23 August 1942

23 August 1942

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23 August 1942



Eastern Front

German VI Army reaches the Volga river north of Stalingrad

August 23, 1942 War of the Rats

A German infantryman wrote to his family, “Animals flee this burning hell of a city. The hardest stones do not last for long. Only men endure”.

WWII could have ended differently, had two of the most homicidal dictators in history become allies. It actually started out that way, when the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact, in August, 1939. That would end two years later with “Operation Barbarossa”, the German surprise invasion of the Soviet Union, beginning on June 22, 1941.

We’re accustomed to thinking of World War II in terms of the European and the Pacific “Theaters”, but the most horrific casualties of the most destructive war in history, took place on the “Ostfront”, (Eastern Front). 95% of all German Army casualties between 1941 and 1944, and 65% of all Allied military casualties from the entire war, took place on the Eastern Front. The bloodiest battle of the Eastern Front, probably the bloodiest battle in all of history, began this day in 1942, in the city of Stalingrad.

Photo by Nara Archives / Rex Features (2093505a) October 1942, Stalingrad – Soviet Guardsmen Fighting In The Streets Of The Stalingrad Outskirts

Soviet propagandists called it a “harvest victory”, when most of the cattle, grain and rail cars were shipped out of the city in advance of the German assault.

Most of Stalingrad’s civilian residents remained however, leaving the city short of food, even before the commencement of German attacks. Making things worse, the Luftwaffe bombed Volga River shipping, sinking 32 ships and crippling another 9 in the narrow waterway, cutting off this vital link in the city’s supply chain.

Wilfred von Richtofen, cousin of the famous “Red Baron” of WWI, opened up with his heavy bombers on August 23rd, dropping over 1,000 tons of high explosive on Stalingrad.

The Soviets suffered from extreme manpower shortages in the beginning. The burden of the early defense of the city fell to the 1077th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, a primarily female unit of young volunteers who had no training and the wrong weapons to engage ground targets. These women were all alone at this point with no support from other units, but they traded shot for shot with the German 16th Panzer Division until all 37 AA guns had been wiped out or overrun. When it was over, 16th Panzer soldiers were shocked to learn they’d been fighting women.

Stalingrad was quickly reduced to rubble, with the German 6th Army controlling 90% of the city. Still, Lt. Gen. Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov’s army held on. With backs to the Volga, they fought for the very sewers of the city, men and women alike reduced to a primitive level of existence. The Germans called it “Rattenkrieg”. “War of the Rats”. A German infantryman wrote to his family, “Animals flee this burning hell of a city. The hardest stones do not last for long. Only men endure”.

As many as 80,000 Red Army soldiers lay dead by the middle of October, 1942. Counting German losses and civilian deaths, the battle cost a quarter of a million lives up to this point, and the fighting still had months to go.

Ice floes in the Volga river further cut off the defender’s supplies, reducing them to cannibalism as a massive Soviet counter-attack was building on the German’s exposed left flank.

By November, General Georgy Zhukov had assembled over a million fresh troops, 1,500 tanks, 2,500 heavy guns, and three Air Armies for the assault on Stalingrad. The rumble of artillery, the “Great Soviet God of War” could be heard across the steppe as the Soviet counter-attack commenced in a blinding snowstorm on November 19th, 1942. It was now the Germans who were trapped.

German General Friedrich von Paulus asked Hitler’s permission to withdraw before they became surrounded. The response was that he should fight “to the last soldier and the last bullet.”

German forward movement on the Eastern Front came to an end in February, 1943, when 91,000 freezing, wounded, sick and starving Germans were surrendered to the Red Army.

Even then, as many as 11,000 Germans refused to lay down their arms and continued to fight from the cellars and the sewers of Stalingrad, holding on until early March.

Disease, death marches, cold, overwork, mistreatment, and malnutrition would all take their toll on the prisoners. Of the nearly 110,000 who went into captivity after the Battle of Stalingrad, fewer than 6,000 lived to return to Germany, after the war.

Post by tonyh » 10 Mar 2005, 21:46

My apologies for yesterday. The net cafe I was in didn't allow access to the floppy drive. But here is my reply in regards to the Luftwaffe strategic attacks over Stalingrad.

Main Luftwaffe targets in Stalingrad

Mamayev hill containing Red Army HQ
Krasnyi Oktyabr factory complex
Bread factory
Oil depots
Barrikady factory complex
Dzerzhinski tractor factory & nearby oil depot
Main railway stations and lines
Lazur Chemical works and "tennis racket" rail supply network
Soviet ferry routes on the Volga and habour area
Power stations
Postal communications
Red Square, containing Political & Administrative buildings

All the above are tactical objectives, targeted and repeatedly hit by the Luftwaffe following their tried & tested method of close support for the Heer. Luftwaffe objectives in and around Stalingrad were of a tactical nature and to a large extent they were bombed with great accuracy by Fiebig's stukagruppen and the mediums of the Kampfgeschwader, who could attempt low level bombing runs (and therefore increase accuracy) due to the skies around Stalingrad being cleared of VVS fighters by the Jagdgeschwader. These targets HAD to be accurately, or at least attemptedto be, bombed if the Luftwaffe was to be of any help to the Army at all. The Luftwaffe did not set out to strike residential areas, although undoubtedly those areas would have suffered damage from aerial bombardment (both German and Russian), artillery (both German and Russian) and other large ordinance fire, coupled with the fact that two large Armies were engaged in a war in the immeadiate area in the ongoing 6 Months of the battle. Such destruction of civilians and civilian property in a BATTLEFIELD would have been unavoidable.

The assertion that, that 40.000 civilians could be wiped out be Luftwaffe bombs in the heavy attacks on the 23rd August or even several weeks of bombing or WalterS's opinion that a bomb is a bomb no matter which aircraft its dropped from is clearly bunkum. In addition, if civilians were the target the Luftwaffe would simply have sortied over Stalingrad at night, from the well developed airfields like Pitomnik and Morozovsk and indiscriminately bombed the City, much like the RAF's night attacks. However the Luftwaffe were absent from the sky at night as is borne out by Chuikov's observations quoted in Hayward's book. Tactical targets cannot be hit in darkness. This and the fact that a large number of Richthoffen's Luftflotte IV attack aircraft were stukas which are unsuitable for RAF style 'area bombing' suggests that 40.000 civilians killed by Luftwaffe bombing alone is a ridiculous figure.

That is not to say that 40.000+ (IMO higher) did not die in the 6 Months battle of Stalingrad, but they did not die simply from Luftwaffe bombing alone as is the claim. Other parameters must be taken into account. Such a figure is not only "extravagant" as Joel Hayward says, its downright stupid. Hayward says that the attack on the 23rd "claimed as many victims as the Allied attack on Darmstadt during the night of 11th & 12th Sept 1944, when the RAF unloaded almost 900 tons and killed over 12.300 citizens" and that "The Stalingrad death total may, in fact, have been twice that of Darmstadt. " But even such extrapolations must be taken with a pinch of salt. It is certainly possible that up a large number of people could have been killed in the attack of the 23rd, but we must remember that the strategic objectives, aircraft used and the delivery method of the ordinance were very different in both airforces. 900 tons delivered in the Luftwaffes close support attacks are a very different kettle of fish to 900 tons dropped indiscriminately on the centre of a town in the middle of the night by the RAF.

The following paragraphs from Haywards "Stopped at Stalingrad" clearly illustrate the tactical nature of the Luftwaffe's attacks in and around Stalingrad.

"These were favorable days for Fiebig's Fligerkorps VIII. It deployed most of its bombers against Black Sea ports and shipping and its powerful ground attack and dive-bomber groups against teh Soviet formations resisting both Paulus's advance across the Don and Hoth's drive on Stalingrad from the South. The air corps notched up excellent tallies of enemy aircraft: it claimed 139 victims in three days. It also inflicted heavy damage on enemy troops and armour contexting the battlefield."

"Later that day, Ju88's of KG76 massacred two reserve divisions caught in the open 150 kilometers east of Stalingrad. "

"Weitersheim's corps accomplished its remarkable advance (which deeply shocked the Soviet leadership) by moving up closely behind a deluge of shrapnel and high explosives rained down on enemy positions by fligerkorps VIII. "

"During 1600 nonstop sorties, fiebig's units dropped 1000 tons of bombs on enemy troops and defensive positions in the corps advance path. "

"..determined to support German troops now fighting for every house and building by stopping the steady trickle of Soviet reinforcements entering the City from the eastern bank of the kilometer-wide Volga river, fiebig's corps also directed attacks against the river crossing facilities"

". mainly "crossing 62", its moorings at the Krasyni Oktyabr and Barrikady factories."

"Flames leapt from the huge oil storage containers and fuel tankers on the Volga, across the surface which spilled and burned"

"Richthoffen had Fiebig pound enemy positions in and around Stalingrad with his entire corps. This crushing attack similar in scale to that of the 23rd of August, destroyed 62nd Army's command centre and almost killed Chuikov"

"Throughout 5th September Fligerkorps VIII's bombers and dive-bombers inflicted heavy losses on Soviet troops and armour"

"Throughout September, Fiebig's air corps directed most of its attacks against Stalingrad itself, the main targets being the Lazur chemical factory inside the 'tennis racket' (a huge rail loop), the Krasyni Oktyabr metallurgical works, the barrikady gun factory and the Dzerzhinsky tractor factory. The corps pounded those targets most days, except when aircraft where urgently needed to support an Axis advance or stem a Soviet counter attack in the region North or the City."

