Japanese transports burn off Guadalcanal
Project 60: A Day-by-Day Diary of WWII
Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism
US troops come ashore in North Africa
Rejecting out of hand Field Marshal
Rommel's proposal to withdraw the Afrikakorps to the Fuka line, Hitler orders
him to stand fast stating, " you can show them no other road than to victory
or death." The British 9th Armored Brigade, dispite taking severe
losses, holds the gap in the minefields open as the British 10th Corp
moves through the corridors. Some Axis units begin to retreat as their forces
are now down to about 40 tanks.
Rommel re-issues his orders for retreat as his panzer forces are now down to 12 tanks. British pursuit is great ly hindered by congestion in the minefield corridors but RAF air attacks are intense. The Italian 20th Motorized Corps is destroyed and the British take 10,724 Axis prisoners, including nine generals.
The British attack Rommel's rearguard
position at Fuka and breakthrough. 10,000 more prisoners are captured as the
remnants of the Afrika Korp stream westward. The battle is
now almost 100 miles to west of El Alamein.
The advance toward Baku comes to a halt
before Ordshonikidse in the Caucasus, as the 13th Panzer Division is hit by
superior Soviet numbers and struggles to prevent being cut off.
In a speech to the Congress of Soviet
Deputies, Stalin warns the United States and Britain that 'the absence of a
second front against Fascist Germany may end badly for all freedom loving
countries, including the Allies themselves'. He declares that 'the aim of the
coalition is to save mankind from reversion to savagery and mediaeval
brutality'. He further points out that the Soviets faced 240 Axis divisions on
the Russian front while Allied forces in North Africa faced a mere 15 divisions.
British War Office announced that hostilities had ceased in Madagascar at 2:00
p. m., and that an armistice had been signed.
In a last gasp, Japanese forces launch
a banzai attack on the Australians on the Kokoda-Gona trail. 580 Japanese
soldiers died in the attack.
INVASION! US and British forces land
in French North Africa. It is
the largest amphibious invasion in history (so far). 107,000 troops, carried in
370 transports supported by 300 warships stage landings at Algiers, Oran and
Casablanca. German forces were slow to react because they thought the landings
were a faint and the real attack would come at Sardinia.
In North Africa, naval battles off Oran
and Casablanca, result in the sinking of three French destroyers. US troops
advancing on both sides of Oran, take 2000 French prisoners after stiff
resistance. Montgomery continued his pursuit of Rommel across Egypt.
Meanwhile,German paratroops were landed at Bizerta, Tunisia without opposition
from the French
The Germans opened the death camp at Majdanekkk outside Lublin, Poland. In the first day of operations, 4000 Jews were murdered.
In North Africa, Americans capture Oran
after heavy fighting. Heavy fighting is also reported at Port Lyautey in
Morocco. Petain takes command of all Vichy forces. British successes in Egypt
continue with the capture of Sidi Barrani and advance beyond Halfaya Pass. The
French commander in Algiers, Admiral Darlan, calls for all French forces in
North Africa to lay down their arms.
German U-boats mine the entrance to New
At Stalingrad, heavy attacks in the
factory district result in the German capture of the Red October Factory and the
Barrikady Factory is cut off. The Germans also capture another 500 yards of
precious ground along the Volga River. Ice was beginning to form on the Volga
and the floating chunks brought shipping to a standstill.
After days of struggle, the 13th
Panzer-Division of 3rd Panzer Korps abandons it's attempts to stabilize the
situation and retreat from Ordshonikidse in order to avoid being cut off. The
advance toward Baku has ended in failure.
German forces begin the occupation of
those parts of France controlled by the Vichy government. In a letter to Marshal
Petain, Hitler declares that the purpose of this move is "to protect
France" against the allies.
The British 8th Army crosses
the border into Libya.
In North Africa, the British 8th Army
retakes Sollum and Bardia in Libya, while Panzer Army Afrika continues its
withdrawal toward Tripoli. British forces land at Bone, 260 miles east of
Algiers, securing a forward port for the Allies for the battle of Tunisia.
US Marines on Guadalcanal surround
Japanese forces along the Gavaga Creek, killing 450 enemy soldiers. 6000 men
from the Americal Division reinforce the US forces on Guadalcanal.
The climactic battles for control of
the sea around Guadalcanal begins as a US Navy cruiser force (5 cruisers and 8
destroyers) under Callaghan runs into Abe's IJN force (2 battleships, a
cruiser, 14 destroyers) meet off Savo Island during the early morning hours. The
confused night action resulted in heavy losses as four USN destroyers (Cushing,
Laffey, Barton, Monssen) and two cruisers (Atlanta, Jeneau) were all
sunk. The Japanese lost two destroyers (Akatsuki, Yudachi) and the
battleship Hiei was heavily damaged. The Hiei was sunk later in
the day north of Savo Island by US aircraft from Enterprise which were
now operating from Henderson Field.
