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Operasie Vulcan, 22-28 April 1943


Operasie Vulcan, 22-28 April 1943

Operasie Vulcan (22-28 April 1943) was die eerste fase van die laaste geallieerde aanval in Tunisië, en het 'n reeks aanvalle rondom die as-brugkop behels wat die verdedigers van die meeste van hul beste verdedigingsposisies teruggestoot het, maar nie heeltemal nie breek deur na die oop grond rondom Bizerte en Tunis (Noord -Afrikaanse veldtog).

Die veldtog van Tunisië begin in November-Desember 1942, toe die leidende elemente van die Britse Eerste Leër en nuut aangekomde Duitse magte bots toe die Britte probeer om na Bizerte en Tunis te jaag. Die Duitsers het hierdie geveg gewen, en die voorste linie in die noorde van Tunisië het gestalte gekry in die berge, 30-40 myl wes van Tunis. In die suide is die geveg oorheers deur die opkomende agtste leër wat uit Libië kom, en die groot gevegsdebuut van die US II Corps, wat uit die weste kom. Uiteindelik breek die Agtste Weermag deur die Mareth Line, en dan 'n tweede as -posisie by Wadi Akarit, noord van Gabes, en die asmagte moes terugtrek uit die suide van Tunisië, in 'n nuwe klein brughoof wat by Enfidaville begin, aan die kus dertig myl suid van Tunis. Die troepe in hierdie enklave was onder die gesag van generaal von Arnim, bevelvoerder van Army Group Africa, en is verdeel in sy oorspronklike bevel, die 5de Panzer Army, en Rommel se ou weermag, nou die 1ste Italiaanse leër onder generaal Messe.

Von Arnim se verdediging was baie dun versprei.

In die noorde was die Division von Manteuffel, 'n nuutgestigte eenheid met ongeveer 5.000 troepe wat in nege eenhede verdeel was. Ongeveer 'n kwart van Manteuffel se mans was Italiaanse Bersagliere of Marines.

In sy suide was die 334ste Infanteriedivisie, wat die voorkant oor die Medjerda -rivier gehou het, die belangrikste kloof in die berge.

Ten suide van hulle was die Hermann Goering -afdeling.

Volgende in die ry was die oorblyfsels van die Afrika Korps, nie meer onder bevel van die 1ste Italiaanse leër nie. Die Afrika Korps het die Superga, 10 Panzer en 21 Panzer Divisions, en die Italiaanse troepe van XXX Corps en die 50ste Spesiale Brigade. Op 21 April het die gepantserde en mobiele elemente uit hierdie bergagtige sektor begin verskuif, te begin met 10 Panzer, wat na die Medjerda -vlakte verhuis het, wes van Tunis. Die Afrika Korps Die posisie vorm 'n opvallende uitkyk na die suidweste.

Die agterste as is deur die 1ste Italiaanse leër gehou. Dit het nog steeds 'n mengsel van Italiaanse en Duitse troepe, met die Spezia, Pistoia, Jong Fasciste en Trieste afdelings, en 15 Panzer Division, die 164th Light Africa Division en die 90th Light Africa. Die Duitse troepe was onder bevel van generaal Bayerlein.

Die Geallieerde aanval is uitgevoer deur 'n multinasionale mag.

Heel links was die Corps Franc d'Afrique, die ekwivalent van 'n enkele Amerikaanse infanterieregiment. Hierdie eenheid werk onder die US II Corps.

Vroeër in die veldtog was die US II Corps op die regterkant van die Eerste Leërfront geplaas. Dit het die doelwit geword van Rommel se laaste halfsuksesvolle offensief in Noord-Afrika, die Slag van Kasserine Pass (19-22 Februarie 1943), waar dit 'n paar verleentheids nederlae gely het voordat hy stand gehou het. In die nasleep van hierdie geveg het generaal Patton bevel gekry oor die afdeling, en hy het die prestasie daarvan gou verbeter. Tydens Operasie Wop (16-23 Maart 1943) het sy II Korps al sy doelwitte bereik en daarna 'n teenaanval deur 10 Panzer Division verslaan. 'N Gesamentlike aanval met 'n deel van die British 9th Corps (9-10 April) het egter nie so goed gegaan nie, met beide kante die ander die skuld vir hul stadige vordering. Toe Eisenhower daarop aandring dat die II Corps in die laaste aanvalle in die noorde van Tunisië gebruik moet word, het Patton dit duidelik gemaak dat hy nie as deel van generaal Anderson se eerste Britse leër wou dien nie. Om 'n botsing te voorkom, is die II Korps na die noordelike flank van die komende operasie verskuif en onder die direkte beheer van Alexander se 18 weermaggroep geplaas. Alhoewel hierdie besluit versoenend was, was sommige Amerikaanse offisiere van mening dat hulle na 'n sekondêre front verskuif word, sodat die Britse agtste leër die eer kon verwerf vir die val van Tunis (uiteindelik het die agtste weermag slegs 'n geringe rol in die laaste offensiewe). Teen die tyd dat Operasie Vulcan begin, is Patton verplaas om die sewende leër te beveel, en het hy hom voorberei op die inval van Sicilië, en hy is by II Korps vervang deur generaal Omar Bradley.

II Korps bevat die 1ste Pantserdivisie en die 1ste, 9de en 34ste Infanteriedivisie. Al vier hierdie afdelings het teen April baie gevegservaring opgedoen.

II Corps is hoofsaaklik deur die Manteuffel -afdeling gekant, hoewel die 1ste afdeling ook teen die regtervleuel van die 334ste afdeling te staan ​​gekom het.

Die Geallieerde sentrum bestaan ​​uit die drie korps van generaal Anderson se eerste leër.

Aan die regterkant van II Corps was die Britse V Corps, grootliks voor die 334ste Divisie.

Daarna kom die Britse IX -korps, wat voor die Hermann Goering -afdeling staan.

Aan hul regterkant was die Franse XIX Korps, voor die oorlewendes van die Afrika Korps.

Uiteindelik, aan die regterkant van die geallieerde lyn, het Montgomery se agtste leër die eerste Italiaanse leër in die gesig gestaar.

Die algemene plan was dat die Eerste Leër Tunis sou inneem, met II Korps wat sy linkerflank beskerm. Die twee magte sou dan noordwaarts draai om Bizerte te neem.

Links besluit generaal Bradley om deur die heuwels aan te val, in 'n poging om die swaarder verdedigde vallei te vermy. Dit betrek sy manne in 'n reeks desperate stryd om heuwelagtige sterkpunte.

Op die Eerste Weermag front sou General Allfrey se V Corps (1ste, 4de en 78ste Afdeling) langs die Medjerda -vallei aanval, op pad na Tunis. General Crocker se IX Corps (1ste en 6de Pantserdivisie en die 46ste Infanteriedivisie) sou oor die Goubellatvlakte aanval, en dan omdraai om by V Corps aan te sluit. Die Franse XIX Korps sou die suidelike roetes na Tunis skoonmaak.

