Project 60: A Day-by-Day Diary of WWII
Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism
Ten months after the raid, the dry-dock at St.Nazaire is still wrecked. The gate is still missing (left) and sand piled in the entrance. Campbeltown still sits in the middle of the dock, having been washed there when her bow was blown off.
Government refuses to hold an inquiry into the loss of Singapore during a Lords
The Japanese begin an
intensive bombing campaign of Bataan and Corregidor. General Homma's 14th Army
receives reinforcement ready for its final offensive against the Bataan and
Corregidor. This takes the form of the Japanese 4th Division, which has been
shipped from Shanghai.
Chinese and Burmese forces in the Toungoo area are surrounded and supporting forces forced back to the Irrawaddy River as Japanese forces continue to advance.
March 25, 1942
Attacks by Japanese
forces inflict heavy losses against the Chinese 200th Division
surrounded at Toungoo.
Japanese forces capture most of Toungoo.
The first ?special train? of Jews, 999 Slovenian women, arrives at Auschwitz.
Chinese forces rally
and hold on at Toungoo.
The first contingent of French Jews, 1112 men and women, arrives at Auschwitz.
March 28 1942
raid the port facilities at St. Nazaire. The purpose of the daring raid was to
destroy the lock at the port, the only one capable of providing shelter to the
battleship Tirpitz. By wrecking the port, Tirpitz could not
operate in the Atlantic. A force of 210 men in 18 small craft and the ex-US
destroyer Campbeltown, headed to the port. The keystone of the
plan was to ram Campbeltown into the dock gate and flood
the lock system. At 0120, the lead gunboat was spotted and the floatilla was
flooded with light. The British attempted to bluff their way with confusing
signals and false colors, but the Germans were not fooled for long and opened
fire at 0128. Campbeltown, under intense fire and taking heavy casualties
stormed through the smoke and confusion and rammed the gate, buckling 35 feet of
her bow. The commandos scrambled ashore and started setting charges throughout
the facility. A wild melee started throughout the town. Shortly after 0200, the
charges were detonated and the facility destroyed. The commandos regrouped for
the withdraw only to find that their transports were largely destroyed during
the fight. The commandos were stranded, most were killed or captured. The next
morning, the commander of the Campteltown was being berated by his
interigators for thinking that a destroyer could damage the heavy lock gates. A
short time later, the delayed charges blew and the lock was utterly destroyed.
Delayed charges continued t odetonate for several days. The raid, although heavy
in losses, did succeed. Tirpitz would never enter the waters of the
Under the new
tactical doctrine of area saturation bombing, introduced by Air Vice Marshal
Harris, the RAF launches a heavy incendiary attack (234 bombers) against L?beck
on the Baltic that devastates 265 acres of the city.
The defenders of
Bataan began slaughtering horses and mules to provide food for the troops as the
Japanese blockade prevented any resupply.
March 29, 1942
Escorts of the Arctic
convoy, beat off a German destroyer
attack, sinking U-26, and succeeded in reaching the port of Murmansk.
text of the "Draft Declaration of Discussion, with Indian Leaders,"
taken to India by Sir Stafford Cripps was published simultaneously in India and
Great Britain. The British Government had decided to lay down in clear terms the
steps to be taken for the earliest possible realization of self-?government in
India. "The object is the creation of a new Indian union which shall
constitute a Dominion, associated with the United Kingdom and the other
Dominions by a common allegiance to the Crown but equal to them in every
respect, in no way subordinate in any aspect of its domestic or external
March 30, 1942
Japanese forces in Burma broke through the allied defenses at Prome.
Editor's Corner Archive:
Afghanistan and Vietnam: When the ?war against terrorism? began, many knowledgeable people warned that our operations in Afghanistan would turn into another Vietnam.
Want to Win - Think Before You Lash Out - "If we are serious about taking the war to the enemy, it is time to look ..."
The First Fight Against Fascism - We must remember the Spanish Civil War also.
Arguing Victory - "... Each nation who fought against fascist tyranny in WWII brought with it part of whole needed to defeat that evil..."
War, Glory, Honor and Remembrance - "War is a brutal and savage insult on human society..."
First Casualty... in time of war, those in power are even more inclined to hide the truth,
since that truth is often manifest in the most gruesome and terrible
Those wishing to contribute items. stories or comments should contact D.A. Friedrichs
The items found in this section are comments from the editors of Project 60 and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of bartcop.
Even the Army Tells the Truth - Once in a While
good, thoughtful and accurate information, is often hard to come by in
this day and age. But every once in a while, a group will immerge which
provides that need to the people. The publishers of
Parameters is one such group.
is the quarterly journal of the U.S. Army War College. Their stated
mission is to provide,
To a large
extent, they do just what they say they will do, providing intelligent
and often critical commentary on their profession. This is not the
typical propaganda we have come to expect from our daily Pentagon news
briefs or political nonsense from a never-ending stream of Republican
chickenhawks. These are the thoughts of professionals, striving to make
their profession function better.
In the Spring
2002 issue, there is an interesting article by Michael A. Carlino
entitled ?The Moral Limits of Strategic Attack?. Carlino
Seldom have truer words been spoken.
presents a commentary on the concept of ?force protection? as a
military goal and concludes,
He goes on to discuss ?mission? and introduces the idea, that underlying all missions are the protection of the values of the nation for which the combatant is fighting. One of the universal principles of the United States is the right of the individual to life. Therefore, concludes Carlino, the preservation of the lives of innocents is a mission requirement at all times for our military and concludes,
conclusion then is that the concept of ?force protection? takes a
back seat to minimizing ?noncombatant casualties?. If this is not
the case, we deny those fundamental values that we supposedly fight for.
US Air Force doctrine since operation Desert Storm has centered around the concept of destroying the enemy?s ?centers of gravity" ? denying the enemy freedom of action through destruction of leadership, communications and transportation infrastructure.
"just war", targeting
considerations are based on four basic requirements ? legitimacy (is
the target valid), effect (are the results of a successful mission worth
the effort), intent (is the destruction of the target moral),
proportionality (do potential ?collateral damage? effects outweigh
the level of effort required). This concept is in direct conflict with
stated doctrine and politically defined missions in our recent commitments
in the United States.
After a great
deal of discussion on these factors, Carlino brings forward an
interesting comparison between terrorism and strategic bombing, stating,
terrorist?s response would be that his seemingly evil methods, though
drastic, are in fact justified, because they are the only ones available
in the given situation. Such a claim is unacceptable. Even a good cause
does not justify the use of any possible method to achieve it. ? The
fact is that other means are always available. ? terrorism is not the
only recourse, as the terrorist claims. The reality is that the
terrorist is unwilling to assume risk and instead transfers it to
Interestingly, however, the moral condemnation that applies to the terrorist differs only in degree, not kind, ? regarding the current practice involving foreseeable deaths [from strategic bombing]. ? breaking the will of an enemy through strategic attack has no more moral legitimacy than terrorism if it capitalizes on the innocent."
Carlino concludes his discussion with several recommendations. He indicates that if we are to fight a ?just war?, our political leaders need to de-emphasize zero-casualty wars. Political leaders need to better articulate national goals so that everyone is cognizant that this is important and worth doing even with losses. Also, until bombing can be as discriminate as the soldier on the ground, military leaders must shift to the ?smarter weapon? to avoid mistakes.
The article concludes by saying,
That pretty much covers it.
D. A. Friedrichs