Colonel Vladimirov noted in 1943 "The enemy bombers, operating in groups of 10 to 50, ceaselessly bombed our troops, the eastern part of the City (factory area) and the crossings on the Volga. the Germans relied on the aircraft to crush the fire system [that is, the artillery], paralyze our organization, prevent the arrival of reinforcements and disrupt the movements of supplies."

Chuikov stated "The Luftwaffe bombed and straffed our units from our forward positions right to the Volga, the strongpoint organised by the troops of Gorishny's division at the Mamayev Kurgan was utterly destroyed by aircraft artillery. The Army HQ command post was under attack from the air the whole time."

"On October 14th the largest operation [against Stalingrad] to date commenced: an air attack by numerous divisions, including the 14th panzer, 305th and 389th Inf divisions, against the Dzerzinski tractor factory, the eastern part of which was occupied by the Russian 62nd Army"

"On 15th October Paulus's troops entirely cleared the tractor factory and the brick works before turning South the following day, behind Fligerkorps VIII's curtain of falling bombs, toward their next objectives, the Barrikady gun factory, the brad bakeries and the Krasyni Oktyabr metallurgical works. As usual in this period, the army received effective Luftwaffe support."

"Hozzel (of Stg 2) was shocked: although his wing had repeatedly smashed the factory district with intense ferocity, German infantry units encountered fierce counter attacks as though nothing had happened, as if the Geschwader had dropped toy torpedoes instead of bombs."

The above paragraphs from "Stopped at Stalingrad", which is full of such examples, explicitly defines the tatical close support nature of the Luftwaffe's attacks in the Stalingrad area. One doesn't have to be a genius to see where these tactics and the strategic objectives of the RAF's bomber Command depart.

The RAF's primary offensive target, outlined in Directive No22, "the morale of the enemy civil population and in particular of the industrial workers" is completely different to primary tactial nature of the Luftwaffe, that is close support of an advancing land Army in the field, that was outlined even as far back as 1936 in the Luftwaffendienstvorschrift 16.

Given the radical differences of both doctrines, the number of aircraft used, the type of aircraft and the delivery method of the ordinance from specific aircraft (ie stukas), it is improbable that the Luftwaffe attack of the 23rd of August could have killed 40.000 civilians, even if air raid precautions were inferior to that of Western Nations.

The efforts that the Luftwaffe went through to target and attack tactical military objectives, not that they wanted to minimise civilian losses but that they wanted to minimise Soviet military resistance to their own advance, suggests that the 40.000 civilian figure is emotive propaganda and not actual fact.

The RAF used armadas of thousands of heavy bomber aircraft, with bomb loads far higher than that of a Ju88 or a He111, in their indiscriminate area attacks on European cities and managed to kill 40.000+ civilians in several nights over Hamburg. Possibly the worst raid of the war in Europe in terms of civilian dead. The Luftwaffe couldn't come remotely close to that number of aircraft in the attacks on Stalingrad. Fall Blau started out with 1,150 aircraft on paper, the servicable number enevitably was lower. This number includes fighter, recon, stuka, bomber and liason aircraft. By August that number had shrunk. By 20th September Luftflotte IV had just over 500 serviceable aircraft, 120 of which were for recon purposes. In October Luftflotte IV had only 129 servicable bomber aircraft! This is demonstrably unsuitable for RAF style area attacks on civilians and such an endevour would have been utterly futile.

As futile as trying to suggest that the Luftwaffe could bomb 40.000 civilians to death on Aug 23rd, in an effort to try and compare and justify the RAF's bombing of Dresden's city centre.

August 23, 1942 in History

Walter Johnson History:

November 5, 1940 - Walter Johnson, won 416 games for Washington Senators, loses Maryland congressional race
June 9, 1933 - Walter Johnson takes over as Cleveland manager
October 4, 1932 - Clark Griffith announces Walter Johnson will be manager of Senators
October 15, 1928 - Walter Johnson signs a 3-year contract to manage the Senators
May 30, 1927 - Walter Johnson records 113th and last shutout of his career
October 14, 1926 - Walter Johnson retires, signs 2-year contract to manage Newark
April 13, 1926 - At 41, Walter Johnson pitches his 7th opening day shutout
September 14, 1924 - Walter Johnson elected AL MVP
August 25, 1924 - Washington Senator Walter Johnson 2nd no-hitter beats Browns, 2-0 in 7 innings
July 22, 1923 - Walter Johnson becomes 1st to strikeout 3,000 (en route to 3,508)
May 2, 1923 - Senator Walter Johnson pitches his 100th shutout, beats Yankees 3-0
September 5, 1921 - Walter Johnson sets strikeout mark at 2,287
July 1, 1920 - Washington Senator Walter Johnson no-hits Boston Red Sox, 1-0
May 14, 1920 - Washington Senator Walter Johnson wins his 300th game vs Detroit
May 15, 1918 - Washington Senator Walter Johnson pitches 1-0, 18 inning game
December 4, 1914 - Walter Johnson accepts money from Federal League Chicago Whales Clark Griffith threatens to take Johnson to court
September 29, 1913 - Washington Senator Walter Johnson wins his 36th game
May 14, 1913 - Washington Senator Walter Johnson ends record scorless streak at 56 innings
April 10, 1913 - Walter Johnson begins string of 56 consecutive scoreless innings
August 26, 1912 - Walter Johnson's 16-game winning streak ends
April 15, 1911 - Walter Johnson pitches a record tying 4 strike outs in an inning
August 7, 1907 - Walter Johnson wins 1st of his 416 wins, 7-2 over Cleveland
August 2, 1907 - Walter Johnson, 19, debuts with Washington and loses 3-2 to Detroit
November 6, 1887 - Walter Johnson, Kansas, Washington Senator pitcher, 1907-27, 414-218

In the grim concrete nightmare of Stalingrad titanic clash of mechanized military might unfolded, engulfing the city and the whole of southern Russia in a cloud of ash and smoke. It was a battle that decided the fate of the Soviet Union and the future of Hitler’s lebensraum in western Russia.

Hitler’s obsession with taking Stalingrad in the southern Volga defied strategic sense the city bore little strategic value other than a tractor factory and the name of his greatest adversary – Stalin. Regardless of this he insisted the city was taken, to weaken the moral of the Soviets and presumably end the war on the Eastern Front for good.

The Soviets were in disarray for much of the struggle and at one point only controlled a narrow edge of the city center with their backs to the Volga river – Nazi victory seemed certain. However, time was on the Red Army’s side with German supply lines stretched to the limit and cold weather cutting them off from re-supply.

Stalin had also brought up another weapon his best field commander, General Georgi Zhukov. Hard-drinking and foul-mouthed, Zhukov was the type of bullish uncompromising leader that the Red Army needed to defeat the fascist invader. By November 1942, Zhukov had put a plan in motion to relieve Soviet troops in Stalingrad and encircle the German sixth army.

Code-named Operation Uranus, the Soviets smashed through the German lines at their weakest, where Romanian troops were stationed, and effectively encircled the German troops around Stalingrad, cutting them off from the rest of the German army in Russia and making them vulnerable.

The Red Army in the city was told to hold on at all costs and create a living hell for the Germans. This was achieved through endless sniper attacks, booby traps and constant attrition charges on German lines. As one German NCO put it: “Factory walls, assembly lines, the superstructures collapse under the storm of bombs … but the enemy simply reappears and utilities these newly created ruins to fortify his positions.”

General Paulus, the commander of the sixth army, radioed back to Germany to try and convince Hitler to allow him to pull back but the Fuehrer would not hear of it. Paulus was told to hold his position or die trying.

By February 1943, with most of his army either starving, suffering from late stage frostbite or dead, Paulus surrendered to the Red Army that had completely surrounded him. In Berlin, a mass rally was held to commemorate the heroic sacrifice of the sixth army – the fact that they surrendered was not broadcast in Germany.

Stalingrad had been reduced to a tangled carpet of smoldering metal and concrete. In the words of one German officer just before the ceasefire: “Animals flee this hell … only men endure.”

German 16th Panzer division advancing towards Stalingrad.

The Axis (Germany, Romania, Italy, Hungary, Croatia) Vs the Soviet Union

Soviet Union: Approx. 1,150,000

The German army went into decline on the Eastern Front after Stalingrad, allowing the Soviets to take the offence.

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by Michate » 26 Aug 2009, 08:06

2 questions spring to my mind:

- Did the reports about buried persons etc. mention that the number was totally incomplete and the real number likely to be very much higher?
- More generally, if the conditions were so adverse, how was the figure of 40,000 victims arrived at at all, if not as an out-of-hand estimate?

