogging cos.
BURMA--Construction of road from Ledo, India, crosses Burmese border. In order to subdue Kachin guerrillas in N Burma, Japanese are moving one small force toward Sumprabum, Br outpost near Fort Hertz, and another toward Tanai R in Hukawng Valley.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army area, 5 Corps continues to contain enemy attempts to advance on Bédja. In U.S. II Corps area, enemy has now retired to Eastern Dorsal, abandoning Sbeïtla and Fériana. II Corps patrols actively.
USSR--Determined German counterattacks in upper Donets are making progress and have overrun Kramatorsk and Lozovaya. Hard fighting continues in Orel-Bryansk sector. Spring thaw is hampering operations around Kuban bridgehead and on Mius R.
BISMARCK SEA--B-24 detects Japanese convoy, well protected with fighters, en route from Rabaul (New Britain) to Huon Gulf (New Guinea).
BURMA--Sumprabum is evacuated by Br civil authorities. Japanese subsequently move into the village and continue to skirmish with Kachin levies in the area, but make no further progress toward Fort Hertz.
N AFRICA--Gen Spaatz takes command of Twelfth Air Force, an organization that has been merely a name since air reorganization of February. Twelfth Air Force is to be continued as administrative hq for U.S. Army elements of NAAF.
USSR--Moscow announces that an offensive of NW Front, begun a few days earlier by Marshal Timoshenko, has regained Demyansk, Lichkova, and Zaluchie.
BISMARCK SEA--Allied planes make damaging attacks on enemy convoy bound for Huon Gulf. Some Japanese are rescued from sinking transport and put ashore at Lae, night 2-3, by DD's.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, enemy renews attack on N along Mateur-Tabarka road near Jefna and forces 139th Brig, 46th Div, back to Sedjenane. U.S. II Corps is directed to begin limited offensive on S flank of Br First Army not later than 15 March in order to divert enemy forces from Br Eighth Army area, gain forward airfields from which Eighth Army's offensive against Mareth Line can be supported, and establish alternative supply line for Eighth Army.
In Br Eighth Army area, NZ 2d Div concentrates S of Médenine, having been rushed forward from Tripoli.
USSR--German Army Group Center evacuates Rzhev.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Adm Kinkaid recommends limited offensive with available forces be conducted against Attu, bypassing Kiska, the objective for which planning has been in progress for some time.
BISMARCK SEA--During heavy co-ordinated attacks, Allied planes severely cripple Japanese convoy, which has arrived off Huon Gulf. After nightfall, PT boats of Seventh Fleet destroy one of the vessels previously damaged by aircraft.
TUNISIA--German Africa Corps issues plan for attack from Mareth Line.
18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, fighting around Bédja subsides, but enemy seizes Sedjenane, about 12 miles W of Jefna. U.S. II Corps continues to patrol actively without making contact with enemy. Sidi Bou Zid and Hadjeb el Aïoun are free of enemy.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, enemy makes local probing attack against 81st Div positions near Mareth and is driven off with heavy casualties.
USSR--On Kharkov-Bryansk rail line, Soviet forces capture Lgov and Dmitriev Lgovsky. 1st Pz Army of Army Group South reaches the Donets and overruns Slavyansk and Lisichansk.
BISMARCK SEA--Battle of Bismarck Sea ends in decisive victory for Allied land-based planes. During the running battle (1-4 March), Japanese lose the entire convoy of 8 transports and 4 DD's, many of the aircraft protecting it, and many personnel embarked in it. This is the last enemy attempt to use large vessels to reinforce positions on Huon Gulf, New Guinea.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, 139th Brig of 46th Div remains under heavy pressure along Mateur-Tabarka road and during night 4-5 falls back to Tamera, about 8 miles W of Sedjenane.
Br Eighth Army, having completed concentration of troops and weapons in forward area, is now prepared to meet enemy attack--which appears to be imminent because of troop movements in mountains W of Médenine--and is greatly superior to enemy in tanks and AT weapons.
USSR--Russians take Sievsk, S of Bryansk.
SOLOMON IS.--U.S. naval TF successfully bombards Vila and Munda, night 5-6.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, 1st Para Brig, upon relief by RCT 26 of U.S. 1st Div, moves N to strengthen 46th Div units in Tamera area, where enemy threat is still serious. U.S. II Corps continues to patrol aggressively. Rcn force of 34th Div enters Pichon, from which Germans have withdrawn, but later withdraws because of enemy forces on hills to N and S.
USSR--Red Army troops are attacking toward Staraya Russa.
RUSSELL IS.--Islands undergo enemy air attack. This is the first indication that Japanese have learned of American occupation of the islands.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, enemy maintains pressure against N flank of corps in Tamera area. In U.S. II Corps area, Gen Patton takes command of corps, relieving Gen Fredendall. As head of I Armd Corps in Morocco, Gen Patton had been preparing to command U.S. troops of projected invasion of Sicily. Maj Gen Omar N. Bradley, who is to succeed Gen Patton after operations in S Tunisia are completed, becomes deputy corps commander.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, Rommel makes his last attack in Tunisia and is decisively defeated. Four strong thrusts toward Médenine are repulsed by British, who commit only one sq of tanks. Enemy retires after nightfall, having lost about 50 tanks.
USSR--Gzhatsk, on rail line between Moscow and Smolensk, falls to Red Army.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: SE Algerian Command, disposed generally SW of Gafsa between U.S. II Corps and Br Eighth Army, occupies Redeyef and patrols toward Tozeur. This command, which includes Fr Camel Corps, was formed late in January under Gen Robert Boissau, previously Fr Army commander at Oran.
CHINA--Japanese cross Yangtze between Ichang and Yoyang.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Takes command of U.S. II Corps, but leaves Fr 19th Corps attached to Br First Army. II Corps continues planning for offensive in mid-March. Forward elements of SE Algerian Command occupy Tozeur.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps continues to withstand pressure against N flank in Tamera area.
USSR--Red Army troops capture Sychevka, N of Vyazma, forcing enemy back toward Smolensk.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese planes attack Wau in force. This is the first of a series of heavy air attacks on strategic points in New Guinea, among them Dobodura, Oro Bay, Porlock Harbor, Port Moresby, and Milne Bay.
BURMA--Columns of Ind 77th Brig (Chindits) begin crossing the Irrawaddy R in order to harass enemy farther E.
N AFRICA--Axis reorganization of forces continues. Field Marshal Kesselring's authority aver ground, air, and sea units in the Mediterranean theater is extended. Gen von Arnim takes command of Army Group Africa, succeeding Field Marshal Rommel, who leaves Africa. Gen Gustav von Vaerst succeeds von Arnim as commander of Fifth Panzer Army.
18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 1st Div is joined in Bou Chebka area by RCT 18, which reverts to it from attachment to 34th Div.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, enemy continues to attack 46th Div positions in vicinity of Tamera. French relieve RCT 26, U.S. 1st Div, in Bou Arada area. SE Algerian Command takes Metlaoui.
In Br Eighth Army area, Fr force under Gen Leclerc (L Force), screening W flank of Eighth Army at Ksar Rhilane, repels sharp enemy attack.
USSR--NW of Vyazma, Soviet forces seize Byelyi.
CHINA--U.S. Fourteenth Air Force is activated under Maj Gen Claire L. Chennault.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army area, 5 Corps remains under enemy pressure in Tamera sector.
USSR--Continuing counteroffensive toward Kharkov, enemy reaches the town, which Red Army is staunchly defending.
U.S.--Pacific Military Conference opens in Washington to plan for operations against the Japanese
during 1943. During the conference, which continues through 15th, Gen Sutherland, Gen MacArthur's chief of staff, presents ELKTON plan for reduction of Rabaul, as revised on 28 February, calling for mutually supporting drives, one by SWPA forces from New Guinea to New Britain and another by S Pacific forces through the Solomons. Of great concern to the planners is the shortage of shipping in which to transport the necessary reinforcements to the Far East.
BURMA--Because of recent enemy activity in Sumprabum sector and Hukawng Valley, Gen Stilwell orders Ch troops to Ledo area. On Arakan front, Japanese are employing envelopment tactics against Br Imperial forces and are splitting them into small groups.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Succeeds in establishing a reserve force, Br 6th Armd and 78th Divs, under recently arrived hq of Br 9 Corps. 6th Armd Div is in the process of being refitted with Sherman tanks. In U.S. II Corps area, RCT 60 of 9th Div is attached to 1st Armd Div in preparation for coming offensive.
USSR--Germans report violent street fighting in Kharkov. Red Army takes important enemy base of Vyazma.
NEW GUINEA--Kanga Force continues to press enemy back inch by inch toward Mubo and is now N of Guadagasel.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Sets 17 March as D Day for U.S. II Corps' offensive, initial objective of which is Gafsa. 1st Armd Div, reinf by RCT 60 of 9th Div, begins movement from Tébessa area, where it has been refitting since 26 February, toward assembly area NE of Gafsa. Elements are formed into TF, under Col Clarence C. Benson, for detached service and move to region SW of Sbeïtla during night 13-14. In preparation for offensive, air operations are begun against enemy landing fields, although weather conditions are unfavorable.
N AFRICA--Gen Giraud restores representative government in French N Africa and suppresses organizations of Vichy origin.
18 Army Group: Gen Alexander issues policy directive regarding forthcoming offensive in Tunisia.
USSR--Germans claim capture of Kharkov.
PACIFIC--Central Pacific Force is redesignated Fifth Fleet.
NEW GUINEA--1st Bn of 162d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, occupies positions at Mambare R mouth without opposition.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Gen Eisenhower visits U.S. II Corps hq as preparations for offensive continue. While corps line from Shiba to Kasserine is held by 34th Div and from Kasserine to El Ma el Abiod by 9th Div, assault forces (1st Inf and 1st Armd Divs) prepare to attack on 17th. 1st Div, reinf by 1st Ranger Bn and arty and TD units, assembles in Bou Chebka area.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps completes preparations for attack. 1st Div, which is to lead off, moves forward, night 16-17, to line of departure. 1st Armd Div is greatly hampered by muddy terrain as it moves into position to protect left flank of 1st Div.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, Y Div (38th Brig and 1st Para Brig) is dissolved upon relief by 3d Brig of 1st Div. This is the first unit of 1st Div to arrive in Tunisia.
Br Eighth Army, as a preliminary to main assault on Mareth Line, conducts limited attacks, night 16-17, to mislead enemy and drive in his outposts. The actions are largely successful.
BURMA--On Arakan front, Ind 55th Brig, which has previously relieved 123d in region E of Mayu R, is attacked and outflanked by enemy at Rathedaung. Assisted by Ind 71st Brig of 26th Div, 55th Brig later succeeds in withdrawing toward Buthidaung. E flank of forces W of the Mayu is thus exposed.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps opens offensive as planned after arty and air preparation, 1st Div attacking for the first time as a div. Employing RCT's 16 and 18, reinf by bn of RCT 26, 1st Div moves into Gafsa, which enemy has evacuated, and organizes it for defense. Hamlet SE of Gafsa, is also occupied. 1st Armd Div, defending left flank, is handicapped by heavy rains but CCA moves into Zannoueh, between Gafsa and Sened, without opposition.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, 46th Div withdraws under pressure from Tamera.
Br Eighth Army continues local operations in preparation for assault on Mareth Line.
INDIA--308th Bombardment Gp (B-24) arrives in India to reinforce U.S. Fourteenth Air Force.
BURMA--6th Brig of Br 2d Div, assisted by 71st Brig of Ind 26th Div, makes final and vain effort to clear Donbaik. Japanese continue infiltration and envelopment tactics, leaving Imperial forces no choice but to withdraw northward. Ind 77th Brig (Chindits) completes its crossing of the Irrawaddy, but because of increasing hardships eventually abandons plan to cut Mandalay-Lashio rail line and returns in small groups to India.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps's 1st Div, continuing attack with attached 1st Ranger Bn, takes El Guettar without opposition. Very heavy rains immobilize 1st Armd Div, but plans are made for attack on Sened Station on 19th.
In Br First Army area, Gen Anderson orders 5 Corps, which is reinf by 1st Para Brig of Corps Franc d'Afrique and one Tabor of Fr Goumiers, to cease withdrawal and to prepare to recover at least part of lost ground as a necessary preliminary to launching major assault toward Tunis and Bizerte. Enemy is attacking in Djebel Abiod area.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Lull occurs on U.S. II Corps front as road conditions force postponement of attack on Sened Station. SE Algerian Command, protecting S flank of II Corps, is moving forward and has elements S of Gafsa.
Br Eighth Army completes preparations for attack on Mareth Line on 20th. NZ Corps (NZ 2d Div, Br 8th Armd Brig, LeClerc's force, and a regt each of armd cars and medium arty), formed temporarily for outflanking drive around enemy's W flank, starts wide circling movement to S from concealed positions in Foum Tatahouine area, night 19-20.
USSR--Enemy takes Belgorod, N of Kharkov.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 1st Armd Div opens corps offensive with drive on Maknassy. While attached RCT 60, motorized, and CCC thrust toward Sened Station, intermediate objective, from NW, CCA takes more direct route, moving along road from Zannouch. Enemy is found to have evacuated Sened Station; RCT 60 occupies it; night 20-21. With Sened Station in U.S. hands, 1st Div begins eastward attack from El Guettar, night 20-21, employing attached 1st Ranger Bn and 26th and 18th Regts.
Br Eighth Army opens assault on Mareth position, constructed originally by French and improved later by Germans, in effort to break through it and Gabès gap to open country. NZ Corps openly continues enveloping movement toward El Hamma switch line in order to divert enemy's attention from E end of Mareth Line; despite very difficult terrain and enemy opposition, reaches positions a few miles short of defile between Djebels Tebaga and Melab. 30 Corps, after very heavy arty barrage, attacks in coastal sector at E end of Mareth Line at 2230, employing 50th Div, which secures foothold on fortified N bank of Wadi Zigzaou, a formidable obstacle because of its width and depth, against intense enfilade fire. 10 Corps, containing 1st and 7th Armd Divs, in army reserve, is disposed in central sector, prepared to exploit success of either of the assault forces.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, CCC and CCA of 1st Armd Div bypass Sened village, which surrenders to RCT 60, and continue E to Maknassy, placing it under arty fire in preparation for attack on 22d. 1st Div pushes eastward from El Guettar. 1st Ranger Bn, circling N of El Guettar-Maharès road (called Gumtree), gets behind enemy at Djebel el Ank defile while 26th Inf drives directly along road. In this successful action, over 700 prisoners are taken. To right, 18th Inf takes Hill 336, S of Gumtree road, and presses on toward Djebel el Mcheltat.
In Br Eighth Army area, NZ Corps makes slow progress toward El Hamma switch line. 30 Corps strengthens bridgehead on bank of Wadi Zigzaou somewhat but can get only a few tanks across. Covered by heavy arty fire, 50th Div broadens and deepens bridgehead, night 21-22.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps is severely menaced on N as enemy forces defenders of important lateral road between Mateur and Djebel Abiod back to Djebel Abiod.
USSR--Germans claim to have closed last remaining gap in line of communications with Orel sector. Russians take Durovo, 57 miles NE of Smolensk. Operations on entire front are bogging down because of spring thaw.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 1st Armd Div finds Maknassy free of enemy and occupies it; renewing attack, night 22-23, with CCC on N and RCT 60 on S, seizes Djebels Dribica and Bou Douaou but is unable to clear enemy from Djebel Naemia, which dominates pass E of Maknassy. 1st Div consolidates and improves positions E of El Guettar, 26th Inf probing beyond Bou Hamran, on Gumtree road, and 18th occupying Djebel el Mcheltat and moving elements S across
El Guettar-Gabès road to Djebel el Kreroua and E tip of Djebel Berda. German armored div heads NW up Gabès-Gafsa road, night 22-23, for counterthrust toward Gafsa. SE Algerian Command continues forward in conjunction with and to S of U.S. II Corps and is in contact with enemy at Djebel Bou Jerra, SW of Djebel Berda.
In Br Eighth Army area, offensive is severely handicapped by heavy rainfall. Determined enemy counterattack forces 50th Div, 30 Corps, to give ground. Since enemy reserves are now committed in coastal sector and fighting here is proving very costly, Gen Montgomery decides to switch main weight of his attack to W flank and conduct holding action on E. 10 Corps releases 7th Armd Div to 30 Corps.
Br First Army is strengthened as 1st Div completes concentration in Tunisia.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 1st Armd Div continues futile efforts to take Djebel Naemia, where enemy is building up strength. 1st Div, by dint of hard fighting, contains 2 strong enemy thrusts toward El Guettar. Both sides sustain heavy losses. SE Algerian Command is meeting strong opposition as it continues forward to S of U.S. II Corps.
In Br Eighth Army area, 30 Corps withdraws Wadi Zigzaou bridgehead under cover of arty fire during night 23-24. Ind 4th Div begins operations to clear Médenine-Hallouf-Bir Soltane road, night 23-24. 10 Corps hq and 1st Armd Div move out after dark to join NZ Corps, which is still held up near bottleneck between Djebel Tebaga and Djebel Melab, in preparation for assault against enemy's W flank.
U.S.--JCS approve plan to occupy Attu in the Aleutians.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 1st Armd Div attacks Djebel Naemia in greater strength but cannot dislodge enemy. Gen Patton orders the position taken during next morning's attack. Maj Gen Orlando Ward, CG 1st Armd Div, personally commands attack, which begins midnight 24-25 without arty preparation. Enemy, unable to break through positions of 1st Div on hills SE of El Guettar, maintains pressure in the area and achieves limited gains.
In Br Eighth Army area, 30 Corps is containing enemy in coastal sector by feints coupled with air attacks while preparations are made for attack against W flank of Mareth Line.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, enemy is at last contained on N flank, where 46th Div holds line Cap Negro-Djebel Abiod.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 1st Armd Div's attack against Djebel Naemia at first makes some progress, but gains cannot be held. Maintaining pressure against 1st Div on hills SE of El Guettar, enemy forces 18th Inf elements to give ground on NE part of Djebel Berda; since no reinforcements for this position are available, 18th Inf defense force is ordered to withdraw from Djebel Berda. U.S. II Corps receives new directive from Gen Alexander, calling for broadened offensive; is reinf for this purpose by 34th and 9th Divs. 34th Div is to conduct limited offensive for Fondouk Gap from Sbeïtla. 9th Div (-RCT 60) and 1st Div are to open gap SE of El Guettar for passage of 1st Armd Div. 1st Armd Div is to break off offensive in Maknassy area and leave small holding force there in order to drive on Gabès.
BATTLE OF KOMANDORSKI IS.--Small naval task group under Adm McMorris encounters superior enemy surface force attempting to run Allied blockade and reinforce Japanese positions in the Aleutians. Joining battle off Komandorski Is. in the Bering Sea, enemy is forced to retire without completing his mission; his Aleutians garrisons are henceforth obliged to rely on meager supplies brought in by submarine.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Br Eighth Army, having adopted new plan called SUPERCHARGE, and abandoned original plan, PUGILIST, renews assault on Mareth Line in afternoon following destructive aerial bombardment that lasts for 2½ hours. NZ Corps, leading assault against W flank of Mareth Line, jumps off at 1600 and penetrates enemy positions in defile between Djebels Tebaga and Melab. 10 Corps' 1st Armd Div, exploiting this success, breaks through the defile and pushes toward El Hamma as operations are continued through night by moonlight. Ind 4th Div, 30 Corps, clearing Médenine-Bir Soltane road, is beyond Hallouf Pass.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 34th Div, in its first action as a div, begins drive on Fondouk Gap, moving astride road from Hadjeb el Aïoun with 2 regts abreast, 135th on left and 168th on right. Frontal and enfilading fire from heights ahead halt attack short of objective; 135th
Inf attempts to advance at night but falls back under intense fire. 133d Inf (less bn at Algiers) remains at Sbeïtla to defend it. In SE Algerian Command area, camel troops occupy Sabria and Rhidma, about 25 and 18 miles, respectively, SW of Kebili.
In Br Eighth Army area, Mareth Line collapses under blows of 10 and NZ Corps on W, but enemy retains El Hamma and escape corridor through which main body withdraws, night 27-28. Axis efforts to strengthen W flank are belated and ineffective. 1st Armd Div continues toward El Hamma and repels 2 counterattacks. New Zealanders complete difficult task of mopping up during night 27-18. Ind 4th Div, 30 Corps, completes operations to open Médenine-Bir Soltane road.
U.S.--JCS approve new directive for Gen MacArthur and Adm Halsey, altering previous directives of 2 July 1942. Operations are to be confined to the earlier Task Two, and bases are to be secured in the Trobriands. Timing is left largely to the discretion of the commanders. Gen MacArthur is to command SWPA forces and have general direction of Adm Halsey's forces in the Solomons; have strategic control of Pacific Fleet task forces engaged in the operations.
NEW GUINEA--MacKechnie Force, named after Col Archibald R. MacKechnie, CO of 162d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, is formed, largely from 1st Bn of 162d Inf, to secure Waria R mouth and Morobe harbor.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps opens major attack toward Gabès from positions near El Guettar, employing 1st Div on left and 9th (less RCT 60) on right, in effort to force gap in enemy positions through which 1st Armd Div can attack. 1st Div, with RCT 18 on left, 26 in center, and 16 on right, renews efforts to advance astride Gumtree road and makes limited progress on left. 9th Div, in action as a div for the first time, attacks with 47th Inf from positions on Djebel Berda, previously abandoned by 18th Inf, toward Hill 369 on Djebel el Kreroua, an eastern spur of Djebel Berda. Attack is a costly failure because of well-organized enemy positions on hills and ridges and confusion arising from inaccurate maps. 1st and 3d Bns, mistaking Draa Saada el Hamra ridge for Hill 369, clear it except for Hill 290 at its tip. 2d Bn and reserve bn (1st Bn, 39th Inf) become lost for more than a day while trying to reach Hill 369. 2d Bn, 39th Inf, is sent after nightfall toward Hill 369 but meets such heavy fire from Hill 290 that main body falls back to starting point and stragglers return 36 hours later. 1st Armd Div, which has elements at Gafsa to meet threat of enemy breakthrough, is ordered to concentrate additional elements there during night 28-29. On N flank of II Corps, 34th Div continues limited attack toward Fondouk Gap but is unable to make much headway. Camel troops of SE Algerian Command occupy Douz, S of Chott Djerid.
In Br Eighth Army area, 10 Corps continues attack toward El Hamma, from which enemy withdraws, night 28-29. NZ Corps pursues enemy northward toward Gabès. 30 Corps moves forward along main Mareth-Gabès road, hampered by mines and demolitions.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps begins counteroffensive to recover northern road and relieve pressure on Medjez el Bab, a dangerously exposed salient. 46th Div, employing 138th Brig, 36th Brig of 78th Div, and 1st Para Brig, assisted on left flank by Corps d'Afrique and a Tabor of Moroccan Goumiers, drives steadily eastward despite heavy rainfall, which is to continue for a week. Enemy forces in this sector have thinned out.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps' operations in El Guettar and Fondouk areas continue to make negligible progress against firm resistance. Plan of attack toward Gabès is changed by 18 Army Group late in day: 1st Armd Div is to attack on 30th in effort to break through enemy positions barring road to Gabès.
Br Eighth Army pursues enemy northward through Gabès. NZ Corps takes Gabès and Oudref. 30 Corps' 51st Div overtakes NZ Corps at Gabès. 10 Corps' 1st Armd Div advances northward from El Hamma.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps continues efforts to break through enemy positions astride El Guettar-Gabès road. 1st Div secures most of S part of Djebel el Mcheltat. After preparatory arty concentrations, 9th Div takes part of Djebel Lettouchi, eastern spur of Djebel Berda, but cannot hold it or advance elsewhere. 1st Armd Div's TF Benson attacks through infantry at noon but is soon stopped by enemy fire and mines. Lane is cleared through mine field at pass between Djebel el Mcheltat and Hill 369, night 30-31. 34th Div, to N, continues futile efforts to reach Fondouk Gap. SE Algerian Command's camel troops occupy Kebili.
Br Eighth Army's forward elements make contact with enemy's new line along Wadi Akarit. 10 Corps is ordered to determine whether the Akarit defenses can be carried by assault with current forces. NZ Corps, having served its purpose, is abolished.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps' 46 Div recaptures Sedjenane.
NEW GUINEA--MacKechnie Force of U.S. 41st Div moves by water to Waria R mouth and Dona airstrip.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 1st Div's RCT's 16 and 26 attempt unsuccessfully to clear SE tip of Djebel el Mcheltat. 9th Div makes little progress against bypassed Hill 772 (on Djebel Berda) and Hill 369 (on Djebel el Kreroua). TF Benson, 1st Armd Div, attacks about noon, passing through lane cleared in mine field, and secures most of region from road to foothills at N, but loses 9 tanks. 4 more tanks are salvaged. CCA begins diversionary attack against Djebel Djebs, hill mass N of Maknassy, and evokes sharp enemy reaction. As a diversion for 34th Div's attack on Fondouk Gap, Co C of 751st Tank Bn, Co A of 813th Tank Bn, and motorized co of 109th Combat Engrs attack on NW slopes of Djebel Touila, about 5 miles S of infantry. During nights of 31 March-1 April and 1-2 April, 34th Div assault force pulls back out of range of enemy fire and establishes defensive positions, concluding the Fondouk Gap battle.
In Br Eighth Army area, Montgomery decides to await reinforcements and regroup upon learning from 10 Corps CG that an immediate assault across Wadi Akarit would be costly. 30 Corps, which is reinf by NZ 2d Div, is to be responsible for securing bridgehead.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps' 46th Div gains all its objectives on N flank of corps, recovering El Aouana; enemy withdraws from Cap Serrat. Preparations are begun for next phase of attack: clearing Bédja-Medjez road and relieving pressure on Medjez. Fr 19th Corps makes contact with U.S. 34th Div at El Ala, W of Fondouk.
ALEUTIAN IS.--CINCPAC and WDC CG issue joint directive for invasion of Attu on 7 May. Adm Kinkaid as commander of North Pacific Force (TF 16, formerly TF 8) will head the operation. Under him, Adm Rockwell, Commander Amphibious Force North Pacific, is to conduct landing operations. Maj Gen Albert E. Brown's 7th Div, although trained for mechanized warfare in the desert, is to make the assault.
SOLOMON IS.--Japanese aircraft, whose attention during the preceding month has been devoted largely to Allied bases in New Guinea, attack Russell Is.
CHINA--Infantry and Arty Training Centers for Chinese Y-Force officers open.
IRAN--U.S. AAF takes responsibility for assembling aircraft for USSR at Abadan Air Base. Douglas Aircraft Company, under contract to AAF, had previously been responsible for Abadan.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, plan of attack is changed after another fruitless attempt by TF Benson of 1st Armd Div to break through enemy positions barring Gabès road. Second phase (to secure pass between Djebel Chemsi and Djebel Ben Khëir for passage of armor) is to begin at once, although enemy still retains Hill 772 on Djebel Berda and Hill 369 and pass N of it on Djebel el Kreroua. TF Benson goes on the defensive. 1st Div continues efforts to clear SE tip of Djebel el Mcheltat. 9th Div is concentrating on Hill 772, which must be cleared before operations can be continued against Hill 369. In Maknassy area, CCA of 1st Armd Div continues diversionary attack on Djebel Djebs. SE Algerian Command's camel troops are maintaining liaison with Br Eighth Army in Kebili area.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, virtual stalemate exists as enemy checks dogged efforts of infantry of 1st and 9th Divs to clear Gumtree and Gabès roads. 1st Div clears rest of Djebel el Mcheltat, but 9th is unable to take Hill 772 on Djebel Berda. Gap exists between the two divs. Diversionary action of CCA, 1st Armd Div, in Maknassy area is suspended.
NEW GUINEA--Elements of MacKechnie Force land on shore of Morobe harbor to establish defensive position.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Gen Alexander alerts Gen Patton to be prepared to move U.S. II Corps to N flank of Br First Army upon collapse of enemy's Wadi Akarit position; 9th Div is to move first. Hard fighting continues in U.S. II Corps area for positions dominating Gumtree and Gabès roads. 1st Div takes village of Sakket, but 9th is still checked by enemy on Hill 772.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, Fr naval party (detachment of goumiers and elements of Corps Franc d'Afrique) occupies Cap Serrat. Fr 19th Corps repels limited enemy thrusts W from Pichon.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: 9 Corps, 18 Army Group reserve, prepares for offensive to recover Fondouk Gap. U.S. 34th Div, which is to participate, is transferred to 9 Corps. In U.S. II Corps area, 1st and 9th Divs continue futile efforts to clear Gumtree and Gabès roads.
Br Eighth Army, preparing for assault on Wadi Akarit line, has nearly 500 tanks concentrated in the region.
BURMA--Japanese gain control of Mayu Peninsula as far N as Indin and overrun hq of 6th Brig. By this time, Ind 26th Div has taken over the front from Ind 14th Div.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, stalemate continues as enemy halts all efforts of 1st and 9th Divs to advance. II Corps takes precautionary measures to meet enemy attack, which hostile concentrations are interpreted to indicate. When no attack materializes, it is correctly anticipated that enemy is preparing instead to withdraw. Gen Ernest Harmon assumes command of 1st Armd Div, replacing Gen Ward.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, 4th Div assumes command of sector NE of Bédja.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, while 1st and 9th Divs press forward toward general line intended originally for first phase, TF Benson of 1st Armd Div follows up closely and reaches road junction NE of Djebel Berda. As a diversion in the Maknassy area, CCB attacks Djebel Maïzila, and CCC demonstrates at Djebel Naemia. After nightfall enemy disengages and for the most part withdraws eastward under cover of arty fire. II Corps is ordered to apply maximum pressure on 7th.
Br Eighth Army begins assault on Wadi Akarit line, from which enemy begins withdrawing, night 6-7. 30 Corps jumps off before dawn with 51st Div on right, 50th in center, and Ind 4th on left. Progress is made, particularly on flanks, but tenacious resistance and counterattacks prevent a complete breakthrough. 10 Corps, which is to drive through 30 Corps' bridgehead, moves forward at noon. NZ 2d Div, which reverts to corps, leads drive.
SOLOMON IS.--Intensifying their aerial offensive against Allied shipping and aircraft, Japanese attack Guadalcanal area in force, employing 71 bombers and 117 fighters. 3 Allied vessels are sunk: NZ corvette Moa, U.S. oiler Kanawha, and U.S. DD Aaron Ward. Japanese plane losses in this action far outnumber Allied losses of 7 fighters.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: All available aircraft of XII Air Support Command and WDAF attack enemy, who is retreating in all sectors. 9 Corps completes preparations for assault on Fondouk, designed to block northward retreat of enemy from Akarit line. Commanding officers reach agreement on final details and decide to open attack at 0300 on 8th. U.S. II Corps makes contact with Br Eighth Army and SE Algerian Command on Gafsa-Gabès road. TF Benson, ordered to push forward relentlessly and without regard to cost, advances steadily SE toward Gabès and in afternoon makes contact with 10 Corps of Br Eighth Army, then pulls back to help mop up. 9th Div begins movement to Bou Chebka area, night 7-8, turning over its sector to 1st Div, which is to conduct mopping up.
Br Eighth Army, with 30 Corps on right and 10 Corps on left, pursues rapidly retreating enemy northward to general line Cekhira-Sedkret en Noual.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps opens offensive to clear Bédja-Medjez el Bab road and thereby remove enemy threat to Medjez. 78th Div, with close air and arty support, begins attack N of Oued Zarga.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: 9 Corps opens attack on Fondouk before dawn, U.S. 34th Div and elements of 46th Div leading off in effort to clear gap through which 6th Armd Div is to debouch for drive on Kairouan. On the N, 128th Brig of 46th Div advances through hills E of Pichon to Djebel Rhorab. S of gap, 34th Div, with 135th Inf on N and 133d on S, is prevented by intense ground and air bombardment from reaching its first objective, lower slopes of Djebel el Haouareb, although tanks are committed in support of infantry. Attack is supported by arty fire, beginning at dawn, but scheduled air attacks are canceled because of weather conditions.
In Br First Army area, Fr 19th Corps, ordered to seize Djebel Ousselat and Eastern Dorsal in order to assist attack of Br 9 Corps, advances to positions N and NE of Pichon. 5 Corps is methodically clearing mountainous region N of Bédja-Medjez el Bab road.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In 9 Corps area, while infantry of 46th and U.S. 34th Divs continue efforts to clear heights dominating Fondouk Pass, 6th Armd Div is committed at 1500 to speed the operation and succeeds in forcing the pass, but at heavy cost in tanks. Meanwhile, 128th Brig of 46th Div clears Djebel Rhorab, U.S. 34th Div is unable to clear Djebel el Haouareb during day but gains its crest in night attack by 1st Bn, 133d Inf. 1st Armd Div, U.S. II Corps, moves northward to positions
N of Sidi Bou Zid, leaving RCT 60 to hold Maknassy sector.