The sea battle off Guadalcanal continues as the Japanese cruiser force under Admiral Mikawa makes a run to bombard Henderson Field at dawn. Forty planes were knocked out in the bombardment, but the field stayed open. Later in the day, the Japanese commander, Admiral Tanaka, thinking that Henderson Field had been put out of action, attempted to run supplies and reinforcements to Guadalcanal during daylight hours. 11 transports carrying 10,000 troops, with a heavy escort of surface ships and aircraft moved toward the island and were attacked by aircraft from Henderson. In the battle one cruiser (Kinugasa) was sunk, but more importantly, seven transports were destroyed.
During the early morning hours off
Guadalcanal, the Japanese made another attempt to bombard Henderson Field. The
Japanese force of oen battleship, 4 cruisers and 9 destroyers ran into an
American force of 2 battleships and 4 destroyers. In the confusing night action,
the US Navy lost three destroyers (Walke, Preston, Benham) while the
Japanese lost the battleship Kirishima and a destroyer sunk. By dawn, the
four surviving Japanese transports
were able to offload their cargo, but were
sunk off Tassafaronga Point later in the day. The supplies landed were
also destroyed on the beach. The Japanese had failed miserably, and with heavy
losses, to reinforce their beleaguered forces on Guadalcanal.
The British aircraft carrier Avenger
is torpedoed off the Algerian coast and sinks.
US paratroops land and take Souk el-Arba
in Tunisia. Meanwhile, Vichy French troops, once loyal to the Germans, switch
sides attack Axis positions in Tunisia.
Groves and Robert
Oppenheimer select the site of the boys' school Los Alamos in New Mexico for
"The Project". Oppenheimer begins to tour the United States recruiting top
scientists and persuading them to move to New Mexico. Edward
Teller is among the first group of 100 to accept.
Editor's Corner Archive:
The Past Through Tomorrow "It is quite frightening to realize just how similar our nation's actions have been and appear to be heading when compared this way..."
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.
of the great houses of American industry and finance had very dirty hands when
it came to dealing with the Nazis. General Motors, IBM, Standard Oil and many
others have had their sorted dealings with the enemies of the United States
aired in public forums. However, one criminal has had little exposure -
Prescott Bush, father and grandfather to two occupants of the Whitehouse.
story of Prescott Bush and his association with the Nazis begins just before the
end of World War I with the dealings of the German industrialist family of
Thyssen. As German hopes for victory sank into the mud filled trenches of the
western front, August Thyssen, known as the "Rockefeller of the Rhur" opened
the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam, placing his son Fritz at its
head. The bank, being in neutral Holland, was an excellent place to hide his
vast wealth as the Imperial Germany disintegrated. Meanwhile, his other son,
Heinrich, married into Hungarian nobility and changed his name to Barron Thyssen
Bornemisza de Kaszon.
the war, Avrell Harriman, son of the rail baron E. H. Harriman, and his partner
George Herbert Walker, was busy setting up their own international banking
network. In 1922, Harriman met with Fritz Thyssen and agreed to set up banking
interests for him in the states. By 1924, the Union Banking Corporation was
back in Germany, the crippling effects of the war and the harsh conditions
inflicted on the German economy due to the Versailles Treaty were causing
widespread unrest. One of the players in this unrest was, of course, Adolph
Hitler. Fritz Thyssen became an ardent follower of Hitler, embarrassing the
ideas of the Nazis, especially his anti-union, anti-labor views. He provided
Hitler with his first infusion of cash. Several German industrialists followed
Thyssen's lead and also donated to the Nazis. After the failed "Beer Hall
Putsch" in 1923, many gave up on Hitler, but not Thyssen.
late 1920's saw a boom in the German economy. August Thyssen died, leaving his
son Fritz in control of their vast holdings. Thyssen merged his steel operations
with Flick who owned many coal and steel interests throughout Germany and
Poland, forming United Steel Works (USW). Walker and Harriman meanwhile sold
$50,000,000 in German bonds to bankroll the Thyssen/Flick Empire.
was at this time that the young Prescott Bush entered the picture. Walker hired
his new son-in-law to run the American side USW. Prescott was a hard worker and
helped everyone involved make a great deal of money.
1929 came. World financial markets crumbled to dust. However, the plutocrats
-, Thyssen, Harriman and Flick maintained their empires. With the
ever-deepening desperation setting into the mindset of the German public,
Hitler's maniacal rants became more popular. Thyssen joined the Nazis and
bankrolled their rise to power.
