Posts Categorized: Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War: Week 208

On 23 August after heavy fighting Soviet forces recaptured the city of Kharkov in the Ukraine, as they continued their advance following the battle of Kursk; the German army had now lost the initiative in the east and would be on the defensive from hereon in. Also this week, on 29 August Germany imposed martial… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 207

On 16 August Germany began a purge of the Jewish ghetto at Bialystok in Poland, sending most of the 25,000 inhabitants to concentration camps; a brief resistance was suppressed owing to a shortage of ammunition, and the leaders committed suicide. Also this week, Sicily was now entirely in Allied hands; and on the night of… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 206

With the Allied conquest of Sicily almost complete, German forces now began to evacuate to the Italian mainland; they had suffered some 32,000 casualties in the campaign, and the Italians over 130,000. The RAF now launched a heavily bomb raid on Milan. Also this week, General George S. Patton was forced to apologize to two… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 205

In Russia Soviet forces continued their offensive and recaptured the town of Orel from the Germans on 5 August; meanwhile, following the overthrow of Mussolini, German troops moved into Italy to take over its defences. Also this week Sweden announced that it would no longer allow German troops and supplies to use Swedish railways; and… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 204

German forces continued to be pushed back by Soviet armies in the wake of the Battle of Kursk: this week they were forced to retreat from Orel. In Italy, following the deposition of Mussolini, King Victor Emmanuel III appointed Marshal Pietro Badoglio as head of the government. Also this week, with the occupation of Burma… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 203

In Russia, German forces struggled to contain the Soviet counter-offensives following the Battle of Kursk. Elsewhere, on 19 July the Allies bombed Rome for the first time. On 22 July Patton’s troops took Palermo, the capital of Sicily. And on 25 July Mussolini was arrested in a bloodless coup in Rome, having lost the support… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 202

The Battle of Kursk continued this week, as the Germans desperately tried to break through the Soviet defences. On 12 July the largest tank battle in history was fought at Prokhorovna, with some 1,500 tanks involved. It was a German defeat. After this, the Germans were on the defensive in the east as the Soviets… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 201

This week the German army in Russia launched Operation Citadel, its last great attempt to win victory in the east. It was one of the greatest battles in history, with 900,000 German soldiers and 2,700 tanks against 1.3 million Soviet troops and 3,600 tanks. Despite making some gains the Germans were unable to break through… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 200

The Russian offensives over the winter to liberate Stalingrad and drive the Germans back had eventually petered out, leaving a large salient jutting into German-occupied territory around the city of Kursk. Now the Germans were massing troops for an offensive to eradicate the salient and recapture the initiative on the Eastern Front; however the Russians,… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 199

This week Allied forces in the Pacific launched “Operation Cartwheel”, a campaign involving the invasion of a number of islands in the Solomon Sea with the Japanese base at Rabaul as its ultimate goal. On 21 June the 4th Marine Ranger Battalion started the campaign by landing on New Georgia in the Solomons. Also this… Read more »Read more