Voorlopiges

Die eerste houe is deur Montgomery se agtste weermag getref, wat die nag van 19 tot 20 April 'n aanval op die Enfidaville-posisie begin het. Hierdie aanval het 'n beperkte sukses behaal, maar dit het vasgeval te midde van strawwe opposisie, onder leiding van generaal Bayerlein. Op 21 April het Montgomery besluit om die aanval vir vier dae op te skort, aangesien die getalle onrusbarend toeneem. Na die mislukking van 'n tweede offensief later in die maand, stel Montgomery voor dat sy weermag sy pogings om Hammamet, verder noord aan die kus te bereik, moet laat vaar en net beperkte operasies moet uitvoer in 'n poging om die troepe van die as vas te maak sonder om onnodige slagoffers te neem. Alexander het hiermee ingestem en op 30 April beveel Montgomery om die beste eenhede wat hy kon spaar, oor te dra om by die Eerste Weermagaanval aan te sluit. Montgomery het 'n onverwagte vermoë om as 'n spanspeler te werk, en het sy mees ervare afdelings - die 7de Pantserdivisie en die 4de Indiese Afdeling - en die 201ste Garde Brigade vrygestel. Al hierdie eenhede sal 'n belangrike rol speel in die laaste aanval.

Die Duitsers slaan die volgende houe toe die Hermann Goering-afdeling (ondersteun deur 'n deel van die 334ste afdeling) die nag van 20-21 April in die suidooste van Medjez el Bab aanval. Aanvanklik het die Duitsers goeie vordering gemaak, en in sommige gebiede het hulle tot vyf myl gevorder, maar dit het hulle net na die Britse hooflyn gebring, en in die nag van 21-22 April het die Duitsers teruggetrek na hul oorspronklike posisies.

Britse IV Korps

IV Corps se aanval het op 22 April begin toe die 46ste Afdeling wes van die Sebkret el Kourzia aangeval het, 'n moeras wat deur heuwels uitkyk. Die gebied is verdedig deur 'n deel van die Grenadier Regiment Hermann Goering, ondersteun deur 'n Tunis Bataljon (plaaslik gevormde eenheid) en vier artillerie bataljons. Teen die middag van 23 April het die Britte die Duitse verdedigingsverbinding na die noorde van die moeras deeglik verbreek, en die 6de pantserdivisie is in die gat gebring. 'N Deel van die afdeling is gestuur na Pont du Fahs, 'n voorskot wat die potensiaal het om die Afrika Korps en moontlik die Enfidaville -posisie verbreek. Von Arnim het gereageer deur die Afrika Korps om hom terug te trek uit 'n opvallende gesig van die Franse, en 'n nuwe lyn te vorm naby Pont-du-Fahs. Die Afrika Korps moes ook 'n deel van die Hermann Goering -afdelingslyn oorneem, en von Arnim moes sy laaste reserwe, die 10 Panzer -afdeling, verbind om die leemte te vul. 10 Panzer kon die 6de Armored Advance stop, maar na twee dae was 10 Panzer op 25 operasionele tenks. Teen 26 April het dit gestyg tot 55 Duitse en 10 Italiaanse tenks, maar ten koste van die gebruik van hul laaste reserwes.

Britse V Korps

V Corps begin met 'n vooraanval op 21 April, wat daarop gemik was om Longstop Hill terug te neem, wat vier maande tevore teen die Duitsers verloor is. Die heuwel is verdedig deur die versterkte 756ste bergregiment van die 334ste afdeling, en hulle kon die Britse 78ste afdeling vir 'n paar dae in stand hou. Die Britte verower die noordoostelike hoek van die heuwel op 24 April, en die heuwel is teen 26 April beveilig.

Die belangrikste V Corps -aanval is deur die 1ste en 4de Afdeling, suid van die Medjerda -rivier, uitgevoer. Hulle is gekant teen die 754ste Grenadier -regiment en die 501ste Heavy Panzer Bataljon. Die Britte het daarin geslaag om Djebel Bou Aoukaz, 'n entjie langs die riviervallei, te bereik, maar op 26 April word hul opmars deur 'n deel van die Hermann Goering -afdeling gestop. Tog was dit nog steeds 'n kritieke posisie vir die Duitsers, en sodra 10 Panzer die 6de Pantserdivisie gestop het, vorm von Arnim sy oorblywende pantser in 'n enkele mag, Panzer Brigade Irkens, onder bevel van kolonel Irkens, bevelvoerder van die 8ste Panzer Regiment, 15de Panzer Division. Tussen 27-30 April Brigade Irkens het die Britse wapenrusting teruggedraai in gevegte waarin hulle beweer dat hulle 90 geallieerde tenks vernietig het. Hulle herower Djebel Bou Aoukaz en hou die pad van die Tunis toe, ten minste vir die oomblik.

Teen die tyd dat hierdie gevegte geëindig het, was die Duitsers op 69 operasionele tenks (waaronder 4 tiere) in die hele Tunisiese strandkop. Die brandstofposisie was erger - die teenaanvalle het byna al die oorblywende reserwes opgebruik, so daar sou baie min mobiliteit wees in die volgende veldronde.

US II Korps

Die offensief van die II Korps het op 23 April begin, met 'n tweeledige aanranding. Links het die 9de Infanteriedivisie deur die kusberge aangeval. Regs val die 1ste Infanteriedivisie teen die Tine -vallei aan op die linkerkant van die Britse aanval in die Medjerda -rivier. Kort daarna begin die 34ste afdeling met 'n opmars in die middel.

Die 34ste afdeling is gehou deur 'n Duitse valskermsoldaat (Barenthin), wat die sleutel Hill 609 gehou het, in die heuwels noord van die Tine -vallei. Die Duitsers kon hierdie posisie amper tot einde April beklee, maar uiteindelik het Bradley sy wapenrusting tot die aanval toegewy. Hill 525 is die nag van 29/30 April deur die 1/16 infanterie geneem, en Hills 531 en 609 was teen 30 April in Amerikaanse hande. Die top van Hill 525 was egter oop en blootgestel aan Duitse artillerievuur, en gedurende 30 April het dit geval op 'n Duitse teenaanval waarin die bevelvoerder van die 1/16de gevange geneem is. 'N Amerikaanse tenkvernietiger het die Duitsers gekeer om die heuwel te behou toe dit 'n bemanningsgrond geword het. Die Amerikaners kon Hills 531 en 609 vashou, en versterk hul posisie op 1 Mei.

Die gevegte rondom Hill 609 het tot 'n einde gekom as gevolg van die suksesvolle opmars van die 9de Infanteriedivisie. Die opmars daarvan het die Duitsers teruggedruk in die heuwels wes van Bizerte. In hierdie gebied is die slagveld in twee verdeel deur twee groot mere. Net suid van Bizerte was die Bizerte-meer, met die stad Ferryville aan die suidwestelike oewer. In die weste was die Garaet Achkel -meer, geskei van die Bizerte -meer. Manteuffel het die 962ste regiment noord van die meer en die 160ste suid van die meer gehad. Die 9de Infanterievooruitgang het die 962ste teruggedruk, wat die 160ste moontlik blootgestel het aan 'n aanval van agter deur Amerikaners wat om die meer gevorder het. Om dit te vermy, beveel Manteuffel sy manne om terug te trek in 'n voorbereide verdedigingslinie aan weerskante van Garaet Achkel. Die stad Mateur, suid van die mere, is op 2 Mei verlaat en op 3 Mei deur CCB/ 1st Armoured Division ingeneem. Dit was duidelik dat die Duitse posisie goed teen-tenkgewere voorsien is, so CCB het by Mateur gestop.

Teen 6 Mei het die Corps meer as die helfte van sy weg na Bizerta gevorder. In die noorde loop die lyn tussen die Garaet Achkel -meer en die kus. Regs loop die lyn naby die suidelike oewer van die meer, draai dan suidwaarts en loop oos van die pad- en spooraansluiting by Mateur. Die grens met die Britse V -korps was in die heuwels aan die noordelike kant van die Medjerda -vallei.