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 26 Aug 2009, 08:36

Michate wrote: 2 questions spring to my mind:

- Did the reports about buried persons etc. mention that the number was totally incomplete and the real number likely to be very much higher?
- More generally, if the conditions were so adverse, how was the figure of 40,000 victims arrived at at all, if not as an out-of-hand estimate?

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by bf109 emil » 26 Aug 2009, 08:41

Michate wrote: 2 questions spring to my mind:

- Did the reports about buried persons etc. mention that the number was totally incomplete and the real number likely to be very much higher?
- More generally, if the conditions were so adverse, how was the figure of 40,000 victims arrived at at all, if not as an out-of-hand estimate?

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 26 Aug 2009, 08:46

Michate wrote: 2 questions spring to my mind:

- Did the reports about buried persons etc. mention that the number was totally incomplete and the real number likely to be very much higher?
- More generally, if the conditions were so adverse, how was the figure of 40,000 victims arrived at at all, if not as an out-of-hand estimate?

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by Michate » 26 Aug 2009, 11:33

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by thom » 26 Aug 2009, 21:20

Unfortunately, I don't have the complete report but just the reference to this figure. In terms of the evolution of the 40,000 figure, I just found some interesting data in a document collection of the Stalingrad city defense committee (ref. 1) which I will discuss further below.

It might be a good idea to get the published data a bit structured:

1) reports shortly after the air-raids, Aug. 1942
1,017 killed between 24-26/8 (Stalingrad defense committee report of 27/8/42, ref. 1, p. 449)
1,816 buried between 22-29/8 ("reported by burial commands", ref. 2, p. 186)

2) reports from the time of the German occupation, Sept. 1942 to Jan. 1943

3) reports after the liberation of Stalingrad, Febr. 1943
300 bodies collected (Stalingrad group of forces report of 27/5/43, ref. 3, p. 101)
929 bodies collected (Stalingrad defense committee report of 13/7/43, ref. 1, p. 582)

Then we have reports of the Extraordinary State commission, but their figures are often unreliable and exaggerated. Initially, they came up with 13,366 deaths (ref. 1, p. 480):

(The last column gives the number of deaths on 23/8/42 in the individual city districts of Stalingrad. The other columns refer (from left to right) to the population before the occupation, the number of evacuees, the number that stayed with the Germans, and the population on 2/2/43.)

Later the Extraordinary commission figures became bigger and bigger, ending up somewhere between 34,686 (ref. 4, p. 169) and 42,797 (ref. 5, p. 26). It could well be though that the true number of deaths is close to the originally reported 13,000. This figure may have been inflated later to support the claim of the German air-raids being a purely barbarian act against the civilian population. The same way the Aug. 1942 figure of the Stalingrad defense committee may have been falsified and losses downplayed to distract from the committee's failure to organize the defense of the city and its inhabitants. But this is my speculation.

1 Stalingradskij gorodskoj komitet oborony, Volgograd 2003
2 Zasekrechnnaia tragediia, Volgograd 2005
3 Stalingradskaia gruppa vojsk, Volgograd 2004
4 Demograficheskie katastrofy i krizisy v Rossii, Novosibirsk 2000
5 Stalingradskaia bitva v istorii Rossii, Volgograd 1999

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 26 Aug 2009, 21:47

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by Michate » 26 Aug 2009, 23:04

Very interesting data.
Anyway, at later periods it would be impossible to distinguish victims of bomb attacks from those of other combat actions, not to mention anything about dates.

BTW, there is an article, written by Gerd Lübbers in the Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte on the fate of the Stalingrad population during the German occupation, containing, IIRC, the number of civilians evacuated by the German army. I do not have it at hand at the moment, but may try to dig it out after next week.

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by thom » 28 Aug 2009, 21:45

Re: Stalingrad 23 Aug 1942: Tactics or Spoliation?

Post by Boby » 05 Aug 2013, 13:09

Sorry for resurrecting this old thread

Concerning Hitler's order for "destroying" the male population, here is what Gert C. Lübbers wrote in his article "Die 6. Armee und die Zivilbevölkerung von Stalingrad", VfZ, Vol. 54, Issue 1 (January 2006), pp. 87-123, here pp. 88-89:

"Der Sachverhalt selbst wird dabei exemplarisch
für eine von der Besatzungsarmee initiierte und in eigenem Interesse betriebenen
Vernichtungspolitik dargestellt. Ausgangspunkt dieser Betrachtungen sind
Anordnungen Hitlers selbst, der seine eigenen Vorstellungen davon hatte, wie
mit Stalingrad und seiner Zivilbevölkerung zu verfahren sei. So vertraute er

Joseph Goebbels bereits am 19. August 1942 an, er habe die Absicht, die Stadt
vollständig zu zerstören7 – ein Ziel, welches er mit schweren Luftangriffen erreichen
wollte. Am 31. August wurde Hitler dann konkreter: „Stalingrad: männliche
Bevölkerung vernichten, weibliche abtransportieren“8. Während einer Lagebesprechung
am 2. September befahl der „Führer“, „daß beim Eindringen in die
Stadt die gesamte männliche Bevölkerung beseitigt werden soll, da Stalingrad mit
seiner eine Million zählenden, durchweg kommunistischen Einwohnerschaft
besonders gefährlich sei“9.

Denkbar ist, daß Meldungen über die Beteiligung von Zivilisten am Abwehrkampf10
der Anlaß für Hitlers Äußerungen waren, mit denen er den barbarischen
Charakter seines Vernichtungskriegs gegen die Sowjetunion einmal mehr
unterstrich. Daß diese Anordnungen nicht konsequent durchgeführt worden
sind, ist bekannt
11. Offenbar hatte bereits das Oberkommando des Heeres
(OKH) Hitlers Vernichtungsabsichten nicht weitergegeben. Denn am 3. September
teilte der Generalstabschef der Heeresgruppe B der 6. Armee mit: „Nach
einem Führerbefehl ist um Überfällen und Sabotageakten vorzubeugen, der
überlebende männliche Bevölkerungsteil Stalingrads zu evakuieren
.“12 Die Entscheidung
des OKH, die Zivilbevölkerung von Stalingrad für den Arbeitseinsatz
heranzuziehen, belegt ein Vermerk, der aus den Akten der in den besetzten Ostgebieten
tätigen Wirtschaftsorganisation (Wirtschaftsstab Ost) stammt. Dieser
Quelle zufolge hat der Generalquartiermeister des Heeres, Generalleutnant
Eduard Wagner, dem auch die Abteilung Kriegsverwaltung im OKH unterstand13

7 „Der Führer“ habe diese Stadt „besonders auf Nummer genommen. [. . .] Es soll hier kein
Stein auf dem anderen bleiben.“ Vgl. Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels. Im Auftrag des
Instituts für Zeitgeschichte und mit Unterstützung des Staatlichen Archivdienstes Rußlands
hrsg. von Elke Fröhlich, Teil II: Diktate 1941–1945, Bd. 5: Juli–September 1942, München
1995, S. 353, Eintragung vom 20. 8. 1942.

8 Franz Halder, Kriegstagebuch. Tägliche Aufzeichnungen des Chefs des Generalstabes des Heeres
1939–1942, Bd. III: Der Rußlandfeldzug bis zum Marsch auf Stalingrad (22. 6. 1941–24. 9.
1942), bearb. von Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Stuttgart 1964, S. 514, Eintragung vom 31. 8. 1942.

9 Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht (Wehrmachtführungsstab) 1940–1945
(künftig: KTB OKW), hrsg. v. Percy Ernst Schramm, 8 Bde, Frankfurt a. M. 1961–65, Bd. 2,
S. 669 (2. 9. 1942).

10 Nach einem Bericht des XIV. Panzerkorps erfolgte die Unterstützung der Bevölkerung „nicht
nur im Bau von Stellungen, Sperren, Gräben. Nicht nur dadurch, daß Werke und große
Gebäude in Festungen verwandelt wurden. Viel mehr noch mit der Waffe. Arbeiter in werktäglicher
Kleidung lagen tot auf dem Schlachtfeld, oft noch mit Gewehr oder Maschinenpistole
in den erstarrten Händen. Arbeiter umklammerten noch im Tod das Steuer abgeschossener
Panzer. Das hatten wir bisher noch nie erlebt“, zit. nach Wilhelm Adam, Der schwere Entschluß,
Berlin (Ost) 1965, S. 97.

11 Vgl. Müller, Rekrutierung, in: Herbert (Hrsg.), Europa und der „Reichseinsatz“, S. 242. Müller
berichtet von einer Revision der Anordnungen Hitlers, führt dafür aber keine konkreten
Belege an.

12 AOK 6, Ia, Lagenmeldung vom 3.9.1942 durchgegeben von General v. Sodenstern, in: BA-MA,
RH 20-6/208 (soweit nicht anders gekennzeichnet, sind kursiv gesetzte Hervorhebungen
vom Verfasser). Bereits Bernd Wegner vermutet, daß der Befehl Hitlers bereits vom OKH abgeschwächt
weitergegeben wurde. Vgl. Wegner, Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion, in: DRZW, Bd. 6,
S. 977, Anm. 65.