Br Eighth Army continues pursuit of enemy northward along Gabès Gulf, 30 Corps, in coastal sector, reaching positions a few miles short of Sfax.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, 78th Div takes Chaouach, mountain village 4 miles NW of Medjez el Bab.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Gen Alexander's draft plan of 8 April for final offensive in Tunisia, Operation VULCAN, is officially approved. Br First Army is to make main attack on Tunis. Br Eighth Army is to exert pressure to S and cut off Cap Bon from Tunis. U.S. II Corps, from positions on N flank of Br First Army, is to drive on Bizerte in conjunction with Br First Army's assault on Tunis. Fr 19th Corps is to operate on extreme S flank of Br First Army under First Army command. SE Algerian Command, pinched out after junction of U.S. II Corps with Br Eighth Army, is dissolved; its components are to operate under Fr 19th Corps. 9 Corps is to be under command of Br First Army. 9 Corps' 6th Armd Div drives quickly toward Kairouan, overcoming resistance S of that town. U.S. II Corps' CCA, 1st Armd Div, advancing N through Rebaou Pass, makes contact with 34th Div E of Fondouk.
Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps takes Sfax and continues N to La Hencha.
In Br First Army area, Fr 19th Corps now controls Djeloula Pass, between Ousseltia and Kairouan. 5 Corps continues to clear heights dominating Bédja-Medjez el Bab road.
NEW GUINEA--Two Allied merchant ships are lost to enemy aircraft that attack Oro Bay in strength.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: 9 Corps' 6th Armd Div occupies Kairouan unopposed and makes contacts with Br Eighth Army. In U.S. II Corps area, 9th Div moves N to Br 5 Corps zone. 1st Div, which is to follow 9th to N flank of Br First Army, moves to Morsott. 1st Armd Div remains in Sbeïtla-Faïd region.
In Br Eighth Army area, Gen Montgomery holds 30 Corps hq and 7th Armd and 51st Inf Divs in reserve in Sfax area; sends Ind 4th Div and 50th Div N to join 10 Corps. Some elements of 10 Corps make contact with 6th Armd Div of 9 Corps near Kairouan while others continue northward toward Sousse. 1st Armd Div remains in place in Fauconnerie area.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese make heavy air attack on Port Moresby but do little damage.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: It is agreed that U.S. II Corps will remain under command of 18 Army Group rather than Br First Army, but First Army is to issue the necessary orders for U.S. II Corps in order to co-ordinate its operations with First Army's drive on Tunis.
In Br Eighth Army area, Gen Montgomery, in response to request from Gen Alexander for reinforcements for Br First Army, selects 1st Armd Div and King's Dragoon Gds for the mission. 10 Corps captures Sousse and continues N.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, U.S. 9th Div begins relief of 46th Div. 78th Div continues clearing region NW of Medjez el Bab.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br Eighth Army area, advance elements of 10 Corps, continuing N along coast, reach AT ditch guarding enemy's next delaying position at Enfidaville. Subsequent efforts, on a limited scale, to force enemy from his Enfidaville position before it can be strengthened are futile.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese conclude series of heavy air strikes on New Guinea with strong attack on Milne Bay that causes little damage.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: 9 Corps moves to assembly area SW of Teboursouk.
In Br First Army's 9 Corps area, U.S. 9th Div assumes command of 46th Div sector. 4th Div, in its first action, has been exerting pressure against enemy N of Hunt's Gap in conjunction with 78th Div's attack and has reached hills just SW of Sidi Nsir. 78th Div takes commanding ridges, Djebel el Ang and Djebel Tanngouche, some 8 miles N of Medjez. Fr 19th Corps has driven enemy from Eastern Dorsal as far as 10 miles N of Pichon.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Initial elements of 7th Div begin embarkation for Attu operation. Reserve force (RCT 32, less one bn) sails for Adak. Prov bn, consisting of 7th Scout Co and 7th Rcn Tr, less one platoon, leaves for Dutch Harbor where it is to transfer to a DD and 2 submarines for last lap of journey.
RUSSELL IS.--First of 2 airfields is completed on Banika I.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Gen Bradley assumes command of U.S. II Corps, replacing Lt Gen
George S. Patton, Jr., who returns to his previous task of preparing for invasion of Sicily.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps' 78th Div loses Djebels el Ang and Tanngouche to enemy counterattack but recaptures former and part of latter.
CHINA--Japanese 11th Army is concentrating forces for offensive to gain control of river shipping on Upper Yangtze in W Hupeh Province.
TUNISIA--WDAF, including U.S. Ninth Air Force, begins operating from airfields near Kairouan and Sousse.
18 Army Group: Issues instructions for coming offensive to capture Tunis and Bizerte. U.S. II Corps' hq moves from Gafsa to region 2 miles NW of Bédja. 1st Armd Div starts to Br 9 Corps zone, arty being first unit to go.
Br Eighth Army abandons attempts to force enemy, by quick jabs, from his Enfidaville position and prepares to make large-scale effort on night 19-20.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, 78th Div offensive has gained depth of 10 miles on 10-mile front and has freed Medjez el Bab from enemy threat. U.S. 1st Div begins relief of 4th Div NE of Bédja.
SOLOMON IS.--Adm Yamamoto is killed when P-38's from Guadalcanal shoot down plane flying him from Rabaul to the Solomons for an inspection visit.
MEDITERRANEAN--In Operation FLAX, Allied planes, which have been conducting offensive to disrupt flow of German air transport from Italy and Sicily to Tunisia since 5 April, have a particularly good day, destroying 50-70 of some 100 enemy transport planes and 16 of the escorts for loss of 6 P-40's and a Spitfire. Operation FLAX, while contributing materially to the success of Operation VULCAN--final ground offensive to clear Tunisia--had been planned originally for February, before VULCAN plans had been formulated. In preparation for VULCAN, other Allied planes intensify efforts against enemy airfields, beginning night 18-19.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Br Eighth Army releases 1st Armd Div to Br First Army in preparation for VULCAN.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Plan for main assault on Tunis and Bizerte, to begin on 22d, is outlined. U.S. II Corps assumes command of new zone on N flank of Allied line at 1800, with front extending from coast E of Cap Serrat to Hill 667, 5 miles W of Heïdous. Corps Franc d'Afrique is attached to 9th Div and given zone on extreme N.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps' N boundary is shifted S as U.S. II Corps takes over coastal region. Fr 19th Corps, holding line Karachoum-Djebel Edjehaf-W of Djebel Mansour, is maintaining patrol contact with Br Eighth Army on right.
Br Eighth Army opens assault on enemy's Enfidaville position after intensive preparatory bombardment. 10 Corps jumps off at 2130, with 50th Div on right, NZ 2d Div in center, and Ind 4th Div reinf by L Force on left. 7th Armd Div guards W flank. Enemy is initially forced to give ground.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army area, as 5 and 9 Corps are preparing for assault on Tunis, German tank-infantry force counterattacks sharply, night 20-21, in region between Medjez el Bab and Goubellat.
In Br Eighth Army area, 10 Corps, continuing attack on Enfidaville line, takes Enfidaville and pushes northward on right but is checked on left at Djebel Garci by stubborn opposition.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Adm Kinkaid issues Operation Order 1-43, providing over-all plan for capture of Attu.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Completes preparations for main VULCAN assault. U.S. 34th Div, having trained vigorously in vicinity of Fondouk and Maktar, begins night marches, 21-22, to new zone of U.S. II Corps.
In Br First Army area, enemy counterattack in Medjez el Bab-Goubellat area ends in costly failure. This action delays by a few hours jump-off of 46th Div, 9 Corps, on 22d.
Br Eighth Army concludes offensive operations in Tunisia. 10 Corps is so bitterly opposed at Takrouna that Gen Montgomery decides late in day to confine offensive to coastal region. Army subsequently regroups while holding current positions; offensive is never renewed.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Br First Army begins final phase of Tunisia Campaign. 5 Corps, making main effort astride the Medjerda, attacks enemy positions N and S of Medjez el Bab. 78th Div attacks to seize rest of Djebel Tanngouche on left; on right begins northeastward drive along Djebel el Ahmera (Longstop) ridge. To S, 1st and 4th Divs attack astride Medjez el Bab-Tunis highway, 1st Div clearing hamlet of Grich el Oued
and 4th Div, Goubellat. 9 Corps attacks on Goubellat plain, between Medjez el Bab and Bou Arada, in effort to destroy enemy's armored reserve and support 5 Corps to N. 46th Div advances steadily in region N of Sebkret el Kourzia but is hampered SW of these salt marshes by enemy defenses and mines. 6th Armd Div is committed in late afternoon and upon attacking through infantry is strongly opposed by enemy armor.
NEW GUINEA--Aus Kanga Force in Mubo area is dissolved and Aus 3d Div takes over. Stalemate exists in this sector, where Australians hold broken line Mubo-Komiatum-Bobdubi.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps begins drive on Bizerte early in morning, making main effort on right. On N flank, 9th Div, reinf by Corps Franc d'Afrique, which is disposed along coast on extreme N and directed on Kef en Nsour, attacks toward Jefna position on highway between Djebel Abiod and Mateur, key points of which are Djebel Azag (Green Hill) and Djebel Ajred (Bald Hill). While RCT 47 conducts holding action along highway, RCT's 39 and 60 make outflanking attacks in hills to N, RCT 39 attacking toward Djebel Aïnchouna and RCT 60, farther N, pushing eastward from Djebels Mergueb and Msid. Satisfactory progress is made on div flanks, but RCT 39 is slowed in center by stubborn opposition on Djebel Aïnchouna. On S flank of II Corps, 1st Div, reinf by 6th Armd Inf of 1st Armd Div, which is disposed on extreme S, attacks toward Djebel Sidi Meftah. On N, RCT 26 attempts to take Hill 575 (Kef el Goraa) but is halted short of it. In center, RCT 16 fights indecisively for Hill 400. On S, RCT 18 begins clearing N side of the Tine, and attached 6th Armd Inf is similarly employed S of the river; enemy is driven from Hill 490 but retains Hill 407, to NW.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps' 78th Div clears enemy remnants from Djebel Tanngouche and continues along Djebel el Ahmera ridge, clearing all but NE slopes. In 9 Corps area, tank battles continue on Goubellat plain, where enemy is bringing mobile reserves forward.
U.K.--CCS issue directive for establishment of an Anglo-American staff to plan for invasion of western Europe. Lt Gen Sir Frederick E. Morgan, as Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (designate), is to head the new headquarters. The initial letters of his title, COSSAC, come to stand for his office.
U.S.--Main body of Attu invasion force sails from San Francisco for Cold Harbor, Alaska.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 9th Div continues to press toward Jefna position. On N, RCT 60 takes Djebel Dardyss. RCT 39, in center, suffers heavy casualties as it battles determined enemy on Djebel Aïnchouna. 1st Div places softening fire on Hill 575 (Kef el Goraa) throughout day and to right, in sector of RCT 16, secures hill positions and thus removes threat of envelopment. RCT 18 seizes Hill 407 while 6th Armd Inf fights vigorously for Hill 388. Germans begin withdrawal from 1st Div front during night 24-25. At the same time RCT 168, 34th Div, takes over N flank positions of 1st Div.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, 78th Div continues to clear Djebel el Ahmera while 1st and 4th Divs press eastward astride Medjez el Bab-Tunis highway. In 9 Corps area, indecisive tank and infantry battles continue on Goubellat plain. Little progress is made, although 1st Armd Div is committed and follows 6th Armd Div E.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, RCT 39 of 9th Div finishes clearing Djebel Aïnchouna. Enemy begins withdrawal from 9th Div zone night 25-26. RCT 168, 34th Div, moves forward in conjunction with 1st Div units to right, taking over mopping-up operations. 1st Div follows up enemy withdrawal on S flank of corps. RCT 26 occupies Hill 575 early in day and presses on to Djebel Touta. Advance elements of RCT 18 reach W end of Djebel Sidi Meftah. 6th Armd Inf takes previously contested hills on S side of Tine R and patrols eastward.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, Heïdous falls to 78th Div. 9 Corps continues tank battles in vicinity of Sebkret el Kourzia without appreciable success within its own zone, but forcing enemy to withdraw exposed salient to right. Fr 19th Corps makes substantial progress as enemy withdraws salient S of Bou Arada-Pont-du-Fahs road.
ALEUTIAN IS.--U.S. surface force bombards enemy installations at Chichagof Harbor and Holtz Bay, Attu. This is the second naval bombardment of Attu.
SWPA--GHQ issues ELKTON III, superseding two previous ELKTON plans, calling for mutually supporting advances in S Pacific and SWPA toward Rabaul, the whole operation being under the code name CARTWHEEL.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: On U.S. II Corps' 9th Div front, RCT 60 swings NE toward Kef en Nsour, previous objective of Corps Franc d'Afrique,
rather than SE toward Jefna position as planned, since French are unable to advance in region N of Djebel Dardyss. RCT 39, now solely responsible for outflanking the Jefna position, takes Hill 513, SE of Djebel Aïnchouna. Continuing holding action along highway, RCT 47 finds enemy disposed in force on Hill 598, SW of Djebel Aired. 34th Div takes over zone in Djebel Grembil-Hill 575 region, between 9th and 1st Divs, and prepares for drive on Hill 609 (Djebel Tahent). Enemy positions on hills in this area are being softened by arty fire. On S flank, 1st Div gains its initial objectives, permitting 1st Armd Div to take over Tine valley zone at 2200 in preparation for armored drive through enemy's second line of defense to Mateur.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, 78th Div finishes clearing Djebel el Ahmera. 1st Div reaches Djebel Bou Aoukaz, 4 miles from Djebel el Ahmera. On main road to Tunis, 4th Div reaches positions 7 miles E of Medjez el Bab. 9 Corps is now opposed on Goubellat plain by 3 enemy armd divs that contain further efforts to advance. 6th Armd Div is withdrawn into reserve. Fr 19th Corps continues to pursue enemy northward toward Pont-du-Fahs, reaching Djebel Fkirine.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps continues offensive with 4 divs in assault, its major objective now being the Jefna position, Hill 609 (Djebel Tahent), and Mateur. Column of 39th Inf, 9th Div, reaches Hill 382, NW of Djebel Azag, where it is stalled for 4 days by firmly entrenched enemy. 34th Div begins drive on Hill 609: RCT 168, on N, reaches slopes of Djebel el Hara; RCT 135, to right, drives to Hill 490, just W of 609, but is forced to withdraw. 1st Div patrols reach Djebel el Ang. 1st Armd Div begins attack on S flank of corps, CCA (6th Armd Inf, reinf) making main effort. Attack fails to gain immediate objectives--Hills 299 and 315, NE of Djebel el Ang--and elements are forced back from Hill 312, from which attack on Hill 315 was made.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps' advance is checked by series of determined enemy counterattacks. 4th Div is forced to withdraw its left flank at Ksar Tyr.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 9th Div continues E astride the Sedjenane, reaching Kraim Lerhmed on N and Kef Saban on S. RCT 39 clears hills generally N of Hill 382, but enemy retains 382. In center of II Corps area, main effort is made to clear approaches to Hill 609, which is hampering forward movement of 34th and 1st Divs. While 34th Div's RCT 168 clears Djebel el Hara, RCT 135 occupies Hill 490 and withstands counterattacks against it. In conjunction with 34th Div, RCT 16 of 1st Div secures foothold on Hill 531, S of 609. RCT 26 reaches Djebel el Anz against strong resistance. RCT 18, to S, clears part of Djebel Sidi Meftah. On corps S flank, CCA of 1st Armd Div takes Hill 315 and part of Hill 299, where enemy is resisting strongly.
In Br First Army area, 5 Corps is largely successful in containing enemy counterattacks along its front.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Gen Alexander decides to reinforce Br First Army for final push to clear rest of Tunisia.
In U.S. II Corps area, RCT 60 of 9th Div reaches Djebel Hazemat, N of Sedjenane R; pushes closer to Kef en Nsour, S of river. RCT 39 continues outflanking action toward Jefna on N while RCT 47 patrols actively toward Djebels Azag and Aired, reaching W slope of Azag. 34th Div makes limited progress against Hill 609, getting elements on S slopes. RCT 16 of 1st Div begins attack on Hill 523, strongpoint E of Hill 609, but makes little headway. Rest of 1st Div front is relatively quiet as positions on Djebel el Anz and Djebel Sidi Meftah are consolidated. CCA, 1st Armd Div, continues to clear Hill 299 against determined opposition.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Attu assault convoy arrives at Cold Harbor, where final attack plan is adopted.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Gen Alexander calls on Br Eighth Army to supply reinforcements for Br First Army in preparation for final assault. Gen Montgomery agrees to release 7th Armd Div, Ind 4th Div, and 201st Gds Brig, all veteran units. U.S. II Corps makes substantial gains: On N, RCT 60 of 9th Div takes Djebel Guermach, a short distance from Kef en Nsour; RCT 39 seizes the strongly contested Hill 382 and other heights N of the Jefna position. 34th Div drives to summit of Hill 609 in tank-supported assault but is subjected to intense fire there. RCT 16, 1st Div, takes 2 hills E of Hill 609 but loses both to persistent counterattacks; 1st Armd Div provides tank assistance in the area. On S flank, 1st Armd Div retains Hill 299 under enemy fire, but the hill is not yet entirely free of enemy.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Begins regrouping for final offensive.
In U.S. II Corps area, enemy finds positions facing corps untenable and begins withdrawal, night 1-2. 9th Div suspends offensive on N flank of corps. In center, Germans make vain efforts to regain Hill 609. On S, enemy remnants are cleared from Hill 299, and 1st Armd Div is ready for drive on Mateur.
In Br First Army area, Fr 19th Corps reorganizes for final push with 3 divs: from left to right, Algerian, Moroccan, and Oran.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, 9th Div's RCT 60 occupies Kef en Nsour as enemy withdraws speedily toward Bizerte.
U.S.--Gen Marshall transmits to Gen Stilwell President Roosevelt's decision to make major U.S. air effort in China and to continue preparation for a modified ANAKIM (recapture of Burma).
MEDITERRANEAN--Gen Eisenhower decides that Br and U.S. forces to be employed in Operation HUSKY shall land abreast on SE coast of Sicily. A period of indecision by HUSKY planners (Force 141) as to landing sites thus ends.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Gen Alexander outlines to Gen K. A. N. Anderson his plan for final attack. 9 Corps, with 2 infantry and 2 armd divs in assault, is to make main effort, thrusting directly toward Tunis along road from Medjez el Bab. Lightning attack is planned in order to split and destroy enemy rather than compress his bridgehead, since schedule for invasion of Sicily requires quick conclusion of N African operations.
In U.S. II Corps area, 81st Armd Rcn Bn, followed by other elements of 1st Armd Div, advances to Mateur as enemy is withdrawing from it and quickly secures the town. 34th Div moves eastward toward Chouïgui, making no contact with enemy.
ETO--Gen Andrews, CG ETOUSA, is killed in plane crash in Iceland. Lt Gen Jacob L. Devers is subsequently chosen to replace him.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Attu invasion convoy leaves Cold Harbor for target, a day behind schedule because of poor weather conditions. D Day is consequently postponed to 8 May. As the convoy later approaches Attu, strong winds force a further postponement of D Day to 11 May.
BURMA--Continuing infiltration tactics, Japanese are now established on Buthidaung-Maungdaw road and resisting efforts of Br Imperial forces to oust them.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps pushes forward in preparation for full-scale drive on Bizerte on 6th. On N flank, 9th Div and Corps Franc d'Afrique get into position for advance on Bizerte over hills N of Garaet Achkel. Corps d'Afrique improves positions W of Djebel Cheniti, commanding ridge just N of Garaet Achkel. To right, 1st Armd Div, whose next objective is Ferryville, patrols actively from Mateur. Enemy is subjecting Mateur to heavy air attacks. 91st Rcn Sq begins limited offensive for Djebel Achkel, a precipitous hill just S of Garaet Achkel commanding Mateur-Ferryville area, and meets strong opposition. On S flank of II Corps, 34th Div patrols uneventfully to Eddekhila in preparation for attack on Chouïgui Pass.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, RCT 47 of 9th Div paves way for direct assault on Djebel Cheniti by clearing hilly region NW of it. 81st Rcn Sq, 1st Armd Div, gains control of Djebel Achkel, but enemy remains on its E slopes until 11th. 1st Div moves forward to W bank of the Tine facing Djebel Douimiss. 34th Div reconnoiters toward Eddekhila in force against strong opposition.
In Br First Army's 5 Corps area, 1st Div, with effective air and arty support, attacks Djebel Bou Aoukaz, on E bank of Medjerda R between Medjez el Bab and Tebourba, in order to cover left flank of 9 Corps as it drives on Tunis on 6th. The position is secured during bitter and costly fighting.
SWPA--GHQ issues Warning Instructions for Operation CARTWHEEL, drive on Rabaul.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group opens final assault, VULCAN, before dawn. Offensive is supported by massed arty fire, which at dawn is supplemented with the most intensive air bombardment yet employed in N Africa.
In U.S. II Corps area, while 47th Inf of 9th Div continues to clear hills N of Djebel Cheniti, 60th Inf passes through Corps Franc d'Afrique for frontal assault on Djebel Cheniti and clears most of it. CCA (6th Armd Inf, reinf) of 1st Armd begins attack on hills E of Mateur-Ferryville road; takes first ridge (Djebel el Messeftine), but loses it in counterattack. CCB (13th Armd Inf, reinf), to right, protects flank of CCA and starts E along Mateur-Djedeïda road. 1st Div, employing 18th and 26th Regts and with Co H of 1st Armd Regt in support, attacks across the Tine to clear Djebel Douimiss hills but is forced to withdraw to W bank, during night 6-7, where it conducts holding action. 3d Div (-RCT 7), upon arrival from Morocco,
assembles behind 1st Div for possible commitment. 34th Div's 168th and 133d Regts drive beyond Eddekhila.
In Br First Army area, 9 Corps opens attack toward Tunis with Br 4th and Ind 4th Divs abreast, latter on left, on narrow front. After enemy line is breached, 6th and 7th Armd Divs pass through infantry and push on to Massicault, about half way to Tunis. Enemy attempts unsuccessfully to establish new line from Djedeïda to St. Cyprien.
BURMA--Ind 26th Div withdraws NW from Buthidaung under pressure.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Overruns both Tunis and Bizerte, splitting enemy forces.
In U.S. II Corps area, 9th Div finishes clearing Djebel Cheniti and adjacent hills to N; reconnoiters toward Bizerte as enemy resistance on N front collapses. Rcn elements of 894th TD Bn, followed closely by elements of 751st Tank Bn, enter Bizerte, where they find few enemy but many mines and booby traps. Ferryville falls to 1st Armd Div; elements driving E to cut Tunis-Bizerte road reach Oued ben Hassine and take bridge intact. 34th Div drives toward Chouïgui defile but is stopped a little short of it by enemy on Hill 242; enemy abandons the pass before dawn of 8th.
In Br First Army's 9 Corps area, 7th and 6th Armd Divs continue NE from Massicault, overrunning St. Cyprien and Le Bardo; Derbyshire Yeomanry and 11th Hussars enter Tunis in afternoon. Fr 19th Corps occupies Pont-du-Fahs.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In U.S. II Corps area, Corps Franc d'Afrique makes official entry into Bizerte. RCT 47 of 9th Div also enters, but withdraws while French mop up. 1st Armd Div pushes E in region S of Lac de Bizerte, clearing Djebel Sidi Mansour. Left flank elements, upon reaching Tunis-Bizerte road, drive N to Menzel Djemil. Column on right flank moves toward Protville to establish contact with British moving NE from Tunis and reaches Hill 111, about midway between Mateur and Protville.
In Br First Army's 9 Corps area, while 7th Armd Div pushes northward toward U.S. II Corps zone from Tunis, 6th Armd Div, followed by 4th Div, drives SE toward Hammamet in effort to prevent enemy from making final stand on Cap Bon Peninsula and is halted abruptly at narrow Hamman Lif defile by enemy rear guards bent on keeping this line of retreat open. 1st Armd Div, released to 9 Corps from army reserve, is pushing NE from Goubellat area. 5 Corps' 1st Div and Ind 4th Div press eastward in conjunction with Fr 19th Corps. Fr 19th Corps is meeting firm resistance in hilly Zaghouan area.
CBI--Gen Wheeler, CG SOS, is directed to take charge of U.S. portion of Assam airfield project.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: U.S. II Corps receives unconditional surrender of enemy within its zone. Thousands of prisoners, including 6 generals, are taken. 1st Armd Div drives to coast on left and makes contact with Br 7th Armd Div on right.
Br First Army continues to meet resistance in region S of U.S. II Corps zone. 9 Corps' 6th Armd Div is still held up at Hamman Lif defile. Fr 19th Corps battles enemy in Zaghouan area.
MEDITERRANEAN--Preparations are begun for conquest of Pantelleria (Operation CORKSCREW), largely by air and sea bombardment, before invasion of Sicily (Operation HUSKY) in order to remove this threat to HUSKY and gain an airfield from which to support HUSKY. NAAF is directed to make its full strength available for the operation. Fleet Adm A. B. Cunningham is to provide surface striking force and naval protection for movement of assault troops--Br 1st Inf Div--and maintain close naval blockade about the island. D Day is tentatively set as 11 June.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Japanese, alerted to expect assault on Attu during past week, decide that it will not be forthcoming and slacken their defenses.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 9 Corps area, 6th Armd Div forces Hamman Lif defile in morning and thrusts rapidly to Hammamet, cutting off Cap Bon Peninsula. Advance is continued toward Bou Ficha.
ALEUTIAN IS.--U.S. 7th Div lands at widely separated points on Attu. Dense fog limits naval gunfire and air support, but helps infantry achieve complete tactical surprise. 17th Inf (less BLT 1), with 2d Bn of 32d Inf attached as reserve, makes main landing of Southern Landing Force on coast of Massacre Bay (Beaches Blue and Yellow) in afternoon; 2d and 3d Bns of 17th Inf push rapidly northward up Massacre Valley toward Jarmin (Massacre-Holtz Bay) Pass until pinned down about 1900 by intense enfilading fire from heights surrounding the valley. Platoon of 7th Rcn Tr makes subsidiary landing at Alexai Pt and joins main body at Massacre Bay without opposition. BLT 1, 17th Inf--the main assault group of Northern Landing Force--goes
ashore at end of W arm of Holtz Bay (Beach Red) in afternoon; pushes southward toward Jarmin Pass to within 800 yards of its first objective, hill mass called Hill X, virtually unopposed. Prov Bn (7th Scout Co and 7th Rcn Tr, less one platoon) makes subsidiary landing on N coast W of Holtz Bay (Beach Scarlet) before dawn and moves inland unopposed toward Jarmin Pass. Gen Brown, 7th Div CG, arrives on Massacre beach and orders assault on Jarmin Pass for 12th. Mud of Attu immobilizes trucks and tractors.
CBI--Monsoon brings work on Ledo Road to a halt about 47 miles from Ledo.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: In Br First Army's 9 Corps area, uneventful sweep around Cap Bon Peninsula by 4th Div reveals that no important enemy forces are there. 6th Armd Div reaches Bou Ficha. In Fr 19th Corps area, Axis resistance is weakening in Zaghouan sector.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--TRIDENT Conference--President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Combined Chiefs of Staff--opens in Washington to reconsider strategy in the light of recent events in Tunisia, the Aleutians, and the USSR.
ALEUTIAN IS.--On Attu, 7th Div, with naval gunfire and air support, continues 2-pronged thrusts toward Jarmin Pass. Frontal attacks from Massacre Bay beachhead fail to gain ground. Patrols are probing to develop enemy positions. 2d Bn, 32d Inf, goes ashore at Massacre Bay. Northern Force, finding enemy in prepared positions on Hill X, makes double envelopment attack and gains foothold on crest.
SOLOMON IS.--Allied surface vessels bombard Vila and Munda, night 12-13.
CBI--First Arakan campaign ends where it started as Ind 26th Div evacuates Maungdaw for defensive positions to N. Cost in casualties has been heavy. Factors contributing to the failure of this campaign have been the cancellation of Chinese drive into Burma from Yunnan plus unexpectedly limited action of 4 Corps from Assam.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: Collapse of enemy resistance in the S is all but complete by nightfall. Enemy is surrendering en masse, among them Gen von Arnim, General Officer CinC, Army Group Africa.
In Br First Army's 9 Corps area, organized resistance collapses as 6th Armd Div drives S from Bou Ficha. Br Eighth Army's 56 Div co-operates by shelling from S. Isolated pockets of enemy remain NW of Enfidaville. Resistance in Fr 19th Corps zone ceases.
U.S.--CCS, at TRIDENT Conference, approve final outline plan for invasion of Sicily (HUSKY). Br and U.S. forces are to land abreast between Syracuse on SE coast and Palma on S coast on 10 July.
ALEUTIAN IS.--On Attu, further efforts of Massacre Bay force to break into Jarmin Pass are repelled by enemy. Positions remain about the same as those gained on D Day, although 2d Bn of 32d Inf is committed. Vicious and costly fighting occurs to N as enemy attempts to drive 7th Div troops from Hill X, but crest is firmly in American hands by nightfall. 3d Bn, 32d Inf, lands on Beach Red to reinforce the Holtz Bay force. Naval gunfire and air support of troops continues insofar as weather conditions permit.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese begin new series of heavy air attacks.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group: With surrender of Gen Messe, Rommel's successor, who is notified of his promotion to marshal on this date, Tunisia Campaign ends.
ALEUTIAN IS.--On Attu, Massacre Bay force, employing 2d Bn of 32d Inf on left and 3d Bn of 17th on right, continues fruitless and costly efforts to break into Jarmin Pass. Holtz Bay force prepares for strong southward attack but postpones it since 3d Bn of 32d Inf is unable to reach attack positions in time. Adverse weather conditions limit air support of troops, but surface vessels continue to bombard enemy positions.
PANTELLERIA--Mediterranean Air Command orders sea and air blockade of the island.
U.S.--CCS decide to give first priority to construction of Assam airfields; set goal of 7,000 tons a month to China, to be reached by 1 July.
ALEUTIAN IS.--3d Bn, 17th Inf, is withdrawn from Massacre Bay line on Attu, leaving 2d Bn, 32d, to continue attack. No progress is made, despite close arty support before and after jump-off. Dense fog postpones attack of Holtz Bay force until 1100. As fog is lifting it is discovered that enemy has withdrawn to ridge in center of valley, abandoning prepared positions and quantities of food and ammunition. Pursuit of enemy across open valley is slowed by enemy fire from commanding heights and is further handicapped by an Allied air strike that hits 7th Div forces by mistake. Prov bn that landed on Beach Scarlet on D Day joins main northern force.
CHINA--Because of Japanese action in central China, Chiang Kai-shek orders Gen Chen to return to defend Ichang area.
ALEUTIAN IS.--In an effort to speed operations on Attu, Maj Gen Eugene M. Landrum assumes command of assault force, relieving Gen Brown. Holtz Bay force secures foothold on N end of Holtz Valley ridge, thereby gaining control of entire ridge. Japanese, greatly outnumbered by Americans and in danger of being taken from the rear, withdraw during night 16-17 toward Chichagof Harbor for final stand. Most of Adm Rockwell's naval force retires northward to safer waters. Gen Landrum directs Capt H. B. Knowles, USN, to assume control of the remaining vessels; takes over air-ground control.
GERMANY--RAF Lancasters, in highly successful night operation, 16-17, attack and breach Moehne and Eder dams, flooding large portions of the Ruhr and disrupting electric and transportation systems.
ALEUTIAN IS.--On Attu, Holtz Bay force's 3d Bn, 32d Inf, moves forward well before dawn and by daylight finds that enemy has withdrawn. Patrols report E arm of Holtz Bay free of enemy. Massacre Bay force also finds positions previously defended by enemy abandoned and occupies Jarmin Pass. Patrol moves forward in effort to establish contact with Northern Force.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Patrol from Massacre Bay front makes contact with Holtz Bay force before dawn. Holtz Bay is put into use by Americans as landing phase ends. This improves the supply situation of Northern Force somewhat. Co K of 32d Inf sweeps entire Holtz Bay Valley, making no contact with enemy. Preparations are made for next phase of battle--attack on Chichagof Harbor. Northern Force patrol attempts unsuccessfully to locate an easier route to Chichagof than the Holtz-Chichagof Pass, which is commanded by steep Fish Hook Ridge. 1st Bn of 4th Inf arrives.
PANTELLERIA--Allied planes begin strong air offensive against Pantelleria that is to continue through 5 June. Porto di Pantelleria and Marghana airdrome are chief targets. In conjunction with air attacks, naval blockade is being maintained about the island, virtually isolating it.
ALEUTIAN IS.--On Attu, 2d Bn of 17th Inf, assisted by Co C of 32d Inf, begins attack before dawn to capture pass (later called Clevesy Pass after Lt Samuel H. Clevesy of Co H) into Sarana Valley. After heavy fighting in which 2d Bn of 32d Inf is committed, the pass is cleared by nightfall, but enemy remains on crests of 2 peaks overlooking it. On N front, Co L of 32d Inf begins operations to clear the high Holtz-Chichagof Pass at base of Fish Hook Ridge, moving from Holtz Bay up steep slope of the valley against enemy fire.
U.S.--CCS accept TRIDENT recommendations for CBI.