By 1932, despite loosing 35 seats in parliament in the national election,
the Nazis were able to broker a power sharing deal. By 1934 Hitler was the
dictator of Germany.
wanted to see the rebirth of Germany. He began a massive campaign to build the
autobahn and rebuild his military. All of this needed steel, steel which Thyssen
and Flick controlled. Profits for the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart and the
Union Banking Corporation soared. Prescott Bush became managing director of
Union Banking Corporation and personally ran the German end of the business.
all was not rosy for the gang. The Polish government was growing weary of
Flick's operations in Poland and threatening to take over the businesses
claiming fraudulent bookkeeping, securities fraud, tax evasion and excessive
borrowing. The conflict with the Polish government ended when Hitler invaded,
destroying that nation and, starting World War II in Europe.
and Flick's Polish steel interests were centered at Oswiecim in the heart of a
vast coal and steel-producing region. After Hitler's takeover, he decided to
place a forced labor camp in the area in order to exploit the resource rich
state. That camp became Auschwitz.
and Flick, fearing a repeat of the collapse of Germany after WWI, bailed out,
selling their Polish interests to Union Banking Corporation and fleeing Germany.
As it turned out, Fritz and his brother Heinrich had made similar slights of
hand between these banks and a third bank - The August Thyssen Bank of Berlin
- many times, perpetrating a series of tax and securities frauds. Whenever
there was a threat to the Thyssen Empire, the brothers would collude to hide
their assets. In this case, Harriman became the controlling interest and Bush
managed the former Polish enterprises, all of which were supplied labor from the
camps at Auschwitz.
December 13, 1941, six days after the attack at Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt signed
the "Trading With the Enemy Act". This act banned business dealings the
enemies of the United States. Prescott Bush ignored this and continued to do
business with the Nazis.
dreams of riches began to crumble in the summer of 1942. The New York Tribune
had discovered and written on the Bush-Thyssen connection. The Tribune hung the
moniker of "Hitler's Angel" on Bush. On October 20, 1942, after
investigation by the US government, Vesting Order 248 was executed. The order
the authority of the Trading with the enemy Act, as amended, and pursuant to
law, the undersigned, after investigation, finding:
That the property described as follows:
of the capital stock of Union Banking Corporation, a New York corporation, New
York, New York, [identifying E. Roland Harriman, Cornelius Lievense, Harold
D. Pennington, Ray Morris, Prescott S. Bush, H.J. Kouwenhoven and Johann G.
Groeninger as shareholders]
all of which shares are held the benefit of Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, N.V.,
Rotterdam, The Netherlands, which bank is owned or controlled by members of the
Thyssen family, nationals of German and/or Hungary
That the property described as follows is an interest in the aforesaid
business enterprise held by nationals of an enemy country or countries, and also
is property within the United States owned or controlled by nationals of a
designated enemy country deemed it necessary in the national interest, hereby
vests such property in the Alien Property Custodian, to be held, used,
administered, liquidated, sold or otherwise dealt with in the interest of and
for the benefit of the United States .
that, Prescott Bush lost his power in the Union Banking Corporation. Bush
resigned as managing director in 1943, but still retained his stock interests.
For the remainder of the war, he engaged in fund raising activities and became
the founder of the United Services Organizations (USO).
the story, and the audacity, of Prescott Bush do not end here. For that, we must
return to Fritz Thyssen.
Holland was overrun in 1940, Hitler's auditors investigated the Bank voor
Handel en Scheepvaart. Hitler was after Fritz Thyssen's fortune, which had
been transferred to the Netherlands after he fled Germany in 1939. Transfer of
funds outside the Reich was illegal. However, no evidence was found in Rotterdam
and Hitler imprisoned his one-time benefactor for the duration of the war.
Unknown to Hitler, Thyssen had transferred his family's assets to his brother
Heinrich in Hungary.
the war ground on and German hopes faded, Thyssen planned to transfer his empire
back to "neutral" Rotterdam as in German and the Soviet bloc would not be
recoverable. The only hitch in the plan was that the August Thyssen Bank of
Berlin was destroyed in the war and the vault with all the Thyssen family papers
were buried under a mountain of rubble. But the enterprising Thyssen brothers
got Dutch authorities to dig up the vault and bring it back to The Netherlands.
being held and interrogated by the Allies, Fritz Thyssen never told the
authorities where his fortune was hidden and ultimately he was released from
prison. He died in Argentina in 1951. Upon his death, the Alien Property
Custodian released the assets of the Union Banking Corporation. The principles
cashed out and the UBC was no more.
Bush received $750,000 for his share of Union Banking Corporation, a princely
sum in 1951, but nothing compared to the millions the Thyssen family got back.
Prescott used some of this Nazi cash to bankroll his son George Herbert Walker
Bush's first business enterprise and to support his successful bid for Senate
in 1952. The Thyssen's rebuilt their empire, and today, the Thyssen Group (TBG)
is the largest industrial conglomerate in Germany.
column relied heavily on the writings of John Loftus, President of the Florida
Holocaust Museum and Tony Rogers of Clamor Magazine. I am greatly indebted to
them for their work.