13 Bis zum 1. 10. 1940 leitete Wagner die 6. (Heeresversorgungs-)Abteilung des Generalstabs
des Heeres und wurde dann nominell Generalquartiermeister des Heeres, vgl. Otto Eckstein,
Die Tätigkeit des Generalquartiermeisters Eduard Wagner, in: Eduard Wagner, Der Generalquartiermeister.
Briefe und Tagebuchaufzeichnungen des Generalquartiermeisters des Heeres
General der Artillerie Eduard Wagner, hrsg. v. Elisabeth Wagner, München 1963, S. 272–301,
hier S. 272 ff. Umgliederung der Dienststelle des Generalquartiermeisters zum 1. 10. 1940, in:
BA-MA, RH 3/136 . Zum Generalquartiermeister im Überblick vgl. jetzt auch Gerlach, Rolle,
in: Frei u. a. (Hrsg.), Ausbeutung, S. 175–208.

Remembering History’s Last Major Cavalry Charge

With sabers drawn, about 600 Italian cavalrymen yelled out their traditional battle cry of “Savoia!” and galloped headlong toward 2,000 Soviet foot soldiers armed with machine guns and mortars. On August 23, 1942 (some sources say August 24), the cavalrymen—part of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II— were attempting to close a gap that had opened up between the Italian and German armies along the Don River. It was to be the end of an era. Though experts believe that smaller and less well-documented cavalry charges likely occurred later on in World War II and possibly as late as the 1970s in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), they generally describe this as the last major charge in history.

In a closely packed formation, the Italian cavalrymen hurled themselves at the left flank and rear of the Soviet line, tossing hand grenades and slashing with their sabers. Despite heavy losses, they then passed through the line in a reverse direction and helped to dislodge the Soviets from their position. Other World War II cavalry charges had not been so lucky. At the beginning of the conflict, Polish lancers purportedly attacked a German infantry battalion (but not tanks, as Nazi propaganda would have us believe) and suffered predictably disastrous results. The final U.S. charge took place in the Philippines in January 1942, when the pistol-wielding horsemen of the 26th Cavalry Regiment temporarily scattered the Japanese. Soon after, however, the starving U.S. and Filipino soldiers were forced to eat their own horses. Two months later, Japanese troops in Burma almost completely wiped out a charging Indian regiment under British command.

A cavalry charge during the 1813 Battle of Leipzig.

In fact, rapid-fire weapons had essentially rendered cavalry charges obsolete over a century earlier. But old traditions die hard. For thousands of years, famed military leaders such as Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Genghis Khan and Frederick the Great had used mounted warriors with great effectiveness. Alex Bielakowski, an associate professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, put it this way: “If you see all of these guys charging at you, the human instinct for the overwhelming number of people is to run like heck. Then it’s easy because once they’re running away you can pick them off.”

Napoleon Bonaparte, who built up a potent cavalry force of his own, typically weakened the enemy lines with artillery fire and then sent in his cuirassiers for the decisive blow. “The French cavalry under Napoleon were known to be the finest in the world,” particularly in the way they handled large formations, said Jeffrey T. Fowler, an associate professor at the American Military University. “They were very well trained to the point where they could stop, they were maneuverable, they could change direction, they could do all of these things.” Nonetheless, even they suffered a disastrous defeat at Waterloo in 1815.

Throughout the rest of the 19th and early 20th centuries, cavalry popped up as a major component of both guerilla and anti-guerilla operations. But never again would they shine in pitched battles. In the Crimean War, Russian artillery cut the British cavalry to pieces during the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade. Soon after, Union and Confederate commanders during the American Civil War learned it was suicidal to send their horsemen over open terrain against rifled muskets. As a result, they began saving their cavalry for reconnaissance purposes and long-distance raids behind enemy lines. More mass slaughters occurred during the Franco-Prussian War, including one in which throngs of dead French horsemen and horses thwarted a later attempt to march through the area. Afterward, the German Medical Corps determined that only six soldiers had died of saber wounds in all of the war’s battles combined.

WW2: Key Events

A comprehensive collection selected by British Pathé of the key events that took place.

If you are unable to find what you are looking for, you can explore the entire archive using the search bar at the top of this page.

If you are interested in licensing any of the material, please contact [email protected]

Hitler’s invasion of Poland on 1st September 1939 marked the beginning of WW2 in Europe.

January 1940 saw the start of rationing in Britain. The following films show rationing throughout the war and the effect it had on peoples lives.

1940 saw France, Holland and Belgium become overwhelmed by German “Blitzkrieg”.

Following Neville Chamberlain’s resignation on 10th May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister.

May 1940 saw the evacuation of British Expeditionary Forces from Dunkirk. The operation was put in place after British, French and Belgian troops found themselves surrounded and cut off by the Germans, during the Battle of France.

Films related to the air battle for Britain from July to October 1940.

Hitler began Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, the codename for the invasion of the Soviet Union. These films outline the event.

German Blitzkrieg on the United Kingdom lasted 8 months, from September 1940 to May 1941. Here is a selection of footage showing the destruction caused and what life during the Blitz was like.

Operation Crusader saw the relief of by the Allies on 27th November 1941. Take a look at footage of Tobruk here.

The Japanese military strike on the US naval base Pearl Harbor, was a turning point in WW2 as it led to America’s entry into the war.

The Battle of Stalingrad which began on 23 August 1942, was a turning point in WW2. It was the German army’s first major setback, which they never fully managed to recover from. Here is a selection of films outlining the event.

The Allied victory at El Alamein on 11th November 1942, was a turning point in the Western Desert Campaign. Below is footage of the events that took place in El Alamein.

The Japanese invaded Singapore in the February of 1942. As Singapore was a British stronghold, Churchill referred to the event as the “worst disaster” in military history.

The Battle of Midway took place in the Pacific in the June of 1942, it was a crucial and decisive naval battle, which eventually saw the Americans as victorious.

German defeat at Stalingrad was a turning point in WW2 and is regarded as one of the bloodiest battles in modern history.

Allied Operation Torch landings and battles against Vichy France led to the surrender of Axis powers in North Africa. The Allied victory in North Africa laid the pathway for the Italian Campaign.

The Allied invasion of Italy took place on 3rd September 1943, following the successful invasion of Sicily.

British and Indian forces fight the Japanese in Burma.

The Allies landed at Anzio on 22nd January 1944, as part of the Italian campaign against the German forces.

Continuing the Italian campaign, with the intention of a breakthrough to Rome, the series of four assaults by the Allies on Monte Cassino were extremely costly for the Allies, however they eventually managed to drive the German forces back.

1944 saw the Soviet offensive gather pace in Eastern Europe.

The Allied invasion of France began on 6th June 1944. It led to the eventual liberation of France from the Nazis and contributed to the Allies victory in the war. See below footage of the event.

Paris was liberated from the Nazis on 25th August 1944. See below celebration scenes follow the capital’s liberation.

On 10th August 1944 the Americans regained Guam from the Japanese during the Pacific campaign.

During the Pacific campaign.

The extent of Nazi brutality was revealed when the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz in early 1945.

Soviet forces had surrounded the city of Berlin by 24th April 1945, they began to make their way into the city centre, resulting in the eventual fall of Berlin on 2nd May. Below is footage of the Russians taking Berlin.

Following the fall of Berlin, German forces began to surrender.

Following President Roosevelt’s death on 12th April 1945, Vice President Harry S. Truman assumed the role of President.

The Battle of Okinawa was the bloodiest of the Pacific Campaign, and given the heavy losses sustained, America reconsidered their approach to invading the Japanese home islands.

The final stage of WW2 saw American forces drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagaski in August 1945, killing at least 129,000 people.

The surrender of Japan on 15th August 1945 saw the hostilities of WW2 finally brought to a close.

File #639: "Operations Directive No. 23-A August 26, 1942.pdf"

WASKItlGTON, n . C .


O F E R AT I O N 3


(This Operations Directive No, 23-A supersedes Operations Directive No, 23 of

June 22, 1942, which is hereby rescinded as oi' midnight August 31j 1942 and
v/hich will be removed from files. This Directive is hereby classified as

and Staff Officers for use in the performance of official duties. It will not
be quoted, published, posted or otherv,'is0 made available to anj''one unauthorized
to receive it or to the public,)
1# General Policy

a. The Headquarters Army Air Forces has, defined the policy governing
the operation of Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrols as follows:

"Under the general policy governing the utilization of Civil Air Patrol
Services, the following procedure will bo observed.
"a. The First Air Force will issue through National Headquarters,

Civil Air Patrol, V/ashington, D, C,, instructions defining areas to be
covercd, missions to be perfoi^med, and procedure to be followed by each
of the Coastal Patrols of the Civil Air Patrol.

"b. Operations vill be conducted by the Civil Air Patrol under
the supervision of the First Air Force and in accordance with instruc
tions from the First Air Force. The First Air Force 7/ill moot any

special tactical situations thi may arise by issuing such instructions
as nay be necessary direct to the Coastal Patrol Commanders concerned,
"c. Any major change in existing instructions vdll be effected

tiui^ough National neadquarters CAP, rather than by direct dealing with
individual patrol units."