Afsluiting

Hoewel Operation Vulcan nie soveel vordering gemaak het as wat gehoop is nie, het dit 'n belangrike rol gespeel in die verswakking van die posisie van die as. Teen 1 Mei was von Arnim gedwing om 'n groot gebied in die suidwestelike hoek van die voorkant te laat vaar en die Geallieerdes het die grootste deel van die lyn gevorder (die belangrikste uitsondering op daardie stadium was die benaderings na Mateur en rondom Enfidaville in in die volgende paar dae het die Amerikaners uiteindelik op Hill 609 deurgebreek, en teen die tyd dat die Eerste Weermag met sy volgende offensief, Operation Strike, begin het, was die Duitsers en Italianers in 'n baie slegter posisie as op 22 April. Aslyn het gebars. Tunis en Bizerte het op 7 Mei geval, en die laaste asmagte het op 13 Mei 1943 oorgegee.


Wat het met die lyke gebeur na groot gevegte in die geskiedenis

Aangesien ons weet dat selfs Neanderthalers hul dooies sou begrawe (selfs voorwerpe met die liggame ingesluit) en dat verskillende menslike jagter-versamelaarsgroepe ook mense begrawe of veras op spesifieke plekke wat as 'n pelgrimstog vir hierdie nomades gedien het. geen verrassing dat soldate sedert die aanbreek van bekende oorlogvoering die vraag nagedink het oor wat om te doen met die lyke van hul gevalle kamerade en vyande nie. So, wat het verskillende groepe eintlik deur die geskiedenis gedoen?

Iets om op te let voordat ons verder gaan, is dat daar 'n besliste leemte in die geheue van die geskiedenis is met betrekking tot hierdie spesifieke aangeleentheid, en historici het slegs yl berigte oor wat met die dooies van baie groepe gebeur het na gevegte. U dink miskien dat die oplossing van hierdie probleem bloot 'n kwessie is van die vind van bekende gevegsterreine en 'n bietjie grawe om 'n bietjie meer insig te bekom, maar dit blyk dat dit selfs berug is, aangesien ons binnekort daaraan sal dink.

Die voorbehoud uit die weg geruim, op die meer definitiewe front, het opgemerk dat die ou Grieke 'n poging aangewend het om die gewone begrafnisgebruike van die dooies na 'n geveg te respekteer en die liggame van die gevalle te versamel, was nie ongewoon nie. Byvoorbeeld, na die Slag van Chaeronea in 338 v.C. tussen Filips II van Masedonië en die Atheners, begrawe beide kante hul dooies in ooreenstemming met die godsdienstige gebruike van die tydperk, wat skynbaar gedoen is uit respek vir die dapperheid wat die dooies in die geveg getoon het. en om die gode te paai.

Met die uitsondering van die Spartane, het die meeste antieke Griekse samelewings ook pogings aangewend om hul dooies te begrawe naby die stad waar hulle afkomstig was as die tyd dit toelaat, alhoewel dit ter wille van die praktiese gebruik soms massagrafte of dies meer gebruik is. In hierdie geval is daar soms senotafs naby hul tuisstad opgerig ter ere van die gevalle.

Soos opgemerk, is die Spartane 'n uitsondering wat dikwels gevalle soldate begrawe het op die slagveld wat hulle doodgemaak het. Ook ietwat uniek was dat, in plaas van om die dode van waardevolle besittings te stroop, volgens die Spartaanse tradisie, elke gevalle Spartaan begrawe is met hul wapens en wapens en dat hul laaste rusplek gekenmerk is deur 'n eenvoudige grafsteen met hul naam en 'n opskrif wat lees (vertaal) “In die oorlog ”.

Dit was 'n besondere eer onder die Spartane. As iemand buite die geveg sou sterf, sou geen so 'n grafsteen gegee word nie en sou die persoon bloot in 'n ongemerkte graf begrawe word. Die enigste uitsondering daarop was dat as 'n vrou sterf tydens 'n kindergeboorte, ook 'n grafsteen aan haar behoort.

Wat die Romeine betref, het die meeste soldate elke maand 'n klein toelae betaal om vir begrafniskoste te betaal as hulle in die stryd sou val. Soos u hiervan sou verwag, het die Romeine 'n doelbewuste poging aangewend om die lyke van diegene wat gesterf het, te herstel en, indien die tyd dit toelaat, dit individueel begrawe of veras. As dit nie moontlik was nie, sou die lyke van soldate wat in die geveg gedood is, versamel word en 'n massiewe verassing of begrafnis gegee word. As die lyke nie teruggevind kon word nie, sou 'n senotaaf opgerig word om as 'n monument vir die individu te dien.

Dieselfde kan nie gesê word van latere oorloë waar daar blykbaar amper 'n minagtende minagting vir die gevalle was nie, en plundering van dooies en sterwendes was alledaags. Byvoorbeeld, die Bayeux -tapisserie wat die Slag van Hastings in 1066 uitbeeld, wys hoe soldate die lyke van die dooies ophoop en hulle waardevolle besittings ontneem. Dit was van mening dat die liggame hierna vinnig veras of begrawe is in massagrafte in die omgewing.

Hier moet egter op gelet word dat met die opkoms van die Christendom massaverassing, ten minste vir 'n tyd, in sommige streke die weg van die dodo gegaan het ten gunste van massagrafte.

Dit gesê, ondanks die ontelbare gevegte wat in die hele Middeleeuse Europa plaasgevind het, het argeoloë 'n buitengewoon moeilike tyd gehad om die liggame te vind. Soos een referaat gepubliseer in die Journal of Conflict Argeology, treffend getiteld “ Waar is die dood van middeleeuse gevegte? “, merk op:

As ons na baie beter gedokumenteerde tye kyk, was plundering van die dooies ook buitengewoon algemeen tydens die uiters dodelike Napoleontiese oorloë, met soldate sowel as die plaaslike bevolking wat hulle na gevegte kon vind. Beskou byvoorbeeld hierdie verslag van 'n Britse generaal na die Slag van Heilsberg in 1807:

En ja, soos daar opgemerk is, is die ernstig gewonde nie ontsien van die verontwaardiging om van hul wêreldse besittings beroof te word terwyl hulle sterf nie. En die ergste van alles is dat dit nie net deur hulle vyande gedoen is nie, maar ook deur kamerade. Trouens, daar is eerstehands verslae van gewonde soldate wat hul beserings oorleef het, en beskryf die skok dat hulle heeltemal naak wakker word.

Illustrasie van die Slag van Heilsberg.

Hier is 'n greep uit so 'n aanhaling van 'n Franse soldaat genaamd Jean Baptiste de Marbot:

Nadat die dooies van hulle besittings ontneem is, word hulle soms in massagrafte begrawe (soms met liggame van beide kante wat sonder seremonie ingegooi is). Oor die algemeen is dit gedoen deurdat die soldate dit self gedoen het, of dat lede van die plaaslike bevolking in baie gevalle die grusame taak gekry het. Daar is egter berigte oor gevegte waar duisende liggame eenvoudig aan die elemente oorgelaat is. Generaal Philippe de Ségur verklaar byvoorbeeld in 1812:

Hier moet ook op gelet word dat die lyke self ook waardevol was, behalwe die besittings wat die lyke aan hulle gehad het voordat hulle gestroop is. Byvoorbeeld, menslike aasdiere sou deurkom en die dooies van hul tande beroof, wat dan gebruik sou word om kunsgebitte te maak.

Die Napoleontiese oorloë, en veral die Slag van Waterloo, was so 'n seën vir die Britse tandheelkundige industrie op hierdie manier dat kunsgebitte in die Verenigde Koninkryk meer as 'n dekade nadat dit geëindig het, in die Verenigde Koninkryk bekend gestaan ​​het. Tande van soldate was baie gesog vanweë die feit dat hulle hoofsaaklik afkomstig was van relatief jong mans wat nog redelik goeie tande gehad het, in teenstelling met baie ander wat uit die meer verwarde dooies gekom het.