ALEUTIAN IS.--On S front, Co G of 17th Inf clears one of the 2 peaks dominating Clevesy Pass in morning, but efforts of 2d Bn and Co C of 32d Inf to take the other fail. Co E of 32d Inf then moves forward for night enveloping attack, scaling the steep slopes cautiously in effort to take enemy by surprise. Meanwhile, 1st Bn of 4th Inf moves through Clevesy Pass to attack heights across upper part of Sarana Valley and makes substantial progress. 3d Bn, 17th Inf, patrols along Sarana Valley and fires upon enemy located by 1st Bn, 4th Inf. Northern Force continues to clear preliminary hill line of Fish Hook Ridge.
BURMA--Gen Sir George Giffard replaces Gen Irwin as Commander of Eastern Army. Completion of 3-months' mission of Brig Wingate's Chindits is announced. About a third of the original force has been lost. Withdrawal of Chindits into India is completed early in June. The Wingate expedition, supplied wholly by air, becomes a pattern for future operations behind enemy lines.
ALEUTIAN IS.--On southern front on Attu, Co E of 32d Inf reduces last enemy strongpoint on peak dominating Clevesy Pass. 1st Bn, 4th Inf, pushes forward to ridge overlooking Sarana-Chichagof Pass and facing Fish Hook Ridge; patrols to mouth of the pass. After prolonged bombardment by all available weapons, Co L of 32d Inf, Northern Force, takes hill that has been barring its progress toward Fish Hook Ridge. Remaining 2 cos of 1st Bn, 32d Inf, land on Attu.
CHINA--Final phase of Japanese expedition in central China opens.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Southern Force, in morning attack by 3d Bn of 17th Inf, takes rest of high ground
surrounding entrance to Chichagof Valley. Exploiting this success, 2d Bn of 32d Inf attacks in afternoon and drives wedge into entrance of Chichagof Valley, the easiest approach to Chichagof. Patrol contact is made with Northern Force, which remains in place, consolidating positions.
INDIA--Gen Wheeler receives directive calling for expedited program of airfield construction in Assam.
USSR--Moscow announces dissolution of Comintern.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Southern Force, employing 2d Bn of 17th Inf, begins attack on Fish Hook Ridge but is soon pinned down by enemy fire. Strong patrols of Northern Force attempt unsuccessfully to force Holtz-Sarana Pass. Direct communication between Northern and Southern Forces is possible for first time as wire is laid between the two. Coordinated attack for the Fish Hook is then planned.
TUNISIA--18 Army Group staff is disbanded, having served its purpose.
U.S.--JCS authorize planning and training for invasion of Kiska.
ALEUTIAN IS.--On Attu, efforts of 3d Bn, 32d Inf, and 2d Bn, 17th, to gain Fish Hook Ridge meet intense fire and make little headway.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--TRIDENT Conference in Washington ends. The conferees have selected 1 May 1944 as target date for cross-Channel invasion of northwestern Europe (OVERLORD). Large-scale air offensive from United Kingdom will precede OVERLORD. In the Mediterranean, operations following capture of Sicily (HUSKY) are to be designed to knock Italy out of the war. Ploesti oil fields are to be bombed from Mediterranean bases. Material to China is to be increased and communications with it opened. General approval is given U.S. "Strategic Plan for the Defeat of Japan," calling for drive on Japan through Central Pacific.
ALEUTIAN IS.--On Attu, Southern Force's 2d Bn, 17th Inf, gains toehold on crest of Fish Hook Ridge, breaking through elaborate tunnel system below summit. Northern Force, attacking with 3d Bn of 32d Inf and supported by Cos A and C of 17th, clears trench system on its side of the Fish Hook but is unable to reach crest.
TUNISIA--Combined hq is established at Sousse by representatives of forces participating in Operation CORKSCREW (conquest of Pantelleria).
ALEUTIAN IS.--Northern and Southern Forces are slowly expanding positions on Fish Hook Ridge, former moving elements to crest via route previously cleared by 2d Bn, 17th Inf. 1st Bn, 4th Inf, joins in fight for the ridge.
U.S.--Joint Staff Planners direct Joint War Plans Committee to determine troop needs and suggest target dates for invasion of the Marshalls, POA.
ALEUTIAN IS.--7th Div finishes clearing Fish Hook Ridge. Fighter strip is being constructed at Alexai Pt.
ALEUTIAN IS.--7th Div maintains pressure on enemy, who by end of day is compressed into small part of Chichagof Harbor. Messages requesting Japanese to surrender are dropped from the air.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Japanese make strong counterattack from Chichagof Harbor before dawn, pushing rapidly toward Clevesy Pass in effort to break out into Massacre Valley. Main force of attack is spent by dawn when enemy, dispersed into small groups, is forced to go into hiding.
ALEUTIAN IS.--After a last weak counterattack, organized enemy resistance collapses on Attu. 7th Div reaches shore of Chichagof Harbor without incident. U.S. Army force under Brig Gen John E. Copeland occupies Shemya I. without opposition.
ALEUTIAN IS.--7th Div is rounding up stragglers of the defeated Japanese garrison of Attu, originally numbering about 2,500.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Plan is formulated for occupation of Kiska. U.S. Eleventh Air Force is to continue to take advantage of every break in the weather to hit Kiska while assault troops are being assembled and trained intensively at Fort Ord, California, and in the Aleutians. Surface vessels are to assist in the softening up program and cover landings.
PANTELLERIA--All-out air offensive against the island continues and is being supplemented with naval gunfire from small groups of Br vessels.
SOLOMON IS.--Adm Halsey issues basic operations plan for assault on New Georgia Is., in central Solomons, in order to secure Munda airfield, from which to support subsequent offensive against N Solomons. Adm Turner is to head amphibious forces. New Georgia Occupation Force (43d Div reinf and 1st and 4th Marine Raider bns) is to be under command of Gen Hester, CG 43d Div.
CHINA--Japanese attain their objective of capturing shipping on Upper Yangtze in W Hupeh and begin withdrawing.
ALGERIA--French announce formation in Algiers of French Committee of National Liberation, a provisional government for the French Empire.
MEDITERRANEAN--Gen Eisenhower orders head of Force 141 (planning staff that is later to become Headquarters, 15th Army Group, under Gen Alexander) to draw up plans for invasion of Italy. Gen Alexander is given command of Br 10 and 5 Corps.
PANTELLERIA--Air action against the island is intensified as second phase of air offensive opens. Main weight of attacks is against coastal batteries and gun emplacements.
SOLOMON IS.--Japanese begin another series of air attacks on Guadalcanal in effort to cut communications lines. Allied fighters intercept and destroy 23 planes for loss of 9.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Fighter strip at Alexai Pt, Attu, is completed. Japanese order Kiska abandoned. U.S. DD blockade is established about the island and aircraft continue to pound it whenever possible.
PANTELLERIA--Air offensive against the island becomes increasingly intense as invasion date approaches. Br naval forces of 8 DD's, 5 CL's, and 3 torpedo boats bombard shore batteries and harbor area. Surrender requests, dropped by aircraft, are ignored.
U.S.--In preliminary report, Joint War Plans Committee recommends Marshalls be invaded near end of October and Gen MacArthur and Adm Halsey conduct holding actions until operations in the Marshalls are concluded. This arouses unfavorable reaction in some quarters and the suggestion is soon rejected.
ETO--CCS issue directive that officially inaugurates Combined Bomber Offensive (later designated Operation POINTBLANK) against Germany.
PANTELLERIA--After preparatory naval and air bombardment, Br 1st Div lands on Pantelleria virtually unopposed. Island surrenders unconditionally at 1735. This is the first occasion on which airpower has overwhelmed an objective of this type. NAAF, during period 8 May to date, has flown 5,285 sorties against the island and dropped 6,200 tons of bombs. Fall of Pantelleria permits Allied aircraft in Mediterranean to concentrate efforts in direct preparation for invasion of Sicily (HUSKY).
LAMPEDUSA--Allied planes begin air assault on island that continues through night 11-12. Br naval TF from Pantelleria accompanying an LCI with co of Coldstream Gds embarked joins aircraft in bombarding island, night 11-12.
GERMANY--Attack by Eighth Air Force on Wilhelmshaven demonstrates the difficulty of daylight strikes on targets beyond range of fighter escort. Although B-17 losses are light, intercepting enemy planes prevent accurate bombing of the submarine-building yards.
SOLOMON IS.--Allied planes intercept large force of attacking enemy planes in Guadalcanal area and destroy 31 for loss of 6.
LAMPEDUSA--Surrenders unconditionally after further bombardment. Coldstream Gds go ashore and take charge.
CHINA--Japanese expedition in central China ends.
LINOSA--Landing party from Br DD accepts surrender of island.
GERMANY--60 B-17's of Eighth Air Force attack Kiel submarine yards and harbor against heaviest German Air Force opposition yet encountered. 22 B-17's are lost in air battle. Main Eighth Air Force attack of the day, by 102 B-17's on Bremen, is lightly opposed.
NEW GUINEA--On or near this date, U.S. 41st Div forms Coane Force, consisting of 2d and 3d Bn, 162d Inf, plus elements of 205th and 218th FA Bns, under Div Arty Commander, Brig Gen Ralph W. Coane.
CHINA--Forward echelon hq of U.S. Fourteenth Air Force is established at Kweilin.
LAMPIONE--Br naval party occupies island without opposition. Allies now control all islands in Sicily Strait.
MEDITERRANEAN--Gen Giraud is directed by Gen Eisenhower to name ground forces commander and staff to prepare plan for invasion of Corsica (FIREBRAND). Gen Giraud subsequently suggests Gen Juin as commander.
SOLOMON IS.--FO No. 1, Hq, New Georgia Occupation Force, directs seizure of preliminary objectives in central Solomons in preparation for capture of Munda airfield on New Georgia Is. D Day is to be 30 June. Some 120 Japanese planes attack Guadalcanal, damaging 3 ships, 2 of which must be beached. Intercepting Allied planes, 104 strong, exact heavy price, claiming almost 100 enemy aircraft destroyed. 6 Allied planes are lost.
CHINA--Gen Stilwell presents TRIDENT proposals to Chiang Kai-shek.
SOLOMON IS.--43d Div issues orders for movement to New Georgia I. COMAIRSOPAC assigns duties for New Georgia operation to his air units.
CHINA--Gen Chennault reports to the President on operations of Fourteenth Air Force. Gen Stilwell, now commanding YOKE-Force staff (all U.S. organizations working with Y-Force), outlines to Col Dorn, his chief of staff, his mission in the program.
SICILY--Allied planes begin powerful attacks on Messina. Other targets on and in vicinity of Sicily are being pounded in preparation for HUSKY.
U.K.--Prime Minister Churchill announces that Gen Auchinleck is to replace Gen Wavell as CinC India and that Wavell will be Viceroy of India.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Krueger opens ALAMO (U.S. Sixth Army) hq at Milne Bay. 17th Brig, Aus 3d Div, is holding positions in Mubo-Lababia Ridge area against sharp enemy counterattacks that continue for next few days.
CBI--Gen Auchinleck succeeds Gen Wavell as CinC India.
LAMPEDUSA--Airfield becomes serviceable.
GERMANY--RAF Lancasters, on first RAF shuttle-bombing raid between U.K. and Africa, attack Friedrichshafen, concentrating on industrial targets, and land safely in N Africa. On return trip to Britain, the planes bomb naval base at Spezia, Italy, night 23-24.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Airfield on Shemya I. becomes operational.
SOLOMON IS.--To forestall enemy occupation of Segi Pt on S tip of New Georgia I., 4th Mar Raider Bn (-) sails there from Guadalcanal and lands unopposed.
SOLOMON IS.--Cos A and D of 103d Inf, 43d Div, and airfield survey force join Mar Raiders on Segi Pt, New Georgia I.
TROBRIAND IS.--Woodlark TF (112th Cav RCT, reinf) lands advance party on Woodlark I. without opposition, night 22-23.
GERMANY--Eighth Air Force bombers attack synthetic rubber plant at Huels in force with particularly good results. Plant is temporarily put out of operation. This is the first large-scale daylight attack to be made on the Ruhr.
TROBRIAND IS.--Kiriwina TF (RCT 158, a separate regt, reinf) lands advance elements on Kiriwina I, night 23-24, without opposition.
NEW GUINEA--Enemy pressure on 17th Brig of Aus 3d Div, in Mubo-Lababia Ridge area, eases as Japanese withdraw a little.
SICILY--Preinvasion bombardment by Allied planes continues. NAAF delivers heaviest single attack of the month on Messina, dropping more than 300 tons of bombs.
NEW GUINEA--MacKechnie Force, now assembled at Morobe where supplies have been amassed, starts movement by water to staging area at Mageri Pt, 15 miles NW of Morobe, in preparation for amphibious assault on Nassau Bay.
PANTELLERIA--33d Fighter Gp (P-40) is established on island.
U.K.--COSSAC planners select Air Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, air officer commanding in chief, RAF Fighter Command, to prepare air plans for OVERLORD.
SOLOMON IS.--From Segi, New Georgia I., marines of 4th Raider Bn move by sea to vicinity of Lambeti Plantation in preparation for overland march to Viru Harbor.
NEW GEORGIA I.--Marines of 4th Raider Bn begin overland journey to Viru Harbor.
SOLOMON IS.--While U.S. assault forces are sailing to central Solomons, surface force bombards Munda, Vila, and the Shortlands, night 29-30.
MEDITERRANEAN--Gen Eisenhower recommends to CCS that projected landing on heel of Italy near Taranto (Operation MUSKET) be deferred by Fifth Army. 3 other actions are under consideration: (1) invasion of toe (BUTTRESS) and instep (GOBLET); (2) landing on toe from which overland drives would be made to heel, Naples, and Rome with seaborne reinforcements moved in at Naples; (3) invasion of Sardinia (BRIMSTONE).
PACIFIC--Operation CARTWHEEL, converging drives on Rabaul by forces of S Pacific and SWPA, opens with amphibious operations against central Solomons, Trobriands, and New Guinea.
SOLOMON IS.--Ships and landing craft from S Pacific Amphib Force (organized as TF 31 under command of Adm Turner) land New Georgia Occupation Force (commanded by Gen Hester, 43d Div CG) on central Solomons. New Georgia Occupation Force is divided into Western Force (TG 31.1), which is to make main landing on Rendova I. and later take Munda airfield on New Georgia I., and Eastern Force (TG 31.2), which is to make subsidiary landings. Preceding main landing, Onaiavisi Occupation Unit (Cos A and B, 169th Inf) secures Onaiavisi Entrance in uncontested landings on Sasavele and Baraulu Is.; establishes outposts on Roviana I. 172d Inf, 43d Div, of Western Force lands on Rendova I. without opposition and pushes inland 1,000 yards to search for scattered Japanese forces. Failing to receive signal to land from marines of 4th Raider Bn ashore, Viru Occupation Force (reinf Co B, 103d Inf) of Eastern Force lands instead at Segi Pt. The Mar Raiders, moving overland, reach Viru Harbor in evening. To secure Wickham Anchorage on Vangunu I., Eastern Force lands reinf 2d Bn, 103d Inf, and elements of 4th Mar Raider Bn on Vangunu at Oleana. Although landing is unopposed, Japanese resist movement of assault force toward Wickham Anchorage. Japanese aircraft are active against shipping, damaging flag ship McCawley, which friendly PT's later sink by mistake.
TROBRIAND IS.--Main bodies of Woodlark and Kiriwina TF's make unopposed landings on their respective islands, where airfields are to be constructed. These are the first operations to be directed by U.S. Sixth Army, operating as ALAMO Force.
NEW GUINEA--MacKechnie Force (Col MacKechnie, commander of 162d Inf, 41st Div), consisting now of 1st Bn, 162d Inf, and supporting U.S. and Aus forces, begins unopposed landing at Nassau Bay shortly after midnight 29-30, aided by lights of Aus forces ashore. Final wave, Co B, does not land until later. MacKechnie Force pushes N toward Bitoi R and S toward Tabali R, soon meeting enemy opposition. Papuan Inf Bn (PIB) scouts blocking enemy movement in Cape Dinga area, S of Nassau Bay, force enemy back toward American positions. Aus 3d Div's 15th Brig opens attack on Bobdubi Ridge, and 17th Brig maintains pressure against enemy positions in Mubo salient. All operations are commanded by New Guinea Force (Gen Herring, commander, pending arrival of Gen Blarney).
MEDITERRANEAN--As preinvasion bombardment continues, NAAF planes, in period 18-30 June, fly 883 bomber sorties and IX BC, 107 sorties, against Sicily and Italy, concentrating on supply points, ports, and marshaling yards.
SOLOMON IS.--43d Div troops on Rendova consolidate beachhead and continue search for enemy. On New Georgia I., marines of 4th Raider Bn seize Viru Harbor in double envelopment maneuver.
NEW GUINEA--Allied troops are consolidating positions along S arm of Bitoi R in Nassau Bay area.
CHINA--Gen Chennault designates shipping and port installations as primary targets for Fourteenth Air Force.
SOLOMON IS.--43d Div is ordered to proceed with next task in central Solomons--capture of Munda airfield--and begins movement of assault force from Rendova to New Georgia. Enemy bombers make destructive raid on Rendova; subsequent air attacks are much less effective. Japanese warships shell Rendova, night 2-3.
TROBRIAND IS.--Work is begun on airfield at Woodlark I.
NEW GUINEA--MacKechnie Force holds firm beachhead at Nassau Bay. Contact is made with Aus 3d Div.
MEDITERRANEAN--Sicilian and Italian ports continue to receive full attention of NAAF, which, during
period 12 June-2 July, drops 2,276 tons of bombs. Malta-based and Gozo-based fighters contribute cover and escort. Final phase of pre-HUSKY air offensive, beginning at this time, is directed toward knocking out enemy planes and wrecking airfields.
U.K.--Air Marshal Leigh-Mallory establishes air staff at Norfolk House.
SOLOMON IS.--Southern Landing Group (Brig Gen Leonard F. Wing) of Gen Hester's Munda-Bairoko Occupation Force lands 1st Bn of 172d Inf, 43d Div, on Zanana beach, about 5 air miles E of Munda, New Georgia I., without opposition. Small defense perimeter of 1st Bn is gradually strengthened during next few days. Wickham Anchorage on Vangunu I, which is to become staging point for landing craft, falls into American hands.
SOLOMON IS.--Co B, 103d Inf, arrives at Viru Harbor and relieves marines of 4th Raider Bn. From Zanana, 1st Bn of 172d Inf and Co A of 169th virtually unopposed move W to Barike R, line of departure for assault on Munda. As transports carrying Northern Landing Group (Lt Col Harry B. Liversedge, USMC) of Gen Hester's Munda-Bairoko Occupation Force proceed toward Rice Anchorage, night 4-5, accompanying warships bombard Vila and Bairoko Harbor and intercept Japanese DD's bringing reinforcements to Kolombangara from the Shortlands. In the ensuing action, USS Strong is lost to enemy torpedo, but Japanese effort to land troops is blocked.
CRETE--Br commandos successfully raid enemy airfields during night and withdraw safely.
MEDITERRANEAN--Gen Wladislaw Sikorski, CinC of Polish forces, is killed in plane crash near Gibraltar.
U.S.--President Roosevelt proposes to Chiang Kai-shek that Maj Gen George E. Stratemeyer coordinate air forces matters in India-Burma sector.
SOLOMON IS.--Gen Harmon recommends to Adm Halsey that XIV Corps staff prepare to take over on New Georgia and free Gen Hester for operations against Kolombangara. Almost all the New Georgia Occupation Force is now ashore in central Solomons, main body at Rendova. Northern Landing Group--consisting of 1st Raider Bn of 1st Mar Raider Regt, reinf by 3d Bns of 148th and 145th Regts, 37th Div--lands without opposition at Rice Anchorage, beginning at 0130. Leaving elements of 3d Bn, 145th Inf, to defend landing site, Col Liversedge's force starts S toward Dragon's Peninsula, between Enogai Inlet and Bairoko Harbor, forward elements reaching Giza Giza R. Patrol of Southern Landing Group finds Japanese force blocking Munda Trail between Zanana and Barike R.
BATTLE OF KULA GULF--U.S. naval surface force engages enemy vessels bringing second echelon of reinforcements to Kolombangara, night 5-6. Japanese lose 2 DD's and sink USS Helena. Force of 850 Japanese succeeds in landing at Vila.
USSR--Germans launch offensive on limited front to reduce Soviet salient at Kursk, 9th Army pushing S from Orel and 4th Pz Army and Army Kempf working northward from Belgorod. Limited progress is made at heavy cost in tanks. By this time, Axis and Soviet forces have both taken advantage of spring thaw to reorganize and refit troops. Red Army is greatly superior in strength.
ALEUTIAN IS.--U.S. naval vessels, for the first time in 11 months, bombard Kiska, supplementing intermittent efforts of aircraft to neutralize the island. Cruiser-DD TF (Rear Adm Robert C. Giffen) conducts the action and retires safely.
SOLOMON IS.--Heavy bombers begin series of strikes against enemy airfields on Bougainville, the next objective. Attacks are gradually increased in strength and frequency and are supplemented by medium bomber strikes on enemy shipping in the area. By this time, 43d Div's 172d and 169th Regts are on New Georgia I. 172d closes along the Barike R and 3d Bn, 169th, starts toward the river from Zanana. Japanese repulse attacks against their roadblock on Munda Trail. Col Liversedge's force reaches and crosses Tamakau R.
NEW GUINEA--3d Bn of 162d Inf, part of U.S. first Div's Coane Force, goes ashore at Nassau beachhead and begins period of active patrolling. 2d Bn, 162d Inf, takes over positions vacated by 3d Bn at Morobe.
CHINA--Fourteenth Air Force begins antishipping operations off West R estuary.
U.S.--Gen Giraud arrives in Washington to confer with President Roosevelt and military leaders.
SOLOMON IS.--First echelon of 145th Inf (-3d Bn), 37th Div, sails from Guadalcanal for Rendova. On New Georgia I, 43d Div continues futile efforts to eliminate roadblock on Munda Trail between Zanana and the Barike. Continuing S, main body of Col Liversedge's force reaches Enogai Inlet and
encounters enemy resistance at Triri; 3d Bn of 148th Inf reaches Munda-Bairoko Trail.
NEW GUINEA--Allied planes, in direct support of ground operations, attack Mubo area in force, dropping over 100 tons of bombs. MacKechnie Force, having pushed inland from beach to Napier, begins assault on Bitoi Ridge. Aus 2/6th Bn captures Observation Hill, an important terrain feature a mile W of Mubo.
USSR--Slow enemy advance in Orel sector N of Kursk is brought to a halt as Red Army opens counterattacks. Limited progress is being made by S prong of Axis offensive in Belgorod area.
NEW GEORGIA I.--43d Div completes reduction of enemy strongpoint astride Munda Trail; 169th Inf closes along the Barike, from which Munda will be attacked on 9th. Col Liversedge's 3d Bn, 148th Inf, establishes roadblock on Munda-Bairoko Trail and remains there. 1st Raider Bn, turning over positions at Triri to troops of 145th Inf, tries in vain to reach Enogai.
SOLOMON IS.--On New Georgia I, 43d Div, with close air, arty, and naval gunfire support, attacks W across Barike R toward Munda with 172d Inf on left and 169th on right. 172d gains about 1,100 yards but 169th makes little headway beyond the Barike and still has elements E of the river. 1st Raider Bn of Col Liversedge's force again attacks toward Enogai from Triri, using another route, but is halted by enemy fire near Enogai Pt. Both sides are moving reinforcements to central Solomons. Second echelon of 145th Inf (-3d Bn), 37th Div, sails for Rendova. Japanese land 1,200 reinforcements from the Shortlands on Kolombangara.
SICILY--Tremendous preinvasion air offensive against island results in Allied air superiority over enemy. As convoys of Western (U.S., under Vice Adm Henry K. Hewitt) and Eastern (Br, under Adm Sir Bertram H. Ramsay) Naval Task Forces, with ground assault forces of Gen Alexander's 15th Army Group embarked, approach Sicily in preparation for early morning invasion on 10th, Br and U.S. airborne contingents take off from Tunisia and are dropped on the island during night 9-10. High winds prevailing in assault area handicap both sea and airborne forces, but latter surprise enemy and take assigned objectives, facilitating forward movement of seaborne forces when they arrive. 1st Air Landing Brig Gp of 1st A/B Div, 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, is dropped near Syracuse to hasten capture of that port. Most of the 130-odd gliders land wide of drop zone and nearly 50 fall into the sea, but group of 8 officers and 65 men reaches and holds objective--Ponte Grande bridge. U.S. parachute task force under Col J. M. Gavin, consisting of 82d A/B Div's RCT 505 and 3d Bn of 504th Para Regt, is dropped from 226 C-47's to take high ground near Ponte Olivo airfield, NE of Gela, and assist seaborne forces of U.S. II Corps, Seventh Army, in capture of the airfield. Although drops are very widely scattered over S Sicily, objective is taken. This is the first major airborne operation to be undertaken by Allied forces in World War II and consequently becomes subject of intensive study.
USSR--Red Army opens counterattacks in Obojan region, S of Kursk. Although vigorous fighting continues N and S of Kursk for some time, Axis forces are unable to advance.
KURILE IS.--Paramushiro is bombed for first time, by B-25's from Attu.
NEW GEORGIA IS.--Maj Gen Oscar W. Griswold, CG XIV Corps, is ordered to New Georgia. Momentum of 43d Div's westward drive on Munda slows, particularly on right, where 169th Inf is brought to a halt at junction of Munda Trail with trail leading to coast at Laiana. Jungle terrain makes close air support increasingly difficult as attack progresses and is also slowing road construction. Liversedge's force clears most of Enogai area but by now is dependent upon airdrops for food and water.
NEW GUINEA--U.S. forces from Nassau Bay effect junction with Aus 3d Div troops at Buigap Creek, cutting Japanese communications between Mubo and Salamaua.
SICILY--15th Army Group: Main invasion forces of U.S. Seventh and Br Eighth Armies, with close support of Royal and U.S. Navies and Allied aircraft, land on SE coast of Sicily on broad front from point W of Licata on W to point S of Syracuse on E between 0245 and 0600; establish bridgeheads without serious difficulty.
U.S. Seventh Army, which Gen Patton activates at sea at 0001, puts 3 assault forces ashore between Licata and Capo Scaramia. Gen Truscott commands westernmost TF (3d Div, CCA of 2d Armd Div, and 3d Ranger Bn), which lands in Licata area and takes Licata and its small port. Gen Bradley, U.S. II Corps commander, commands the other two U.S. assault forces. 1st Div (-RCT 18) and 1st and 4th Ranger Bns land at Gela. To E, 45th Div goes ashore near Scoglitti. Both Gela and Scoglitti, as well as Vittoria, are taken as troops push inland and along coast against light resistance. U.S. 82d A/B Div parachutists, upon making contact with 1st Div, come under II Corps command; elements take
Marina di Ragusa. Floating reserve (RCT 18 of 1st Div, and 2d Armd Div less CCA) is landed during day in region E of Gela.
Br Eighth Army (Gen Montgomery) lands to E of U.S. II Corps between Pozzallo and Syracuse. 30 Corps, with 231st Brig on right, 51st Div in center, and Cdn 1st Div on left, lands on Pachino peninsula and clears town of Pachino and airfield. 13 Corps, on E flank, employs 5th Div on right and 50th on left. While 50th takes Avola, 5th makes contact with airborne forces of Br 1st A/B Div at Ponte Grande and crosses bridge to capture Syracuse, night 10-11.
SOLOMON IS.--Adm Halsey selects Gen Vandegrift, commander of 1 Mar Amphib Corps, to head ground forces that are to invade Bougainville, which lies between S Pacific forces and Rabaul. Gen Griswold arrives at Rendova by air. On New Georgia I, supply problem is growing so acute as 43d Div's attack progresses toward Munda that 172d Inf starts quietly S to anchor left flank on coast at Laiana and shorten supply line. Enemy soon discovers the move. Command of 169th Inf, which is still held up by opposition from heights dominating Munda-Lambeti trail junction, passes to Col Temple G. Holland, former commander of 145th Inf. Liversedge's force is mopping up in Enogai area. Airfield at Segi Pt is ready for limited use by fighters.
SICILY--15th Army Group: U.S. Seventh Army reaches beachhead line Yellow (Palma di Montechiaro-Campobello-Mazzarino-Caltagirone-Grammichele) on W flank, where Gen Truscott's force expands Licata bridgehead to include Palma di Montechiaro, Naro, Campobello, and Riesi. II Corps withstands determined, tank-supported counterattacks, main force of which hits 1st Div in Gela area. 45th Div helps repel enemy and takes town of Comiso and airport and Ragusa. Airdrop of another contingent of 82d A/B Div (RCT 504) in Gela area proves costly; drops are scattered and come under both enemy and friendly fire. In Br Eighth Army area, 30 Corps expands bridgehead to Avola-Pozzallo road, seizing Pozzallo. 13 Corps makes main effort northward along coast toward Augusta.
USSR--In region S of Kursk, Axis 4th Pz Army and Army Kempf join forces in drive toward Prochorovka and make limited progress.
NEW GEORGIA--172d Inf of 43d Div, now without food and water, pushes to within 500 yards of Laiana and learns from scouts that Japanese are firmly entrenched in vicinity of Ilangana. 169th Inf, up against outer defenses of Munda position, attempts to advance behind rolling arty barrage but makes little headway.
BATTLE OF KOLOMBANGARA (Second Battle of Kula Gulf)--Allied surface force under Rear Adm Walden L. Ainsworth engages enemy force bringing reinforcements to central Solomons, night 12-13; sinks Japanese cruiser but loses DD Gwin and suffers damage to other vessels. Despite this action, Japanese land 1,200 men on Kolombangara.
NEW GUINEA--Allied troops advancing on Mubo reduce several enemy strongpoints.
CBI--Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek consents to TRIDENT recommendations concerning limited offensive, now called SAUCY, to reopen land route from Burma to China.
SICILY--15th Army Group: Bridgeheads are firmly established by end of day. Br and U.S. forces make contact at Ragusa.
Advance U.S. Seventh Army CP moves ashore from USS Monrovia. Gen Truscott's force takes Canicatti, important road junction. II Corps, despite further determined efforts of enemy to push it back to the sea, expands bridgehead. 1st Div takes Ponte Olivo airport and pushes inland toward Niscemi. Units of 45th Div in Ragusa make contact with Cdn 1st Div of Br Eighth Army.
In Br Eighth Army area, 30 Corps, overrunning Modica and Palazzolo, reaches general line Sortini-Palazzolo-Ragusa-Scicli. 13 Corps, though assisted by air and naval gunfire, is stalled by stubborn opposition at Priolo Gargallo, about half way between Syracuse and Augusta.
USSR--Red Army opens strong offensive, supported by concentrated arty fire, to reduce Axis salient at Orel, concentrating on N and E flanks. The operation is well timed, coming after enemy reserves have been committed to the unsuccessful offensive toward Kursk, which has sharply reduced tank strength. During fierce battle S of Kursk, in Prochorovka area, Axis loses over 400 tanks in vain effort to advance.
NEW GEORGIA--Adm Halsey directs Gen Harmon to take command of New Georgia operation, which is falling behind schedule. 169th Inf of 43d Div, with air and arty support, drives salient into enemy positions E of Munda with capture by 3d Bn of hill commanding Munda Trail. Inability of 1st and 2d Bns to advance, however, leaves 3d Bn in exposed position. 172d Inf reaches coast at Laiana.
NEW GUINEA--Mubo area is cleared of enemy. Aus 3d Div, assisted by fire of Americans, finishes clearing Lababia Ridge.
SICILY--First Allied fighters fly to Sicily to operate from Pachino field. Enemy planes are no longer able to offer effective resistance over the island and are reducing their efforts.
15th Army Group: Gen Alexander establishes new boundary between Br and U.S. forces, giving Eighth Army road Vizzini-Caltagirone-Piazza Armerina-Enna-S. Stefano.
U.S. Seventh Army orders Canicatti held while rcn is pushed W to Agrigento on W, where Gen Truscott's assault force has attained its immediate objective. In II Corps area, RCT 18 is released to 1st Div, from which 1st and 4th Ranger Bns are detached. 2d Armd Div (-CCA) and 1st and 4th Ranger Bns are placed in army reserve. II Corps continues efforts to close along line Yellow. 45th Div pushes N, taking Licodia and Monterosso.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, 51st Div is slowed by enemy near Vizzini. 13 Corps begins offensive, night 13-14, in effort to break out into Catania plain. Parachutists of 1st Para Brig are dropped to seize Primasole bridge over Simeto R, the most suitable exit to Catania plain, and do so. The operation, however, is costly, since planes come under enemy and friendly fire. Seaborne commandos are landed and take another bridge in the area. 5th Div, followed by 50th, makes ground assault from vicinity of Lentini and is firmly opposed.
SOLOMON IS.--On New Georgia, 43d Div's left flank is reinf as 3d Bn of 103d Inf, with engineers and tanks attached, lands at Laiana. The bn is not committed to action at once, however. 3d Bn, 169th Inf, holds its exposed hill position under enemy fire. On Guadalcanal, 25th Div's RCT 161 is alerted for movement to New Georgia.
TROBRIAND IS.--Airfield on Woodlark I. is ready for use by C-47's.
SICILY--Messina, a primary target for Allied bombers, is particularly hard hit. 212 heavy and medium bombers drop about 800 tons of bombs.