Under the provisions of this statement of policy, all CAP Coastal
Patrols '.Till operate directly under the command of National Headquarters and
all directives, orders, and instructions issued to said Coastal Patrols, except
instructions issued thereto by the First Air Force to meet any special tactical

situations that may arise, will be issued by this Headquarters. Coastal Patrol
Commanders will receive instructions from no other sources. Commanders of all

Coastal Patrols will be appointed by the National Commander,
-1- i^-0290-BU-C0S-WP

Operations Directive No. 23-A

Coastal Patrols will be designated by numbers only, ^ (Example: CAP

Coastal Patrol No, l) and not by the names of the bases to wliich they are

assigned nor by the names of tho states in which said bases are located.
3. Bases

Coastal Patrols will be based at such points^as may be assigned

by National Headquarters and may be reassigned from point to point at any
time as the situation may require.
4. Organization

All CAP Coastal Patrols will be organized in accordance ^7ith the ■

instructions herein set forth. The following Table of Organization represents
the Jiiaximum authorized strength for such Coastal Patrols and tosed on the

assignment to each Patrol of fifteen (15) Pilots and fiiteen (15) Observers

The nuiAber of airplanes and the number of personnel of each category ^ssigne
to each Coastal Patrol will be determined by operating requxrements, and wxi
be hold to the niniiium consistent vdth said requirements. In no case w

number of personnel in each category exceed the authorized maximum snown in tne
table, nor wil the number of airplanes to be operated in any one day exceed a
total of fifteen (15), except upon mitten authorization from National Headquarters,

5. Table of Craaniaation (Maximum Strength)

Operations Officer
Engineering Officer
Intelligence Officer
Assistant Operations Officer

Airdrome Officer
Flight Surgeon
Radio Operators

Assistant Engineering Officer
Assistant Intelligence Officer

Radio Mechanics
Administrative Section Head

R E S T R . I C T E D

6. Succession of Command
a. During the absence of the Comrftanding Officer, the next
ranking staff officer will succeed to coniir»and. Succession of comand Vvill
operate according to the following relative rank of staff officers:

Operations OfficerEng3-neering Officer
Intelligence Officer
Assistant Operations Officer
Assistant Engineering Officer
Assistant Intelligence Officer
Airdrome Officer

b. If the Coismanding Officer is av/ay from his Base for a short
period of time on an informal leave of ab^jencej or for other reasons, the

assumption of command by the next rarJcing staff officer vdll be announced to
all personnel of the base by the officer assuming command. Such notification
may be oral or in the form of a Special Order,

c. If the Commanding Officer is authorised by National Headquarters

to be away from his Base for an extended period of tirae, the assumption of com
mand by the next ranking staff officer vri.ll be announced to all personnel of the
Base, to National Headquarters, and to appropriate Army authorities, by the
officer assuming command. Such notification v/ill be by means of a Special
7. Membership Requirement

Assignments to CAP Coastal Patrols vill be limited to properly

qualified members of the Civil Air Patrol holding official Membership Identi
fication Cards. No applicants for enrollment vho do not hold official
identification cards will be assigned to duty with said Coastal Patrols,

including temporary duty, except upon ^written authorization from, National Head
quarters. Non-members of the Civil, Air Patrol v/ill not be permitted to engage
in any Coastal Patrol activities.
8. Active Duty Oath

Each person serving in any capacity with CAP Coastal Patrols will be
required to execute the folloving Active Duty Oath, • which will be filed with
the Commanding Officer immediately upon reporting for duty. Copies of said
Active Duty Oath will be supplied by the Commanding Officer.

"I, a member of the Civil Air Patrol, an agency of the United
States of America, having been assigned to active duty with

Civil Air Patrol hereby voluntarily enlist subject to any and
all orders of the National Commander of Civil Air Patrol to a

term of continuous active service for the term of.

to be available for duty continuouiily and at all times during
-said term.

During said term aiid any extension thereof, I do solemnly 37/ear
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States
of America5 that I will serve them honestly and faithfully
against all their enemies v/homsoever that I v/ill fully and
faithfully perform all duties assii-^icd to me and obey the.orders
of the President of the United States and the orders of the

officers appointed over me subject to the riiles and Articles of

In the event that I shall not report or be available for active
duty at any time during said term or any extension thereof v/hich
I shall voluntarily urjdertaJce, or if I shall not faithfully and

fully perform all duties assigned to me, I hereby consent to the ^
revocation and cancellation of my license to own, operate and
service any aviation and radio equipment."
9. Requisitions for Personnel and Airplanes

Requisitions for assignment and replacement of personnel arid airplanes for Coastal Patrols will be made to National Headquarters by>Coastal
Patrol Commanders only. Said requisitions vill bo submitted in vrriting.

a. All assignments of pcrsoiinol to Coastal Patrols will be made
by National Headquarters and vill be covered by Special Orders issued by this
Headquarters. No Per Diem payments or Travel Allowances vdll be made to any
personnel assigned to Coastal Patrols unless said assignments have been made

by National Headqmrters, Orders terminating assignments to Coastal Patrols
will be issued by National Headquarters.

b. The assignnient and reassignment of individuals within said
Coastal Patrols will be effected by Special Orders issued by Coastal Patrol
Commanders. Said assignments will be made only to such positions as are herein

set forth in paragraph 5, Table of Organization, (J.'IaximuKi Strength), Forms
for such orders v/ill be substantially as follows:
C I V I L A i r e PAT R O L

1, (First KaiTie) (J/Iiddle Initial) (last Name) (Serial No, >
Sqiie.rdron No, , Wing No, , having reported to this Headquarters
pursuant to p?.ragraph No, , Special Orders No, ^ National Headquarters
Civil Air Patrol^ dated , is hereby assigned to duty as (designation
o f p o s i t i o n - p a i - a g x ^ a p h Ta b l e o f O r g a r i i s s a t i o n ) , e f f e c t i v e ( d a t e ) •
(Name Signed)

(Rank) Civil Air Patrol
D i e t !

(Individual(s) Najned in order)

c. Orders issued by Coastal Patrols effecting changes in duties

and asaignments of personnel, will he marked for distribution so as to in
clude the following, as iiKiicated in the niodol Special Orders given in par
agraph 10 b above 2 copies, National Headqunrtersj 1 copy to each indivi
dual named in order 1 copy. Coastal Patrol file.
11 . C o m i n a n d a n d S t a f f O f fi c o r s

The Coaatal Patrol Commander is required to be a pilot or former

pilot. The Operations Officer and the Assistant Operations Officer are re
quired to be pilots mooting all the requiremsnts h'sreinafter set forth in
paragraph 12, The Engineering Officer, the Intell:'gence Officer, the Assis
tant Engineering. Officer, the Assistant Intelligence Officer, and the Air
drome Officer are not required to bo pilots, but pilots are preferred for
the^iG ascigrmients,

jii_ All pilots assigned to duty as Pilots or Pilot-Observers v/ith

Coastal Patrols will be required to hold a currently effective Civil

Aeronautics Administration Airman Certificate of the grade of Private Pilot,

or higher, ar^ to possess the following qualifications:

(1) Shall have officially logged a minimum of 200 hours'
as a pilot.

(2) Shall hold a currently effective Federal Comrauraications
CoiTonission Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit,

• • (3) Shall have a practical vforking knov/ledge of Air Naviga
tion a.nd be skilled in the use of the Air Navigation
Computer in the solution of groujid-speed and radius-of-5-

action problems and in the calculations involved in the
preparation of complete flight plans.
Before making final assignments, Coastal Patrol Commanders will

verify the qualifications of each pilot and make certain that such pilot has
the necessary ability to perform the duties to be assigned,

a> Observers assigned to Coastal Patrols are not reqiiired to be

pilots, but pilot-observers are'preferred. All observers will be required to
possess the following qualifications!

(1) Shall have officially logged a minimum of 30 hours

of solo flying as a student pilot or a minimum of 30

hoiirs as an observer on air missions.

(2) Shall hold a currently effective Federal Communications
Cpnmiission Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit,

(3) Shall have a practical working knowledge of Air Naviga
tion and be sldlled in the use of the Air Navigation
Computer in tho solution of ground-speed and radiusof-action problems and in the calculations involved in
the preparation of complete flight plans.
b. Before making final assignments, Coastal Patrol Commanders

will verify the qualifications of each observer and make certain that such
observer has the necessary ability to perform the duties to be assigned,
c. Observers will bo given no assurance of any kind that they will

bo afforded opportunity to serve as pilots.
lU* Flight Surgeons

a. The Commanding Officer of each Coastal Patrol will endeavor to
enlist tho interest of a reputable local physician and surgeon in making appli.
cation for membership in Civil Air Patrol incident to assignment as Flight
Surgeon at the Coastal Patrol Base. Said assignments vdll be made by National
Headquarters on the recommendations of the Coastal Patrol Commanders.
b. Flight Surgeons will be available on call for emergency ser
vice in case of accidents and will make regular semi-monthly inspections of
sanitary and living 'conditions and first-aid facilities and of the general

health and physical fitness of the personnel on duty at the Bases, Said

inspections v/ill in each case be covered by a written report which will be

submitted to the Base Commander in duplicate, one copy to be retained in the
Base s.nd one copy to be forwarded to National Headquarters.
c. Flight Surgeons will be required to become thoroughly familiar

with all material presented in War Department Technical Manual (TM 1-705) -

Phjj-siological Aspects of Flying and Maintenance of Physical Fitness - copies
of which may be obtained from National Headquarters,

d. Flight Suregeons may receive an allowance of ^,00 for each

such semi-monthly inspection and for each day they are called to the Bases

for s^aid emergency service in case of accidents.