In een verslag het een Astley Cooper net so 'n tandjagter ontmoet en opgemerk:

Nog erger, die bene van die dooies van sommige van hierdie gevegte is later versamel en verpulver in kunsmis wat vir 'n beskeie prys in Europa verkoop is. Om 'n artikel uit die Die waarnemer geskryf in 1822:

Die oorskot van soldate is ook soms versamel vir gebruik in aandenkings van groot veldslae. Byvoorbeeld, die digter Eaton Stannard Barrett het geskryf: 'Ek ken 'n eerlike heer wat 'n regte Waterloo -duim, spyker en al wat hy in 'n bottel jenewer bewaar het, huis toe gebring het.

Beweeg oor die dam en effens meer onlangs in die geskiedenis, is aansienlik meer respek getoon vir die dooies tydens die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog, waar spanne soldate die taak gehad het om die dooies van beide kante in eenvoudige massagrafte te begrawe, met die grootste sorg dat die meeste soldate het behoorlik begrawe.

Ten slotte, vir die bespreking van WW1 en WW2, was individuele eenhede grootliks verantwoordelik vir die wegdoening van hul eie dooies, en beide as en geallieerde magte het hul eie reëls oor hoe dit hanteer moet word. Byvoorbeeld, tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het kolonel Walther Sonntag van die Wehrmacht ’s Casualty Office 'n uitgebreide gids vir militêre grafoffisiere uitgereik waarin uiteengesit word hoe massagrafte gebou moet word.

Die riglyne het onder meer aangedui dat massagrafte so na as moontlik aan spoorlyne gemaak moet word en paaie bevat met die bedoeling dat dit uiteindelik in oorlogsbegraafplase verander sal word. Namate die oorlog aan die gang was, is hierdie riglyne grotendeels geïgnoreer om prakties te wees, wat, soos Der Spiegel dit stel, tot 'n oorvloed van ernstige steles gelei het.

Wat die Geallieerdes betref, tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog begrawe die dooies grootliks aan individuele soldate, maar sommige eenhede wat aan die taak toegewy is, bestaan ​​wel, byvoorbeeld die United States Quartermaster Graves Registration Service. Die Quartermaster Graves -registrasiediens is daarop gemik om elke gevalle Amerikaanse soldaat te vind en te begrawe, en word beskou as 'n paar van die onbesonge helde van die oorlog weens die algemene gebrek aan erkenning wat hulle sedert die einde daarvan ontvang het.

Graves Registrasie -eenhede was buitengewoon toegewyd aan hul taak en het hul pligte met 'n plegtige pligsbesef en vasbeslotenheid aangepak en baie moeite gedoen om liggame te identifiseer en die toepaslike begrafnisregte uit te voer, afhangende van die godsdienstige affiliasie van die soldaat. GRS-eenhede begrawe, indien nodig, burgerlike, bondgenote en slagoffers wat hulle teëkom, en sorg dat hulle in goed gemerkte grafte begrawe word, waarvan die plekke aan die betrokke owerhede oorgedra sal word.

Hierdie artikel het oorspronklik verskyn op Today I Found Out. Volg @TodayIFoundOut op Twitter.


Operasie Vulcan, 22-28 April 1943 - Geskiedenis

279. Persoonlik en geheim, voormalige vlootpersoon van president Roosevelt.

1. Ek het gisteraand lank met Anthony gesels en ek bedank u vir al u vriendelike gerusstellende boodskappe. 2. Ek is verheug om te hoor dat Harry amper onmiddellik hierheen kan kom. As u generaal Marshall met hom kon laat saamgaan, sou dit enorme voordele inhou, en ons kon dan besluit om na die Torch -gebied te gaan om moontlikhede met al ons mense daar te bespreek. Die gevegte wat hierdie week in Tunisië aan die gang is, behoort die posisie baie duidelik te maak. 3. Uit wat Anthony my vertel het oor u idees vir Husky en die uitbuiting daarvan as dit suksesvol is, lyk dit asof ons in dieselfde rigting dink. Ek stuur u daarom 'n afskrif van die notule wat ek op die tweede oomblik aan die personeelhoofkomitee gestuur het en waarop hulle nou besig is. Hou dit asseblief vir jouself, Harry en generaal Marshall, want ek het nog nie gehoor wat ons stafhoofde daaroor te sê het nie. Dit is slegs bedoel as 'n kanaal vir denke en beplanning. Die notule waarna in paragraaf 3 verwys word, volg: [Bladsy 13] 1. Veronderstel eerstens dat Vulcan einde April, of in die ergste geval, teen 15 Mei klaar is en geen groot groep Duitse of Italiaanse troepe ontsnap nie: tweedens, dat Husky op 10 Julie plaasvind: derdens dat daar nie meer as vyf Italiaanse afdelings is nie, wat nie meer as 50.000 vegters bymekaarmaak nie, en nie meer as twee Duitse afdelings nie, wat 20.000 vegters, totaal 70.000 vegters, in Husky -land bymekaarmaak, en verder dat ons sewe of agt Britse en Amerikaanse afdelings aan die wal plaas, teen 'n bestrydingssterkte van 15,000 elk, altesaam 105,000, en versterk deur nog 30,000 Britte, altesaam 135,000: en ten vierde dat ons die intense gevegte wat die landing behels, wen: - hoe na raming sal die onderwerping van die weermag van die vyand in Husky -land duur? 2. In so 'n operasie hang alles af van die aanvanklike geveg, byvoorbeeld 'n week, waarna redelikerwys verwag kan word dat die grootste deel van die vyand se magte vernietig, gevange geneem of in die berge sou verdryf word. Die afstande is nie groot nie en die hulpbronne van die land is klein, en sodra ons die hawens en die vliegvelde het, behoort ons eintlik die meesters van die Husky -land te wees, en kan ons versprei deur lugmag en seekrag wat deur lugkrag gedek word, alle pogings van die vyand om dit te herwin. 3. Tot dusver is die verowering van Husky -land as 'n doel op sigself beskou: maar niemand kon tevrede wees met so 'n beskeie en selfs klein doelwit vir ons leërs in die veldtog van 1943. Husky -land is slegs 'n opstap, en ons moet nou begin ondersoek hoe ons hierdie plaaslike sukses kan benut. Wat is hieraan gedoen? Elke redelike alternatief moet ondersoek word. Noudat Anakim teruggesak het weens die tekort aan skeepvaart, kry mediterrane bedrywighede meer bekendheid. Watter ander bedrywighede is oop as ons einde Julie as die datum waarop ons in Husky -land gevestig is, beskou? Ons keuse moet natuurlik afhang van wat die vyand doen. As groot Duitse magte in Italië en die Italiaanse moraal neergebring word en die wil om te veg daardeur verbeter word, is die skaal wat nodig is om Rome en Napels te neem, buite ons mag. In daardie geval moet ons gereed wees met ons planne in die oostelike Middellandse See, en dit in Turkye moeilik maak om saam met ons te kom. Ons moet gereed wees vir 'n aanval op die Dodekanesos en om Turkye te ondersteun as sy probleme ondervind. 4. As die Duitsers egter nie kom nie en die Italianers verkrummel, is daar geen beperking op die hoeveelheid Italiaanse gebied wat ons mag oorskry nie. Italië kan uit die oorlog gedwing word. Ons kan Sardinië besit sonder om te veg. Korsika kan bevry word. Al ons beskikbare magte, insluitend afdelings in Afrika wat nie by Husky betrokke is nie, sal noordwaarts na Italië verplaas moet word totdat hulle in aanraking kom met die Duitsers op die Brenner of langs die Franse Riviera. Hoe ver is hierdie moontlikhede bestudeer? 5. Selfs as Italië in die oorlog bly met 'n sekere mate van Duitse hulp, behoort ons, op die oomblik dat ons meesters in die Husky -land is, 'n voet aan die voet en hak van Italië te probeer kry. Die besit van Taranto sowel as die Isthmus wat die tone beheer, sal ons groot voordele inhou. Die Italiaanse vloot sou moes besluit aan watter kant van Italië hy sou skuil. Ons kan nie sê wat die posisie of toestand van die Husky -operasie sal wees nie. As dit nie by die Adriatiese See teruggetrek het voordat ons meesters in die Husky -land is nie, met ons lugmag daar gevestig, sal dit dit nie kan doen nie en sal dit tevrede moet wees met Spezia en Genua. Dit moet in elk geval as 'n baie belangrike doel beskou word om 'n voet aan die kus van Dalmatië te kry, sodat ons die opstandelinge van Albanië en Joegoslavië kan ondersteun deur wapens, voorrade en moontlik kommando's. Ek glo dat Mihailovic, ten spyte van sy huidige, natuurlik lelike houding, sy hele gewig teen die Italianers sal werp sodra ons hom effektief kan help. Daar is klaarblyklik groot moontlikhede in hierdie teater. 6. Die doel van hierdie referaat is om die dringendste ondersoek van hierdie probleme met die grootste dringendheid aan te vra en om by die stafhoofde hul siening in te win oor wat gedoen kan word en wat die beste is om te doen. Ek hoop dat hierdie werk met die grootste spoed vorentoe gedruk kan word, want die blote vang van Husky -land sal 'n totaal onvoldoende resultaat wees vir die veldtog van 1943.


