Posts Categorized: Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War: Week 188

On 7 April Hitler and Mussolini met at Salzburg; Mussolini had been discouraged by recent Axis defeats and wanted Italy to lobby for a separate peace, but Hitler persuaded him to stay in the alliance. Ominously, on the same day American and British forces in Tunisia linked up near the town of Gafsa, and advancing… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 187

In North Africa, Allied forces in Tunisia continued to push the German and Italian armies back. On 30 March the decision was taken to suspend Allied convoys to the Soviet port of Murmansk because of heavy losses, much to Stalin’s fury. And on 4 April ten American POWs escaped from a Japanese camp on Mindanao,… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 186

The Allied advance into Tunisia continued this week. On 23 March Patton’s II Corps won the first US victory against German tanks at El Guettar, and on the 26th Montgomery’s Eighth Army broke through the Mareth Line, threatening the whole German army which began to retreat north. Also this week the US Navy prevented the… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 185

The week the Allies advanced into Tunisia, with Montgomery’s Eighth Army attacking the Germans and Italians on the Mareth Line while Patton’s II Corps began a flanking movement towards the Atlas Mountains. On 16 March Stalin called again for the Allies to open up a second front against Germany. Also this week, reports reached the… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 184

In Russia on 14 March after fierce fighting German forces finally retook Kharkov in the Ukraine, which had previously been recovered by Soviet troops at the time of the liberation of Stalingrad. Also this week, on 10 March the US House of Representatives voted to extend the Lend-Lease Act, and on the 13th the Germans… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 183

On 1 March was fought the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, when US and Australian forces sank eight Japanese troop carriers near New Guinea. In North Africa on 6 March Rommel fought his last battle at Medenine when he ordered an attack on the Eighth Army which had pursued him all the way from El… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 182

On 26 February Rommel left the Mareth Line, a defensive position in the Tunisian desert, and continued his retreat northward, pursued by the Eighth Army. On 28 February the first American Victory Ship was launched, a cargo ship built to replace merchant shipping losses from U-boats. Also on the 28th, a raid by Allied commandos… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 181

In the Ukraine Soviet forces retook the city of Kharkov, but the Germans counter-attacked on 21 February. On 18 February the students associated with the anti-Nazi youth group “White Rose” were arrested in Munich by the Gestapo. In Burma the “Chindits” cut the Mandalay- Myitkyina railway line; and in the Pacific on 21 February American… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 180

In North Africa General Dwight D Eisenhower assumed command of all Allied armies, including the British Eighth Army. On 13 February Rommel launched a counter-attack in Tunisia, inflicting heavy casualties on the inexperienced American troops at the battle for the Kasserine Pass. Guadalcanal in the Pacific was finally secured by US Marines; and the British… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 179

On 2 February German forces in Stalingrad finally surrendered, though up to 10,000 men would still fight on in the cellars and rubble during the coming weeks and months: of the 91,000 who were marched off to captivity only 6,000 ever made it back to Germany. Also this week, Rommel retreated further into Tunisia which… Read more »Read more