Hs-293 guided bomb launched from a German He-111 bomber

Project 60: A Day-by-Day Diary of WWII 

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

American B-17 Flying Fortress - mainstay of the 8th Air Force

August 17, 1943

Schweinfurt-Regensburg Raid: The US Army Air Force launches a dangerous and complicated raid on German ball bearing factories. The plan called for one group of bombers to hit Schwienfurt while another hit Regensburg. It was thought that the timing would confuse the German fighter defenses and reduce the risk to the unescorted bombers. IN the end, the staggered targeting resulted in a huge delay between the raids, allowing the German fighter defenses to land and rearm between raids. The result was a disaster. Of the 230 bombers sent against Schweinfurt, only 184 hit the city and 36 were shot down. Similar results occurred against Regensburg as 24 of the 146 bombers in that group were shot down. In all, 8th Air Force lost nearly 550 men that day. This was a particularly bitter defeat because bomb damage assessment concluded that the bombing was very inaccurate and the factories not severely damaged. Thankfully, the American air commanders had finally seen the folly of long-range unescorted bombing missions.

The Peenemunde Raid: RAF bombers hit the German rocket research center near Peenemunde on the Baltic coast. 596 bombers take part in the raid. Damage to the facilities and program were severe, at a cost of 40 bombers. The carnage would have been even more severe had not nearly 200 German fighters been redirected to Berlin because of the "window" radar jamming used by the British.

In other news

Patton's 7th Army marches into Messina, followed closely by Montgomery's 8th Army, thus completing the conquest of Sicily for the Allies. During the 39-day campaign, the Axis forces suffered 167,000 casualties (37,000 German, 130,000 Italian). Allied losses were 25,000. Most deemed this a great Allied victory, but in retrospective, it was a bitter one in that, had the Allied planning been more bold, they easily could have destroyed all of the forces on the island rather than allowing so many to escape.

General Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, having finally been informed of Patton's slapping incident at the 93rd Evacuation Hospital, orders his, orders his Surgeon General, Frederick Blesse' to Sicily to investigate the incident, telling him, "If this thing ever gets out, they'll be howling for Patton's scalp, and that will be the end of Georgie's service in this war. I simply cannot let that happen. Patton is indispensable to the war effort - on of the guarantors of our victory."

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August 18, 1943

US Naval forces bombard the Italian mainland at Palmi and Gioai Taura in preparation for invasion.

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August 19, 1943

After three days of heavy fighting, the Soviet Southwest Front breaks through the German defenses on the Mius River line.

General Jeschonnek, Chief of Staff of the Luftwaffe, commits suicide after being criticized for the Peenemunde and Schweinfurt raids

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August 20, 1943

The Soviet encirclement of Kharkov continues. Red Army forces capture Libedin, west of Kharkov.

Allied forces engage in heavy fighting over Babdubi Ridge, in New Guinea.

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August 21, 1943

Australian troops take Komiatum in New Guinea.

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August 22, 1943  

German forces, threatened with encirclement at Kharkov begin to withdraw from Kharkov.

The "island hopping" campaign continues as US forces occupy Nukufetau and Namumea  in the Ellice group. There is no Japanese opposition and work begins on constructing airfields immediately.

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August 23, 1943  

Red Army forces enter Kharkov, the fourth, and last time the city would change hands in this war. The Germans attempted to launch a spoiling attack, but this was met by the newly reconstituted 5th Guards Tank Army and beaten back.

RAF bombers once again took to the night skies over Berlin sending 727 planes carrying 1700 tons of bombs. The raid was badly scatter but still managed to kill over 900 people. This was the opening of a new Bomber Command terror campaign which would come to be known as "The Battle of Berlin".

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August 24, 1943  

SS Chief Heinrich Himmler is promoted to Reichminister of the Interior by Hitler.

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August 25, 1943

In a military first, the Germans test a new guided bomb, the Hs293. The device, launched from a bomber is guided by radio signal from an airborne observer to the target, in this case, Allied ships in the Bay of Biscay. The initial test failed to hit the ship, but the system did show great promise.

Nearly 300 fighter-bombers and bombers hit the Italian airfield at Foggia in preparations for the invasion of the Italian mainland.

Red Army forces pursue the retreating Germans occupying Zenkov and Akhtyrka, west and north of Kharkov.

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August 26, 1943  

Allied nations gave limited recognition to the French Committee of National Liberation. 

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August 27, 1943  

RAF bomber command launches a 674 plane raid against Nuremburg, hitting little, but managing to kill 65 people and hitting the city zoo.

Elements of the US 43rd Division land on the Nauro Peninsula on Arundel. There is no Japanese opposition.

The Soviet offensive contiues as the Central Front takes Sevsk and Vatutin's forces take Kotleva.

Fighting breaks out between the Germans and elements of the Italian 15th Corps in Ljubljana, Slovenia after the Italians refused to withdraw from the city.

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August 28, 1943  

After rioting, strikes and acts of sabotage and German ultimatums, the Danish government falls and Nazi General von Hanneken takes charge.

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August 29, 1943  

General von Hanneken declares marshal law as sporadic fighting is reported in Denmark. Most of the  Danish fleet is scuttled, preventing its capture by the Germans.

Red Army forces capture Lyubotin.

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August 30, 1943  

In a massive air battle over Italy, 44 US P-38 fighters, escorting B-26 medium bombers ran into 75 Luftwaffe fighters. The two fighter groups fought as the bombers went on to obliterate the marshalling yards at Aversa. The Americans lost 13 fighters to the German 9.

The withdrawal in the south begins as Taganrog on the Sea of Azoz is abandoned by the Germans. Further to the north, the Soviets roll forward in the Smolensk area, taking Sokolovsky and Yelna,

RAF Bomber Command struck Munchengladbach and Rheydt with 660 bombers. The terror bombing managed to destroy about half of each town, killing nearly 400 civilians.

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Special Editions:
Pearl Harbor | The Doolittle Raid | Midway

Editor's Corner Archive:

Hitler's Angel "The story of Prescott Bush and his association with the Nazis begins just before the end of World War I..."

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..."

The 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 acts.  

Those wishing to contribute items. stories or comments should contact D.A. Friedrichs

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