In cases where a.reputable physician and surgeon is on duty
w i t h a C o a s t a l P a t r o l i n o n e o f t h e s t a ff o r fl i g h t a s s i g j m i e n t s , h e m a y

be assigned to as Flight Suregon in addition to his regul^:^ assignment.

In such event, his per diem allowance will be at the rate of ^.00 even

though the per diem allowance corresponding to his regular assignment is at
a lower rate. (See paragraph 26 hereof.)
15. Mechanics

On account of the limited number of certificated A & E Mechanics

available for assignment to Coastal Patrols, it may be impossible to assign more
than one such mechanic to a Patrol, the remaining mechanics being men vho are

not certificated but v/ho are qualified to do tho work iindor the direction of the
certificated mechanic. The Engineering Officer or the Assistant Engineering
Officer may be the certificated A & E Mechanic.
16. Guards

a. An armed guard will be organized at each Coastal Patrol Base to
provide for the safety and security of property and buildings v/ithin the Juris

diction of the Coastal Patrol established at the Base. Said armed guard will be

on duty twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week and ''i.ll function
on three 8-hour shifts or othei" equivalent schedule. The numb'-:.' ..■f men assigned
to the guard will in all cases be held to the minimum confjf r:"'.>vno yafety and
security. Except on vnritten authorization from National R^a'lia.'-v/'Vavs, the num
ber of men so assigned will in no case exceed a total of

Jb. Guai-ds will be armed v/ith No, 12-gauge shotTtiiiSj rr-jforably pump

guns, or .such othor- fir^yms as circumstances may dictate vi'.j. r>c!u3.pped
w i t h p o l l e n v j h i r. t i 3 s r x c l f o c u s i n g fl a s h l i g h t s , . 1 ' t i " i r o w n
^is, whistles .•ric.sliDl^hts, Ammunition will L,:p-:liv)d by l.'.if) A3-::iy.
c. At all tir.eci during their tours of c'-Ji'ry (^hifts), guirds v/ill be
armed and on the al^rt and 7ill maintain a moving ja^.rol over assigned areas in

such manner as may be prescribed by the Base Commander,
- 7 -

Operationi3 Directive No, 23-A

The assignment of women to Coastal Patrols vdll be restricted to the^
foUov/ing categories: Radio Operators, Administrative Section Head, Plotting

Board Operators, aiid Clerk-Typists. In nc case vd.ll v/omen be used as Pilots or

Observers or assigned to any positions v/ith the ground element other than those

herein specifically authorized.
13. Mimimum Period of Assif^nment

Assignments of personnel and airplanes to Coastal Patrol Duty vill

be lurated to personnel and airplanes available for such duty for periods of
not less than ninety (90) consecutive days. Personnel and aij'planes available
for loss than said prescribed minr-inuin period will under no circumstances be
assigned to such duty,
19, Reassignments

Personnel and airplanes assigned to Coastal Patrols are subject to

reassignment from one Coastal Patrol to another by National Headquarters at any
time, as the situation may require,
20, Assignment of Airplanes

All assignments of airplanes to Coastal Patrols will be made by

National Headquarters, Ko payments will be made for the use of any airplanes
assigned to said Coastal Patrols unless said assignments have been made by
National Headquarters,
21, Airplanes

^ Coastal Patrol Duty. The number of airplanes assigned to Coastal

Patrol Duty will in no case exceed the numbor authorised in va-iting by National
Headquarters. All airplanes assigned to Coastal Patrol Duty will be required to
be of the three-place type or larger and of not less than ninety horsepov/er

(90 h,p,), to have tv.'o-way radio-telephone, to be equipped for instiniment flyin'

and to have a crxiising range of not less than throe hours and fifteen minutes. ^

(A cruising range of not loss than four hours is preferred.) In addition to

the usual temperature, pressure, and qmntity gauges, the instrumental equipment
of said airplanes v/ill be required to include, but need not be limited to, the

follov/ing: - (a) magnetic compass (compensatod), (b) air-speed indicator, (c)

sensitive altimeter, (d) tr.chometer, (o) turn-and-banl: indicator, (f) rato-of-

climb indicator, and (g) clock with a sweep-second hand. All instruments will

be required to be in proper adjustment and in good working order. Except in

cases of emergency, airplanes assigned to Coastal Patrol Duty will not be used
for Auxiliary Service Duty,
- 8 -

b . A u x i l i a r y S e r v i c e D u t y. U n l e s s o t h e r w i s e a u t h o r i z e d i n v Tr i t i n g

by National Headquarters, each Coastal Patrol will have in operation not more

than one (1) airplane for the performance of any Auxiliary Service Flights, such
as ferrying supplies, equipment, and personnel, which may,be necessary for the
proper conduct of official business of the Coastal Patrol, Airplanes assigned

to Coastal Patrols for Auxiliary Service Duty vdll be required to be either twoplace airplanes of not more than ninety horsepower (90 h.p.) or other airplanes
of less than ninety horsepower (90 h,p.) and to have two-way radiotelephone,
but will not be required to
will be used exclusively for
by pilots regularly assigned
will said airplanes be used

be equipped for instrument flying. Said airplanes
Auxiliary Service Flights and will be floTm only
to the Coastal Patrols, Under no circumstances
f o r C o a s t a l P a t r o l D u t y.

determine the eligibility of aircraft for Coastal Patrol
assignment and the Hourly Rates to be paid for the use of airplanes assigned to

Coastal Patrols, the horsepov/er rating (nmximum, oxcept take-off) recorded by

the Civil Aeronaiitics Administration for each such airplane will be used. The

use of higher octane fuels, changes in propeller pitch and such other methods
of "souping up" an engine, will not be considered in any vay as affecting the
horsepower rating for the purpose of admitting the aircraft to Coastal Patrol
assignment, or as effecting a change in the Hourly Rates.
d. All airplanes assigned to the Coastal Patrols, v/hether for Coastal

Patrol Duty or for Auxiliary Service Duty, will be required to have a currently
effective Civil Aeronautics Administration Airv/orthiness Certificate,

e. Any airplanes which report for duty with Coastal Patrols and which
do not meet the foregoing requirements for the type of duty to wliich they are to
be assigned will be rejected and will be required to return to their home
stations at no expense to the Government.
_f^ In order to insure continuity of operations, it is desirable that
a i r p l a n e s r e p o r t f o r d u t y w i t h a n e x t r a p r o p e l l e r a n d a n e x t r a b a t t e r y.

Each airplane ordered to report for duty vdth Coastal Patrols ?ill
undergo a regulation 100-Hour Inspection covering the entire airplane, including
the powerplant, immediately before departure from its home station and such
i n s p e c t i o n Tr i l l b e p r o p e r l y c e r t i fi e d i n t h e A i r p l a n e L o g B o o k s . A n y a i r p l a n e s
reporting for duty at Coastal Patrol Bases without such certified lOO-Hoin*

Inspections and/or which are found to be in an unairworthy condition will not be
accepted for assignment to duty nor permitted to remain at said Bases, until

such certified inspections have been accomplished and/or such airplanes have
been put in an airr/orthy condition.

a. All airplanes assigned to Coastal Patrol Duty 7/111 be subject to
use in operations involving the dropping of bombs and depth charges. Bomb rac*^
and release equipment for such armament will be installed by the Army Air Forces

v/ithout expense to airplane owners. Airplanes which are not available for such
service will not be accepted for assignment to Coastal Patrol Duty.
b. No armament will be installed on airplanes assigned to Coastal
P a t r o l s f o r A u x i l i a r y S e r v i c e D u t y.

_a. Each airplane will be required to be equipped with a radiophone

transmitter of at least 7.5 watts power on 3105 Kc. and a radio receiver to

receive in the air^^ays band of 200-4CC Kc. S>aid radiophone transmitter should

be installed with a one-quarter-wave Hertz trailing typo antenna, vhich (for

3105 Kc.) should bo ejcactly seventy-five (75) feet long measured from the s.
transmitter antenna binding post to the extreme end of the antenna. The
antenna wire should be No. 10 or No, 12 gauge stranded phosphor copper.

There will be one low«power radio ground transmitter set up
at each Coastal Patrol Base to control operations. This transmitter ^vill

operate on a frequency assigned by the V/ar Department, There vill be at least
one, and preferably two, radio ground receivers to receive radiophone signals
on 3105 Kc, Said receivers will be equipped vith loud-speakers. Special

instructions will be issued to each Coastal Patrol Base by National Headquarters
covering groimd radio installations.