15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, 82d A/B Div, in army reserve, is being assembled and reinf in Gela area for operations on W flank of U.S. sector. 4th Tabor of goums of Fr N African Army lands at Licata and is attached to 3d Div. In II Corps area, 1st Div makes substantial progress, taking Mazzarino and Niscemi. CCB, 2d Armd Div, mops up in Niscemi area. Rangers, assisted by naval gunfire, seize Butera. On II Corps right flank, 45th Div takes Biscari airfield and to right reaches line Yellow near Vizzini.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, 51st Div, assisted by U.S. 45th Div, overcomes strong opposition at Vizzini. In 13 Corps area, main assault force is stoutly opposed near Lentini but succeeds in pushing through that town toward Primasole bridge. Parachute force defending the bridge withstands strong enemy pressure throughout day and at night falls back to ridge overlooking the bridge.
ITALY--Air offensive against Italy to interdict movement of supplies and reinforcements to Sicily is intensified by NAAF, Naples being a primary target.
SOLOMON IS.--Gen Griswold, CG XIV Corps, takes command of New Georgia Occupation Force at midnight 15-16, relieving Gen Hester, who retains command of 43d Div. Adm Turner is relieved of posts of Commander, S Pacific Amphib Force (III Amphib Force and TF 32), and Commander, New Georgia Attack Force (TF 32), and leaves for Hawaii. 1st Bn of 145th Inf, 37th Div, lands at Zanana and is attached to 43d Div to relieve elements of 69th Inf. Co of 103d Inf is committed on left flank to plug gap in line of 172d Inf. In air battle over central Solomons, Japanese lose 45 of about 75 aircraft as against 3 U.S. planes lost. As a result, Japanese virtually stop daylight attacks.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, Gen Patton forms Provisional Corps, comprising 3d Div, reinf by 3d Ranger Bn and supporting troops, and 82d A/B Div, reinf by newly arrived RCT 39 of 9th Div and supporting troops, all under command of Maj Gen Geoffrey Keyes, to operate on W flank of U.S. Seventh Army as it swings NW. 2d Armd Div, to which CCA reverts, assembles in Campobello area under army control. 3d Div continues to patrol actively. II Corps reaches line Yellow all along its front, 45th Div on right flank co-operating with 30 Corps in vicinity of Caltagirone.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, Cdn 1st Div, taking the lead from 51st Div, captures Grammichele and Caltagirone. In 13 Corps area, main assault force makes contact with paratroopers commanding Primasole bridge; both forces continue efforts to establish bridgehead over the Simeto.
NEW GEORGIA--As 172d Inf of 43d Div, assisted by Marine tanks, slowly expands Laiana beachhead, 1st Bn of 169th Inf attacks through 3d Bn, taking hill--later called Kelley Hill for 1st Lt John R. Kelley--where it is exposed to strong enemy pressure.
TROBRIAND IS.--First Allied plane lands on Woodlark airstrip.
SICILY--Enemy air attacks during daylight virtually cease, but night attacks are increasing.
15th Army Group: Axis troops are withdrawing to Messina peninsula, at base of which lofty M. Etna commands entire island. Gen Alexander issues directive calling for Br Eighth Army to drive enemy NE along 3 routes into Messina peninsula while U.S. Seventh Army, protecting rear of Br Eighth Army, seizes road net at Enna and cuts E-W road at Petralia.
In U.S. Seventh Army's Prov Corps area, 3d Div begins assault on Agrigento while 3d Ranger Bn takes its port, Porto Empedocle. In II Corps area, 1st Div seizes Barrafranca. 45th Div begins movement to left flank of corps.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, Cdn 1st Div pushes northward from Caltagirone, taking Piazza Armerina, night 16-17. To ease pressure on 13 Corps to right, 91st Div is ordered to drive on Paterno, NW of Catania. 13 Corps establishes small bridgehead across the Simeto before dawn.
ITALY--Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt make joint appeal to Italian people to "decide whether Italians shall die for Mussolini and Hitler--or live for Italy and for civilization."
USSR--Axis forces go on the defensive, having lost heavily in futile attempts to reduce Kursk salient and being under strong pressure in Orel area. Red Army is mounting secondary attacks on southern front against enemy's Kuban bridgehead. Main Soviet offensive against Orel salient is gaining ground.
NEW GEORGIA--43d Div withstands the only organized offensive attempted by Japanese during Munda operation, beginning night 17-18. The counterattacks at various points are generally unsuccessful.
NEW GUINEA--From Nassau Bay, Coane Force (2d and 3d Bns of 162d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, and supporting units) moves out to join Aus 3d Div in drive toward Salamaua. The attack on Salamaua, under Aus command, is a secondary effort designed to divert enemy from next main effort, which is to secure Markham Valley and Huon Peninsula and thus gain control of Vitiaz and Dampier Straits.
MEDITERRANEAN--CCS accept Gen Eisenhower's recommendations of 29 June. At a meeting between Gen Eisenhower and his commanders at Carthage to consider post-HUSKY operations, it is decided that the dual mission of knocking Italy out of the war and drawing off maximum German forces from other areas can best be accomplished by invasion of Italian mainland.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's Prov Corps area, 3d Div, assisted by naval gunfire, completes reduction of Agrigento. 82d A/B Div is being moved forward to W flank by motor. Going into action on W flank of II Corps, 45th takes Pietraperzia and secures crossings of Salso R, S of Caltanissetta, while 1st Div seizes crossings 6 miles E of Caltanissetta.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, 51st Div drives to within 10 miles of Paterno, crossing Simeto R. 13 Corps expands bridgehead over the Simeto in coastal sector and during night 17-18 begins northward drive on Catania with 2 brigs of 50th Div.
USSR--While continuing reduction of Orel salient, Red Army begins local attacks in region S of Izyum and SW of Voroshilovgrad. Moscow announces that positions in Orel sector held before German offensive of 5 July have been recovered.
NEW GEORGIA--XIV Corps, while preparing for final push on Munda, repels Japanese counterattacks at several points. 1st and 2d Bns of 148th Inf, 37th Div, which have landed at Zanana, try unsuccessfully to reach and relieve 169th Inf, 43d Div.
TROBRIAND IS.--Airfield on Kiriwina I. becomes operational.
NEW GUINEA--Coane Force secures S headland of Tambu Bay for supply base.
SICILY--15th Army Group: U.S. Seventh Army is directed to cut N coastal road after capture of Petralia; upon gaining line across island from Campofelice on N to Agrigento on S, is to mop up W part of island. Army advances rapidly all along line as enemy continues withdrawal to NE part of island. Prov Corps pushes NW toward Palermo, 3d Div, in the lead, reaching line Raffadali-S. Cataldo. 82d A/B Div, reinf by RCT 39 of 9th Div, begins operations on W flank of corps; attacking through 3d Div near Agrigento, seizes crossings of Fiume delle Canno, about 8 miles W of Porto Empedocle. II Corps drives NW to attack Palermo from E. 45th Div takes Caltanissetta and pushes on through S Catering. 1st Div reaches M. Capadarso area, NE of Caltanissetta.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, 51st Div continues toward Paterno while Cdn 1st Div thrusts toward Leonforte and Adrano. In 13 Corps area, 5th Div drives toward Misterbianco, W of Catania, while 50th, on coast, continues efforts to reach Catania.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Adm Kinkaid approves plans for invasion of Kiska.
ITALY--Rome undergoes damaging air attack. More than 500 bombers of USAAF attack military objectives--Lorenzo and Littoria marshaling yards
and Ciampino airfields--with about 1,000 tons of bombs.
SICILY--15th Army Group: U.S. Seventh Army makes rapid progress against light resistance. In Prov Corps area, 82d A/B Div, driving NW along coastal highway, reaches positions beyond Ribera. Casteltermini and Mussomeli fall to 3d Div. 2d Armd Div is following in order to exploit possible breakthrough. In II Corps area, 45th Div patrols actively in S. Caterina area. 1st Div, advancing on Enna, clears enemy pocket S of objective.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, Cdn 1st Div continues toward Leonforte, bypassing Enna and reaching positions N of Valguarnera. 51st Div crosses Dittaino R at Sferro, SW of Paterno. 231st Brig, bridging gap between Cdn 1st Div and 51st Div, thrusts to within 3 miles of Agira, where it halts to await clearance of Leonforte. 13 Corps continues to meet firm resistance near Catania. 5th Div crosses the Simeto to W of 50th Div, but its supporting weapons remain S of the river.
U.S.--JCS direct Adm Nimitz to seize bases in the Gilbert Is. and on Nauru.
NEW GEORGIA--Elements of 145th Inf, 37th Div, relieve hard-pressed 169th Inf of 43d Div E of Munda. 148th breaks through enemy positions that have been checking it and prepares to relieve 145th. Trail from Laiana to Munda Trail is completed, easing supply situation. Liversedge Force, after futile attempt to take Bairoko, falls back to Enogai.
NEW GUINEA--U.S. forces begin lengthy struggle for heights (Roosevelt Ridge, Scout Ridge, and Mt Tambu) commanding Tambu Bay and Dot Inlet.
CBI--Gen Bissell is recalled to U.S. to become Assistant Chief of Air Staff, A-2, and is replaced as head of Tenth Air Force by Brig Gen Howard C. Davidson.
SICILY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander orders U.S. Seventh Army, upon reaching coastal road (Highway 113) N of Petralia, to reconnoiter eastward along it and Highway 120 (Petralia-Nicosia-Cesarò), which parallels it to S; to drive on Palermo, which is to be a major supply base; and to secure left flank on general line S. Giuseppe-Corleone-Sciacca.
In U.S. Seventh Army's Prov Corps area, 82d A/B Div, continuing W along S coast, takes Sciacca and Menfi. 3d Div clears S. Stefano and heights N of Mussomeli. 2d Armd Div, assembled in Ribera area, is attached to Prov Corps. TF X is formed to capture Castelvetrano and airfield W of it; protect left and rear of corps' drive on Palermo. Lt Col William O. Darby heads the TF, which is composed of 1st and 4th Ranger Bns, RCT 39 of 9th Div, and supporting units. In II Corps area, 45th Div clashes with Italian delaying forces in Vallelunga area. 1st Div, in conjunction with Br units to right, takes Enna, important supply center, and drives on to Villapriola.
In Br Eighth Army area, Gen Montgomery orders reserve, 78th Div, to Sicily from Africa. In 30 Corps area, Cdn 1st Div pushes to within a few miles of Leonforte. 51st Div, from Sferro area, attacks Gerbini airfield. 13 Corps is virtually stopped by firm resistance on Catania plain.
MEDITERRANEAN--Planning for invasion of Sardinia (BRIMSTONE) is dropped because of successes in Sicilian campaign. Attention of planners becomes focused next on Naples because of its harbor and its proximity to Rome.
USSR--Mitsensk falls to Red Army, whose assault against Orel salient continues.
SOLOMON IS.--Small U.S. rcn party lands on Vella Lavella at Barakoma, night 21-22, in preparation for full-scale invasion. U.S. control of Vella Lavella would isolate Japanese at Vila, Kolombangara. On New Georgia, 148th Inf of 37th Div relieves 145th Inf E of Munda.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's Prov Corps area, TF X seizes Castelvetrano and airport, and 2d Armd Div assembles NE of Castelvetrano prepared to exploit breakthrough, which appears imminent. 82d A/B Div takes S. Margherita and 3d Div seizes Corleone. In II Corps area, 45th Div continues NW, taking Valledolmo. 1st Div clears delaying opposition in Alimena.
In Br Eighth Army area, Gen Montgomery decides to make main effort on left, where assault forces will push around N side of M. Etna to take enemy from rear, major assault to begin on 1 August. 13 Corps and 51st Div of 30 Corps are to go on the defensive. In 30 Corps area, Leonforte falls to Cdn 1st Div, night 21-22. 51st Div falls back under enemy pressure to positions S of Gerbini airfield.
ALEUTIAN IS.--In effort to soften Japanese defenses on Kiska, U.S. warships and aircraft attack the island in force.
NEW GEORGIA--Gen Griswold orders general attack on Munda by 37th and 43d Divs on 25th. 37th Div commander takes charge of his forces on the island. RCT 161, 25th Div, arrives and is attached to 37th Div.
SICILY--15th Army Group: U.S. Seventh Army takes Palermo, on N coast, virtually completing second phase of operations. Limited mopping up
must be carried out in W part of island before final phase--drive to E--can start. Prov Corps takes Palermo without a fight: While TF X thrusts W along coast protecting left and rear, 2d Armd Div is committed to action and drives rapidly NE to outskirts of Palermo. At the same time, 3d Div continues NW to positions SE of the city. Since there is no show of resistance, planned attack on Palermo is withheld and 2d Armd Div enters without opposition. City surrenders at 2000. In II Corps area, left flank elements of 45th Div make contact with 3d Div in outskirts of Palermo while others push on toward N coast. 1st Div continues N toward coast on right flank of corps, taking Bompietro.
USSR--Bolkhov, NW of Mitsensk, falls to Red Army. Soviet troops begin local offensive on northern front S of Lake Ladoga.
TROBRIAND IS.--6th Fighter Sq arrives on Woodlark to begin operations from airfield there.
SICILY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander orders U.S. Seventh Army to exert maximum pressure eastward along Highways 113 and 120 as soon as possible, leaving elements behind to complete mop-up of W part of island. As a result of this order, preparations are made to reinforce II Corps with 3d and 9th Divs and arty units.
U.S. Seventh Army mops up in W Sicily, taking many prisoners. Engineers begin to repair badly damaged port of Palermo. In Prov Corps area, while 3d Div polices Palermo, 82d A/B Div, to which control of TF X components passes, clears Marsala-Trapani area of W coast. In II Corps area, 157th Inf of 45th Div cuts Highway 113, N coastal road, 6 miles E of Termini Imerese; while elements push W from there to Termini Imerese, rest of regt drives E along highway to positions beyond Campofelice. 179th Inf, 45th Div, takes Collesano and advances toward Castelbuono. 1st Div overcomes resistance at Petralia, cutting Highway 120, and patrols eastward.
In Br Eighth Army area, 30 Corps is meeting strong resistance as it attempts to drive E from Leonforte.
NEW GEORGIA--XIV Corps prepares for assault on Munda on 25th. 161st Inf, attached to 37th Div, runs into tenacious opposition as it tries in vain to reach line of departure.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, Prov Corps continues to mop up W part of island, taking record number of prisoners. II Corps pursues enemy eastward, 45th Div in coastal sector and 1st Div on S flank. 45th Div takes Cefalu and Castelbuono. 1st Div overruns Gangi and attacks toward Nicosia.
USSR--Red Army has recovered positions in Belgorod area, which was held by the Russians at start of German offensive on 5 July.
NORWAY--U.S. Eighth Air Force makes its first attack on Norway. 167 B-17's drop 414 tons of bombs on industrial targets at Heroya while 41 release 79 tons on naval installations at Trondheim. Only 1 plane fails to return. This is the longest flight yet undertaken by U.S. planes based in England.
SOLOMON IS.--Gen Twining replaces Rear Adm Marc A. Mitscher as COMAIRSOLS. Air strength of this command has increased from 235 to 539 planes since 2 April. Since invasion of Rendova on 30 June, Fighter Command alone has destroyed 316 planes for loss of 71. Enemy discontinues daylight air attacks on Rendova.
NEW GEORGIA--XIV Corps opens final offensive for Munda airfield. Although supported by naval gunfire and powerful air bombardment, assault troops can make only slow progress against strongly entrenched enemy. 43d Div, with 103d Inf on left and 172d on right, attacks on left (S) and gets elements to coast near Terere but withdraws the salient since it is exposed. 37th Div, with 145th, 161st, and 148th Regts in line from left to right, cannot begin general advance until opposition on ridge (called Bartley Ridge in honor of 2d Lt Martin E. Bartley) in front of 161st Inf is cleared and then starts to envelop enemy there. 148th advances without serious opposition but is out of contact with 161st.
ITALY--King Victor Emmanuel proclaims fall of Mussolini, whose offices are taken over by Marshal Pietro Badoglio; takes command of Italian Army.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, 45th Div makes limited progress along N coastal road (Highway 113). 1st Div, on Highway 120, repels counterattack E of Gangi.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, hard fighting is in progress in Agira sector.
U.S.--CCS request Gen Eisenhower to plan at once for AVALANCHE, invasion of Italy at Salerno, in order to gain Naples and nearby airfields.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Eleventh Air Force makes heaviest attack to date on Kiska, dropping 104 tons of bombs.
SOLOMON IS.--Adm Halsey proposes to Gen MacArthur that plans for invasion of S Bougainville
mainland be dropped and that the Shortlands and Ballale, in Bougainville Strait, be secured as planned in order to provide airfields and anchorages to support future operations. Gen MacArthur later approves.
NEW GEORGIA--43d and 37th Divs are assisted by tanks and flame throwers as they continue attack on Munda after preparatory fire. 103d Inf, 43d Div, takes Ilangana and reaches coast at Kia, but 161st Inf, in 37th Div zone, makes little headway against Bartley Ridge.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, Prov Corps releases RCT 39, 9th Div, 3d Chemical Weapons Bn, and 4th Tabor of goums to II Corps to strengthen it for eastward drive. II Corps makes limited progress astride Highways 113 and 120. On Highway 113, 45th Div reaches road junction N of S. Mauro.
NEW GEORGIA--37th Div temporarily suspends attack on Bartley Ridge in center and begins assault on feature to left called Horseshoe Hill, reducing several pillboxes. 148th Inf gains tenuous contact with 161st, but gap remains between the 2 regts.
CBI--Chinese-American Composite Wing (CACW) is activated in Fourteenth Air Force at Karachi, India. The wing consists of Ch aircraft and pilots trained under lend-lease.
MEDITERRANEAN--AFHQ directs CG, Fifth Army, to prepare plans for capture of Naples and nearby airfields from which future operations in Italy could be supported. D Day, which is to depend upon phase of the moon and availability of landing craft, is tentatively set as 7 September. Br planners are already working on plans for Operation BUTTRESS, invasion of toe of Italy by 10 Corps.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In the coastal sector of the U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, 45th Div's RCT 180 reaches Tusa, a few miles W of S. Stefano, and elements cross Tusa R but are driven back; RCT 179 reaches S. Mauro. 1st Div clears several strongpoints while pushing toward Nicosia along Highway 120; its left flank is protected by 4th Tabor of goums and its right by 91st Rcn Sq, which also maintains contact with British.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Japanese garrison of Kiska is withdrawn by sea without detection by Allied forces, who are continuing preparations to invade the island.
SOLOMON IS.--U.S. rcn party returns from Vella Lavella and recommends that an advance detachment be moved to Barakoma in preparation for main landings.
NEW GEORGIA--Gen Griswold calls for replacements. 43d Div is creeping forward in small-scale actions. 145th Inf, 37th Div, continues to clear Horseshoe Hill. 3d Bn, 161st, occupies some abandoned enemy positions on Bartley Ridge.
SICILY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander moves his hq to Sicily.
In U.S. Seventh Army area, coastal cargo vessels begin arriving at Palermo. In II Corps area, 45th Div, recrossing Tusa R, pushes a little closer to S. Stefano in coastal sector. 1st Div takes Nicosia.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, Agira falls to left flank elements of corps.
NEW GEORGIA--XIV Corps continues to advance slowly toward Munda airfield, methodically destroying enemy pillboxes with assistance of tanks and flame throwers. Maj Gen John R. Hodge takes command of 43d Div, relieving Gen Hester, and commits 1st and 3d Bns, 169th Inf, between 172d and 103d Regts. In 37th Div zone, 145th Inf reaches crest of Horseshoe Hill but pulls back a little to more tenable positions; 161st Inf forces on Bartley Ridge continue to advance cautiously; 148th pulls back to establish contact with 161st and protect supply route, but does not quite succeed in closing the gap and is precariously situated.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, trains begin using RR line between Palermo and Cefalu. Prov Corps nearly completes its mop-up task in W Sicily. 3 small islands off Trapani (Favignana, Marettimo, and Levango) surrender to 82d A/B Div. In II Corps area, 45th Div meets increasing rear-guard resistance as it approaches S. Stefano, on N coast road, and moves elements SE in effort to outflank enemy; other elements advance to Mistretta, which enemy retains. From Nicosia, 1st Div probes to outskirts of Mistretta and eastward along Highway 120 toward Cerami without incident; goumiers clear pocket about 3 miles W of Capizzi. RCT 39 is attached to 1st Div.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, recently arrived 78th Div, now in position to attack and reinf by Cdn 3d Brig, opens assault along axis Catenanuova-Adrano, night 29-30. In 13 Corps area, 5th Div is reinf by 2 bns of infantry and regt of tanks.
NEW GEORGIA--Alteration of boundaries gives 43d Div a wider front and places S half of Bartley Ridge within zone of 145th Inf, 37th Div. 145th Inf repels counterattack on Horseshoe Hill and shells enemy positions. 161st is reinf by 2d Bn of 145th and continues to clear Bartley Ridge. Elements
of 148th gain physical contact with 161st, but main body of 148th is isolated.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, enemy continues withdrawal eastward across army front. In II Corps area, 45th Div is strongly opposed by enemy rear guards in S. Stefano area during day, but enemy withdraws from the town and from Reitano, to S, night 30-31. On Highway 120, 1st Div advances toward Troina, its patrols reaching Cerami.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, 78th Div takes Catenanuova in morning; renews attack, night 30-31, securing heights to N and NE from which to attack Centuripe. 231st Brig, leading eastward drive on Regalbuto, is meeting severe resistance near this objective.
USSR--Enemy attempts to recover ground lost on Mius front but is unable to retain the initiative.
NEW GEORGIA--2d Bns of 161st and 145th Regts finish clearing Bartley Ridge. Enemy continues to resist on Horseshoe Hill. 148th Inf tries to return to main body.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, Gen Patton issues directive for major attack eastward toward Messina, beginning 1 August. II Corps, which is to contain 1st, 3d, and 9th Divs, and supporting units, will make main effort along Highways 113 and 120 from line S. Stefano-Mistretta-Nicosia. Prov Corps is to organize W part of Sicily and protect rear of II Corps; be prepared to furnish reinforcements to II Corps. Aircraft and naval TF 88 are to support offensive. In Corps area, 45th Div is being relieved in S. Stefano sector by 3d Div. On S flank, 1st Div advances to within 5 miles of Troina, capturing Cerami; 4th Tabor of goums, on div left flank, takes Capizzi.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, 231st Brig is still fiercely opposed just W of Regalbuto. 78th Div attacks strong enemy position at Centuripe.
NEW GEORGIA--43d Div's road and 169th Regts--172d Inf now being pinched out--reach outer taxiways of Munda airfield without serious difficulty since main body of enemy has withdrawn. In 37th Div zone, Japanese are found to have abandoned Horseshoe Hill; 148th Inf succeeds in breaking through to main body. Hq of 25th Div and 27th Inf arrive on Sasavele; 35th Inf is alerted for movement to Munda.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, 3d Div completes relief of 45th Div--which is transferred to Prov Corps--on N coast in S. Stefano area; continues eastward drive along coastal highway, gaining several miles. On Highway 120, 1st Div continues to press toward Troina, forward elements reaching outskirts, and begins move to outflank enemy, who is resisting strongly. 9th Div (less RCT 39 in action with 1st Div) arrives at Palermo.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, Cdn 1st Div joins 231st Brig in assault on Regalbuto and succeeds in penetrating into the town. Enemy continues vigorous defense of Centuripe.
RUMANIA--Ploesti oil refineries are targets for first low-level, mass assault by AAF heavy bombers based in Libya. 177 B-24's, some drawn from NAAF and others on loan from Eighth Air Force, all under control of Gen Brereton, CG Ninth Air Force, conduct the attack for which pilots and crews have been intensively trained in N Africa. Oil objectives, although heavily defended, are severely damaged. Cost of this operation (TIDALWAVE) is high: 54 planes are lost, 41 of them in action. 7 of the B-24's land in Turkey.
ALEUTIAN IS.--In preparation for invasion of Kiska, surface vessels of 2 naval TF's and aircraft of Eleventh Air Force bombard the island.
SOLOMON IS.--RCT 27 of 25th Div and div hq arrive on New Georgia I, where RCT 27 is given mission of defending N flank of XIV Corps and maintaining contact with 2d Bn of 148th Inf, 37th Div. XIV Corps is steadily clearing Munda airfield area.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, mines and demolitions are slowing advance of II Corps' 3d Div along coastal road. 1st Div continues efforts to envelop and reduce Troina, which enemy is defending tenaciously.
In Br Eighth Army area, left flank elements of 30 Corps gain firm control of Regalbuto and continue E while 78th Div fights indecisively in streets of Centuripe throughout day.
ITALY--Allied warning to Italian people of imminent invasion of Italy is broadcast from Algiers.
NEW GEORGIA--XIV Corps continues battle for Munda airfield and is progressing steadily. Bibolo Hill mass, just N of airfield, is cleared of enemy. 3d Bn of 148th Inf, Liversedge Force, is moving forward from Bairoko area to block northward withdrawal of enemy from Munda. S Pacific Scouts (Fijian and Solomons natives) are attached to 25th Div.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, 3d Div, supported by naval gunfire, continues E along N coast road toward Furiano R. 1st Div makes limited progress in Troina area, where enemy is still offering firm resistance.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, enemy's Catania position, which is being thinned out, becomes untenable as 78th Div takes Centuripe, forcing enemy back across Salso R. In 13 Corps' coastal sector, 5th Div opens attack on 2-brig front, night 3-4.
USSR--Soviet offensive broadens as troops of Voronezh and Steppes Fronts open powerful drive on Kharkov, in N Ukraine. 3 Soviet fronts (West, Bryansk, and Center) are closing in on Orel.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Eleventh Air Force offensive against Kiska reaches its peak as 152 tons of bombs are dropped during 134 sorties.
NEW GEORGIA--XIV Corps continues to clear Munda area. 43d Div sector is clear except for Kokengolo Hill, N of the runway on airfield. Most of 37th Div's assault force reaches the sea.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, 15th Inf of 3d Div, although assisted by naval gunfire, is unable to force crossing of Furiano R. RCT 7 moves by water to positions on coast behind RCT 15. After strong arty and air preparation, 1st Div makes all-out effort to take Troina but cannot break through enemy positions. In support of assault on Troina, 60th Inf of 9th Div, reinf by arty and engineer units, moves against positions N and NW of Cesaro. 9th Div (-) completes assembly at Nicosia and is attached to II Corps.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, Cdn 1st and Br 78th Divs pursue enemy northward across Salso R. 13 Corps' 50th Div is alerted for drive on Catania. 5th Div continues toward Misterbianco.
NEW GEORGIA--Munda airfield, main objective of central Solomons campaign, falls to XIV Corps after 12 days of fighting in well-fortified jungle. 25th Div has task of driving on Bairoko and Zieta in order to clear final resistance and make contact with Liversedge Force.
NEW GUINEA--Lt Col Malcolm A. Moore takes command of newly formed Second Air Task Force based at advanced airfield recently constructed at Tsili Tsili, in Watut R Valley W of Lae, in order to facilitate operations against Lae.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, on N flank of II Corps, 3d Div opens attack on S. Fratello Ridge. 1st Div, with direct air support, continues battle for Troina, gaining positions overlooking the town. Enemy withdraws from Troina, night 5-6.
In Br Eighth Army area, 30 Corps continues toward Adrano; 13 Corps overruns Paterno, Misterbianco, and Catania.
USSR--Red Army captures Orel and Belgorod, both valuable prizes, 2d Pz Army is virtually destroyed during the Orel battle, remnants being absorbed by 9th Army. Fall of Belgorod, key enemy position on N face of Kharkov salient, greatly weakens enemy's Kharkov position.
BATTLE OF VELLA GULF--Japanese naval force taking reinforcements to central Solomons is intercepted in Vella Gulf, between Vella Lavella and Kolombangara, by U.S. naval TF under Cmdr Frederick Moosbrugger. In the ensuing night action, 3 enemy DD's are sunk but another vessel escapes. About 300 Japanese succeed in reaching Vella Lavella but over 1,500 are lost. This ends enemy plans for counterattack on New Georgia.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese order air reinforcements to Wewak.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, 3d Div continues to attack enemy positions along Furiano R on N coast but is unable to advance. RCT 16 of 1st Div enters Troina, from which enemy has withdrawn, and pushes E until halted by opposition about a mile from the town. RCT 60, 9th Div, takes heights 7 miles N of Troina. 9th Div is reinf by 91st Rcn Sq and 4th Tabor of goums.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, Adrano falls to 78th Div as enemy pulls out, night 6-7. 1st Div takes Biancavilla.
NEW GEORGIA--Munda airfield is ready for emergency use.
INDIA--Gen Stratemeyer arrives in India.
CHINA--Col Dorn reports that Gen Chen will not return to Yunnan from Enshih to command Y-Force until more troops and supplies are provided. At this time only 2 Ch armies have begun to reorganize.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, 3d Div improves positions on N coast in S. Fratello region against continued strong resistance. Night 7-8, small amphibious force (2d Bn of 30th Inf, reinf) makes landing on coast 2 miles E of S. Agata, greatly facilitating progress in that area. 9th Div replaces 1st Div and begins drive on Randazzo, enemy strongpoint that on this date is
target for peak air effort. 9th Div pushes E in 2 columns, one from M. Pelato, 8 miles N of Troina, and the other along Highway 120.
NEW GEORGIA--RCT 161, 25th Div, starts northward behind 1st Bn of 27th Inf to clear region W of Bairoko Harbor in conjunction with Liversedge Force, which is to clear area E of the harbor.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, enemy is forced to fall back on N coast road and 3d Div takes S. Agata. 9th Div's 47th Inf reaches Cesaro, on road to Randazzo; 60th Inf captures M. Camolato, 6 miles NW of Cesaro.
In Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps area, Bronte falls to 78th Div.
NEW GEORGIA--25th Div column (1st Bn of 27th Inf) makes contact with Liversedge Force. 35th Inf is ordered to prepare to land on Vella Lavella.
MEDITERRANEAN--Gen Alexander directs Gen Montgomery to seize bridgehead on Calabrian coast of Italy with current resources.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, II Corps advances steadily eastward against rear-guard opposition. In coastal sector, forward elements of 3d Div reach Torrenuovo; enemy falls back to Zappulla R. 9th Div's 47th Inf advances along Cesaro-Randazzo highway, and 60th advances in difficult terrain to N. Enemy pulls back to Simeto R line, between Cesaro and Randazzo.
Since enemy is delaying advance on Messina via Randazzo in Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps sector, Gen Montgomery decides to make a greater effort along E coast with 13 Corps and commits 5th Div there to drive N in region E of M. Etna in conjunction with 50th Div.
NEW GEORGIA--1st Bn of 27th Inf, 25th Div, is attached to Liversedge Force to assist in clearing region between Bairoko Harbor and Enogai Inlet. 3d Bn of 148th Inf, 37th Div, is detached from Liversedge Force and attached to 27th Inf of 25th Div with mission of intercepting northward withdrawal of enemy from Munda.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, II Corps continues to pursue enemy eastward. In coastal sector, enemy retires to heights W of Naso and is followed by 3d Div. During night 10-11, 3d Div makes another highly successful landing on coast, outflanking enemy in Capo d'Orlando region. The amphibious force (2d Bn of 30th Inf, reinf by arty and tanks), with close air and naval gunfire support, lands 2 miles E of Capo d'Orlando and establishes positions astride main highway and RR. 9th Div elements driving along Highway 120 toward Randazzo reach road junction N of Bronte.
POA--Lt Gen Robert C. Richardson, Jr., organizes small TF (804th Aviation Engr Bn, prov AAA bn, prov air service support sq, fighter sq, and service units) to develop Baker I. as a base from which to support coming offensive in Central Pacific.
SOLOMON IS.--Adm Halsey issues orders for further operations in central Solomons. Northern Force (TF 30 under Rear Adm Theodore S. Wilkinson is to land troops (RCT 35, 25th Div, and supporting units) under Brig Gen Robert B. McClure on Vella Lavella to seize air and naval bases. Strong Japanese forces at Vila on Kolombangara will thus be bypassed. New Georgia Occupation Force is to extend its positions to Arundel and shell enemy on Kolombangara. 43d Div amphibious patrol finds evidence that Japanese are holding Baanga I.
NEW GUINEA--Fifth Air Force completes movement of Second Task Force to Tsili Tsili field.
SICILY--Allied aircraft supporting the 15th Army Group are concentrating on enemy movements and evacuation points with good effect as enemy withdraws at a rapid rate from Sicily to Italian mainland.
15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, as a result of the successful amphibious operation on coast, night 10-11, 3d Div overruns Naso with little difficulty and enemy retires eastward beyond Patti. 9th Div presses closer to Randazzo, passing 39th Inf through 4th on Highway 120; 60th Inf continues toward Floresta on 9th Div N flank.
In Br Eighth Army area, Gen Montgomery, anxious to prepare for imminent invasion of Italy, orders 91st Div to relieve 5th Div and 30 Corps hq to take over duties of 13 Corps hq on 13 August.
USSR--Closing in on Kharkov, some Red Army units reach Akhtyrka and others cut Kharkov-Poltava RR.
ALEUTIAN IS.--In a final preinvasion naval bombardment of Kiska, 5 cruisers and 5 DD's expend 60 tons of shells.