Vulcan 607

Hierdie boek van Rowland White vertel die ongelooflike verhaal van die eerste Black Buck -sending - die eerste van vyf Vulcan -bomaanvalle wat tydens die Falklandoorlog in 1982 op Port Stanley uitgevoer is.

    Die agtergrond waarin die geskiedenis van die Vulcan-bomwerper en die V-mag verduidelik word, sowel as die toestand van hierdie vloot van hierdie baie geliefde, maar verouderde vliegtuie, het teen 1982 geval.

Die Vulcan was nog altyd 'n gewilde vliegtuig in Brittanje, en dit is maklik om te aanvaar dat hierdie gewildheid outomaties in operasionele vermoëns vertaal word. As u hierdie boek lees, sal u besef dat die operasionele vermoë hoofsaaklik te wyte was aan die geweldige vaardigheid van RAF -ingenieurs en vliegtuigbemanning.

Die ding wat ek die meeste van die boek hou, is dat dit die ingenieursuitdagings waarmee die RAF gekonfronteer is, in oënskynlike besonderhede ondersoek en oorkom het. Byvoorbeeld: Wat doen u as die ingevulde brandstofstelsel meer as 'n dekade gelede verwyder is en u dit moet herstel? Hoe kan u 'n moderne ECM -peul aan 'n vliegtuig koppel wat nie daarvoor geskik is nie en waarvoor daar nie tyd is om 'n nuwe passtuk te ontwerp nie?

Kortom, ek is absoluut mal oor hierdie boek. Ek is vol vertroue dat enigiemand met 'n mate van belangstelling in militêre lugvaart dit ook sal doen.

Deel u kommentaar op hierdie bladsy:


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  • Skrywer: Rowland White
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Operation Vulcan, 22-28 April 1943 - History

The Station has a long and distinguished history stretching back more than 60 years, located in Rutland, RAF Cottesmore is home to four Squadrons (Sqns) of the famous Harrier "jump jet", making it one of the most important frontline bases currently in use by the Royal Air Force.

1935-1942 Expansion and the early war years

The construction of RAF Cottesmore commenced in 1935 in response to the rapid re-armament of Germany and heightened tensions of the period. The grass airfield opened on 11th March 1938 and 35 and 207 Sqns arrived the following month initially equipped with the Wellesley, these were soon exchanged for the Battle, which were used to train aircrews. Late 1938 saw the Battles used for some of the first night bombing trials.

At the outbreak of WWII in September 1939, ten Squadrons of Battles were immediately despatched to France as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) however, both 35 and 207 Sqns moved to Cranfield to act as war reserves. Crews from both Sqns later deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and flew bombing missions in a desperate attempt to stop the German blitzkrieg through Belgium and France. Unfortunately the Battle proved to be very vulnerable to the superior German fighter aircraft and suffered horrendous losses. By June 1940 the remnants of the Battle fleet had returned to England.

After the Battle aircraft had left Cottesmore for France, Bomber Command assumed control and 106 and 185 Sqns moved in. On 6th October 1939 106 Sqn departed Cottesmore for Finningley but 185 Sqn remained behind to become 14 Operational Training Unit (OTU), equipped with 32 Hampdens, 24 Ansons and a little later, 16 Herefords. 185 Sqn was later reformed but only lasted six weeks before being disbanded again on 17th May.

During May 1942, the Cottesmore Hampdens took part in the first Bomber Command 1000 aircraft raids over Germany, with Cologne, Essen, Bremen and Düsseldorf targeted. 151 sorties were flown by the Cottesmore based aircraft with the sad loss of nine aircraft and 23 aircrew due to high losses experienced with this aircraft the crews re-christened the Hampden "the flying coffin".

During late 1942 Cottesmore was chosen as a storage centre for Horsa gliders being prepared for use in the future Allied assault across the English Channel. 14 OTU re-equipped with the Vickers Wellington and moved to Market Harborough to make room.

American Service

In 1943 RAF Cottesmore was handed to the Americans and became USAAF Station 489, an element of US HQ Troop Carrier Command. By March 1944, Cottesmore had a 2000 ft hard runway. The C-47 Skytrains and C-53 Skytroopers of the 316th Troop Carrier Group dropped paratroopers from the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment/82nd Airborne Division during Operations OVERLORD and MARKET GARDEN during 1944.

A memorial stone has been laid by the Americans, it is currently located in front of the Station’s main headquarters and is inscribed, "May the memory of the comradeship sown in the skies of Europe forever be as green as the fields of Cottesmore".

Following the departure of the American units after VE day in May 1945, the base was handed back to the RAF and reverted back to operations as a bomber flying training station, operating Beaufighters and Lancasters until 1946. Then it was the turn of 16 OTU, which was later renamed 204 Advanced Flying School, operating Mosquitoes and Oxfords from 1948-1954. Cottesmore was also home to the Tiger Moths, Harvards, Balliols and Prentices of 7 Flying Training School (7 FTS) training both RAF and Royal Navy pilots.

The Jet Age – the Canberra era

March 1954 saw the departure of 7 FTS to Valley. During May Cottesmore entered a new era, with the arrival of the twin jet Canberra B.2s of 15, 44, 56, 57 and 149 Sqns. The Canberra's Sqns had all moved to other bases by February 1955 and the airfield was placed under care and Maintenance. In 1957 it was announced that Cottesmore was to enter another historic era as a V Force airfield and a new 9000 foot long runway was constructed.

V FORCE – Cottesmore becomes a nuclear base

The 15th April 1958 saw the arrival of the V Force with 10 Sqn and their new Victor B.1 bombers. 15 Sqn followed them on the 1st September with Victor B.1 and B.1A Variants. Also joining them for 18 months was 'C' Flight Operation Conversion Unit with the new Victor B.2.