In cases where suitable airplanes have definitely been made available
for Coastal Patrol Duty and arrangements have been completed for them to be

assigned to such duty for periods of ninety (90) or more consecutive days, ^
National Headquarters will assist the owners of said airplanes in obtaining

Priorities (Preference Rating Certificates) from the War Production Board for

the purchase of aircraft instruments, radio, arai other equipment and accessori
necessary to meet the foregoing requirements.
26. RQimbursemont Schedules and Insurance

Reimbursement Schedules setting forth the Per Diem Allov/ances for

personnel on c'uty with Coastal Patrols, the Rates paid for the use of aircraft
assigr.ed to Coastal Patrols, and the Insurance Requirements for Coastal Patrol
Ooerci.'l.ioriS am -oresented in Operations Directive No. 13-C. No vouchers callir
for payments in excess of these scheduled rates will be approved, nor will paV*^
ments be approved for personnel or airplanes exceeding the authorized strength.
- 1 0 -

All Per Diem ana Airplane Vouchers vlll be submitted to ilatiorjil Headqxiarters as
of the fifteenth and last day of each month. Said Per Diem allov/ances for

personnel and said Rates paid for the use of aircraft are the only allowances

made by tho Government to cover living expenses and personal service of person

nel and expeniies, both tangible and intangible, incident to the operation,
inspection, maintenance, overhaul, repair, depreciation, replacement and
insui'ancG of aircraft on duty with said Coastal Patrols,

The Travel Allowances for personnel and airplanes ordered to duty
with Coastal Patrols and the procedure to be follaved in submitting vouchers
therefor 'vill be. set forth in Operations Directive No, 19, to be issued by
National Headquarters,

In the preparation of vouchers, reports and other docioments and in
correspondence, the oiily functional titles used in referring to personnel
assigned to duty with Coaf^tal Patrols v/ill be the titles listed in the Table of
Organization heroin presented in paragraph 5.
29. Reguosts for Stjecial Services

All requests for special services, supplies, and information pertain
ing to the administration and general conduct of operations will be addressed
to National Headquarters,

30. Special Service Fli??hts

E::cept in caso.s of real emergency, written authorization will be
obtained from National Headquarters before any airplanes assigned to Coastal
Patrols fire used in the performance of any Special Service Flights for other
agoncios. Any such Spccial Service Flights vhich may be authorized by National
Headq-oarters will, so far as possible, be performed by airplanes assigned for
Auxiliary Service Duty, Cases of cm.ergency v/hich, in the opinion of the Coastal
Patrol Commander, justify a departure from the procedure herein prescribed v/ill
in each case bo co-/erod by a vnritbcn report to National Headquarters setting

forth in detail (a) the factors justifying such emergency action and (b) the
mission performed,
31. Pilot-Obgerver Crevfs

All airplanes on Coastal Patrol Missions will carry two-man crews
consisting of pilot and observer regularly assigned to and actively engaged in
these operations. There will be no departm^e from this procedure. This re
quirement does not apply to Auxiliary Service Flights covered by paragraph
- 1 1 -

OiJierations Djxectivo No, 23-A

21-b or to Special Sorvice Flights covered by paragraph 30, -
32. Oporatlons Orders

All missions of whatsoever .nature performod by Coastal Patrols vdll

bo co^/ired by official Operations Orders in accordance with the provisions of
Oporation3 Directive No. 15'*A, Administrative Procedure for CAP Coastal Patrols,
33. C£:insras

No Ccuneras will be permitted on ^oastal-Patrol Bases or to be carrie^^
in airplanes on duty vjith Coastal Patrols except upon viritten authorization from
National Headquarters or upon v/rittcn or telegraphic instructions from the First
Air roree for the perforinarice of specific official missions.,
34. Firearms

Firearms will bo carried whenever necessary to insure the safety and
security of personnel, equipment and property or to insure the succecsfv-l

performance of operations. In accordance v/ith the provisions of the Rules of
Land Warfare, said firearms vdll bo carried openly.
35. Civil Air Patrol Uniforms

A l l p e r. i o n n e l a s s i g n e d t o d u t y w i t h C o a s t a l P a t r o l s w i l l w e a r
r e g u l a t i o n C i v i l A i r P a t r o l u n i f o i ^ m s a n d i n s i g n i a v / h i l e o n d u t y. S a i d u n i f o r m s
will have securoly sev/od to the outer half of the left sleeve thereof, .one-half
inch below the shoulder seam, the official Civil Air Patrol shoulder patch. No
o t h e r i m i f o r m s o r i n s i g n i a w i l l b e w o r n b y j a i d p e r s o n n e l w h i l e o n d u t y.
Neckties may be omitted -j^hile performin.^ assigned duties on the and v/hile
engaged in the performance of flight missions.
36, Membership Identification Cards
All personnel assigned to duty vith Coastal Patrols v/ill carry vith
them at all times while on duty with said Coastal Patirols their official
Membership Identification Cards and copies of the Special Orders issued by
N a t i o n a l H e a d q u a r t e r s a s s i g n i n g t h e m t o s a i d d u t y.
37, First Aid Course for Civilian Defense

All personnel assigned to CAP Coastal Patrols who do not hold certifi"
cates from the American Red Cross indicating that they have satisfactorily

completed the First Aid Course for Civilian Defense (see TraiTiing Directive No.
National Headquarters - January 21, 1942) will be required by Coastal Patrol
Comiaanders to take this course of instruction as soon as practicable after
r e p o r t i n g f o r d u t y,

^^erations Directive No. 23-A
38. Infantry Drill

In order to develop precision of action, general efficiency and
esprit de corps, all persomiel on duty vith Coastal Patrols, except teclinicians

aM administrative personnel, v/ill devote at least one (1) hour per week to
Infantry Drill, including Roll Call, Inspections, and Reviews.
39. Airplane Ivlarkingrs

iu All airplanes on duty with Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrols will
display on wings and fuselage distinctive markings to distinguish them from
other airplanes, including other Civ3.1 Air Patrol airplanes, not assigned to this
duty. These markings, v^hich vd.ll in each case consist of a blue disk v/ith
superimposed white triangle jvij^gut. the red three-blade propeller of the basic

Civil Air Patrol insignia, viii be displayed only on airplanes on duty with Civil

Air Patrol Cov^stal PatroD.s. Airplanes displaying this marking will be flown
exclusively by Civil Air Patrol pilots on active duty with Coastal Patrols.

b. Insignia disks placed on win.^K vdll be centered on the top side of

the left wing and on the bottom side of the right wing at a point one-third of
the distance from the wing tip to the fuselage. The diameter of said disks will
not exceed two-thirds of the wing chord at tho point of application.

c. Insignia disks placed on the fuselage v/ill be centered on both
sidbs of the fuselage at a point one-third of the distance from the leading edge
of the horizontal stabilizer to the trailing edge of the v/ing. The diameter of
said disks vd.ll not exceed two-thirds of the depth of the fuselage at the point
of application,

d. Commanding Officers of Coastal Patrols will see that all airplanes

on duty with their units are properly marked in accordance with the foregoing and
that when airplanes are relieved from Coastal Patrol duty said markings are
either removed therefrom or have the standard red three-blade propeller of the

basic Civil Air Patrol insignia superimposed on the white triangle thereof,
e. The red three-blade propeller appearing on the ba.sic Civil Air

Patrol intiignia will not be displayed on rc^irkings used on airplanes on duty with
Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrols.

Events of the Battle

  • The German attack in South Russia began on June 28, 1942, a year after the invasion of Russia began. On July 28, 1942, in a desperate attempt to stop the collapse, Stalin issued “order 227” that “every granule of Soviet soil must be stubbornly defended to the last drop of blood.”, and secret police units were placed behind the Russian front units to kill anyone who deserts or retreats.
  • In September 1942, German commander General von Paulus advanced toward the city of Stalingrad with his Sixth Army along with the Fourth Panzer Army.
  • On August 23, 1942, German Sixth Army captured the city of Volga (north of Stalingrad). German. Other units of the Army reached the outskirts of Stalingrad and along with the Luftwaffe, began heavily bombing the city.
  • At the end of October 1942, the Russians held only a narrow strip and some isolated pockets in Stalingrad, and the Germans tried one more major attack in an attempt to take it before winter, but the exhaustion and rising shortage of ammunition stopped them, but fighting continued.
  • On November 19th, the Russians were in a position whereby they could launch a counter-offensive planned by Zhukov.
  • Zhukov planned to surround the Germans by attacking them from 100 miles West and 100 miles South of Stalingrad.
  • The Russians began their offensive with 14,000 heavy artillery guns, 1000 T-34 tanks and 1350 aircrafts and managed to trap the Germans in Stalingrad.
  • The Luftwaffe was unable to supply the German army with 5 tonnes of supply a day which they needed to survive.
  • The Germans faced harsh conditions and below-freezing temperatures. Despite the shortage of supplies they kept on fighting. Hitler refused Paulus from retreating.
  • On January 10, 1943, 47 Russian divisions attacked the 6th army from all directions.
  • The Germans realized they were fighting a hopeless battle and On February 2, 1943, Paulus surrendered with his remaining 91,000 troops.