SOLOMON IS.--Advance landing party from Rendova goes ashore at Barakoma on Vella Lavella, night 12-13, to pave way for main landing on 15th and finds only stragglers. Co L of 169th Inf, 43d Div, begins landing on Baanga to establish beachhead but
runs into heavy opposition and is forced to withdraw, leaving 34 men ashore.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, 3d Div continues pursuit of enemy in coastal sector. 9th Div's 60th Inf reaches Floresta, N of Randazzo; 39th continues E along Highway 120, gaining favorable position for assault on Randazzo, but enemy withdraws, night 12-13.
In Br Eighth Army area, 30 Corps' 78th Div, which has been held up for several days S of Maletto, seizes that town.
USSR--Chuguev, SE of Kharkov, falls to Red Army as investment of Kharkov continues.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Kiska invasion force leaves Adak for target.
SOLOMON IS.--Elements of 169th Inf, 43d Div, land on Vela Cela, small island between New Georgia and Baanga, and reconnoiter without incident. Aircraft search for the American party on Baanga. First Allied plane lands on Munda airfield, New Georgia.
NEI--B-24's of 380th Heavy Bombardment Group, which has recently arrived in Australia as part of air reinforcements promised SWPA at Pacific Military Conference in March, attack oil center at Balikpapan, (Borneo) in force. The round trip covers 1,200 miles.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps coastal sector, RCT 30 of 3d Div continues E toward Patti despite formidable roadblock at Capo Calava that requires movement about it by water. RCT 15 and 3d Ranger Bn are clearing pockets SW of Patti. In 9th Div sector, RCT 39 enters Randazzo without opposition and is passed through by RCT 47, which continues E, as does RCT 60 to N.
ITALY--Twelfth Air Force makes second large-scale attack on marshaling yards at Rome, employing 106 B-17's, 102 B-26's, and 66 B-25's with fighter escort. Some 500 tons of bombs are dropped, causing heavy damage. Fighter opposition is strong but only 2 B-26's are lost.
USSR--Soviet forces continue to improve positions in Kharkov area against determined opposition. Other Red Army troops driving on Smolensk take Spas Demensk.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--QUADRANT Conference, attended by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and CCS, opens in Quebec, Canada.
POA--U.S. Army Forces in Central Pacific Area (USAFICPA) is activated under Gen Richardson, who is to have charge of administration and training of ground and air forces in Central Pacific.
SOLOMON IS.--Brig Gen Francis P. Mulcahy, USMC, COMAIR New Georgia, opens command post at Munda airfield, New Georgia. Two sqs of Marine aircraft (F4U) arrive to begin operations. 3d Bn of 169th Inf, 43d Div, establishes beachhead on SE Baanga with 3 cos. Co L tries to rescue the force stranded there earlier but is encircled by enemy and suffers heavy casualties.
NEW GUINEA--With close air and arty support, 2d Bn of 162d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, pushes to crest of Roosevelt Ridge, but enemy retains series of ridges on Dot Inlet.
SICILY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, 3d Div speeds eastward along coast to vicinity of Barcellona. Some 9th Div elements make contact with 3d Div in Montalbano area; those on Highway 120 are passed through by RCT 18 of 1st Div, which continues pursuit E of Randazzo.
Br Eighth Army is out of contact with enemy.
ITALY--Italian Government proclaims Rome an open city.
MEDITERRANEAN--Naval plan "Western Naval Task Force Operation Plan No. 7-43" for Operation AVALANCHE, invasion of Italy at Salerno, is issued. Elements of the naval force are to make diversionary feint against beaches NW of Naples.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Allied invasion force arrives off Kiska and begins landing without opposition. Weather conditions prevent air support of the operation (COTTAGE), but Eleventh Air Force, during final phase of preinvasion bombardment from 10 August to date, has dropped 355 tons of bombs. Under command of Vice Adm Thomas C. Kinkaid, Adm Rockwell commands the amphibious force of nearly 100 ships, and Maj Gen Charles H. Corlett, USA, is in charge of landing force of over 34,000 troops. Troops employed are: 17th Inf of 7th Div, which participated in the Attu operation; 53d Inf; 87th Inf, trained in mountain fighting; 184th Inf; 1st Special Service Force; Cdn 13th Brig Gp; hq troops. 159th Inf of 7th Div, originally earmarked for the Kiska operation, is garrisoning Attu so that 17th Inf, with battle experience in the Aleutians, can be employed.
SOLOMON IS.--Wilkinson's Northern Landing Force puts Gen McClure's Landing Force--RCT 35 of 25th Div and supporting units--ashore on SE coast of Vella Lavella in Barakoma area, where
beachhead is established without ground opposition. Japanese aircraft are very active against shipping but do little damage. Zieta, New Georgia, falls to 27th Inf, 25th Div. On Baanga, the small American beachhead is strengthened by 2d Bn of 169th Inf, 43d Div, which attacks through Co I after the latter tries in vain to reach Co L. Elements of Co L succeed in joining main body, but the co is so depleted in strength that it is sent back to Munda.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese make first air attack on new air base at Tsili Tsili.
BURMA--Work on Ledo Road is progressing very slowly. From end of March to date, only 3 miles have been constructed.
MEDITERRANEAN--U.S. Fifth Army issues Outline Plan for Operation AVALANCHE. Gen G. Castellano of Italian Commando Supremo begins negotiations for armistice at British Embassy in Madrid.
SICILY--Withdrawing enemy forces are being subjected to round-the-clock air attacks.
15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army area, 157th Inf of 45th Div, under Seventh Army control, lands on N coast NW of Barcellona, night 15-16, behind forward elements of II Corps' 3d Div in order to block enemy withdrawal. In II Corps area, 3d Div continues rapidly along N coast to Spadafora. 9th Div remains in Randazzo area. 1st Div halts advance.
Br Eighth Army completes drive around M. Etna as 78th Div clears Randazzo-Linguaglossa road and 51st Div overruns Linguaglossa. 50th Div seizes Taormina, on road to Messina. Commandos with tanks land, night 15-16, on E coast at Ali in effort to cut off retreating enemy, but are too late to accomplish the mission; start inland toward Messina.
USSR--Soviet forces driving W astride Orel-Bryansk RR overrun Karachev. Hard fighting continues in Kharkov sector.
SOLOMON IS.--43d Div commander personally directs operations on Baanga and commits 172d Regt (-) as well as 169th (-). Arty supports attack but progress is still slow. Enemy guns on Baanga begin shelling Munda.
MEDITERRANEAN--At conference of commanders at Carthage, final decisions are made for invasion of Italy. 13 Corps of Br Eighth Army, employing Cdn 1st and Br 5th Divs, which have been withdrawn from Sicilian battle, is to cross Strait of Messina to Calabrian coast between 1 and 4 September. This operation (BAYTOWN) is to be followed on 9 September, or not more than 48 hours later, by main assault of U.S. Fifth Army in Salerno area (AVALANCHE).
SICILY--Enemy continues withdrawal of rear guards to Italy as rapidly as possible and offers no organized opposition.
15th Army Group: In U.S. Seventh Army's II Corps area, RCT 7 of 3d Div, speeding toward Messina, reaches Divieto in coastal sector. Strong 3d Div patrols enter Messina, which is under fire from Italian coast, before midnight.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Main enemy camp on Kiska is found to be deserted. Search of the island continues.
SOLOMON IS.--Second echelon of Northern Landing Force arrives at Vella Lavella and unloads despite enemy air attacks. 43d Div troops on Baanga are assisted by dive bombers as well as arty but make little headway.
NEW GUINEA--Fifth Air Force begins series of heavy air attacks on Wewak and satellite fields at But, Dagua, and Boram in order to neutralize them in preparation for offensive against Lae.
SICILY--15th Army Group: Sicily Campaign ends with official entry of RCT 7, 3d Div, into Messina at 1000. Americans are joined there a little later by Br force from Ali. Fall of Sicily permits stepped-up air operations against the next objective, Italy.
GERMANY--315 Eighth Air Force bombers make destructive daylight attacks on aircraft plants at Schweinfurt and Regensburg, dropping 724 tons of bombs. In air battles over targets, 60 U.S. bombers are shot down, but enemy plane losses are far heavier. RAF begins massive attacks (Operation CROSSBOW) on German V-weapons experimental bases with night strike (17-18) against Peenemuende, on Baltic Sea coast, by about 570 aircraft dropping almost 2,000 tons of bombs.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--CCS, at QUADRANT Conference in Quebec, direct Gen Eisenhower to send representatives to Lisbon to negotiate with Italians for armistice.
ELLICE IS.--Implementing directive of 20 July to establish bases from which assault on the Marshalls can be supported, advance party lands on Nanomea to reconnoiter and choose airfield site.
SOLOMON IS.--Japanese naval force bound for Horaniu, at Kokolope Bay on NE Vella Lavella, for purpose of establishing barge base there, is intercepted early in morning by U.S. naval force, which sinks 2 submarine chasers, 2 torpedo boats, and 1 barge. 43d Div commits another bn of 172d Inf to assault on Baanga.
MEDITERRANEAN--Air plan for support of Operation AVALANCHE is issued.
USSR--Red Army troops further improve positions about Kharkov with capture of Zmiev; S of the city.
SOLOMON IS.--Japanese troop-laden barges that escaped U.S. naval force on 18th succeed in unloading at Horaniu, Vella Lavella. On Baanga I., Japanese naval guns that have been shelling Munda are captured.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese abandon positions on Mt Tambu and Komiatum Ridge, last major obstacles before Salamaua, and fall back to final defensive positions.
SOLOMON IS.--43d Div troops complete offensive on Baanga, sealing off S peninsula. Action on the island has cost the div 52 killed and 110 wounded. A search of rest of island and of islands leading N to Diamond Narrows is uneventful. Japanese withdraw from S Baanga.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Blarney takes command of New Guinea Force, releasing Gen Herring, who proceeds to Dobodura to command Aus I Corps.
SOLOMON IS.--Enemy planes intermittently attack vessels taking third echelon of Northern Landing Force to Vella Lavella, but cause little damage.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Uneventful search for enemy on Kiska is completed. Light casualties have been suffered by Allied forces during the operation as a result of mistaken identity.
ELLICE IS.--Advance party of 2d Mar Airdrome Bn lands at Nukufetau, where air base is to be established.
NEW GUINEA--Air offensive against Wewak has neutralized enemy airpower on New Guinea sufficiently for Allied warships (4 DD's under Capt Jesse H. Carter) to risk voyage along coast from Milne Bay to Finschhafen. After bombarding Finschhafen, night 22-23, the DD's return safely.
SOLOMON IS.--On New Georgia, 27th Inf of 25th Div reaches Piru Plantation after difficult march through swampland.
USSR--Enemy abandons Kharkov, having exhausted reserves in a losing battle for the city. Hard fighting is developing S of Izyum and on Mius front as powerful Soviet forces attempt to breach enemy defenses. On Mius front, Red Army troops cut Taganrog-Stalino RR.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--QUADRANT Conference at Quebec ends. OVERLORD, invasion of northwestern Europe, target date 1 May 1944, and POINTBLANK, Combined Bomber Offensive to destroy economic and military power of Germany as a prelude to OVERLORD, shall constitute the primary effort against Germany. Plans for invasion of Italy are approved, but the forces to be employed are confined to those already allotted at TRIDENT. Advances against Japan are to be made along both the Central Pacific and the SWPA route. Action in the Central Pacific is to begin with invasion of Gilberts and Marshalls. In SWPA, Rabaul will be neutralized but not captured; New Guinea will be neutralized as far W as Wewak; Manus and Kavieng are to be secured as bases from which further advances can be supported. A new Allied command, Southeast Asia Command (SEAC), is authorized to simplify command structure in Asia; Adm Lord Louis Mountbatten is to be Supreme Commander and Gen Stilwell will be his deputy. China theater is not included in SEAC; as China is an area of U.S. strategic responsibility, Gen Stilwell is responsible to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. North Burma offensive is scheduled to begin in February 1944.
POA--Fifth Amphibious Force is established under command of Adm Turner.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 5th Div relieves Aus 3d Div of final operations against Salamaua; primary objective is to divert enemy attention from Lae. While Aus 5th Div is clearing heights S of Francisco R on Lae, Americans of 162d Inf, 41st Div, continue operations against ridges in Dot Inlet.
SOLOMON IS.--Action on New Georgia I. comes to a close as Americans seize Bairoko Harbor without opposition. Japanese remnants have withdrawn to Kolombangara and Arundel. 172d Inf, 43d Div, is to secure that part of Arundel I. commanding Diamond Narrows.
MEDITERRANEAN--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army issues Field Order No. 1, putting outline plan for invasion of Italy into effect. Under 15th Army Group, U.S. Fifth Army is to conduct Operation AVALANCHE in Naples area and Br Eighth Army, Operation BAYTOWN on toe of Italy.
INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS--U.S. and several other Allied nations extend recognition to French Committee of National Liberation.
MEDITERRANEAN--15th Army Group: AVALANCHE Operation Plan of 15 August is modified somewhat to meet changes in situation. Br and U.S. arty is in position on Sicily to support BAYTOWN.
ELLICE IS.--Rest of 2d Mar Airdrome Bn and elements of naval construction bn arrive at Nukufetau.
SOLOMON IS.--172d Inf (-3d Bn), 43d Div, lands on SE Arundel at S tip of Nauro Peninsula without opposition. While Co A holds beachhead, rest of the force drives N to base of the peninsula.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Br rcn party lands at Bova Marina, on toe, and finds the area undefended.
USSR--Sevsk, S of Bryansk, falls to Red Army.
FRANCE--U.S. Eighth Air Force flies its first CROSSBOW mission, 187 B-17's bombing Watten.
ELLICE IS.--Forward echelon of 7th Mar Defense Bn and detachments from 2 naval construction bns land on Nanomea.
SOLOMON IS.--Patrols of 172d Inf, 43d Div, start up E and W coasts of Arundel without opposition. RCT 35 of 25th Div is ordered to secure radar site on NE Vella Lavella in Kokolope Bay region, where patrols have observed considerable enemy activity.
SOLOMON IS.--Elements of 1st Bn, 35th Inf, 25th Div, start N up E coast of Vella Lavella toward Kokolope Bay.
USSR--Red Army surges forward in several sectors. Forces driving on Smolensk take Yelnya. Others, in region W of Kursk, overrun Gluchov. Breaking through to Sea of Azov on Mius front, Soviet troops take Taganrog.
SOLOMON IS.--1st Bn of 145th Inf, 37th Div, arrives on Vella Lavella from New Georgia and relieves 1st Bn of 35th Inf, 25th Div, of perimeter defense mission so that it can move N to Kokolope Bay. U.S. patrol on Arundel encounters light opposition on E coast.
POA--Allied TF arrives on Baker I. to develop it as a base from which future operations in the Central Pacific can be supported. Airstrip is constructed within a week. This brings number of Central Pacific bases within bombing range of the Gilberts up to 5: Funafuti, Nukufetau, and Nanomea in Ellice Is.; Canton; Baker. U.S. carrier-based planes make surprise attack on Marcus I., heavily damaging installations.
SOLOMON IS.--In preparation for offensive against N Solomons, Air Command North Solomons is formed at Espiritu Santo under Brig Gen Field Harris, USMC. On Vella Lavella, forward elements of 1st Bn, 35th Inf, 25th Div, driving on Kokolope Bay, reach Orete Cove area, about 14 miles NE of Barakoma.
NEW GUINEA--Allied air operations are intensified in preparation for offensive against Lae. Fifth Air Force is concentrating on airfields, supply points, and shipping in New Guinea-New Britain area.
ITALY--Units of Royal Navy join aircraft and arty in bombardment of Calabrian coast in preparation for BAYTOWN.
SOLOMON IS.--On Arundel, final elements of 172d Inf, 43d Div--the 3d Bn--land at Nauro Peninsula.
ITALY--As NAAF completes preinvasion attacks in preparation for BAYTOWN, having intensified them against Calabrian Peninsula during past week, virtually all airfields in S Italy except Foggia and its satellites have been neutralized. U.S. bombers, during period 18 August to date, have flown almost 3,000 sorties against communication targets. Small B-17 attack on Brenner Pass temporarily interdicts the pass, the shortest route between Germany and Italy. Allied planes open intensive preinvasion attacks in support of AVALANCHE, pounding airfields within range of Salerno day and night.
USSR--Red Army is moving steadily westward toward the Dnieper on broad front from Smolensk area on N to Sea of Azov on S. Some elements cut Bryansk-Konotop RR; others take Sumy, between Konotop and Kharkov; still others are pressing toward Stalino.
SOLOMON IS.--172d Inf patrol, moving up W coast of Arundel, reaches Bustling Point without enemy interference. With beachhead defenses of Barakoma area on Vella Lavella now firmly established,
Adm Wilkinson, CG TF 31, relinquishes command of operations.
NEW GUINEA--Allied planners meeting at Port Moresby decide to seize line Dumpu-Saidor to protect movement to Cape Gloucester. As air preparation for landing at Lae continues, the assault force assembles off Buna.
SICILY--At 1715, after units of Br Eighth Army have landed on mainland of Italy, Gen Castellano, on behalf of the Italian Government of Marshal Badoglio, signs short-term armistice at Cassibile, near Syracuse, Sicily, to become effective on 8 September, when news of it is to be made public. Because of the Italian armistice, U.S. 82d A/B Div, scheduled to drop in Capua area of Volturno Valley to block southward movement of enemy reinforcements, is to be dropped instead in vicinity of Rome where, with assistance of Italians, it will prevent German occupation of Rome.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Under Gen Alexander, invades European continent. In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps, under cover of air, naval, and arty bombardment, is ferried across Strait of Messina and lands on Calabrian coast between Reggio and Villa S. Giovanni at 0430; against token resistance from Italians, quickly seizes Reggio, its airdrome, and S. Giovanni and pushes northward in 2 columns, 5th Div along coastal road to Schilla and Cdn 1st Div on parallel inland route to S. Stefano. During night 3-4, commandos land at Bagnara to outflank enemy positions and speed advance.
POA--V Amphibious Corps (VAC), under command of Maj Gen Holland M. Smith, USMC, is created to train and control troops for amphibious landings in Central Pacific.
SOLOMON IS.--On Arundel, 2d Bn of 172d Inf, 43d Div, moves by sea to Stima Peninsula; leaving Co G to contain enemy pocket at its base, advances NW. After amphibious move from Nauro to Bustling Point, 1st Bn begins advance to secure control of entrance to Wana Wana Lagoon.
NEW GUINEA--While diversionary action by Aus 5th Div and 162d Inf of U.S. 41st Div toward Salamaua is drawing to a close, offensive operations are begun against Lae, the main objective. After brief naval gunfire preparation, 26th and 20th Brigs, Aus 9th Div, and U.S. scouts of 2d Engr Special Brig land at points 14 and 18 miles E of Lae without opposition. The Americans are placed under command of Aus 9th Div upon landing. Fifth Air Force co-operates by bombing Hopoi and driving off enemy planes that damage several LST's and LCI's of TF 76. From positions 14 miles from Lae, 26th Brig and Aus 2/17th Bn start W toward Lae. Aus 2/13th Bn drives E from Bulu Plantation, 18 miles E of Lae, to Hopoi to secure E flank.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander orders 1st A/B Div to be prepared to land elements at Taranto (SLAPSTICK) on 9th in order to secure the port, airfields, and installations and establish contact with Italians in Brindisi area; cancels projected invasion of Crotone area (GOBLET) by Br 5 Corps from N Africa, thereby releasing 5 Corps hq, which is to take command of forces in heel of Italy and be prepared to advance upon order.
In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps moves steadily northward up Calabrian Peninsula, hampered only by skillful demolitions.
USSR--Red Army blocks last rail exit from Kharkov with capture of rail junction of Merefa, S of the city.
SOLOMON IS.--172d Inf, 43d Div, unsuccessfully attacks Japanese positions some 600 yards SE of base of Bomboe Peninsula on Arundel and strengthens block at base of Stima Peninsula after enemy counterattacks there.
NEW GUINEA--U.S. 503d Para Regt and detachment of Aus 2/4th Field Regt, transported across Owen Stanley Range from Port Moresby by Fifth Air Force, drop unopposed at Nadzab, on Markham R NW of Lae, after aircraft bomb and strafe landing zone. Paratroopers are soon joined by Aus force (2/2d Pioneer Bn and 2/6th Field Co) that has moved to Nadzab area from Tsili Tsili. Co of Papuan Inf Bn (PIB), which has also moved forward, covers W approaches to Nadzab. Nadzab airfield is quickly prepared to receive Aus 7th Div and eventually becomes a major Allied air base.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Brereton relinquishes command of USAFIME.
ITALY--AVALANCHE assault forces begin movement from N Africa to Gulf of Salerno.
15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps has cleared Calabrian Peninsula as far N as Bagnara on W and Bova Marina on E. 5th Div is meeting rear-guard resistance N of Bagnara.
SOLOMON IS.--On Arundel, 1st Bn of 172d Inf, 43d Div, secures Grant I. and W half of Bomboe Peninsula; 3d Bn holds the block at base of Stima Peninsula; 2d Bn works slowly toward base of Bomboe Peninsula.
NEW GUINEA--26th Brig of Aus 9th Div, followed by 24th Brig, which landed night 5-6, continues W toward Lae, meeting opposition for the first time at Bunga R. Advance elements of U.S. 871st A/B Engr Bn are flown in to Nabzab.
CHINA--Gen Stilwell proposes that Ch divs under Chiang Kai-shek, both Nationalist and Communist, be employed in China to forestall Japanese reaction to U.S. Fourteenth Air Force attacks.
ITALY--Strait of Messina is now open to Allied shipping.
15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps continues to make steady progress northward. 5th Div takes Gioia and is ordered to drive on Nicastro with 231st Brig attached.
USSR--Soviet forces take Konotop by storm.
GERMANY--U.S. Eighth Air Force dispatches 407 heavy bombers, a record number, 338 of them against factories in Stuttgart area. Weather conditions prevent attack on target, but 262 bombers attack targets of opportunity. Price of operating over Germany is again high--45 aircraft are lost.
U.S.--JCS discuss possibility of mounting invasion of Paramushiro from the Aleutians.
POA--In Central Pacific, 5,000-foot airstrip is completed at Nanomea, Ellice Is.; sq of aircraft is operating from there by end of month.
NEW GUINEA--C-47's begin flying Aus 7th Div in to Nadzab.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army area, in effort to get behind retreating enemy on W coast, 231st Brig of 13 Corps, supported by commandos, lands, night 7-8, near Pizzo, but because of speed of enemy retreat is engaged by rear guards. Main body of 13 Corps continues N toward line Nicastro-Catanzaro.
USSR--Germans announce evacuation of Stalino.
BAKER IS.--Airstrip suitable for fighters is put into use.
SOLOMON IS.--Since 172d Inf of 43d Div is making little headway on Arundel, 1st Bn of 169th is attached to it. Japanese move a bn of infantry from Kolombangara to Arundel in preparation for counterattack against New Georgia.
NEW GUINEA--Australians of 9th Div moving W on Lae reach flooded Busu R and find Japanese holding W bank. Japanese at Salamaua are ordered to fall back to Lae. Aus 5th Div, continuing toward Salamaua, is now at Francisco R, near the airfield.
ITALY--As AVALANCHE convoys are approaching Salerno and aircraft are completing a week of intensive preinvasion attacks, Gen Eisenhower broadcasts news of Italian armistice at 1830 and Marshal Badoglio makes similar broadcast at 1945. This is the cue for Italian fleet and aircraft to head for prearranged points to surrender to Allied forces. AVALANCHE convoys, divided into 2 forces (Southern Assault Force under Rear Adm Hall, USN, from Oran and Northern Assault Force under Commodore G. N. Oliver, RN, from Tripoli and Bizerte), pass from command of CinC Mediterranean to that of Adm Hewitt, USN, Naval Commander Western Task Force, upon reaching prescribed area. Learning that Germans are in Rome area in considerable strength and that Italians cannot assist operations as planned, Gen Eisenhower cancels scheduled drop of elements of U.S. 82d A/B Div there, too late to give them another mission during initial phase of Salerno operation.
USSR--Red Army recovers entire industrial region of the Donbas with occupation of Stalino.
SOLOMON IS.--Adm Halsey proposes that Treasury Is. and Choiseul Bay be secured as bases from which S Bougainville-Shortlands area can be neutralized, a suggestion that is not accepted by Gen MacArthur. 37th Div returns to Guadalcanal from New Georgia and subsequently trains there for Bougainville operation. On Arundel, 172d Inf of 43d Div suspends attack while arty is employed against enemy.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 9th Div begins to cross Busu R and holds bridgehead against counterattacks. 162d Inf of U.S. 41st Div, assisted by Australians, takes Scout Ridge in Dot Inlet.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Br 1st A/B Div, moving by sea from Bizerte, mounts Operation SLAPSTICK, landing on heel of Italy without opposition and taking port of Taranto.
U.S. Fifth Army, under Gen Mark Clark, invades Italy, landing at H Hour (0330) S of Salerno with U.S. VI Corps (Southern Assault Force) S of Sele R and Br 10 Corps (Northern Assault Force) N of the river. Landings and operations ashore are closely supported by aircraft and naval gunfire. By end of day, VI and 10 Corps each hold a bridgehead on shallow Salerno plain but gap exists between them. 82d A/B Div is released by U.S. Fifth Army to AFHQ. Ventotene I. surrenders. VI Corps (Maj Gen Ernest J. Dawley) goes ashore in Paestum area. 36th Div's RCT's 141 and 142, making initial assault, secure beachhead and withstand at least 4 strong tank counterattacks as enemy makes futile attempts to push the RCT's back into the sea. RCT 141, on right, is particularly hard pressed but retains shallow beachhead. Reserve--RCT 143--is committed in center upon landing. By end of day, initial objectives, except on right flank, are secured. Beachhead extends from heights just W of La Cosa Creek to Hill 386 (spur of lofty M. Soprano), Capaccio, and M. Soltane. Br 10 Corps (Lt Gen Sir
Richard I. McCreery), making main effort of Fifth Army, is opposed in greater force than VI Corps. 56th Div, on 10 Corps right flank, reaches its first major objective, Montecorvino airfield, but is unable to take it; patrols push to Battipaglia, which enemy also retains. 46th Div drives northward along coast toward Salerno. On left flank of corps, Br-U.S. force (Br 2d and 41st Commandos; U.S. 1st, 3d, and 4th Ranger Bns) under command of Col Darby, USA, lands on Sorrento Peninsula W of Salerno. Commandos take Vietri Sul Mare and push E toward Salerno. Rangers make unopposed landing at Maiori, on extreme left; while 4th Ranger Bn secures beachhead, others push N to M. Chiunzi, which overlooks Nocera-Pagani Valley passes leading to Naples.
USSR--Soviet forces W of Konotop take Bakhmach on rail line to Kiev. Others to N reach Desna R line S of Bryansk.
SOLOMON IS.--2d and 3d Bns of 27th Inf, 25th Div, are attached to 43d Div and ordered to Arundel to help 172d Inf. 27th Inf commander is to be responsible for future operations there.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 7th Div relieves U.S. 503d Para Inf at Nadzab and begins drive E toward Lae with 25th Brig Gp. Japanese at Lae are thus threatened from both E and W.
MIDDLE EAST--Maj Gen Ralph Royce takes command of USAFIME, replacing Gen Brereton.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander directs Gen Montgomery to maintain pressure against Germans on Eighth Army front in order to prevent their concentration against Fifth Army.
On U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps right flank, RCT 141 of 36th Div, after reorganizing, turns S to block routes leading to beachhead; RCT 143, also protecting right flank, patrols E and SE uneventfully; RCT 142 moves against Hill 424 and Altavilla, on its slopes, taking Albanella and reaching positions on ridgeline to Roccadaspide. RCT 179, 45th Div, lands and starts northward toward Ponte Sele. Br 10 Corps continues to receive main weight of enemy opposition and fights indecisively for Battipaglia and Montecorvino airfield on right flank. In center, 46th Div takes Salerno. On left, 3d Ranger Bn withstands probing jabs against M. Chiunzi and 4th Bn patrols W along coast of Sorrento Peninsula.
In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps is at neck of Calabrian Peninsula on line Catanzaro-Nicastro. Enemy is accelerating withdrawal in order to reinforce Salerno area.
USSR--Soviet forces driving along edge of Sea of Azov take Mariupol. Other units establish bridgehead across Desna R in vicinity of Novgorod Severski.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Gen Butler, CG Eleventh Air Force, is transferred to ETO. Gen Butler is succeeded as head of Eleventh Air Force by Maj Gen Davenport Johnson. Eleventh Air Force sustains heavy losses during raid on Kuriles.
SOLOMON IS.--27th Inf (-) of 25th Div lands on W end of Bomboe Peninsula on Arundel, and 2d Bn starts E at once toward 172d Inf at base of the peninsula. Arty and, for the first time in the S Pacific, 4.2-inch mortars support the attack.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 5th Div crosses Francisco R near Salamaua airfield as Japanese begin withdrawal from Salamaua to Lae.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Brindisi falls to Br 1st A/B Div, which continues clearing heel without opposition.
U.S. Fifth Army expands beachhead on Salerno plain. Since gap still exists between U.S. VI and Br 10 Corps, boundary is moved N from Sele R line, and 45th Div assumes command of new left flank positions of VI Corps. In VI Corps area, RCT 142 of 36th Div takes Altavilla and Hill 424. On N flank of corps, Germans counterattack RCT 179 of 45th Div on bluffs overlooking Ponte Sele and force Americans back; RCT 157 is ordered to ease pressure on RCT 179 by attacking on W side of Sele R and, with 191st Tank Bn spearheading, pushes forward until halted at tobacco factory strongpoint on commanding ground across the Sele from Persano. During night 11-12, enemy withdraws from Persano but begins infiltration around Hill 424. Br 10 Corps takes Montecorvino airfield, but enemy is keeping it under heavy fire. 10 Corps is still unable to clear Battipaglia on right flank. Left flank is strengthened by elements of VI Corps (1st Bn of 143d Inf; AA battery; arty battery; co each of paratroopers, tanks, TD's, and chemical mortars; 2 engr cos), that help Rangers holding positions overlooking Nocera-Pagani Valley.
In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, light forces move rapidly northward in effort to pin down enemy, taking port of Crotone on right and reaching general line Castrovillari-Belvedere on left.
MALTA--Italian fleet formally surrenders to Adm Cunningham. Germans sink BB Roma while it is en route to surrender.
CORSICA--Fr submarine sails from Algiers for Corsica with small Fr force embarked to help patriots clear island of Germans. Additional Fr forces are later moved to Corsica from time to time as shipping becomes available. Enemy garrison of Sardinia is being evacuated via Corsica.
U.K.--Since U.S. Ninth Air Force is soon to be transferred to United Kingdom, Gen Devers names Gen Eaker, CG U.S. Eighth Air Force, as commanding general of all U.S. Army Air Forces in United Kingdom.
NEW GUINEA--As Aus 9th and 7th Divs push toward Lae from E and W, Aus 5th Div occupies Salamaua, Salamaua airfield, and the isthmus. Japanese begin withdrawing from Lae.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander orders Br Eighth Army to advance as quickly as possible, despite administrative risks.
In U.S. Fifth Army area, critical period begins as enemy renews strong efforts to reduce beachhead. Airstrip is completed in Paestum area. Capri, in Gulf of Naples, is occupied by Allied forces. In VI Corps area, Germans counterattack, recovering Hill 424 and Altavilla from 142d Inf, 36th Div. Situation of 45th Div on N flank of VI Corps improves: 179th Inf occupies Persano; 157th, after seesaw battle, seizes tobacco factory barring its advance in region W of the Sele. 36th Combat Engrs takes up positions on left flank of 157th Inf. Corps begins regrouping after nightfall to strengthen exposed left flank. 179th Inf moves from Sele-Calore corridor, which 2d Bn of 143d Inf comes N to defend, to left flank of 157th Inf. Strong German counterattack forces Br 10 Corps to yield toehold on Battipaglia. 167th Brig, 56th Div, suffers heavy casualties in this action and is relieved by 201st Gds Brig. U.S. Ranger force on left flank of 10 Corps withstands enemy attacks.
SOLOMON IS.--On Arundel, 3d Bn of 27th Inf begins struggle for Sagekarasa I., NE of Bomboe Peninsula, while elements of 169th Inf outpost islets W of Sagekarasa. On Bomboe Peninsula, 2d Bn of 27th makes radio contact with 172d Inf.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander directs Gen Montgomery, CG Eighth Army, to take command of Taranto bridgehead forces (Br 1st A/B Div, which 78th Div is soon to reinforce) as soon as possible. Gen Montgomery agrees to do so at once.
U.S. Fifth Army's Salerno bridgehead is still seriously threatened as enemy counterattacks strongly astride Sele R. VI Corps barely succeeds in containing major enemy thrusts. 36th Div units begin attack to regain Altavilla but meet strong counterattacks that isolate some elements there and force rest back to La Cosa Creek. On N flank of VI Corps, Germans overwhelm 2d Bn of 143d Inf in Sele-Calore corridor and force 157th Inf of 45th Div to give ground in region W of the Sele. Since offensive operations cannot be continued with current forces, troops dig in and prepare to hold on best defensive line possible until situation improves. Two bns of 141st Inf move N from quiet southern sector. 504th Para Inf (-), 82d A/B Div, is dropped S of Sele R to strengthen bridgehead. Br 10 Corps contains strong tank-infantry attacks from Battipaglia. 167th Inf is committed on right flank of 45th Div and makes contact with VI Corps.