The Victors carried out Nuclear Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties from 1962 until 1964 when the Victor Sqns were disbanded and replaced by Vulcan equipped 9, 12 and 35 Sqns – these aircraft immediately undertaking QRA duties.

Vulcan's from Cottesmore were deployed to bases in the Far East during the Indonesian confrontation in 1965. In 1969, the Cottesmore Vulcan Wing was transferred to Akrotiri in Cyprus. The last QRA duty to be held at Cottesmore was on 31st January 1969 this marking the end of 1551 consecutive days of Vulcan QRA duties. Following the departure of the V force, Cottesmore became the home of three Canberra Sqns: 98 Sqn operating in the airfield checking role, 360 Sqn in the electronic warfare role (and was a unique joint RAF/RN Sqn) and 231 OCU was the Canberra Operational Conversion Unit.

115 Sqn equipped with the Varsity and Argosy were also present at Cottesmore, based here alongside the Canberra units until March 1976, when following a defence review, the units moved elsewhere. The airfield was subsequently placed back into care and maintenance.

TTTE – Tornado Training

In 1979 it was announced that Cottesmore was to undergo a major refit and become the future home of the Tri National Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE). The TTTE commenced operations on 29th January 1981 and housed three squadrons of Panavia Tornadoes flown by staff and students from Britain, Germany and Italy. In 1994 the TTTE celebrated the first Female Pilot to graduate from the OCU and at the height of training operations the TTTE trained 300 crews a year. However, in 1998 the three nations decided to run their own individual training operations in the future and this, along with an urgent need for a new home for Sqns returning to the UK following service in Germany, led to the closure of the TTTE at the end of March 1999.

The Harrier

Almost immediately following the closure of the TTTE, Cottesmore saw the arrival of the Harrier GR.7s of 3(F) and IV (AC) Sqns, following service in Germany. 1(F) Sqn followed in June 2000 and Cottesmore became the home of all the RAF’s front line Harrier Sqns. The Harriers personnel didn’t have much time to settle at their new home, with service during Operation BOLTON (Balkans - 1999) and six aircraft based on HMS Illustrious for Operation PALLISTER (Sierra Leone - 2000).

At this time it had been planned for 800 and 801 NAS (Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy) with the Sea Harrier FA.2 to also move to Cottesmore, to form Joint Force Harrier (JFH), but the Sea Harrier was hastily withdrawn from service in March 2006 and both 800 & 801 NAS disbanded. 3(F) Sqn disbanded at Cottesmore on 31st March 2006, but immediately reformed at nearby RAF Coningsby as the first front line Typhoon Sqn. The same day also saw 800 NAS re-commisioned at Cottesmore, to be joined during 2008 by 801 NAS to form the Naval Strike Wing element of JFH.

The Harrier Sqns have taken part in extensive deployments since their move to Cottesmore, both land based and carrier based. Furthermore, a Harrier detachment participated in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (RAF Operation TELIC – 2003) and all the Sqns have deployed to Kandahar in Afghanistan since 2004 as a part of the on-going Operation HERRICK.

Long term plans see the hard working ground attack Harriers to be replaced by the F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) from 2018, also to be jointly operated by both RAF and RN personnel.


This Gigantic Submarine Factory Couldn’t Even Be Destroyed By The 22,000 lb Grand Slam Bomb

Erich Friedrich Michael Lackner is considered to be one of the most influential engineers of the last century. He developed a revolutionary type of concrete construction and was responsible for many projects worldwide. His legacy remains in the Inros Lackner AG construction firm, the Erick Lackner Foundation, and the Erick Lackner Award for “outstanding contributions in scientific and technical work.”

Lackner has another claim to fame, however. He was the on-site supervising engineer for the Valentin Submarine Factory in Germany. A massive facility, it took between 10,000 to 12,000 slave labourers to build it in just 20 months. These labourers were taken from their home countries and forced to work at the site. Thousands died from over-exposure, malnutrition, and summary executions, but it was never completed.

Construction began in 1943 along the Weser River in the Bremen suburb of Rekum. The Nazis already had a much bigger U-boat base in Brest, France, but it wasn’t a factory. To win the war, Germany needed to take out Britain – its only threat at sea until the Americans entered the war.

There was only one problem. Britain ruled the waves with its vast naval fleet. It also had a global empire and could call on large numbers of people and resources. But its strength was also its weakness – ships were essential to connect the empire and keep the home front supplied. Aerial raids had failed to bring the country to its knees, so Germany used submarines to disrupt Britain’s commerce and access to its crucial food supplies.

The “Wilhelm Bauer” U-Boot Type XXI U-2540 submarine in Bremerhaven, Germany in 2013. By Clemens Vasters – CC BY 2.0

In 1943, however, America joined Britain to create a huge naval force. Worse, the British had cracked the German Enigma code and could understand secret German communications. The Allies knew where and when to attack the German submarines. In May of 1943 alone, Germany lost 42 of its existing fleet of 110 submarines.

There were already three U-boat sites in Germany – Nordsee III on the island of Heligoland, Fink II and Ebe II in the city of Hamburg, and Kilian in the neighboring city of Kiel. More were under construction, but Bremen was chosen to host two of the biggest – Valentin and Valentin II (which was never started).

A slave laborer at Auschwitz in 1941 with the OT badge on her work shirt. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

The entire project was doomed from the very start, however. Despite their talent for organization and planning, the Germans really made a mess of the project. Since the Allies had already begun bombing German cities, it was decided that submarines would not be constructed in Valentin. Type XXI U-boats and would instead be built at other factories then brought to Valentin and assembled there.

The idea behind this complicated scheme was to ensure that no single bombing raid could take out U-boat production. It was also hoped that the Allies would be kept guessing as to where they were being made and where they were being assembled – bearing in mind that the Germans didn’t know that their code had been cracked and that the British were aware of their plans.

Slave laborers working on Valentin in 1944, positioning a prestressed concrete arch with iron bars. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Valentin was designed and overseen by the Organisation Todt – the civil and military engineering arm of the Third Reich which made use of prisoners, some of whom came from the various concentration camps. Edo Meiners was in charge of the project, but Lackner was in charge of the site and the day to day running of the project.

The facility stood between 74’ to 89’ tall, stretched 1,398’ long, and was 318’ at its widest point. To protect it from aerial bombardment, its walls and roof were 15’ thick. In time, parts of the roof were further thickened to 23’. By the time they were 90% done in March 1945, some 500,000 cubic meters of concrete was used for the project, while the human cost was much higher.

Flying Officer Jerry Fray of the RAF took this picture of the breached Möhne Dam after it had been hit by a bouncing bomb on 17 May 1943

Valentin was to be operated by the Bremer Vulkan shipyard, which would assemble the U-boats in 12 bays, supported by workshops and storerooms. Once built, they would be tested for leaks in a 13th bay which could be flooded with water. If they passed, they would then be released into the Weser for service. Using more slave labor, the facility was expected to produce a fully functional submarine every 56 hours.

Seven camps were built to house the slave laborers, though others were kept at the Bremen-Farge concentration camp (part of the much bigger Neuengamme concentration camp complex). Others were kept at a naval fuel oil storage compound, while some were put in an emptied underground fuel tank.

A 22,000 lb Grand Slam bomb

Besides French, Polish, and Russian POWs, German civilian criminals and others deemed “undesirable” were also put to work as slave labourers. The workers did 12-hour shifts and more with little food and medical care under the careful watch of SS soldiers. Those too sick or too slow were executed. This brutal policy of killing prisoners created labor shortages by 1944, greatly slowing down production.

