Posts Categorized: Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War: Week 178

On 26 January the German defences in Stalingrad were split in two; the southern pocket was overrun soon after and General Paulus and his staff were captured, though the northern pocket still fought on. Also this week, in a sign of things to come, the first all-American bombing raid took place at Wilmhelmshaven on 27… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 177

The Battle of Stalingrad was now entering its final phase: by 23 January the Soviets had captured the last remaining airfields in the city, meaning that supplies could no longer be received nor the wounded evacuated. Still Hitler refused to allow Paulus to surrender. The Siege of Leningrad was partially broken on 18 January when… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 176

This week the final Soviet assault on German positions in the city of Stalingrad continued while on 13 January another Soviet offensive targeted Hungarian and Italian forces on the German flank along the River Don, destroying them or driving them back. In North Africa the British began an attack on Tripoli and on 14 January… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 175

At the start of 1943 almost 300,000 German soldiers were trapped inside the Russian city of Stalingrad. On 9 January Paulus, the commander of the German 6th Army, refused a request from the Soviets to surrender; next day, artillery and mortars opened fire all along the front of the Soviet 65th Army prior to an… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 174

On 28 December the Vichy French commander surrendered Somaliland to the Allies. And on 31 December German ships were defeated when they attacked a British convoy in the Battle of the Barents Sea: from now on Hitler would abandon using surface raiders in favour of U-boats. After more than three years of war, the close… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 173

The German attempt to break through Soviet lines to relieve the trapped Sixth Army came within 30 miles of the city but was finally called off on 24 December: it had failed through a combination of Soviet counter-attacks, bad weather and the inability of the Sixth Army to respond. Also on 24 December the French… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 172

After initial success, the German offensive to relieve Stalingrad ran into strong resistance this week. Hitler stubbornly refused to allow the Sixth Army trapped inside the city to try to break out, but the Luftwaffe was unable to airdrop anything like enough supplies. One reason for this was the need for aircraft to keep Rommel’s… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 171

In the Western Desert Rommel had retreated all the way to El Agheira in Libya where he planned to make a stand; but he had lost too many men and too much equipment since El Alamein and now, finding himself of danger of being outflanked, ordered another fighting retreat on 12 December. On the same… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 170

On 2 December, Enrico Fermi and Arthur Compton achieved the world’s first nuclear chain reaction, making atomic weapons a possibility. In North Africa, Allied forces advancing east into Tunisia met fierce resistance from German troops, while Montgomery’s army continued to push the remnants of Rommel’s Afrika Korps west from El Alamein. At Stalingrad, Soviet forces… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 169

The Germans were now completely cut off at Stalingrad, under siege from the encircling Soviet forces and winter fast approaching. On 27 November the French Navy scuttled its fleet at Toulon rather than let it fall into Allied or German hands. Meanwhile, the Allied offensive in Tunisia continued to advance; and on 25 November the… Read more »Read more