AEGEAN--Br units occupy Kos I, where RAF aircraft are soon established.
SOLOMON IS.--On Vella Lavella, 1st Bn of 35th Inf, 25th Div, opens attack in Kokolope Bay area after preparatory fire and finds Horaniu vacated by enemy. 1st and 3d Bns, latter having moved forward, then organize defensive positions in this region. While 3d Bn of 27th Inf holds off enemy counterattacking on Sagekarasa, 1st Bn of 172d Inf, on Arundel, bypasses enemy positions on Bomboe Peninsula in order to come in behind 2d Bn, 27th Inf. Reinforcements are sent to Sagekarasa. Japanese begin moving rest of a regt from Kolombangara to Arundel. 8th Brig Gp, NZ 3d Div, arrives on Guadalcanal from New Caledonia, having rehearsed en route (in New Hebrides) for invasion of Treasury Is. in the Solomons.
NEW GUINEA--Crossing the Busu by newly completed bridge, 26th Brig of Aus 9th Div joins 24th Brig on W bank. 25th Brig, Aus 7th Div, continues E toward Lae, seizing Heath's Plantation.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army, committing reserves and service troops, contains further enemy onslaughts with assistance of naval gunfire and aircraft. RCT 180, 45th Div, lands and is held in Fifth Army reserve. In VI Corps area, RCT 505 of 82d A/B Div is dropped S of Sele R and advances at once to strengthen beachhead. In behalf of Br 10 Corps, 2d Bn of U.S. 509th Para Inf is dropped behind enemy lines in Avellino area, night 14-15, to disrupt enemy communications; drop is widely scattered and paratroopers retire to hills, where they wage guerrilla warfare for the next week. Br 7th Armd Div arrives and begins unloading.
In Br Eighth Army area, elements of Taranto bridgehead force (Br 1st A/B Div) enter Bari. 13 Corps continues northward in light strength. 5th Div is concentrating in Belvedere area.
AEGEAN--Br force occupies Leros.
U.S.--T. V. Soong presents President Roosevelt a plan for reorganization of China theater in such
a way as to eliminate Gen Stilwell; subsequently seeks in other ways to have Stilwell recalled.
POA--2d Mar Div is formally attached to V Amphibious Corps as preparations for offensive in Central Pacific continue.
SOLOMON IS.--Maj Gen Charles D. Barrett is named CG I Marine Amphibious Corps (I MAC), but his sudden death soon afterwards forces Gen Vandegrift to resume command of I MAC before operations against N Solomons are begun.
NEW GUINEA--Australians continue toward Lae from W and E, 7th Div clearing Edward's Plantation and 9th Div taking Malahang airdrome. Gen MacArthur orders New Guinea Force to seize Kaiapit and Dumpu with assistance of U.S. planes.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander orders U.S. Fifth Army to continue attack across Volturno R.
U.S. Fifth Army front is relatively quiet as German activity subsides. Minor enemy thrusts are repelled. In VI Corps area, 325th Gli Inf of 82d A/B Div arrives by sea.
In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, forward elements of 5th Div, attempting to make contact with VI Corps, reach Sapri. Enemy is threatened with entrapment between Eighth and Fifth Armies.
USSR--Continuing toward Kiev, Soviet forces overrun Nezhin. To N, Red Army opens strong offensive against Smolensk.
SOLOMON IS.--Reinforcements are sent to Arundel in preparation for stronger U.S. effort on 17th. Rest of 27th Inf (1st Bn and AT Co), platoon of 43d Cav Rcn Tr, and Marine tanks move to Bomboe Peninsula. 2d Bn, 169th Inf, reinforces 172d Inf's block at base of Stima Peninsula.
NEW GUINEA--Aus columns converge on Lae, from which Japanese have withdrawn. 25th Brig, 7th Div, enters first and is joined there by 24th Brig, 9th Div.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth and Br Eighth Armies make patrol contact near Vallo. Fifth Army makes contact with Taranto bridgehead force to form Allied line across S Italy.
U.S. Fifth Army's FO No. 2 directs RCT 180, reinf, under army command, to drive on Benevento. In VI Corps area, 504th Para Inf, 82d A/B Div, begins attack to recover Altavilla, night 16-17. Patrols of 505th Para Inf find Roccadaspide free of enemy.
In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, 5th Div patrol makes contact with patrol of VI Corps and rcn elements of Cdn 1st Div make contact with Br 1st A/B Div units from Taranto bridgehead.
AEGEAN--Br force occupies Samos.
USSR--Red Army makes substantial gains, taking Novgorod Severski, SW of Bryansk; Romni, in region E of Kiev; Lozovaya, S of Kharkov; and Novorossisk, on Kuban Peninsula.
GERMANY--Berlin announces evacuation of Bryansk by German troops.
SOLOMON IS.--At planning conference at Port Moresby, Gen MacArthur urges that a base on mainland of Bougainville be established. On Arundel, 27th Inf (-), assisted by tanks, begins co-ordinated drive SE toward 172d Inf's block at base of Stima Peninsula. 3d Bn, 27th, suspends attack on Sagekarasa while fire is placed on enemy positions.
NEW GUINEA--GHQ SWPA decides to employ Aus 9th Div force in landing on 22d at Finschhafen, which will serve as an advanced air and light naval base. U.S. 503d Para Inf, having completed its mission in Nadzab area is withdrawn. Aus 2/6th Independent Co is flown to burned off site a few miles from Kaiapit, NW of Lae, for drive on Kaiapit, which will be used as an advanced air base from which to neutralize Wewak.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 504th Inf of 82d A/B Div continues attack toward Altavilla but is pinned down by enemy fire before reaching objective. Enemy is retiring northward, however, and completes withdrawal from 45th Div front after nightfall.
In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps begins general advance northward with main forces toward line Potenza-Auletta.
USSR--Red Army troops occupy Bryansk.
U.S.--Joint War Plans Committee recommends retrenchment of North Pacific Force. Eleventh Air Force has already been cut to 1 heavy and 1 medium sq, a fighter gp of 4 sqs, and 1 troop carrier sq.
SOLOMON IS.--On Vella Lavella, Maj Gen H. E. Barrowclough, CG NZ 3d Div, takes command, replacing Gen McClure. NZ 14th Brig Gp lands to round up retreating enemy, but Japanese eventually succeed in withdrawing from the island. On Arundel, Co G, reinf, of 103d Inf arrives to reinforce 172d Inf's block at base of Stima Peninsula. Additional reinforcements are sent from mainland to 3d Bn, 27th Inf, on Sagekarasa.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, paratroopers of 504th Inf, 82d A/B Div, accompanied by tanks of 191st Tank Bn, enter Altavilla without opposition. 45th Div, discovering that enemy has withdrawn, patrols northward to regain contact, reaching heights between Battipaglia
and Eboli and entering Persano without opposition. 3d Div, which is to relieve battle-weary 36th Div, begins landing. In Br 10 Corps area, 131st Brig of 7th Armd Div occupies Battipaglia without resistance.
Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps hq lands at Taranto to take command of forces holding Taranto bridgehead.
SARDINIA--Surrenders without a shot to small Allied party embarked on 2 Br MTB's, enemy having completed withdrawal from this and neighboring islands.
USSR--Rail junction of Pavlograd, S of Lozovaya, falls to Red Army.
POA--VAC estimates that the capture of Nauru with forces available will be difficult.
GILBERT IS.--Carrier and AAF planes make coordinated attacks on Tarawa, during which complete photographic coverage is obtained. The carrier force, TF 15 under Rear Adm Charles A. Pownall, includes carriers Belleau Wood, Princeton, and Lexington. 11th Bombardment Gp (Seventh Air Force) supplies the B-24's, which operate from Canton and Funafuti.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 2/6th Independent Co takes Kaiapit in lively fighting and repels repeated counterattacks.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army gains firm control of Salerno plain. In VI Corps area, 45th Div occupies high ground overlooking Eboli; 36th Div units take Serre and Ponte Sele.
In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps reaches line Auletta-Potenza, 5th Div occupying former and Cdn 1st Div latter. From there, light forces are to clear to line Altamura-Potenza, then continue to Spinazzola and Melfi.
USSR--Soviet troops on Smolensk front overrun Yartsevo and Dukhovshchina. Enemy is forced to retire toward the Dnieper all along lower front as Priluki, Piryatin, Lubni, Khorol, and Krasnograd fall to troops fighting E and SE of Kiev.
SOLOMON IS.--27th Inf forces on Sagekarasa find that Japanese have withdrawn from the island. On the mainland of Arundel, rest of 27th Inf suspends attack while patrols try in vain to locate 172d Inf position.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps is placed under command of Maj Gen John P. Lucas. 36th Div, upon turning its sector over to 3d Div, is withdrawn into reserve. 82d A/B Div is ordered to concentrate in Crotone area and be prepared to assist advance of VI Corps on army order. 3d and 45th Divs start northward into mountains, 3d driving through Battipaglia toward Acerno and 45th on right along Highway 91.
USSR--Velizh, NW of Smolensk, falls to Soviet troops.
SOLOMON IS.--On Arundel, 27th Inf, upon renewing assault, finds that Japanese have withdrawn from mainland of Arundel as well as islands nearby. Enemy is estimated to have lost 600 dead on Arundel. By this time Japanese have decided to abandon the central Solomons entirely and want only to escape northward.
NEW GUINEA--Amphibious assault force (20th Brig Gp, Aus 9th Div) sails from Lae for Finschhafen. Aus 22d Brig starts overland drive from Lae toward Langemak Bay. 21st and 25th Brigs, Aus 7th Div, are flown to Kaiapit from Nadzab to pursue enemy up Markham Valley to Dumpu.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander outlines plans for future operations in 4 phases: (1) consolidation of current positions on line Salerno-Bari; (2) capture of Naples and Foggia; (3) seizure of Rome and neighboring airfields as well as communications center of Terni; (4) eventual capture of Leghorn, Florence, and Arezzo.
In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 3d and 45th Divs continue N over mountains toward E-W Highway 7, meeting delaying opposition just S of Acerno and W of Oliveto, respectively. 34th Div, whose 133d Inf is to reinforce VI Corps for drive on Avellino, begins landing at Paestum.
USSR--Soviet forces take Chernigov, between Gomel and Kiev.
POA--Adm Halsey issues warning order for invasion of N Solomons and directs Adm Wilkinson, who is to head landing forces, to make detailed plans. It is later decided to invade Treasury Is. and Empress Augusta Bay area of Bougainville.
SWPA--GHQ issues orders for DEXTERITY--landing on Cape Gloucester, New Britain. ALAMO Force is to make airborne and amphibious assault on Cape Gloucester; neutralize Gasmata, and then take it in shore-to-shore operation. D Day, at first set for 20 November, is finally postponed to 26 December.
NEW GUINEA--After preparatory naval bombardment, 20th Brig Gp of Aus 9th Div lands at Song R mouth, 6 miles N of Finschhafen, early in morning; establishes beachhead with little difficulty and pushes S toward Finschhafen. Fifth Air Force
provides air support and intercepts enemy aircraft making ineffective attacks on the convoy.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army directs Br 10 Corps to seize Naples and VI Corps to secure line Avellino-Teora. VI Corps is to be prepared to continue to Benevento. In VI Corps area, 3d and 45th Divs overcome opposition barring their advance: 3d occupies Acerno and 45th Oliveto.
In Br Eighth Army area, Ind 8th Div arrives from Africa. In 5 Corps area, special force (elements of 8th Div and of 4th Armd Brig), under 78th Div command, lands at Bari, night 22-23, to drive to Foggia.
USSR--Germans announce evacuation of Poltava, which is untenable. This is the last strongpoint E of the middle Dnieper. In Kuban area, Soviet forces take Anapa.
NEW GUINEA--Continuing S toward Finschhafen, Aus 20th Brig takes airfield and reaches Bumi R, where Japanese are firmly established.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army begins general advance. Br 10 Corps, making main effort, attacks toward Nocera-Pagani Pass on left with 46th Div; 56th drives northward on Salerno-S. Severino road. Firm enemy opposition makes progress slow. In VI Corps area, 3d and 45th Divs continue northward, hampered more by extensive demolitions than by enemy. Engineers are playing important role in keeping routes of advance open.
Br Eighth Army drives enemy from Altamura.
USSR--Red Army troops push through Poltava toward Kremenchug.
POA--Vice Adm Raymond A. Spruance recommends to Adm Nimitz that an amphibious operation against Makin be substituted for projected invasion of Nauru. This plan is subsequently accepted.
SOLOMON IS.--First Allied plane lands at Vella Lavella airfield.
NEW GUINEA--20th Brig, Aus 9th Div, forces Bumi R, N of Finschhafen. Enemy planes again attack shipping.
NEW BRITAIN--ALAMO Scouts begin rcn of Cape Gloucester area in preparation for invasion.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps area, 78th Div patrols reach Ofanto R.
USSR--Heavy fighting is in progress in vicinity of Smolensk and Roslavl.
GERMANY--Berlin announces evacuation of Smolensk and Roslavl.
NEW GUINEA--162d Inf of U.S. 41st Div, having successfully completed its mission, begins return trip to Australia. 20th Brig, Aus 9th Div, continues battle for Finschhafen.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Gen Montgomery begins regrouping Br Eighth Army to strengthen E flank. 5 Corps, which is to include 5th, 1st A/B, and Ind 8th Divs, is initially to remain in Taranto area while 13 Corps, with 78th Div on right and Cdn 1st Div on left, continues advance. 5 Corps is later to move forward behind 13 Corps and secure its left flank.
USSR--Soviet forces take Smolensk and Roslavl on central front; to S, hold E bank of the Dnieper from Kremenchug to Dniepropetrovsk. German 4th Army falls back to positions W of Smolensk and holds.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese try in vain to destroy Aus beachhead in Finschhafen area.
CORFU--Surrenders to German force that has recently landed there.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Is directed by Gen Eisenhower to secure air bases in Rome area.
U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps continues efforts to break out into Neapolitan plain; enemy positions are beginning to weaken under its blows. To reinforce W flank, U.S. 82d A/B Div is transferred to Maiori by sea and, under 10 Corps control, takes command of Rangers. VI Corps is handicapped by autumn rains as well as demolitions, but 45th Div takes Teora and junction of Highways 7 and 91.
In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps patrols reach Canosa.
SOLOMON IS.--I MAC issues letter of instructions to 3d Mar Div for N Solomons offensive.
ITALY--Marshal Badoglio receives terms of complete instrument of surrender.
15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 3d Div reaches Highway 7 and is threatening Avellino.
In Br Eighth Army area, enemy abandons Foggia and its airfields, major objective of Eighth Army.
USSR--Soviet troops reduce enemy's bridgehead to narrow strip on Taman Peninsula when they capture Temryuk and occupy N bank of Kuban R.
GERMANY--U.S. Eighth Air Force attacks Emden port area through overcast, using H2S-equipped aircraft as Pathfinders for the first time. Of 305 bombers dispatched, 244 attack target or targets of opportunity. P-47's, with belly tanks, escort
bombers all the way to target in Germany for first time.
SOLOMON IS.--Japanese begin withdrawing from Kolombangara after nightfall.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army is now ready for assault on Naples by Br 10 Corps and on Avellino by VI Corps. Br 10 Corps forces enemy back through passes leading to Naples. 23d Armd Brig advances to Castellammare. Rangers seize Sala. 131st Brig, 7th Armd Div, overruns Nocera.
CHINA--Gen Stilwell issues "Program for China," in which he recommends that 60 Nationalist divs be re-formed.
ITALY--Marshal Badoglio and Gen Eisenhower sign complete instrument of Italian surrender on board HMS Nelson, off Malta.
15th Army Group: Gen Alexander issues instructions for future operations, to be conducted in 2 phases: (1) capture of Naples and airfields to N and Foggia airfields, while advancing to general line Sessa Aurunca-Venafro-Isernia-Castropignano-Biferno R-Termoli; (2) advance to general line Civitavecchia-Terni-Visso-S. Benedetto del Tronto.
U.S. Fifth Army directs VI Corps, upon capture of Avellino, to shift to left along general line Avellino-Montemarano-Teora. Br 10 Corps units seize bridge at Scafati. This is the only bridge now standing across the Sarno. Rcn units are pursuing retreating enemy. In VI Corps area, 3d Div units converge on Avellino and open attack on it, night 29-30.
USSR--Soviet troops occupy Kremenchug and E bank of the Dnieper in that area; continue to close in on Kiev to NW.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, Br 10 Corps has surrounded M. Vesuvius. In VI Corps area, Avellino falls to 3d Div during morning.
SOLOMON IS.--Adm Halsey informs Gen MacArthur of his decision to invade Bougainville at Empress Augusta Bay on 1 November and is promised maximum air assistance from SWPA.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 9th Div commits another bn to assault on Finschhafen, making 3 in all.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, King's Dragoon Gds enter Naples during morning without opposition. This excellent port, although damaged by bombing, can be quickly restored to use.
In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps occupies Foggia airfields and drives northward toward line Termoli-Vinchiaturo in order to safeguard the fields, 78th Div along main coastal road and Cdn 1st Div along inland route leading into mountains. Gargano Peninsula is clear of enemy.
USSR--During first week of the month, 3 Soviet army groups apply strong pressure against enemy's line along Dnieper bend and succeed in establishing small bridgeheads in vicinity of Kiev, Kremenchug, and Dniepropetrovsk.
AUSTRIA--In third attack from the Mediterranean in behalf of Combined Bomber Offensive, heavy bombers of XII BC and 3 on loan from Eighth Air Force drop 187 tons of bombs on Wiener Neustadt. Others are prevented from attacking Augsburg (Bavaria) by overcast but hit alternate targets in Germany and Italy. The Eighth Air Force B-24's return to England after this attack.
POA--27th Div, previously authorized to plan for invasion of Nauru, is notified that its mission will be to capture Makin Atoll in the Gilberts.
SOLOMON IS.--Japanese complete withdrawal from Kolombangara, night 2-3. Efforts of U.S. naval forces to interfere are largely ineffective and some 9,400 Japanese escape safely.
NEW GUINEA--Troops of Aus 9th Div seize village and harbor of Finschhafen and make contact with Aus 22d Brig, which has moved forward from Lae. Japanese retain Sattelberg and Wareo, both of which command Finschhafen area and must be cleared.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, U.S. 82d A/B Div move into Naples to police it while advance is being continued to the Volturno, a natural barrier covering Naples. In VI Corps area, while 3d Div drives northward toward the Volturno on left flank of corps, 34th and 45th Divs, 45th on right, are moving along separate routes toward Benevento, important road junction. To hasten advance along Adriatic coast in Br Eighth Army area, 2d Special Service Brig (commandos) of 13 Corps lands, night 2-3, near Termoli and secures the town and port; soon joins 78th Div, which, moving N along coast, secures bridgehead across the Biferno.
AEGEAN--Axis forces invade Kos I.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 133d Inf of 34th Div takes Benevento and establishes bridgehead across Calore R. 34th
Div is then withdrawn to reserve, leaving 45th Div to expand bridgehead.
In Br Eighth Army area, Germans rush reinforcements forward in attempt to hurl back bridgehead across the Biferno at Termoli, and hard fighting ensues. Brig of 8th Div is landed in the bridgehead, night 3-4. Cdn 1st Div, hampered by terrain, is within 15 miles of Vinchiaturo.
AEGEAN--Germans overrun Kos I. Loss of this island, site of only Allied air base in the Aegean, endangers Samos and Leros.
CORSICA--Allied forces gain complete control of Corsica as enemy withdraws from Bastia area. Participating in explusion of Germans were patriots, Bn du Choc, goums of 4th Moroccan Mtn Div, and small U.S. OSS party.
U.S.--JCS approve gradual strengthening of W Aleutians.
POA--CINCPAC-CINCPOA issues plan for offensive in Central Pacific. Adm Spruance is to seize Makin, Tarawa, and Apamama in the Gilberts, cover amphibious landings on each with air and naval surface forces, and deny enemy use of land bases in the Marshalls and at Nauru during the operation. D Day for landings is set for 19 November (WLT) and later postponed to 20 November (WLT).
WAKE--U.S. TF 14 begins 2-day operation against Wake in which carrier-based and land-based planes participate.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, Br 10 Corps gets forward elements to the Volturno.
In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, indecisive fighting for Biferno bridgehead at Termoli continues, with Germans penetrating into Termoli itself.
SOLOMON IS.--Action in central Solomons comes to a close. Elements of 27th Inf, 25th Div, make unopposed landing on Kolombangara during morning. U.S. casualties during the central Solomons campaign total 1,094 killed and 3,083 wounded. Counted enemy dead, except on Vella Lavella, total 2,483. The campaign yields Allied forces 4 airfields (Munda, Barakoma, Ondonga, and Segi) within range of Bougainville, the next objective.
BATTLE OF VELLA LAVELLA--Although outnumbered 3 to 1, U.S. DD's engage enemy naval force during night 6-7 as it is withdrawing 600 Japanese from Vella Lavella. Japanese succeed in rescuing their forces but lose a DD. U.S. losses are 1 DD sunk and 2 others damaged.
NEW GUINEA--Elements of Aus 7th Div takes Dumpu with unexpected ease. This is to become a staging field for fighters.
NEW BRITAIN--ALAMO Scouts begin reconnoitering Gasmata area in preparation for invasion.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army reaches S bank of Volturno R, successfully concluding another phase of the Italian campaign. In Br 10 Corps area, 56th Div takes Capua.
In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, 78th Div gains firm control of Biferno bridgehead at Termoli.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army begins preparations for assault across the Volturno. Crossing date is set tentatively at night 9-10 and later postponed to night 12-13. VI and Br 10 Corps improve positions along S bank of the river.
In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, another brig of 8th Div, the last to arrive in Italy, lands in Biferno bridgehead as enemy retires across Trigno R.
USSR--Soviet forces on central front overrun Nevel, rail center N of Vitebsk. Enemy resistance is stiffening all along the line and progress of Red Army is becoming less spectacular.
NEW GUINEA--Aus II Corps, under Lt Gen Sir Leslie Morshead, relieves Aus I Corps.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 30th Inf of 3d Div forces enemy remnants to withdraw across the Volturno. 34th Div is to take over zone of 30th Inf and join 3d Div in assault across the river.
GERMANY--U.S. Eighth Air Force, for the first time, uses radio countermeasure called CARPET in powerful attack on Bremen and Vegesack by 357 bombers. Despite this, the attack is costly.
U.S.--Gen Arnold recommends to JCS that Twelfth Air Force be divided into two air forces to increase power of Combined Bomber Offensive. It has already been decided that Italy-based planes will assist in offensive to knock out Germany.
ELLICE IS.--Nukufetau airstrip is ready for use.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 45th Div finishes clearing right flank of army. 179th Inf replaces 157th, which is withdrawn to reserve.
In Br Eighth Army area, 5th Div is transferred from 5 to 13 Corps.
USSR--Red Army eliminates final resistance on Taman Peninsula.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army area, gap is developing between 78th Div on Adriatic coast and Cdn 1st Div, and Gen Montgomery regroups units: 5 Corps, with 78th Div and Ind 8th Div under command, is given responsibility for right flank; 13 Corps is to advance on 2-div front, employing Cdn 1st and Br 5th Divs; NZ 2d Div, which is to concentrate in Taranto area by mid-November, is to be held in army reserve.
USSR--Soviet forces closing in on Gomel take suburb of Novo Belitsa.
POA--Adm Halsey issues basic plan for invasion of N Solomons.
NEW BRITAIN--U.S. Fifth Air Force begins strong air offensive against Rabaul in effort to isolate and neutralize Bismarck Archipelago. 349 aircraft participate in the surprise attack and considerably damage Japanese shipping and aircraft at cost of only 4 planes lost.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army begins assault crossing of the Volturno on 40-mile front during night 12-13. Operations in VI Corps sector start at midnight with feint on left flank by 1st Bn of 15th Inf, 3d Div.
MAKIN--Photographic coverage of the atoll is obtained.
ITALY--Formally declares war on Germany, thereby becoming a cobelligerent of the Allies.
15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army establishes bridgeheads on N bank of the Volturno against sharp resistance. Engineers play an important part since enemy has destroyed bridges while making planned withdrawal. Fall rains and mountainous terrain make forward movement difficult. Weather conditions curtail NAAF support of the operation. Br 10 Corps, on W flank of army, makes main effort with 46th Div at Cancello while 7th Armd Div, in center, and 56th Div, on right, make diversionary attacks at Grazzanise and Capua, respectively. 46th Div establishes bridgehead in coastal sector, and 7th Armd Div gains toehold on N bank, but 56th Div is unable to cross at Capua. VI Corps, to right of 10 Corps, crosses river on 2-div front. On left, 3d Div crosses E of Capua with 34th Div to its right. 3d Div seizes M. Majulo, M. Caruso, and Piana di Caiazzo. 34th Div gains bridgehead from Piana di Caiazzo to junction of Calore and Volturno Rivers. On right flank of VI Corps, 45th Div is clearing M. Acero area with 179th and 180th Regts.
In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, 5th Div, advancing along Route 87, reaches Casacalenda.
SOLOMON IS.--8th Brig Gp, NZ 3d Div, begins rehearsal for the Treasuries at Florida, concluding on 17th.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Unloading of supplies is transferred from Salerno to Naples.
In U.S. Fifth Army area, Gen Clark, CG, alters boundary between corps and changes plan of attack. Since 56th Div, on right flank of Br 10 Corps, is unable to cross the Volturno at Capua, boundary is moved E to permit it to use bridge within the Triflisco Gap, formerly 3d Div zone. 3d Div of VI Corps is to take over mission of 34th and latter is to move to right to make contact with 45th Div. 45th Div, upon reaching Piedimonte d'Alife, is to be relieved. VI Corps is to advance astride the Volturno to Venafro-Isernia area, clearing upper Volturno Valley. 3d and 34th Divs are to make converging attacks toward Dragoni, but 34th is forced to await improvement of its supply situation. Army bridgeheads across the Volturno are being expanded.
In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, Cdn 1st Div takes Campobasso.
USSR--On the Dnieper bend, Soviet forces successfully conclude struggle for Zaporodzhe, industrial center of the Ukraine; others are fighting in streets of Melitopol.
GERMANY--Of 291 B-17's of U.S. Eighth Air Force attempting to bomb ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt, 228 reach target and drop 483 tons of bombs accurately. Although severe damage is done, cost is heavy--60 B-17's lost and others damaged. As a result of these losses, daylight bombing attacks against strategic targets deep in Germany are not resumed for some time.
POA--I MAC issues final orders for invasion of N Solomons. The attack force (TF 31 under Adm Wilkinson), with ground forces of Gen Vandegrift's I MAC, will seize Treasury Is. bases on 27 October in preparation for main invasion of Bougainville on 1 November. In support will be carrier-based and land-based aircraft, surface forces, and submarines.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, 56th Div crosses the
Volturno, using bridges in former VI Corps sector. VI Corps' 3d Div takes Cisterna, but elements are being strongly opposed near Villa and Liberi. Elements of 34th Div (2d Bn, 135th Inf) take Ruviano. Enemy withdraws from this area, night 15-16. On right flank of VI Corps, 45th Div finishes clearing to Titerno Creek and makes contact with 34th Div across the Volturno to left.
Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps pauses as Cdn 1st Div takes Vinchiaturo.
U.K.--Gen Brereton activates U.S. Army Air Forces in the U.K. (USAAFUK), which includes Eighth and Ninth Air Forces.
U.S.--JCS, accepting Gen Arnold's plan to divide Twelfth Air Force into two forces, propose to Gen Eisenhower that Fifteenth Air Force be formed from XII BC with primary mission of increasing weight of Combined Bomber Offensive.
POA--3d Mar Div, having formed at Guadalcanal for operations against Bougainville, conducts rehearsals in New Hebrides, concluding them on 20th.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 9th Div, forewarned by a captured document of imminent attack, repels the first of a series of sharp counterattacks from Sattelberg.
CHINA--Adm Mountbatten arrives in Chungking.
U.K.--Gen Brereton assumes command of reconstituted Ninth Air Force.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese continue vigorous attacks from Sattelberg after attempting to land 4 barge loads of troops, of which only one reaches shore.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 3d Div finds that enemy has withdrawn from Liberi and Villa. Elements of 34th occupy Alvignano after patrols report it clear.
USSR--Red Army breaks through enemy line below Kremenchug and pushes toward Krivoi Rog. Red Army forces of Center Front, attempting to complete investment of Gomel, seize Loyev after crossing the Dnieper S of Gomel.
SOLOMON IS.--Air Command, Solomons, begins intensive attacks on Bougainville airfields in preparation for invasion.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 3d and 34th Divs continue toward Dragoni, 3d clearing Roccaromana, and prepare to make concerted effort to take Dragoni and bridges beyond. To block enemy escape route from Dragoni, 133d Inf of 34th Div begins second crossing of the Volturno and takes railway-highway bridge there.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--Conference between Soviet, Br, and U.S. foreign ministers opens in Moscow.
U.S.--Third (London) Protocol, extending through 30 June 1944, is signed. It promises 2,700,000 tons to USSR via the Pacific route and 2,400,000 by either the N Soviet ports or the Persian Gulf.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 9th Div, assisted by arty, contains further enemy attacks in Finschhafen area.
ITALY--NAAF begins offensive against bridges, thus, during next 5 days, forcing enemy to make greater use of motor transport and coastal shipping.
15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 168th Inf of 34th Div opens attack on Dragoni before dawn and finds that enemy has withdrawn. 133d Inf finishes crossing the Volturno NE of Dragoni. 135th crosses to SE and heads toward Alife.
GILBERT IS.--Photographic coverage of Tarawa is obtained.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 26th Brig arrives by sea to reinforce Aus 9th Div at Finschhafen, where enemy attacks continue.
JAPAN--Japanese order strong force of carrier planes to Rabaul to augment land-based air strength and delay Allied progress while main perimeter defenses of Japan are being strengthened. This plan is called Operation RO.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, Alife falls to 34th Div and Piedimonte d'Alife to 45th Div. This concludes current mission of 45th Div, which is withdrawn into corps reserve. While 3d Div continues northward toward Mignano in region W of the Volturno, 34th Div is to drive on Capriati al Volturno in region E of the river. 133d Inf opens drive on S. Angelo d'Alife.
SWPA--ALAMO Force hq moves from Milne Bay (New Guinea) to Goodenough I.
U.S.--CCS agree to establishment of Fifteenth Air Force in the Mediterranean.
POA--I MAC directs 2d Para Bn of 1st Mar Para Regt, FMF, to land at Voza (Choiseul I), night of 27 October, to conduct diversionary raid and, if feasible, establish permanent base there.
MEDITERRANEAN--Gen Eisenhower is notified that the Fifteenth Air Force will be established under his command, effective 1 November.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 133d Inf of 34th Div takes road junction S of S. Angelo d'Alife, from which enemy rear guards have withdrawn, and prepares to attack the town.
In preparation for general advance on Rome (line Pescara-Avezzano-Rome), 78th Div of Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps crosses bn over the Trigno, night 22-23.
POA--27th Div issues field order for invasion of the Gilberts.
CBI--Gen Stilwell, Acting Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, SEAC, has by now decided that he can do little more toward improving the Chinese Army, his basic mission.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 133d Inf of 34th Div opens assault on S. Angelo d'Alife but is unable to take it.
USSR--Hard fighting for Melitopol ends in victory for Soviet forces.
U.K.--Prime Minister Churchill issues directive outlining mission of Adm Mountbatten as Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 133d Inf of 34th Div takes S. Angelo and commanding ground beyond without opposition.
POA--Adm Spruance issues operation plan, which is subsequently modified somewhat, outlining organization and tasks of Operation GALVANIC, invasion of the Gilberts.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese begin withdrawing toward Sattelberg in coastal sector N of Finschhafen, suspending attacks on Aus 9th Div.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Allied commanders decide that the initiative must be retained in Italy in order to pin down enemy forces there and prevent them from massing for counteroffensive before spring 1944.
U.S. Fifth Army, with positions N of the Volturno firmly established, is ready for drive against German delaying positions in mountains from M. Massico on W coast to Matese mountains on right boundary. In VI Corps area, 135th Inf of 34th Div moves forward to take up pursuit toward Ailano, passing through 133d Inf.
USSR--On the Dnieper bend, Red Army forces overrun Dniepropetrovsk and Dnieprodzerzhinsk.
POA--Treasury Is. assault force (Rear Adm George H. Fort's Southern Force of Adm Wilkinson's TF 31) sails for target.
POA--In preparation for invasion of Bougainville, 8th Brig Gp of NZ 3d Div, under Brig R. A. Row, lands on 2 islands of Treasury group, Stirling and Mono. The small Japanese force on Mono is quickly put to flight and must be rounded up. Stirling is undefended. New Georgia-based planes support the operation. Japanese planes attack shipping with little success. 2d Mar Para Bn (Lt Col Victor H. Krulak) begins diversionary raid on Choiseul I, Solomons, landing night 27-28, and subsequently patrols actively to feign strength that is not present.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 168th Inf of 34th Div is ordered to attack on 28th since elements of 135th Inf are being held up by enemy rear guards on hill S of Ailano.
In Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps area, 78th Div makes futile attempt to expand bridgehead across Trigno R. Failure is largely due to heavy rainfall.
USSR--Soviet forces break through enemy defenses beyond Melitopol, but by this time Germans have succeeded in stabilizing positions before Nikopol and at Krivoi Rog.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, 46th Inf and 7th Armd Divs begin attack on M. Massico and M. S. Croce. In VI Corps area, 168th Inf of 34th Div finds that enemy has abandoned the hill S of Ailano.
In Br Eighth Army area, heavy rainfall forces Gen Montgomery to postpone planned attack by 13 Corps along axis Vinchiaturo-Isernia. 5 Corps continues unsuccessful efforts to expand Trigno bridgehead in coastal sector.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 34th Div continues to pursue enemy northward, 135th Inf taking Pratella and
Prata. Elements of 504th Para Inf, 82d A/B Div, protecting right flank of VI Corps, reach Gallo. 3d Div continues N on left flank of corps in region W of the Volturno.
In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps begins attack toward Isernia, 5th Div leading off in downpour of rain, night 29-30.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers ends after considering certain politico-military issues. Although a tripartite conference (Br-U.S.-Soviet), Ch representatives have participated in some phases. Conferees agree to demand "unconditional surrender" of Germany and establish a world organization for peace. Discussions lead to establishment later in London of European Advisory Commission to study and make recommendations on problems relating to termination of the war in Europe.
POA--Adm Turner's Northern Attack Force (TF 52) begins rehearsals for GALVANIC--invasion of the Gilberts--off Hawaii. TF 31 units rendezvous W of Guadalcanal, then sail for Bougainville. Enemy airfields on S Bougainville are now unserviceable.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army takes control of Italian 1st Motorized Gp. In Br 10 Corps area, while 7th Armd and 46th Inf Divs continue attacks on M. Massico and M. S. Croce, 56th Div, on 10 Corps right flank, takes Teano. In VI Corps area, some elements of 34th Div reach Fontegreca while others occupy Ciorlano, on slopes of La Croce Hill.
In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, Cantalupo falls to 5th Div.
U.S.--Alaska is made a separate theater of operations. Alaska Defense Command, separated from Western Defense Command, is renamed Alaskan Department and comes under direct control of the War Department.
U.S. Military Mission to USSR is organized under Maj Gen John R. Deane to establish American airfields in USSR for shuttle bombing of enemy territory.
SOLOMON IS.--After preparatory naval gunfire and aerial bombardment, Northern Force of Adm Wilkinson's TF 31 starts landing 3d Mar Div, reinf, of Gen Vandegrift's I MAC on Bougainville about 0730. 9th and 3d Marines, 9th on left, land abreast on N shore of Empress Augusta Bay in Cape Torokina area and establish shallow beachhead despite opposition from small but determined defense force. Elements of 2d Mar Raider Regt (Prov) land on Puruata I, off Cape Torokina, and begin to clear it. Maj Gen A. H. Turnage, 3d Mar Div CG, takes command ashore. Japanese air attacks delay unloading of cargo and surf damages many landing craft, but the operation is otherwise very successful. In support of the landings, naval vessels of TF 39 (Rear Adm A. Stanton Merrill) and carrier aircraft of TF 38 (Rear Adm Frederick C. Sherman) neutralize enemy airfields in S Bougainville-Shortlands area.
BATTLE OF EMPRESS AUGUSTA BAY--During night 1-2, TF 39 engages enemy force of cruisers and DD's proceeding toward Bougainville and forces enemy to retire after losing a cruiser and a DD.
MEDITERRANEAN--U.S. Fifteenth Air Force is activated pursuant to CCS directive of 16 October.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, Br 10 Corps continues to clear M. Massico-M. S. Croce hill mass on W flank of Fifth Army. 56th Div takes Roccamonfina. In VI Corps area, 168th Inf of 34th Div reaches Capriati al Volturno.
USSR--In the Crimea, Red Army troops seal off Perekop Isthmus with capture of Armyansk; make landings on E end of Kerch Peninsula.
BOUGAINVILLE--3d Mar Div is slowly expanding beachhead and organizing defenses. 3d Marines, which has had hard fighting on right flank, is exchanging places with 9th Marines. Puruata I. is cleared by noon. Carrier planes of TF 38 make 2 strikes against Bonis, continuing neutralization of airfields; before departing to refuel.
NEW BRITAIN--75 B-25's, with P-38 escort, attack Rabaul with good effect but meet the strongest opposition to be encountered by Fifth Air Force during the entire war.
BURMA--Japanese along Tarung R are withstanding efforts of 112th Rgt, Ch 38th Div, to advance; wipe out co of 1st Bn.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, patrols of 7th Armd and 46th Inf Divs reach the Garigliano. VI Corps prepares to cross 2 divs, 45th and 34th, over the Volturno. Advance elements of 45th Div--Co F of 180th Inf--cross below Sesto Campano, night 2-3.
In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps begins main assault across the Trigno, night 2-3. Firm resistance is being overcome with help of arty and naval gunfire.
AUSTRIA--U.S. Fifteenth Air Force joins in Combined Bomber Offensive against Germany with
damaging attack on aircraft works at Wiener Neustadt by 112 heavy bombers. Enemy puts up strong fighter and AA opposition.
POA--Northern Attack Force (TF 52) completes rehearsal for GALVANIC at Hawaii.
SOLOMON IS.--3d Mar Div continues to improve beachhead positions on Bougainville. At 1800, 3d Marines takes responsibility for left flank and 9th Marines for right flank. 3d Raider Bn patrol moves to Torokina I. and makes search for enemy, but finds none.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 4th Ranger Bn crosses the Volturno in 45th Div zone at 1800 to block Highway 6 NW of Mignano, but is stopped short of objective. 45th Div continues crossing the Volturno. Rest of 2d Bn, 180th Inf, upon crossing SE of Presenzano at 2000, drives NW toward Rocca Pipirozzi. After strong arty preparation, 34th Div begins to cross the Volturno, night 3-4.
In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps is strongly opposed as it attacks S. Salvo ridge.
GERMANY--In largest daylight raid to date by U.S. Eighth Air Force, over 500 planes, led by Pathfinders, attack Wilhelmshaven port area through cloud.
U.S.--War Department Operations Division recommends that current commitments to China be fulfilled; that limited bomber offensive from China be mounted; and that only 30 Ch divs be trained and equipped, plus equipment for 3 additional divs in order to start training of ZEBRA Force.
SOLOMON IS.--2d Mar Para Bn withdraws from Choiseul in LCI's. Bougainville beachhead is seriously threatened as Japanese naval force, including heavy cruisers, arrives at Rabaul from Truk. TF 38, with land-based air cover, is ordered to strike at Rabaul.
BURMA--112th Regt, Ch 38th Div, digs in in current positions in N Burma, since all efforts to advance have been futile and costly. 2d Bn is still short of Sharaw Ga. By this time, 1st Bn, directed against Yupbang Ga, is isolated by enemy roadblock and must be supplied by air; 3d Bn is pinned down at Ngajatzup, 30 miles SW of Ningbyen.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps, with M. Massico and M. S. Croce hill masses under its control, prepares for assault on M. Camino by 56th Div. In VI Corps area, 2d Bn of 180th Inf, 45th Div, clears Rocca Pipirozzi and digs in on ridge to NW; makes contact with 4th Ranger Bn at Cannavinelle. 3d Bn of 179th Inf, upon crossing the Volturno S of Venafro, attacks and captures Venafro. 1st Bn follows 3d across the river. 34th Div's 133d Inf seizes S. Maria Oliveto; 168th takes Roccaravindola.
In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps troops enter Isernia without opposition. 5 Corps takes S. Salvo ridge, enemy having made general withdrawal in the area.
USSR--Germans are forced to yield additional ground along the Dnieper as Soviet troops press forward to its mouth opposite Kherson. Red Army units open major offensive in Kiev area, pushing S from Dnieper bridgehead and threatening the city with encirclement.
BOUGAINVILLE--In zone of 9th Marines, 3d Ranger Bn repels Japanese attack against block on local trail, called Mission Trail. Later the Rangers and 3d Bn of 9th Marines drive up Mission Trail toward its junction with Numa Numa Trail. The Numa Numa and East-West Trails are the two main trails on Cape Torokina.
NEW BRITAIN--Almost 100 carrier aircraft of TF 38 attack new enemy naval forces concentrated at Rabaul, taking enemy by surprise; despite intense AA fire, severely damage 5 cruisers and 2 DD's at cost of 10 planes lost. Later, Fifth Air Force planes bomb wharf area as enemy aircraft are searching in vain for TF 38. Enemy naval forces are severely crippled and threat to Bougainville beachhead from this source ends.
CBI--Gen Stilwell submits report to Chiang Kai-shek on SEAC planning and progress of preparations for attack from Yunnan by Y-Force.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army begins 10-day period of gruelling action against lofty hills and mountains that form enemy's Winter Line. Designed as a delaying position, this line is disposed in front of main defense belt known as the Gustav Line. Fifth Army's efforts to breach the line during next 10 days are fruitless. In addition to a tenacious enemy, Fifth Army is adversely affected by terrain, rainy weather, and lack of reserves. In Br 10 Corps area, 56th Div, in conjunction with left flank elements of U.S. VI Corps, begins battle for M. Camino-M. la Difensa-M. Maggiore hill mass, concentrating on M. Camino. In VI Corps area, 3d Div begins outflanking attacks against positions commanding Mignano Gap: as 7th Inf columns press toward German M. la Difensa positions, which hold out for next 10 days, elements of 15th are sent northward over M. Cesima toward Cannavinelle
Hill; 30th Inf, upon passing through 45th Div's zone, night 5-6, presses W toward M. Rotondo.
In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps pursues enemy northward, 78th Div, on coast, pushing through Vasto. Ind 8th Div takes Tufillo.
U.S.--CCS accede to request of Gen Eisenhower for retention of landing craft. 12 U.S. and 56 Br LST's due to depart from Mediterranean are to remain until 15 December. A further extension, until 15 January 1944, is subsequently granted.
ELLICE IS.--Advance Hq, Seventh Air Force, opens at Funafuti.
SOLOMON IS.--1st Bn, 21st Marines, arrives on Bougainville to reinforce 3d Mar Div's beachhead.
INDIA--Government of India accepts offer of U.S. troops to help operate Bengal and Assam RR.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, 56th Div continues attack toward M. Camino, elements taking Calabritto. In VI Corps' 3d Div sector, 7th Inf is still fighting for M. la Difensa; efforts of 15th Inf to take Hill 253, SE nose of M. Lungo, are unsuccessful, as are those of 30th Inf to take M. Rotondo. To E, 45th and 34th Divs batter at hills and mountains with little success.
USSR--Germans withdraw from Kiev to avoid envelopment.
POA--Southern Attack Force (TF 53) begins rehearsal for GALVANIC at Efate, New Hebrides. A Fifth Fleet carrier force, under command of Rear Adm Alfred I. Montgomery, reaches S Pacific.
BOUGAINVILLE--Beachhead undergoes its first major counterattack. Japanese DD's from Rabaul land 475 troops between Laruma and Koromokina Rivers early in morning. The troops attack at once in vicinity of Koromokina lagoon and are held off by 3d Marines, although small outpost is cut off and must be rescued by sea.
CBI--SEAC adopts TARZAN, India-based portion of general offensive in Burma, now called CHAMPION. TARZAN calls for limited offensive on Arakan coast for Akyab; drive from Imphal to Chindwin R.; establishment of a div on RR to Myitkyina; amphibious operation against the Andamans.
11 Army Group: In Br Fourteenth Army's 4 Corps area, Japanese are becoming aggressive in Chin Hills and occupy Falam.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army continues to battle enemy in mountains of Winter Line but makes little headway. In VI Corps sector, 34th Div organizes TF A under Brig Gen Benjamin F. Caffey, consisting of 135th Inf and supporting units, for drive on Montaquila.
USSR--Exploiting German withdrawal from Kiev, Soviet forces push on to Fastov, rail junction to SW, where they are halted by strong opposition.
BOUGAINVILLE--Gen Vandegrift (CG I MAC, pending arrival of Maj Gen Roy S. Geiger) reaches Bougainville and takes command of operations there and on the Treasuries. Advance elements of 37th Div, RCT 148, also arrive to take over left flank of beachhead and are attached to 3d Mar Div. Battle of Koromokina Lagoon ends as 1st Bn of 21st Marines, after extremely effective preparatory fire, attacks and eliminates subdued remnants of the counterlanding force.
CBI--Gen Stilwell directs Col Thomas S. Arms, of Y-Force Infantry Training Center, to activate ZEBRA Force Infantry Training Center at Kweilin.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Gen Alexander orders Fifth Army to plan for amphibious operation on W coast.
In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, 56th Div withstands strong counterattacks at Calabritto and seizes hill to NE. In VI Corps area, 7th Inf of 3d Div is still unable to scale M. la Difensa, but 3d Bn of 15th Inf takes Hill 253 and 3d Bn of 30th reaches top of M. Rotondo--45th Div continues to fight for mountains north of Venafro and Pozzilli. 3d Bn, 179th Inf, opens assault on hills between Pozzilli and Filignano. 34th Div's TF A takes Montaquila.
In Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps area, 78th Div gains heights overlooking the Sangro from its mouth to Paglieta.
BOUGAINVILLE--Gen Geiger arrives on Bougainville by air: Allied dive bombers raid Koromokina Lagoon-Laruma R area.
POA--Main body of Northern Attack Force for GALVANIC leaves Pearl Harbor.
SOLOMON IS.--Gen Geiger takes command of Allied forces on Bougainville and Treasury Is.
NEW BRITAIN--Gen MacArthur cancels projected offensive against Gasmata. Fifth Air Force strongly attacks Rabaul.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, elements of 45th Div take hills between Pozzilli and Filignano without opposition. 1st Ranger Bn relieves other elements of 45th Div on M. Corno.
BOUGAINVILLE--Additional elements of 21st Marines arrive. Marines now hold junction of Mission and Numa Numa Trails, having killed an estimated 550 Japanese during drive up Mission Trail. In order to secure airfield site, Gen Geiger orders 3d Mar Div to drive E and 37th Div, W.
NEW BRITAIN--Powerful air offensive against Rabaul continues. Carrier planes of TF 38 and others of Adm Montgomery's force, as well as land-based RAAF and Fifth Air Force planes, attack with good effect. Japanese planes locate Adm Montgomery's group and attack it vigorously but ineffectively.
CBI--Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek replies to Gen Stilwell's memo of 5 November at conference of Chinese National Military Council at Chungking. While agreeing to Br and Ch attack on Burma, he wants to hold Chinese back until British are attacking Kalewa. Replacements and supplies for Y-Force are to be provided.
11 Army Group: In Br Fourteenth Army's 4 Corps area, Japanese seize Haka.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 45th Div commits 157th Inf between 180th and 179th for drive on Acquafondata. 2d Bn, 509th Para Inf, to which 1st Ranger Bn is attached, clears saddle of M. S. Croce.
USSR--Russians improve positions W of Kiev, seizing foothold across Teterev R, but are under pressure in Fastov area, SW of Kiev, where Germans are taking the initiative. Soviet Center Front forces attack northward toward Rechitsa, W of Gomel.
POA--Southern Attack Force for GALVANIC completes rehearsal off New Hebrides.
TREASURY IS.--8th Brig Gp, NZ 3d Div, completes elimination of small enemy garrison on Mono. For 205 Japanese dead counted, 40 New Zealanders and 12 Americans have lost their lives.
NEW BRITAIN--Japanese withdraw their carrier aircraft from Rabaul. Rabaul no longer presents a serious threat to Allied forces.
LEROS I.--Axis force invades Leros by air and sea.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, 56th Div, exhausted by prolonged fighting, is to be withdrawn from M. Camino. In VI Corps area, 157th Inf of 45th Div makes limited progress toward Acquafondata but is threatened by enemy on Hills 769 and 640. 133d Inf, 34th Div, is pinched out by 135th Inf on right and 179th Inf on left; 135th Inf makes contact with 504th Para Inf, which has pushed past Fornelli to Colli and is maintaining contact with Br Eighth Army.
USSR--Continuing to advance W of Kiev, Soviet forces take Zhitomir, important rail center.
POA--Southern Attack Force for GALVANIC departs from New Hebrides. Preinvasion air operations against Gilberts are begun. B-24's from Funafuti bomb Tarawa without interception but meet unusually heavy AA fire.
BOUGAINVILLE--Gen Geiger becomes responsible to Adm Halsey as Adm Wilkinson relinquishes command. 21st Marines begins attack for junction of Numa Numa Trail with East-West Trail to ensure safety of airfield site. 129th Inf of 37th Div arrives.
NEW BRITAIN--U.S. Fifth Air Force begins preinvasion bombardment of targets in W New Britain.
CBI--Col Francis G. Brink is given responsibility for training of GALAHAD forces, a task previously held by Lt Col Charles N. Hunter. In late December the GALAHAD Force is activated as 5307th Regt (Prov).
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 157th Inf of 45th Div scales Hill 640 but is forced off. Hills 640 and 769 must be cleared before advance on Acquafondata can be continued.
USSR--Red Army intensifies pressure against enemy in Dnieper bend.
BOUGAINVILLE--After delay to await air strike, replenishment of water supply, and repair of communications, 21st Marines, supported by 5 tanks, renews battle for trail junction and takes it. Perimeter defense is established. 148th Inf reverts to 37th Div from attachment to 3d Mar Div.
CBI--Movement orders are issued to aviation engineers and dump truck companies required to build airfields in India in preparation for arrival of B-29's.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, 56th Div withdraws as planned from slopes of M. Camino, night 14-15.
USSR--Germans launch counteroffensive aimed at recapture of Zhitomir.
BOUGAINVILLE--Beachhead perimeter is expanded to inland defense line Dog.
CBI--Gen Wheeler is made principal administrative officer of SEAC. Similar post for Gen Auchinleck's India Command is given to Gen Sir Alan Brooke. Maj Gen William E. R. Covell succeeds Gen Wheeler as commander of SOS CBI.
BURMA--On N Burma front, Ch 38th Div is moving reinforcements forward for 112th Regt. 114th Regt arrives at front and is followed in early December by 113th. In 11 Army Group's Fourteenth
Army sector, Japanese take Fort White in 4 Corps area, having forced British to abandon it.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army halts advance in order to reorganize in preparation for another assault on the Winter Line. 7th Armd Div is withdrawn from left flank of Br 10 Corps to 15th Army Group reserve in preparation for movement to England. 46th Div takes over 7th Armd Div sector. 82d A/B Div, largely engaged in policing Naples, is also to be withdrawn to England before next offensive. 1st Armd Div begins arriving at Naples about this time.
USSR--Continuing offensive toward Rechitsa, Soviet forces cut rail line between Gomel and Pinsk.
BOUGAINVILLE--Continuous road through beachhead is completed, vastly improving supply situation.
CBI--Adm Mountbatten activates his new command, SEAC, and takes over operational control from CinC India. Movement orders are issued to U.S. forces who are to help operate the Bengal and Assam RR. Gen Stratemeyer's Hq, AAF, India-Burma Sector, virtually rejects Gen Chennault's proposals for 1944 for logistical reasons. Hump tonnage requested cannot be supplied. Since the TWILIGHT plan for B-29's to be brought to CBI is approved, priority of Fourteenth Air Force must be lowered.
LEROS I.--Enemy completes occupation of island.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, 36th Div moves forward to relieve 3d Div in Mignano Gap.
In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps is ordered to attack toward general line Ortona-Lanciano on 20 November. Adverse weather conditions subsequently force Gen Montgomery to postpone the date. 8th Div has secured small bridgehead on N bank of the Sangro and is gradually expanding it.
GILBERTS-MARSHALLS--During period 13-17 November, heavy bombers of Seventh Air Force have flown 141 sorties against Gilberts and Marshalls and have dropped some 173 tons of bombs.
BOUGAINVILLE--Final elements of 21st Marines arrive, but APD McKean is lost to enemy plane en route.
NEW GUINEA--Australians of 9th Div open assault against Sattelberg, which is suited by nature for defense. 26th, 24th, 20th, and 4th Brigs, assisted by tanks, aircraft, and arty, participate in the battle.
USSR--Some Red Army units in Kiev sector overrun Korosten, endangering enemy's supply system, but others are threatened with encirclement in Zhitomir as German counteroffensive for Zhitomir gains ground. To N, Soviet forces overrun Rechitsa and close in on Gomel.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, II Corps (Gen Keyes) is given zone of operations in center and takes command of 3d and 36th Divs. VI Corps contains 34th and 45th Divs.
USSR--Soviet troops force the Dnieper near Cherkassy, SE of Kiev, and take Ovruch, NW of Kiev, but continue to fall back under enemy pressure in Zhitomir area. To N, enemy forces in Gomel are imperiled by rapid expansion of Rechitsa salient.
CENTRAL PACIFIC--Land-based and carrier-based aircraft join in final bombardment of Gilberts, Marshalls, and Nauru in preparation for invasion of Gilberts.
BOUGAINVILLE--145th Inf of 37th Div arrives.
NEW BRITAIN--Fifth Air Force intensifies action against the island.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps area, enemy completes withdrawal across the Sangro in Ind 8th Div sector.
USSR--Red Army forces abandon Zhitomir to avoid being trapped there.
GILBERT IS.--U.S. forces invade Makin and Tarawa Atolls (Operation GALVANIC), opening series of amphibious operations in Central Pacific aimed ultimately at invasion of Japan. Air and naval gunfire bombardment precede and closely support assault teams. Aerial supremacy over enemy has already been achieved. At both atolls, landing forces are beset with supply difficulties and communication failures.
MAKIN ATOLL--TF 52's landing force (27th Div's 165th Inf reinf by 3d Bn of 105th, tanks of 193d Tank Bn, and other supporting units), under Maj Gen Ralph C. Smith, invades Makin. As a preliminary to main invasion of Butaritari I., largest of the Makin group, special landing detachment sails for Kotabu at 0645 and secures the island without opposition. Invasion of Butaritari is begun on schedule at 0830, when BLT's 1 and 3 of 165th Inf start landing on Red Beaches 1 and 2 on W coast. At 1041, about 10 minutes behind schedule, BLT 2 begins landing on Yellow Beaches, located on N
(lagoon) shore between On Chong's Wharf and King's Wharf. Both assault forces secure beachheads and with tank support push rapidly forward against light resistance, converging along West Tank Barrier, where enemy opposition is overcome, although small pocket remains to NW. Arty is emplaced on Ukiangong Pt.
TARAWA ATOLL--TF 53's landing force (2d Marines of 2d Mar Div, reinf by 2d Bn of 8th Marines and supporting units), under Maj Gen Julian C. Smith, USMC, invades Betio I., at SW tip of the atoll, where airfield and main enemy forces are located. Landings are made with great difficulty and very heavy casualties. Transports arrive S of assigned area and at 0507 come under fire of previously alerted enemy on Betio. While transports are moving northward out of range of enemy guns, warships attempt, with some success, to neutralize enemy positions. Aircraft deliver brief strikes before forces land. Although H Hour is postponed from 0830 to 0900, first troops do not reach shore until 0910. Marines land under direct fire, many wading from partly exposed reef that fringes coast; upon reaching shore, landing teams become intermingled and disorganized. Landings are made on 3 adjacent beaches (Red 1, 2, and 3, from W to E) on NW coast. 3d Bn of 2d Marines, the Red 1 assault force, gains beachhead on NW tip of island but is isolated there. In center, 2d Bn of 2d Marines is pinned down by enemy fire on Red 2. 2d Bn of 8th Marines, favored by more protracted naval gunfire preparation, meets less opposition on Red 3 and gains beachhead extending inland to airfield. To strengthen precarious hold on the island, 1st Bn of 2d Marines, from regt reserve, and 3d Bn of 8th Marines, from div reserve, are committed. Fortunately, counterattacks, expected after nightfall, fail to materialize, and meager gains are held. Shortly before invasion of Betio, a scout-sniper platoon clears enemy positions from main pier, partly burning it in the process.
SOLOMON IS.--Maj Gen Ralph J. Mitchell, USMC, relieves Gen Twining as head of Solomons Air Command. Gen Twining later takes command of Fifteenth Air Force. On Bougainville, 3d Mar Div is extending its positions in vicinity of Piva R forks against lively opposition. 37th Div is unopposed.
BURMA--II Army Group: In Br Fourteenth Army's 15 Corps area, Ind 7th Div starts across Mayu Range along two crude trails in preparation for offensive.
MAKIN ATOLL--BLT 2, 165th Inf, attacks on Butaritari I, after air and arty preparation, and overruns fortified area between West and East Tank Barriers as it pushes eastward to Stone Pier. BLT 1 mops up in W part of island and eliminates pocket near West Tank Barrier. Rcn detail lands on Kuma I. early in day, reconnoiters, and withdraws.
TARAWA ATOLL--Marines on Betio continue to meet grim opposition but strengthen their hold on the island with assistance of aircraft, arty, and naval gunfire. Further reinforcements are landed, bringing total bns ashore to 7. RCT 6 is released from V Amphibious Corps reserve to 2d Mar Div and its 1st Bn lands on Green beach, on W end of island. Rest of 8th Marines lands on Beach Red 2. 3d Bn of RCT 2 secures entire W end of Betio (Green Beach), while 1st and 2d Bns of RCT 2, from Red 2 and 3, push across airfield to S coast, splitting enemy forces. 2d Bn of RCT 8, on Red 3, makes little progress during day. Meanwhile, arty and naval gunfire are directed against E end of Betio to prevent enemy from escaping to next island (Bairiki), and 2d Bn of 6th Marines lands on Bairiki after preliminary bombardment that kills the few enemy there. While fighting is in progress on Betio, Co D of 2d Tank Bn starts reconnoitering other islands of Tarawa Atoll.
APAMAMA ATOLL--VAC Rcn Co. (-) lands from submarine Nautilus and begins reconnoitering the atoll under naval gunfire cover.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--SEXTANT Conference, attended by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, opens at Cairo, Egypt, to consider war issues.
MAKIN ATOLL--After preparatory bombardment, BLT 3 of 165th Inf takes over attack from BLT 2 and drives E on Butaritari well beyond East Tank Barrier, which enemy has abandoned. Though E tip of island remains to be explored, Adm Turner declares the island captured. Gen Ralph Smith assumes command ashore. Night 22-23, Japanese are virtually wiped out when they make an unsuccessful counterattack. Steps are taken to cut off enemy's escape from Butaritari: elements of Co A, BLT 1, make waterborne move to narrow neck of island to intercept enemy; special detail moves to Kuma I. to halt enemy withdrawal there.
TARAWA ATOLL--Japanese on Betio undergo heavy air, naval, and arty bombardment as battle for the island continues. Enemy is brought under cross fire as arty is emplaced on Bairiki. Passing through 3d Bn of 2d Marines, 1st Bn of 6th Marines drives E along S coast on narrow front, making contact with 2d Marines force and continuing advance to E end of airfield. 2d Bn of 8th Marines, with elements of 3d Bn attached, presses E along N coast
to E end of airfield. 1st Bn of 8th Marines, attached to 2d Marines, attacks strongpoint between Red Beaches 2 and 1 and succeeds in containing it. Thus by end of day enemy is compressed into E part of Betio beyond airfield and retains pocket between Red Beaches 1 and 2. 3d Bn, 6th Marines, lands on Green Beach and moves forward along S coast behind 1st Bn, 6th Marines. Gen Julian Smith establishes CP ashore. During night 22-23, Japanese counterattacks are repelled by 1st Bn, 6th Marines.
SWPA--As planning for invasion of New Britain continues, Gen MacArthur decides to make subsidiary effort at Arawe.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 9th Div continues to struggle for Sattelberg, 26th Brig reaching S slopes.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps now has 5 bns on N bank of the Sangro.
MAKIN ATOLL--Organized resistance on Butaritari I. ends at 1030 when advance elements of 3d Bn, 165th Inf, reach tip of island. Re-embarkation of assault forces begins.
TARAWA ATOLL--3d Bn of 6th Marines, attacking through 1st Bn, reaches the end of Betio shortly after 1300, and Gen Julian Smith reports the end of organized resistance on Betio at 1330. 8th Marines, less 1st Bn, moves to Bairiki. 2d Bn, 6th Marines, moves from Bairiki to Betio and is given task of securing rest of islands in Tarawa Atoll. 3d Bn, 10th Marines, moves to village of Eita, where 3d Platoon of Co D, 2d Tank Bn, is attached to it.
BOUGAINVILLE--3d Mar Div, still strongly opposed in Piva forks area, begins regrouping. 1st Mar Para Bn arrives.
BURMA--In N Burma, Japanese overrun CP of 112th Regt, Ch 38th Div.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, 1st Special Service Force (SSF), a highly trained group of Canadians and Americans under Col Robert T. Frederick, is attached to 36th Div.
MAKIN ATOLL--RCT 165, less 3d Bn, leaves for Hawaii. 3d Bn and miscellaneous units are left behind to conduct minor mopping up operations and to support construction forces. Command is turned over to Col Clesen H. Tenney, Garrison Force commander. 27th Div casualties for Makin total 218, of whom 58 are killed and 8 die of wounds. Enemy casualties, aside from those subsequently inflicted during the mop-up, are estimated at 550, including 105 prisoners. Japanese submarine sinks escort carrier USS Liscome Bay off Makin; 644 persons aboard are lost.
TARAWA ATOLL--2 Marine RCT's (8th and 2d) leave for Hawaii. Embarking from Betio, 2d Bn of 6th Marines, guided by scouts of 2d Tank Bn, begins uneventful search for enemy on islands up the long east side of Tarawa Atoll.
BOUGAINVILLE--3d Mar Div makes substantial progress, gaining commanding ground in Piva forks area. Marine SBD makes successful forced landing on Torokina fighter strip, although strip has not yet been completed.
INDIA--Airfield construction personnel for Ind air bases begin arriving.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army outlines final plan of attack to begin about 2 December. First phase calls for capture of M. Camino-M. la Difensa-M. Maggiore area, to be preceded on 1 December by capture of Calabritto. In second phase, M. Sammucro is to be cleared in conjunction with drive W along Colli-Atina road. Third phase is to be attack into Liri Valley.
In Br Eighth Army area, 13 Corps captures Castel Alfedena. 5 Corps' bridgehead N of the Sangro is now firmly established.
GERMANY--Berlin reports progress toward Korosten, USSR.
TARAWA ATOLL--After scouting about half way up E side of atoll, Co D of 2d Tank Bn is recalled to village of Eita to prepare to reconnoiter other atolls. 2d Bn, 6th Marines, continues uneventful trek up Tarawa Atoll.
APAMAMA ATOLL--Apamama Occupation Force, based on 3d Bn of 6th Marines, is en route to atoll.
BATTLE OF CAPE ST GEORGE--5 Japanese DD's bound for Buka with reinforcements are turned back to vicinity of Cape St George (New Ireland) and engaged, night 25-26, by Allied DD's, which destroy 3 Japanese DD's without suffering any damage. This concludes series of night naval engagements of the Solomon campaigns.
NEW GUINEA--Sattelberg falls to troops of Aus 9th Div.
FORMOSA--U.S. Fourteenth Air Force, in its first attack on Formosa, destroys 42 enemy planes while attacking Shinchiku airdrome.
BURMA--AAF and RAF begin series of coordinated strikes against installations in Rangoon area, despite unfavorable weather conditions.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army's plan for amphibious operations at Anzio (Operation SHINGLE) is approved. A single infantry div, reinf, is to establish beachhead and attempt to join main body within a week. Fr increment of Fifth
Army general staff arrives from N Africa by air to prepare for arrival of French Expeditionary Corps (FEC) under Gen Juin.
USSR--Attacking in Propoisk area, N of Gomel, Soviet forces achieve breakthrough on broad front and cut highway between Gomel and Mogilev, greatly increasing peril to Germans in Gomel.
ETO--Air Chief Marshal Leigh-Mallory, heading Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF), activates his headquarters. Second Tactical Air Force, RAF, and later Gen Brereton's U.S. Ninth Air Force come under AEAF.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--First part of SEXTANT ends at Cairo after inconclusive discussions concerning OVERLORD and possible expansion of operations in the Mediterranean. After considering CHAMPION--plan for offensive in Burma--the conferees have agreed that an amphibious operation will be undertaken and have received Chiang Kai-shek's promise to commit Yunnan force. Upper Burma is to be cleared in spring of 1944 to open land route to China. Also approved is TWILIGHT--plan to base B-29's in CBI. Br and U.S. conferees leave for Tehran, Iran, for further discussions.
TARAWA ATOLL--2d Bn of 6th Marines reaches Buariki, last relatively large island of atoll, and prepares to attack enemy forces believed to be there.
APAMAMA ATOLL--VAC scouts are recalled as Apamama landing force arrives and begins organizing defenses of the atoll.
BOUGAINVILLE--I MAC continues to expand perimeter of beachhead. 3d Div is now at S shore of Lake Kathleen.