It’s estimated that some 6,000 people died on the project – a figure which doesn’t include Russians and Poles since their deaths were not recorded. To the Nazis, they were sub-human and not worth mentioning. Most fatalities occurred in the “iron detachments” – among those responsible for moving girders of iron and steel.

Valentin’s 15′ reinforced ferro-concrete roof damaged by a 22,000-pound M Grand Slam bomb

The Allies knew about Valentin not just because of German communications, but also because they weren’t blind. When night fell, all towns and villages had to shut off their lights, but not Valentin where construction took place 24/7. Rather than put a stop to it, the Allies decided to let it continue because it drained limited German resources. Besides, they were very successful at destroying German supply lines.

In 1943, the Allies experimented with a new weapon called an earthquake bomb –which could create maximum damage with fewer bombs. These were considered for use on several German dams from May 16 to 17, 1943 as part of Operation Chastise but ultimately the bouncing bombs were used to destroy the dams and drown villages and towns in the Ruhr and Eder valleys.

A 4500 lb Concrete Piercing/Rocket Assisted bomb “Disney Bomb”

Valentin neared completion in 1945, so the Allies finally attacked on March 27. Two Grand Slam quake bombs blew holes through the roof, while others destroyed the nearby supporting facilities. On March 30, the US Eighth Air Force launched their Disney bombs to finish the job, but only one hit the facility. By this date Valentin was never going to produce any submarines because the Nazi regime was on the verge of defeat.

The place was finally evacuated in April. Its surviving prisoners were put on the SS Cap Arcona which was sunk by the British Royal Airforce on 3 May 1945. Of the 5,000 POWs aboard, only 350 survived. The British Army’s XXX Corps captured Bremen at the end of April 1945.

Friedrich Stein’s monument dedicated to those who suffered and died building Valentin, commemorated on 16 September 1983. By Jocian – CC BY-SA 3.0

In 2011, the Bremen Regional Authority set aside $3.8 million to turn Valentin into a museum to remind the current generation about the cruel treatment of the slave labourers and prisoners at the site. It will serve as a reminder to future generations of the cruelty of the Nazis.


Operation Vulcan, 22-28 April 1943 - History


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) at Kadena Air Base, Japan - February 2007


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) during exercise Southern Frontier - September 2006


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) during exercise Southern Frontier - September 2006


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) during aerial refueling - October 2005


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan - April 2005


M61A1 Vulcan gun of a F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan - April 2005


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) - Singapore - October 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) - Singapore - October 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) - Singapore - October 2003


a F/A-18C Hornet pilot (VMFA-212) - Singapore - October 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) at RAAF Base Darwin, Australia - August 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) during exercise Cope Tiger - Thailand - February 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) during exercise Cope Tiger - Thailand - February 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) during exercise Cope Tiger - Thailand - February 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) during exercise Cope Tiger - Thailand - February 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) during exercise Cope Tiger - Thailand - February 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) during exercise Cope Tiger - Thailand - February 2003


F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-212) at Andrews AFB, Maryland - May 1993


F/A-18C Hornets (VMFA-212) over Hawaii - May 1992



F-4S Phantom II (VMFA-212) at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - April 1983


F-4S Phantom II (VMFA-212) at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - April 1983


F-4J Phantom II (VMFA-212) - 1970's



F-8E Crusader (VMF(AW)-212 / CVW-16) embarked on USS Oriskany (CVA 34) - 1965


F-8E Crusader (VMF(AW)-212 / CVW-16) embarked on USS Oriskany (CVA 34) - 1965



A4D-2 Skyhawk (VMA-212 / CVSG-57) aboard USS Hornet (CVS 12) - June 1962



FJ-4B Fury (VMA-212) aboard USS Oriskany (CVA 34) - November 1960



F4U-4 Corsair (VMF-212) aboard USS Badoeng Strait (CVE 116) - 1952


F4U-4 Corsair (VMF-212) aboard USS Rendova (CVE 114) - 1951


Group photo of Marine Fighting Squadron 212 (VMF-212) "Hell Hounds" flight personnel believed to have been taken at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal,
September-November 1942. The men pose in front of a Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat.

World War II:
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212 was activated as Marine Fighting Squadron 212 (VMF-212), the "Hell Hounds", at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii on 1 March 1942. Deploying in May to the South Pacific in their Grumman F4F Wildcats, the squadron was stationed at Tontouta on the island of New Caledonia, and later moved up to the Quoin Hill Airfield on the island of Efate. As preparations for the invasion of Guadalcanal increased, the squadron operated a detachment at Turtle Bay Airfield on Espiritu Santo until the arrival of VMO-251 ensured that the island was provided with adequate aerial defense. During the early part of the Guadalcanal campaign, VMF-212 sent detachments to operate with Cactus Air Force squadrons deployed to Henderson Field until the entire squadron was committed to the battle in mid-October.

On June 27, 1942 a Wildcat of the squadron attacked a Royal Australian Air Force Catalina flying boat of No. 11 Squadron, having mistaken it for a Japanese aircraft. This led to the RAAF removing the red dot from the center of its roundel for the duration of the war in the Pacific in order to prevent confusion with the all-red hinomaru used as a roundel by Japanese aircraft.

The squadron acquired an enviable record by destroying 64½ enemy planes including that of Toshio Ohta, a Japanese ace. Of this number, LtCol Harold "Indian Joe" Bauer, the squadron's first Commanding Officer, was credited with 11 kills and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor.

The squadron returned to the United States in November 1942 and remained on the West Coast until June 1943 when they sailed for Midway Atoll. The squadron remained on Midway for two months and then returned to Espiritu Santo. By August 1943, VMF-212 was back in the Solomon Islands where they participated in the campaigns to retake Vella Lavella and Bougainville. From 20 October through 27 November 1943 the squadron was based out of Barakoma Airfield and supported operations in the Treasury Islands, Choiseul and Bougainville. By December 1943 they moved to Torokina Airfield and remained there until they moved again on 20 January 1944 this time to Piva Airfield. Another move came on 20 March when they transited to Green Island and later back to Vella Lavella. VMF-212 remained in the vicinity of the Solomons and Bismarck Islands for the remainder of 1944 running fighter sweeps against the Japanese garrison on Rabaul and providing close air support for ground forces on Bougainville. On 8 January 1945, VMF-212 landed on Samar and provided close air support for United States Army troops during the campaign to retake the Philippines. During this time they flew over Mindoro, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It was also during this time that the squadron was a part of one of the worst aviation accidents of the war. At 09:40 on 24 January 1945, while taking off, 1Lt Karl Oerth of VMF-222 hit a lump in the runway, blew a tire and his Corsair careened wildly into his own squadron's revetment area, which was shared with VMF-212. It completely wiped out the tents housing the intelligence, oxygen, parachutes and materiel departments. Many men attempted to rescue the pilot but while they were making this brave effort the plane exploded and set off all its .50 cal ammunition. 14 men were killed and over 50 wounded during this incident. In June 1945 the squadron arrived at Okinawa on the USS Hillsborough County (LST-827) and conducted operations from there until the end of the war. During the duration of World War II, VMF-212 was credited with shooting down 132½ enemy aircraft. A Corsair which came to grief on Approach to Quoin Hill Airfield on Efate, Vanuatu is now a great dive attraction.

