Posts Categorized: Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War: Week 198

On 15 June Germany conducted a test flight of the first jet-powered bomber, the Arado Ar 234, though the early engines proved unreliable. On 16 June the Japanese air force was defeated by over Guadalcanal Island by American fighters, losing 107 out of 120 planes. And on 18 June the Allies began to bomb Sicily… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 197

On 8 June, Japanese forces finally evacuated the Aleutian Islands close to the USA, their last foothold in the Western hemisphere. Also this week, Allied forces began to move in on Italy, their next target now that North Africa had been liberated: the islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa were taken, along with over 11,000 Italian… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War Week 196

On 2 June Pope Pius XII controversially criticised the Allied “terror” bombing, having previously made no comment on German bombing of civilians. On 3 June members of the French Resistance sabotaged the Michelin plant in Clermont-Ferrand, destroying some 3,000 tons of rubber tyres. Also on 3 June the plane carrying the British screen actor Leslie… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War Week 195

On 30 May US forces finally recaptured the Aleutian island of Attu from the Japanese. On 29 May the surviving Japanese soldiers had launched the largest banzai charge of the Pacific War: only 28 prisoners were taken afterwards, and over 2,500 soldiers died in the charge. Also this week, the RAF bombed the industrial city… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War Week 194

Having taken Tunisia the Allies now began to bomb site sin Sicily and Sardinia as a precursor to invasion. On 22 May the German Messerschmitt Me 262 jet plane reached 520 mph in its inaugural test flight, faster than any other aircraft of the time. On 24 May the German navy took the decision to… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War Week 193

On 13 May the North African campaign finally came to an end when 250,000 German and Italian soldiers surrendered in Tunisia. On the same day Allied forces attacked the island of Pantelleria as a prelude to the invasion of Sicily; Hitler meanwhile on 12 May ordered Axis forces away from Sicily to Greece, having fallen… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 192

On 7 May Allied armies took Tunis. The remaining German and Italian forces were now hemmed in a tight pocket on the Tunisian coast, and some units began independently to surrender. On 9 May Japanese soldiers initiated one of the most shocking atrocities of the war, massacring some 30,000 Chinese civilians over three days at… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 191

On 26 April an American force landed in the Aleutian Islands which had been occupied by the Japanese. In Tunisia Allied forces continued to attack the German and Italian pocket around Tunis; despite a German armoured counter-attack by 1 May the Axis forces were forced to retreat. On 30 April Operation Mincemeat, one of the… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 190

On 19 April the Warsaw Ghetto uprising began, when Jewish residents drove off 2,000 armed members of the SS who had come to empty the ghetto. On the same day partisans attacked a Belgian train convoy transporting Belgian Jews to Auschwitz, freeing 236 Jews. And in North Africa after taking a few days to regroup… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 189

This week Germany broadcast the news of the massacre at Katyn of Polish army officers and intellectuals murdered by the Soviet secret police. On 14 April Stalin’s oldest son died in a German POW camp; Stalin had previously refused his exchange. On 18 April Admiral Yamamoto, commander of the Japanese Fleet, was shot down and… Read more »Read more