CBI--Brig Gen Haydon I. Boatner, Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander, CAI, reports to Maj Gen Thomas G. Hearn, Chief of Staff, U.S. Forces CBI, that situation of Ch 38th Div is "critical."
USSR--Germans abandon Gomel, key position of central front.
GERMANY--U.S. VIII BC surpasses its 3 November record for aircraft dispatched, sending out 633 bombers, Bremen their primary target. Results are largely obscured by overcast.
TARAWA ATOLL--2d Bn, 6th Marines, clears enemy from Buariki. Small islet of Naa, at N tip, remains to be explored.
CBI--At meeting of SEAC delegation to Cairo Conference, Gen Stilwell reveals that the Generalissimo is unwilling to fulfill commitments agreed to at Cairo and wants Stilwell to hold out for airborne assault on Mandalay (TOREADOR) and 10,000 tons a month over the Hump.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps prepares to attack in Adriatic coastal sector, weather conditions at last permitting close air support. Tanks of 4th Armd Brig and transport are brought across the Sangro.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin begin conference, coded EUREKA, at Tehran, Iran.
TARAWA ATOLL--Atoll is completely secured. No Japanese are found on Naa. Marine casualties on Tarawa total 3,301. Japanese losses are estimated to be 4,690 killed, 17 captured, and 129 Koreans taken prisoner.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps begins battle of the Sangro at 2130, Ind 8th Div, in the lead, takes Mozzagrogna, night 28-29. New Zealanders follow across the Sangro.
USSR--Germans report encirclement and destruction of Soviet forces in Korosten area.
BOUGAINVILLE--Work is begun on an airstrip, called Piva Uncle, near Piva R.
NEW GUINEA--Pursuing enemy northward along Huon Peninsula coast, Australians seize Bonga, former enemy supply base, and Gusika; press toward Wareo.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, VI Corps begins limited operations on right flank of army to divert enemy from the coming main assault against M. Camino. 45th Div begins clearing region N of Filignano-S. Elia road in effort to open the road: 1st Bn of 178th Inf leads off against La Bandita (Hill 855) but cannot take it; 157th Inf, making diversionary thrusts, secures Hill 460. 34th Div, to right of 45th, begins operations to clear heights overlooking Colli-Atina road: 1st Bn of 168th Inf moves against M. Pantano, taking the first of 4 knobs; 133d Inf moves against hills between Castelnuovo and Cerasuolo.
In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps breaches Winter Line in its sector. Driving through Mozzagrogna, 4th Armd Brig, with excellent air support, begins to clear Sangro ridge.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--EUREKA Conference at Tehran ends. Acceding to Soviet desires to make OVERLORD the main effort, OVERLORD and ANVIL (southern France) have been given priority
over all other operations. Premier Stalin has agreed to commit Soviet forces against Japan after Germany is defeated. From Tehran, Br and U.S. delegates go back to Cairo, where the SEXTANT talks will be renewed.
GILBERT IS.--2d Tank Bn scouts reconnoiter Abaiang and Marakei Atolls, N of Tarawa, finding but 5 Japanese, on former.
SWPA--Gen Krueger forms TF DIRECTOR, under Brig Gen Julian W. Cunningham, for the invasion of Arawe, New Britain, on 15 December, called 2 Day to distinguish it from main D Day invasion at Cape Gloucester later. The TF is based upon 112th Cav.
CBI--Chiang Kai-shek again agrees to CHAMPION while inspecting Chinese troops at Ramgarh.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In preparation for Operation RAINCOAT--U.S. Fifth Army's first phase of assault against Winter Line aimed at capture of Camino hill mass--diversions are begun to deceive enemy. 3d Ranger Bn feints toward S. Pietro and 23d Armd Brig feints on lower Garigliano. In VI Corps' 45th Div sector, 1st Bn of 179th Inf continues fruitless attempts to clear La Bandita. On M. Pantano, 1st Bn of 168th Inf, 34th Div, retains positions against strong counterattacks and tries unsuccessfully to gain second knob; patrols of 1st Bn, 133d Inf, move into Castelnuovo while 3d Bn advances to M. la Rocca and elements of 200th Bn move onto Croce Hill.
In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps finishes clearing ridge above the Sangro. 4th Armd Brig and 78th Div push toward coast, taking Fossacesia. Ind 8th Div, moving NW along ridge, reaches heights overlooking Castelfrentano. To W, New Zealanders, having crossed the Sangro with difficulty, join their bridgehead with that of corps.
USSR--Moscow announces withdrawal of Soviet forces from Korosten.
GILBERT IS.--2d Tank Bn scouts find Maiana Atoll free of enemy, concluding their mission.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, air operations are sharply increased in preparation for main assault against Winter Line. Br 10 Corps begins diversionary attack toward Calabritto at dusk, employing 139th Brig, 46th Div. Numerous obstacles and strong opposition slow advance. In VI Corps area, 45th Div continues to meet firm resistance that prevents 1st Bn, 179th Inf, from scaling La Bandita and 2d Bn from clearing crest and reverse slope of Hill 769 to S. In 34th Div sector, 1st Bn of 168th Inf remains on first knob of M. Pantano but is isolated from main body; no further progress is made by 133d Inf.
ITALY--About 30 aircraft of German Air Force attack Bari, night 2-3, with spectacular results. Bombs blow up 2 ammunition ships in the crowded harbor, and as a result 17 other ships are lost. Damage to the port reduces its capacity for 3 weeks.
15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, Allied aircraft and arty pound enemy positions in preparation for Operation RAINCOAT. Arty concentrations are the heaviest thus far in the Italian campaign. Br 10 Corps continues attack toward Calabritto but does not take it. Despite this failure, 56th Div begins attack on M. Camino from S after nightfall. II Corps opens attack on Camino hill mass from NE, night 2-3. 1st SSF moves against M. la Difensa, 2d Regt spearheading, and clears it before dawn. In VI Corps' 45th Div sector, enemy continues stout defense of La Bandita and positions on Hill 769. 34th Div commits additional elements against M. Pantano and with great difficulty takes the second knob; Co L of 133d Inf gains Hill 1180, on S slopes of M. Marrone, in night attack, 2-3, but the regt is unable to gain further ground in the area after this.
In Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps area, Castelfrentano falls to NZ troops.
USSR--Continuing offensive in Dnieper bend, Soviet forces break through along Ingulets R and push to within 6 miles of Znamenka.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--Br and U.S. delegates, returning from Tehran, reopen SEXTANT discussions at Cairo.
SWPA--Dates for invasion of New Britain at Arawe and Cape Gloucester are finally set for 15 and 26 December, respectively.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, 56th Div makes substantial progress, taking M. Camino (819) and Monastery Hill (963) but is forced back from latter. In II Corps area, 1st SSF units, continuing attack from M. la Difensa before dawn, reach M. la Remetanea. 142d Inf, 36th Div, begins drive on M. Maggiore and takes it. In VI Corps area, 45th Div is unable to make further progress against La Bandita or Hill 769. Elements of 3d Bn, 168th Inf, 34th Div, upon relief by elements of 135th Inf, move to first knob of M. Pantano and relieve 1st Bn, 168th Inf; 3d Bn then attacks toward third knob but is driven back.
In Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps area, Ind 8th Div and 78th Div reach Moro R, overrunning Lanciano and S. Vito. 78th Div is later relieved there by Cdn 1st Div, which has been transferred to 5 Corps from 13 Corps.
USSR--NW of Gomel, Soviet troops improve positions and take highway center of Dovsk.
ETO--CROSSBOW--operations against German secret weapon sites--is given top priority for Allied tactical air forces.
TARAWA ATOLL--Capt Jackson R. Tote, USN, Commander, Advanced Base, Tarawa, takes command, relieving Gen Julian Smith. During December and January, air bases are constructed in the Gilberts.
BOUGAINVILLE--1st Mar Para Regt arrives and is soon committed to help advance the outpost line.
CHINA--Chang-te, in Tung-ting Lake area, falls to Japanese, climaxing local offensive by 11th Army designed to disrupt Ch troop concentrations and divert Chinese from Yunnan. Having accomplished their mission and taken the rice center of Chang-te, Japanese soon begin withdrawal.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, 56th Div is unable to regain Monastery Hill but seizes Hills 683 and 615. In II Corps area, German counterattack forces 1st SSF from M. la Remetanea to M. la Difensa. 1st Regt moves up to assist 2d in clearing M. la Remetanea-M. la Difensa ridge. 142d Inf, 36th Div, maintains positions on M. Maggiore. In VI Corps area, 135th Inf of 34th Div relieves all elements of 168th Inf on M. Pantano. 168th has suffered heavy casualties.
ETO--Intensive aerial rcn is begun to locate German secret weapon sites.
U.S.--President Roosevelt accedes to Br wishes that BUCCANEER be canceled. CCS ask Adm Mountbatten to suggest action to be taken in the event he loses most of his landing craft.
INDIA--Japanese make strategic air attack on Calcutta, damaging dock area.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, enemy withdraws from Monastery Hill (963) since the position is threatened by 56th Div units, which move up toward Colle, W of the hill. II Corps retains current positions on M. la Difensa and M. Maggiore, but they are being supplied only with great difficulty. VI Corps remains in place, consolidating and patrolling.
In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps pushes toward Ortona, whose harbor can be used for supply, Ind 8th Div crossing Moro R.
ETO--U.S. Ninth Air Force begins CROSSBOW operations. Its P-51's start escorting strategic bombers of U.S. Eighth Air Force.
U.S.--On the basis of Adm Mountbatten's estimate to CCS that no major amphibious operations can be undertaken if BUCCANEER is canceled, President Roosevelt informs Chiang Kai-shek that there can be no amphibious operation simultaneously with TARZAN; inquires whether Chiang will go ahead under the circumstances or wait until November 1944, when a major amphibious assault might be undertaken.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, Br 10 Corps seizes crest of M. Camino and for the next 3 days mops up W slopes as far as the Garigliano. In VI Corps area, elements of 179th Inf, 45th Div, reach top of Hill 769, but enemy retains positions on reverse slope.
In Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps area, Cdn 1st Div crosses Moro R.
USSR--Russians cut Smela-Znamenka RR line SW of Kremenchug.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--U.S. and Br delegates conclude SEXTANT Conference at Cairo. To gain landing craft for ANVIL, plans for amphibious operations against Bay of Bengal are canceled. Plans for north Burma campaign are unsettled. CCS set up tentative timetable for offensive against Japan as follows: seizure of Marshalls and New Britain, January 1944; Manus, Admiralties, April 1944; Hollandia, New Guinea, June 1944; and Marianas, October 1944. CCS issue directive establishing unified command in the Mediterranean, effective 10 December. Gen Eisenhower, whom President Roosevelt has already decided to make commander of OVERLORD, is to be responsible for all operations in the Mediterranean except strategic bombing.
CBI--Since Adm Mountbatten is ordered to release a large portion of his amphibious resources for use elsewhere, planning is begun for limited operation (PIGSTICK) on S Mayu Peninsula as a substitute for BUCCANEER, subject to approval of Chiang Kai-shek.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army begins second phase of assault on Winter Line. II Corps begins envelopment movements against enemy positions in S. Pietro area astride Highway 6. In preparation for assault on M. Lungo, Italian 1st Motorized Gp relieves 1st Bn of 141st Inf, 36th Div, on SE nose (Hill 253); 2d and 3d Bns, 143d Inf, prepare for drive on S. Pietro, moving forward to line of departure on Cannavinelle Hill; 1st Bn of 143d Inf jumps off toward M. Sammucro (Hill 1205) at 1700 and gains crest before dawn of 8th. On N flank, 3d Ranger Bn attacks at dusk toward Hill 950, a mile N of M. Sammucro.
In Br Eighth Army area, 5 Corps makes unsuccessful attack on Orsogna.
NEW GUINEA--Wareo falls to Aus 9th Div, clearing way for drive on Sio.
INDIA--In preparation for offensive, 18 Japanese bombers and about 50 fighters attack Tinsukia airfield in Assam.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, II Corps continues battle for positions about S. Pietro. Italian 1st Motorized Gp begins attack on M. Lungo but makes little headway against determined resistance. 143d Inf (-) of 36th Div attacks toward S. Pietro and is soon pinned down by enemy fire; 1st Bn of 143d withstands strong counterattack on M. Sammucro. On left flank of II Corps, 1st SSF finishes clearing M. la Remetanea (907). In VI Corps area, 2d Moroccan Inf Div, first of the FEC units to arrive in Italy, begins relief of 34th Div.
USSR--Red Army, continuing offensive SW of Kremenchug, cuts Znamenka-Krivoi Rog and Znamenka-Nikolayev RR's.
ETO--Gen Arnold informs Gen Spaatz that he (Spaatz) will command U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe.
BOUGAINVILLE--Torokina airstrip becomes operational. 3d Mar Div begins struggle for hills around beachhead that is to last until late in the month.
CBI--Replying to President Roosevelt's message, Chiang Kai-shek asks for financial assistance and increased air strength.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, Rocca d'Evandro falls, concluding action against Camino hill mass. In II Corps area, 2d and 3d Bns of 143d Inf continue to be held up in S. Pietro area and pull back after dark to line of departure while arty concentration is placed on enemy. Germans counterattack on M. Sammucro is repulsed. In VI Corps' 45th Div zone, Hill 769 is completely cleared, but Germans retain Lagone and La Bandita.
USSR--Rail junction of Znamenka falls to Soviet forces.
BOUGAINVILLE--Marine fighter sq flies in to operate from Torokina airstrip, which is within 220 miles of Rabaul.
MIDDLE EAST--PGSC is redesignated Persian Gulf Command (PGC); detached from USAFIME and made responsible to the War Department; and directed "to further the objective of the United States in the prosecution of the war." Gen Connolly, CG PGC, is to co-ordinate U.S. activities in the area with those of other Allied nations.
MEDITERRANEAN--CCS directive calling for unified command--Mediterranean Theater of Operations (Allied)--in the Mediterranean becomes effective, although Mediterranean Allied Air Forces has not yet been activated.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, Allied air attacks are stepped up in preparation for next phase of offensive, which is to begin on 15th. Br 10 Corps takes responsibility for M. la Difensa from 142d Inf of 36th Div, VI Corps. In II Corps area, 3d Ranger Bn, with arty support, renews attack on Hill 950 on N flank of II Corps and takes it. Activity in S. Pietro area and on M. Sammucro is on a limited scale. Current U.S. positions are being consolidated. In VI Corps area, 2d Moroccan Div takes command of zone previously held by 34th Div.
Br Eighth Army has regrouped to increase weight of attack in coastal sector, where opposition is heavy. 13 Corps, with 5th Div and NZ Div under its command, is to move N on left of 5 Corps, leaving 78th Div in previous positions under Eighth Army command. 5 Corps continues northward along coast with Cdn 1st and Ind 8th Divs. Cdn 1st Div now has bridgehead across Moro R and is pressing toward Ortona, assisted by air and naval bombardment of coastal targets.
USSR--Troops of Second Ukrainian Front resume attack, one force investing Cherkassy and another pushing toward Kirovo.
SWPA--GHQ draws up outline plan for seizure of Saidor (New Guinea).
CBI--Adm Mountbatten issues directive ordering integration of U.S. Tenth Air Force and RAF Bengal Command into Eastern Air Command (EAC). All Allied air forces in SE Asia are under command of Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Peirse as Allied Air CinC.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army maintains current positions against counterattacks while preparing for full-scale offensive.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army area, Br 10 Corps extends farther eastward to relieve final elements of VI Corps on M. Maggiore, and boundary is adjusted accordingly. In II Corps area, 142d Inf of 36th Div begins preliminary operations in preparation for assault on M. Lungo on 15th:
occupies S. Giacomo Hill, between Lungo and Maggiore, and after nightfall takes Hills 141 and 72.
SWPA--TF DIRECTOR sails from Goodenough I. for Buna, en route to Arawe, New Britain.
GERMANY--710 bombers of U.S. Eighth Air Force with P-51 escort are sent against Kiel, establishing another record for bombers dispatched. Good results are reported although bombing is by radar.
SWPA--Final plans for operation against Cape Gloucester, New Britain, are made. It is decided not to use airborne troops as planned.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army completes preparations for offensive by II and VI Corps on 15th and begins forward movement, night 14-15.
USSR--Russians begin first phase of winter offensive. From Nevel salient, which has gradually been improved, Soviet forces push toward Vitebsk and reach outskirts. Soviet troops of Second Ukrainian Front overrun Cherkassy. Enemy recovers Radomyshl, S of Malin.
SOLOMON IS.--Gen Griswold, XIV Corps CG, relieves Gen Geiger, I MAC CG, of responsibility for Bougainville beachhead, where final defensive perimeter is virtually secure, although 21st Marines, 3d Mar Div, is still clearing heights near the beachhead.
NEW BRITAIN--Operation DEXTERITY opens when, as a preliminary to main invasion of New Britain, TF 76 (Rear Adm Daniel E. Barbey) lands TF DIRECTOR (112th Cav, reinf) under command of Brig Gen Julian W. Cunningham, USA, on W coast of Arawe Peninsula about 0700, after naval gunfire and aerial bombardment. Scattered opposition on the peninsula is overcome without difficulty. Before the main landing, cavalrymen try in vain to make surprise landings at Umtingalu, on mainland E of the peninsula, and on Pilelo islet. Despite alerted enemy, Tr B succeeds in landing on Pilelo and quickly clears it. Japanese planes are active against troops and shipping, attacking at frequent intervals during this and the next few days. Plans to use Arawe as a base for light naval forces never materialize, nor is the site used as an air base. Plan for Cape Gloucester landing is amended to increase size of initial assault force and limit objective of secondary landing.
NEW GUINEA--Road from Lae to Nadzab is completed.
CBI--Gen Stratemeyer takes command of EAC. Troop Carrier Command is activated. First infantry class completes 6-weeks' course at Kweilin Infantry Training Center for ZEBRA Force.
BURMA--In N, 1st Bn of 114th Inf, Ch 38th Div, tries unsuccessfully to relieve isolated 1st Bn, 112th Regt. After the attack, Japanese return to previous positions, which they proceed to strengthen.
ITALY--15th Army Group: U.S. Fifth Army renews offensive against Winter Line before dawn. On II Corps' S flank, 142d Inf of 36th Div opens attack on M. Lungo from S at dusk and advances rapidly. Second battle for S. Pietro opens about noon, with 143d Inf (-) attacking from slopes of M. Sammucro and 2d Bn of 141st advancing from M. Rotondo area. Progress is slow and costly. 1st Bn of 143d Inf, with 2d Bn of 504th Para Inf to its right, begins attack on W slopes of M. Sammucro shortly after midnight, 14-15. Paratroopers suffer heavy casualties during fruitless attempt to take Hill 687; 1st Bn is pinned down short of Hill 730. In VI Corps area, 45th Div, on S flank of corps, begins attack toward heights dominating La Rava Creek on left and toward Lagone on right: 157th Inf gains positions on Hills 640 and 470, N of La Rava Creek, and makes futile attempt to clear Fialla Hill and Hill 770, S of the creek; 179th Inf is stopped short of Lagone; platoon of 45th Rcn Tr fails in attempt to clear hill just N of Lagone, but elements of 1st Bn, 179th Inf, occupy La Bandita, farther N, without opposition after nightfall. On N flank of VI Corps, 8th Rifle Regt of 2d Moroccan Div seizes M. Castelnuovo and S. Michele Pass.
ETO--AEAF takes operational control of U.S. Ninth Air Force.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, 142d Inf of 36th Div finishes clearing M. Lungo by 1000. Italian 1st Motorized Gp secures ridge between Hills 253 and 343 in afternoon. Further attacks on S. Pietro fail to gain ground but the position becomes untenable for enemy after fall of M. Lungo. To cover withdrawal, Germans launch strong counterattack that continues into the night 16-17. 1st Bn, 143d Inf, repels counterattack on W slopes of M. Sammucro. In VI Corps area, patrols of 179th Inf, 45th Div, find that enemy has withdrawn from Lagone. Fr troops clear hill just N of Lagone and second knob of M. Pantano.
BOUGAINVILLE--Torokina strip is put into use as staging base for Rabaul-bound fighters.
SWPA--Gen MacArthur orders Gen Krueger to prepare plans for next phase of DEXTERITY--seizure of Saidor, New Guinea, as advanced air and naval base. To perform this task, Gen Krueger forms TF MICHAELMAS under Brig Gen Clarence A. Martin, 32d Div ADC, consisting of RCT 126, reinf, 32d Div. The TF is largely that originally scheduled to invade Gasmata, New Ireland.
CBI--Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, in another message to President Roosevelt, again calls for financial aid and increased air strength.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, 36th Div pursues enemy beyond S. Pietro; 1st Bn of 141st Inf relieves 1st Bn of 143d on M. Sammucro; 2d Bn of 504th Para Inf is being relieved in same area by 1st Bn. In VI Corps area, Germans are making limited withdrawal in center of corps front. After nightfall, 180th Inf of 45th Div, passing through 179th, takes M. la Posta without opposition. Germans begin withdrawal from M. Pantano positions, leaving a small number of rear-guard forces to delay pursuit.
NEW BRITAIN--Preinvasion air operations against Cape Gloucester area are intensified.
CBI--Chiang Kai-shek gives Gen Stilwell full command of Ch troops in India and in the Hukawng Valley of Burma.
CHINA--Enemy planes attack Kunming in preparation for offensive against India.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, patrols find enemy still clinging to W slopes of M. Sammucro. VI Corps advances in center along S. Elia road as enemy withdraws. Fr troops occupy rest of M. Pantano hill mass; on road to Atina, clear Cerasuolo area.
CBI--Chiang Kai-shek rejects Adm Mountbatten's proposal for a major attack.
SICILY--AFHQ asks Seventh Army hq at Palermo to estimate requirements for planning staff to plan for an operation on scale of HUSKY.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, 36th Div's 143d and 141st Regts attempt to clear S and W slopes of M. Sammucro from which enemy is barring access to Highway 6 and Mignano Gap, but make little headway. 15th Inf of 3d Div relieves 142d Inf on M. Lungo.
PACIFIC--At a planning conference at Port Moresby, attended by representatives of S Pacific and SWPA, it is decided that S Pacific will plan to invade Green Is. as next step in isolation of Rabaul, since no immediate action can be taken against Kavieng, New Ireland, the next objective of ELKTON III.
TREASURY IS.--Army planes fly from New Caledonia to Stirling I. to begin operations from there.
RUSSELL IS.--Army bombers move from New Caledonia to Russell Is.
NEW BRITAIN--Japanese force moving against Arawe beachhead reaches Pulie R, east of Arawe.
CBI--In reply to Chiang Kai-shek's message of 17th, President Roosevelt suggests that China carry out her part in offensive to regain Burma; promises U.S. help in reopening land route to China, which would afford greater protection to Hump air route; says the requested loan is under consideration. Chiang Kai-shek replies that Y-Force will move only if Andaman Is., Rangoon, or Moulmein are seized by Allies; that Ch troops will move into Burma without an amphibious operation if Mandalay or Lashio can be recovered.
MEDITERRANEAN--Mediterranean Allied Air Forces is activated in accordance with CCS directive of 5 December, as of 10 December. Under it are placed all air units in the Mediterranean: USAAF/NATO, all RAF elements including RAF Malta and RAF ME, and Fr and Italian units operating within the area. Air Chief Marshal Tedder is made Air CinC, with Gen Spaatz as his operational deputy. Spaatz also takes over duties of CG USAAF/NATO.
ITALY--15th Army Group: Plans for an amphibious operation by U.S. Fifth Army on W coast are canceled because of slow progress against the Winter Line and lack of sufficient landing craft.
In U.S. Fifth Army area, II Corps continues efforts to clear W slopes of M. Sammucro and reaches next objective, S. Vittore. 36th Div, in night attack 20-21, fails in attempt to clear Hill 730 and Morello Hill.
In Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps area, Cdn 1st Div pushes into outskirts of Ortona, where violent fighting ensues.
BOUGAINVILLE--Relief of 3d Mar Div in beachhead line begins.
SWPA--TF BACKHANDER (Maj Gen William H. Rupertus, USMC) conducts final rehearsal for invasion of Cape Gloucester, New Britain, at Cape Sudest, New Guinea.
CBI--Gen Stilwell arrives at Ledo to take personal charge of N Burma campaign.
USSR--Soviet salient beyond Zhlobin is under strong enemy attack.
CHINA--Continuing preparations for offensive against India, Japanese planes attack Kunming.
MTO-ETO--Gen Spaatz is ordered to take command of U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe at once. Gen Eaker is to command Allied air forces in the Mediterranean upon relief by Air Chief Marshal Tedder, who is to become Deputy CinC for OVERLORD. Gen Eaker is subsequently given permission to remain in ETO until he can advise Generals Spaatz and Doolittle in England and does not reach MTO until mid-January. NATOUSA directive results in reorganization of AAF elements in MTO.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, Villa Grandi falls to Ind 8th Div. Cdn 1st Div continues battle for Ortona.
SOLOMON IS.--Army bombers begin operations from Munda airfield, New Georgia.
BURMA--In Hukawng Valley, 3d Bn of 114th Regt, Ch 38th Div, having crossed the Tanai at Kantau earlier in the month, skirmishes with enemy 9 miles from Kantau.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, 5th Div takes Arielli. 5 Corps continues to fight for Ortona.
BOUGAINVILLE--With elimination of enemy on heights about beachhead perimeter, airfields are secure.
SWPA--ALAMO Force hq moves from Goodenough to Cape Cretin, New Guinea.
NEW BRITAIN--Preinvasion bomber effort reaches its peak in number of sorties flown, 280.
BURMA--In Hukawng Valley, 1st Bn of 114th Regt, Ch 38th Div, after arty preparation, attacks to relieve beleaguered 1st Bn of 112th in Yupbang Ga area and succeeds in joining it, although Japanese retain positions W of the river blocking crossing at Yupbang Ga.
MTO-ETO--President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill announce appointment of Gen Eisenhower to post of Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, to head OVERLORD. Gen Wilson will command Allied forces in the Mediterranean under title of Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater (SACMED). Churchill also announces appointment of Gen Montgomery as commander of 21 Army Group, succeeding Gen Sir Bernard Paget. Gen Sir Oliver Leese is to succeed Gen Montgomery.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps area, NZ 2d Div, moving to outflank Orsogna, reaches heights commanding that town on NE.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Connolly is relieved as CG PGC by Brig Gen Donald P. Booth.
USSR--In Vitebsk sector, Russians overrun Gorodok in 2-pronged attack, bringing about collapse of whole series of defense points that depend upon it. At dawn, Soviet forces open new offensive; driving along axis of Kiev-Zhitomir highway, they breach enemy lines and soon recover ground lost to German counteroffensive and more.
ETO--U.S. Eighth Air Force makes major effort against CROSSBOW targets--German secret weapon sites--exceeding previous records in number of aircraft dispatched. Of more than 1,300 aircraft sent out, 722 are heavy bombers.
BOUGAINVILLE--First echelon of Americal Div (RCT 164) arrives to relieve 3d Mar Div.
TREASURY IS.--U.S. Navy Seabees complete fighter strip on Stirling.
NEW IRELAND--After surface bombardment of Buka to entice enemy aircraft from Kavieng, carrier TF under Adm Frederick Sherman strikes at Kavieng harbor with 86 planes but finds few shipping targets there.
NEW BRITAIN--TF BACKHANDER sails for Cape Gloucester from New Guinea. Japanese attack Arawe beachhead, forcing outposts and observation posts back.
INDIA--About 50 Japanese aircraft raid Chittagong.
TUNISIA--15th Army Group: Military leaders meeting at Tunis revive plan for amphibious landing below Rome; draft plan for 2 divs plus airborne troops and some armor to land as near 20 January as possible in conjunction with drive from S.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, 1st Regt of 1st SSF, jumping off night 24-25, captures Hill 730 early in morning. 504th Para Inf clears several hills to N.
USSR--Soviet forces cut Vitebsk-Polotsk highway.
NEW BRITAIN--After preparatory naval gunfire and aerial bombardment, during which enemy observation from Target Hill, commanding landing beach, is masked by smoke, TF BACKHANDER, commanded by Gen Rupertus, 1st Mar Div CG, and consisting of 1st Mar Div (-), reinf, begins main invasion of New Britain at Cape Gloucester at 0746. Forested, swampy terrain is more formidable than the surprised enemy, who offers only light opposition. 7th Marines establishes beachhead, clearing
Target Hill, and is passed through by 1st Marines. Gen Rupertus establishes CP ashore. Successful secondary landings are made by reinf 2d Bn, 1st Marines, at Tauali, SW of the airdrome, and by elements of 2d Engr Special Brig on Long I. Night counterattacks are repulsed. Japanese aircraft attack the landing force, sinking 1 DD and damaging other vessels. Japanese force reaches positions NW of Arawe MLR.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, some elements of 36th Div clear Morello Hill; others take responsibility for Hill 730. Sammucro hills are now completely cleared of enemy. In VI Corps area, 8th Rifle Regt of 2d Moroccan Div attacks Mainarde ridge, N of Atina road, unsuccessfully.
NEW BRITAIN--1st Mar Div expands Cape Gloucester beachhead despite torrential monsoon rainfall and difficult terrain. 1st Marines drives 3 miles W toward airfield without enemy interference. Co G of 158th Inf arrives at Arawe, where Japanese are becoming aggressive, in response to Gen Cunningham's request for reinforcements.
BURMA--Brig Gen Lewis A. Pick opens military road to Shingbwiyang, in Hukawng Valley. Commander of 3d Bn, 112th Inf, Ch 38th Div, is killed and the bn is later withdrawn to main body. 65th Regt of Ch 22d Div, reinf, is given mission, previously held by 3d Bn of 112th, of clearing Taro Plain plus task of pushing back into Hukawng Valley to threaten enemy's flank.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, Fr troops gain positions on slopes of Mainarde ridge.
USSR--In Vitebsk sector, Soviet forces cut Polotsk-Vitebsk RR.
BOUGAINVILLE--Americal Div takes command of E sector of beachhead, relieving 3d Mar Div.
NEW BRITAIN--Gen Krueger releases reserve--5th Marines, reinf--to Gen Rupertus. 1st Marines reduces prepared enemy trail block about 1,000 yards E of the airfield. Japanese attack on Arawe beachhead is repulsed.
BURMA--Ch 38th Div, attacking with 1st and 2d Bns of 114th Regt and 1st Bn of 112th, clears several enemy strongpoints along Tarung R.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's VI Corps area, French continue attack on Mainarde ridge and overrun Hill 1190.
In Br Eighth Army's 5 Corps area, Germans are finally cleared from Ortona.
USSR--Soviet forces take Korostyshev, important position E of Zhitomir.
NEW BRITAIN--1st Marines secures main objective, the airfield, at Cape Gloucester with singular ease. 5th Marines arrives to reinforce beachhead and make wide sweep inland toward airfield to block enemy withdrawal. Enemy makes another unsuccessful counterattack on Arawe beachhead.
NEW GUINEA--TF MICHAELMAS issues formal orders for invasion of Saidor. D Day is tentatively set for 2 January.
BURMA--Continuing attack to clear Tarung R line, Ch 38th Div eliminates another Japanese strongpoint and forces enemy to break into small groups.
NORTH AFRICA--AFHQ informs U.S. Seventh Army planners of general objectives of ANVIL, projected invasion of S France.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's Br 10 Corps area, 9th Commando makes seaborne raid just N of Garigliano R mouth to secure information for future operations. In II Corps area, combat patrols of 36th Div enter S. Vittore but are forced out. In VI Corps sector S of Atina road, Fr forces seize 3 hills on E end of M. Monna Casale and dig in.
USSR--Soviet forces overwhelm enemy at Korosten and, to S, gain control of long stretch of RR to point below Chernyakhov. Red Army troops drive W along RR toward Sarny.
BOUGAINVILLE--First Piva airstrip is completed. Fiji patrol, having advanced along Numa Numa trail, establishes outposts near coast at Ibu village, where it can observe enemy movements. Airstrip for use of Piper Cubs is cleared there.
NEW BRITAIN--Cape Gloucester airdrome is declared secure; has been taken by Marines at very light cost.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Martin learns officially that D Day for invasion of Saidor will be 2 January.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, 34th Div relieves battle-worn 36th Div. RCT 142 is attached to 34th Div to garrison positions on M. Sammucro. In VI Corps area, 180th Inf of 45th Div attempts to clear hills astride S. Elia road in region E of Acquafondata and succeeds in getting elements on one, M. Rotondo.
USSR--Kazatin is overwhelmed by Soviet forces.
NEW GUINEA--TF MICHAELMAS sails from Goodenough I. for Saidor.
BURMA--In Hukawng Valley, elements of 113th Regt, Ch 38th Div, relieve 2d Bn of 112th in region 4 miles N of Yupbang Ga.
ITALY--15th Army Group: In U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, 6th Armd Inf of 1st Armd Div relieves 15th Inf of 3d Div on M. Lungo. In VI Corps area, 180th Inf of 45th Div attempts in vain to clear more hills E of Acquafondata.
USSR--Soviet forces recover Zhitomir as German garrison evacuates it. Vitebsk is almost encircled, but subsequent efforts of Red Army to take it fail.
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