Technology key to the outcome of the battle was won due to lack of technology as opposed to key technology. The Germans had rifles, machine guns, Panzer tanks, and even support from the Luftwaffe. However, the battle came down to hand-to-hand combat in individual street battles. The Russians won because they overpowered the Germans with their manpower. General Zhukov divided his men into six armies to surround the city of Stalingrad and trap the Germans.

Remembering 1942: The end of the Kokoda campaign

On this day in 1942 Australian troops were closing on Kokoda, the village on the northern side of the Owen Stanley Range which gave its name to one of the epic battles of the war in the Pacific. The place was actually retaken a day later, on 2 November, but it is fitting that today we recall and pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of those troops who took part in the bitter fighting that occurred along the whole of the Kokoda Trail.

It was more than three months earlier, on 21-22 July, that a Japanese force landed near Gona on the north coast of Papua, with orders to reconnoitre the feasibility of using a route over the mountains to launch an attack on the major Allied base at Port Moresby, on the south coast. Within a short time this force had been substantially reinforced to mount a full-scale offensive, the intention being to support it with an amphibious landing at the eastern tip of Papua – a plan which gave rise to another major battle around Milne Bay in August-September.

Initially, the Japanese advance inland made rapid progress against light Australian resistance. Opposing the Japanese was "Maroubra Force", comprising the 300-strong Papuan Infantry Battalion and an Australian militia unit, the 39th Battalion. Patrols clashed at Awala on 23 July before the defenders fell back on Kokoda, which itself came under attack five days later. The Australians were forced out during the early hours of the following morning, following the death in action of the 39th's commander, Lieutenant Colonel W. T. Owen. (His name is recorded on panel 68 of the Roll of Honour).

On 8 August Owen's replacement, Major Alan Cameron, returned at the head of 480 men to attempt to retake the place. Outnumbered and short of ammunition, they were again forced to relinquish control after two days of fighting and fell back along the jungle track leading south up into the mountains, to the next native village called Deniki. After beating off several Japanese attempts to eject them from this position too, eventually on 14 August the 39th Battalion and the Papuan Infantry began to fall back again, this time to Isurava.

For nearly two weeks the Japanese did not heavily press the Australians. During this time the 39th Battalion was joined by another militia unit, the 53rd Battalion, and the headquarters of the 30th Brigade under Brigadier Selwyn Porter. On 23 August part of the seasoned AIF 7th Division had also reached the forward area. This was the 21st Brigade led by Brigadier Arnold Potts, and comprised another two battalions (the 2/14th and 2/16th) numbering a little more than 1000 men in total. Command of Maroubra Force now fell to Potts.

Portrait of VX19139 Private Bruce Steel Kingsbury VC, 2/14th Infantry Battalion.

When the Japanese resumed their advance on 26 August – the same day that Japanese marines went ashore at Milne Bay – Potts was forced to mount a desperate and difficult fighting withdrawal aimed at denying ground and causing maximum delay to the enemy. During the fourth consecutive day of fighting at Isurava, Private Bruce Kingsbury led a gallant counter-attack against a breach in the Australian perimeter which earned him the Victoria Cross - the first won on Australian soil (which Papua then was). Sadly, this gallant soldier fell to a sniper's bullet during his charge and his award was a posthumous one. (He, too, is recorded on the Roll of Honour, on panel 38.)

Potts and his men fell back first to Eora Creek on 30 August, then Templeton's Crossing on 2 September, and Efogi three days later. As one writer has described it: "From 31 August to 15 September the Australians, against vastly superior numbers, fought a decisive military game of cat and mouse along the track. Company by company, platoon by platoon, section by section, they defended until their comrades passed through their lines, broke off contact sometimes 20 to 30 metres from the enemy and repeated the procedure again and again down the track."

Throughout this fighting, Australian resistance was increasing in strength and becoming better organised while the Japanese were showing signs of feeling the strain of their own lengthening supply line. Both sides, however, were beginning to suffer the effects of reduced effectiveness caused by exhaustion and sickness entailed by operating over such harsh terrain. Moreover, the Australian build-up, while still relatively modest, proved impossible to sustain via the only supply line stretching over the mountains, which depended on native carriers to manhandle rations and ammunition forward, and to evacuate the sick and wounded to the rear. The commander of 1st Australian Corps at Port Moresby, Lieutenant General Sydney Rowell, accordingly decided to withdraw the tired 39th Battalion on 5 September to relieve the problem.

After another hard-fought stand at Brigade Hill between 8 and 10 September, Potts handed over command to Brigadier Porter, who decided on a further withdrawal to Ioribaiwa. Here the Japanese attacked next day but made little progress. In fact, severe fighting continued around Ioribaiwa for a week. But the Japanese advance was losing impetus, while the Australian defence was gaining in strength through the arrival of more units of the 7th Division. Command of the forward area passed to Brigadier Ken Eather, leading the 25th Brigade, AIF, on 14 September. In addition to its normal battalions (2/25th, 2/31st and 2/33rd), that brigade also had attached the 3rd Battalion and the 2/1st Pioneer Battalion – a total of 2,500 combat troops.

It was to continue his defence from the strongest available ground that Eather chose to withdraw to Imita Ridge on 17 September. Although this was the last effective barrier preventing a march on Port Moresby, the limits of the enemy advance had actually already been reached by this stage. Supply lines had been stretched beyond breaking point, leaving many Japanese troops starving and unsupported, and other events were intervening – principally the reverse suffered by Japanese forces fighting American marines at Guadalacanal in the southern Solomon Islands. As early as 18 September it had become clear to the Japanese commander at Rabaul, Lieutenant General Hyakutake Harukichi, that the gamble he had taken with an overland advance in Papua had failed. By then Guadalcanal was an area of higher priority to which other effort had to be diverted.

After the local Japanese commander, Major General Horii Tomitaro, received orders to establish a primary defensive position around his landing bases on the north coast, he began withdrawing on 24 September. The Australians were able to follow up the retreating Japanese, reversing the path they had been forced to follow during the enemy advance. It was a phase in the fighting which reached its triumphant culmination on 2 November, with the re-occupation of Kokoda.

From there Australian and American forces pressed on northwards to seize Popondetta, which became the main forward base for a long drawn out and costly campaign to eject the Japanese from their coastal strongholds at Buna, Gona and Sanananda. But that, as the saying goes, is another story.

The Kokoda Trail had taken a heavy toll of the men on both sides who were engaged in the fighting. More than 600 Australian lives had been lost, and over a thousand sustained wounds in battle perhaps as many as three times the number of combat casualties had fallen ill during the campaign. Losses among the Japanese had been equally severe, with somewhere around 75 per cent of the 6,000 troops engaged being accounted for as sick, wounded or killed. By the time the last enemy bastions at the end of the overland route fell on 22 January 1943, the lives of more than 12,500 Japanese would be lost.

Professor David Horner, one of Australia's leading historians of this campaign, has observed that:

It is ironic that many of the reasons for this tragedy are similar to those that caused suffering and death to the Australians (although not on the same scale). Neither side appreciated the debilitating effect of terrain, vegetation, heat, humidity, cold (at higher altitudes) and disease while operating in the Owen Stanley Range.

As we reflect back after an interval of 60 years, it would be easy to overlook both the dimension and importance of these events. It is especially deserving of note that the brunt of the initial fighting fell, on the Australian side, to ill-equipped and poorly-trained young soldiers – many of them 18-year-olds who had never fired a rifle in anger – who were often outnumbered perhaps five-to-one moreover, their Japanese adversaries, veterans of China, Guam and Rabaul, were equipped with heavy machine-guns, mortars and mountain guns – weapons which the Australians lacked. It is for this reason that the Kokoda Trail is rightly remembered as a high point in Australian history. Along with Milne Bay, the Kokoda campaign remains the most important ever fought by Australians to ensure the direct security of Australia.

The campaign was also notable because so much misunderstanding existed back in Australia at the time about what was actually happening along the Trail. While the Australian defenders were steadily falling back before the advancing Japanese, their's was no abject retreat but a tenacious, uncompromising and measured withdrawal – a fact which General Douglas MacArthur and his senior officers failed to appreciate or acknowledge. Sackings of commanders alleged to have failed to hold or reverse a situation which was much more difficult than armchair strategists could possibly realise, and slurs about men running like rabbits, paid no regard to the true magnitude of the performance and achievement of the troops on the Trail.

These days, however, the name Kokoda strikes a responsive chord with ordinary Australians, and it is recognised and appreciated that the hardy men who fought so bravely during the dark months of 1942 – especially those men whose names appear on the walls behind me here – won a major victory, turning the tide of Japanese successes to that time, and securing the Australian homeland from the threat of sustained or serious attack. We remember them all with respect and pride.

Watch the video: Himmler Holocaust-Geheimrede in Posen in voller Länge 3h gelesen von Manfred Zapatka (July 2022).


  1. Isma'il

    This makes me really happy.

  2. Zuzilkree

    Driving into the dude. Maladtsa !!!!!!

  3. Jenci

    Yes, logically correctly

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