Korean War:
VMF-212, with no nickname at the time, was one of the first squadrons sent to Far East at the outbreak of the war. They remained in Japan until Marines were able to capture Kimpo Airfield after the Battle of Inchon. The squadron finally touched down in Korea on 18 September 1950 and were flying their first Corsair F4U-5 strikes by 20 September. The squadron was later moved to Wonson,North Korea late October 1951 than ontoYonpo Airfield in North Korea as the United Nations' forces continued their advance in the early winter of 1950. The squadron adopted the name "Devil Cats" and a new patch was designed. After the Chinese counterattack in late November 1950, VMF-212 aircraft flew almost continuous close air support missions supporting the 1st Marine Division as they fought their way out of encirclement during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. After the fighting at Chosin, the squadron was ordered to operate from the USS Bataan (CVL-29)in December 1950 where they remained until 5 March 1951.

VMF-212 moved to being land based based at K3 Pohang, South Korea. The squadron left Korea in the Spring of 1951 and returned to Cherry Point NC. Those personnel who had extended enlistments transferred to VMF 214 at another Korean base. VMA-212's F4U Corsairs were replaced by upgraded AU-1 Corsairs in 1952. The AU-1 Corsair had armor plate around the cockpit and the oil coolers that were moved up to behind the engine. The squadron dropped more ordnance during the Korean War than any other Marine Corps squadron. The AU-1 Corsair had an additional center bomb rack which carried a 2000 lb. bomb until the rough Marston Matting, which was laid over the old pock-marked Japanese landing strip at K-6, caused the center bomb rack to break off. The AU-1 Corsair could carry a 2000 lb bomb on its center rack, two 1000 lb. bombs on the wing root bomb racks and 100 or 260 lb. bombs on its wing racks. It struggled up to enemy territory at approximately 140 knots. After releasing its bombs, the AU-l again became a fast fighter in close support of the front lines and a fighter capable of up to 600 knots in a dive. Colonel Robert Galer, a Marine Corps Ace from World War II, was the Commanding Officer of MAG-12 in 1952, when he was shot down behind enemy lines and protected by VMF-212 pilots until rescued by a Marine Corps helicopter. VMF-212 lost ten pilots in Korea.

Vietnam War and the 1980's:
In April 1965, the squadron, now known as the "Lancers" sailed aboard the USS Oriskany becoming the first Marine jet squadron to be deployed aboard an aircraft carrier in combat. As part of Carrier Air Group 16 (CVW-16) they arrived off the coast of Vietnam and began operating from Yankee Station. From 10 May - 6 December 1965 the Lancers flew missions against targets in North and South Vietnam. During this tour they conducted more than 12,000 combat sorties and delivered nearly 10,000 tons of ordnance. Of note, during a mission on 9 September 1965 they became the first squadron to deliver 2,000-pound MK-84 bombs from an F-8 Crusader that had launched from an aircraft carrier. Also on that day the Commander, Air Group (CAG) of CVW-16 Commander James Stockdale's A-4E Skyhawk was shot down over North Vietnam making the commanding officer of VMF(AW)-212 the acting CAG until a replacement arrived. This made 212's Commanding Officer LtCol Chuck Ludden the first Marine Officer to command a carrier airwing. In December 1965 the squadron returned to Hawaii having flown 3,018 combat hours and 1,588 sorties during their time off the coast of Vietnam.

In April 1972, the squadron deployed from Hawaii to Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam in an effort to blunt the massive North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam. VMFA-212 earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation for its effort in Vietnam.

From 1974 until 1987, VMFA-212 deployed numerous times to Japan and the West Coast earning the CNO Aviation Safety Award, the Robert M. Hanson Award, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. During October 1988, VMFA-212 completed its seventh and final rotation in the UDP as an F-4 Phantom squadron. With the last F-4 sorties flown in August 1988, over 23,000 accident-free hours had been accumulated. The F/A-18C Hornet was received at this time.

Gulf War and the 1990's:
In December 1990, the squadron deployed to Bahrain in support of Operation Desert Shield. From there, they flew air interdiction and close air support missions in support of coalition forces during Operation Desert Storm after 17 January 1991. On 13 August 1996 the Lancers took off for the final time from NAS Miramar en route to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. After a successful six-month cycle the Lancers became a permanent resident of MCAS Iwakuni.

The Global War on Terror:
The Lancers were the second Marine Corps squadron to deploy after the September 11 attacks, following their aerial refueler aircraft from VMGR-152, the Sumos. The squadron left MCAS Iwakuni on 12 September and after being refueled over Iwo Jima, began flying Combat Air Patrols over Guam in support of Operation Noble Eagle.

In the spring of 2002 the squadron deployed to Kuwait. For the first time single seat C-models and 2-seat D's from VMFA(AW)-332 The Moonlighters were combined into one unit. Moonlighters and Lancers flew missions into Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The OEF missions were, on average, 10 hours in duration and mostly at night.

Due to a re-organization within Marine aviation, the squadron was deactivated in 2008 in order to facilitate the Corps' transition to the F-35.


Subject/Index Terms

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 5 Hollinger document cases

Access Restrictions: The collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Michael Southwood

Acquisition Method: Gift. Accession # A84-6

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], USS Vulcan (AR-5) Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.


RAF Cottesmore

A wartime expansion airfield with a very interesting history, Cottesmore has been used variously as a bomber, training, troop carrier and electronic counter measures base. Today, RAF Cottesmore is home to three squadrons of Harrier GR7s, making it one of the most important frontline bases in the Royal Air Force. But the Station has a long and distinguished history stretching back more than 60 years.

The area between Cottesmore and Thistleton villages was first surveyed as a possible site for an airfield in 1935, and the Station opened as a grassed airfield in 1938 when Fairey Battles of 35 and 207 Squadrons arrived in April of that year. RAF Cottesmore was to remain a bomber flying station, operating a variety of aircraft types, until 1943 when it was handed over to the Americans and became USAAF Station 489. Runways and taxiways were constructed prior to the arrival of C-47 Skytrains, C-53 Skytroopers and gliders of 316th Troop Carrier Group in March 1944. It was from RAF Cottesmore that troops of the 82nd Airborne Division took part in Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe, and also Operation Market Garden, the famous airborne operation which saw paratroops dropping into Holland.

The Americans handed the airfield back to the RAF in May 1945 towards the end of hostilities in Europe and it again became a bomber flying training station, operating Lancasters and Beaufighters until 1946. It then became the home of 16 Operational Training Unit, later renamed 204 Advanced Flying School, operating Mosquito and Oxford aircraft. From 1948 to 1954, Cottesmore was the home of No 7 Flying Training School, flying Tiger Moths, Harvards, Prentices and Balliols.

RAF Cottesmore was thrust into the jet age in 1954 with the arrival of the Canberra Bombers of 15, 44, 57 and 149 Squadrons. The Canberras were to remain for only a short time before the Station was again placed under care and maintenance whilst major works services were carried out from 1955 until 1958.

In April 1958, the V-Force arrived in the form of 10 Squadron with their new Victor B1 Bombers and 15 Squadron joined them shortly afterwards with Victor B1 and B1A variants. For 18 months until March 1963, the two Victor Squadrons were joined by 'C' Flight of 232 Operational Conversion Unit with the new Victor B2.

After a brief respite following the departure of the last Victor of 15 Squadron at the end of October 1964, the Vulcan B2s began to arrive. Numbers 9, 12 and 35 Squadrons operated the B2s of the Cottesmore Vulcan Wing until the last aircraft of 12 Squadron left the Station in February 1969. For the next 7 years Cottesmore was home to 98 and 36 Canberra Squadrons, 231 Canberra OCU and 115 Squadron with Varsity and Argosy aircraft.

At the end of March 1976 the Station was again placed under care and maintenance and often resembled a vast building site as preparations were made to receive a new prestigious aircraft and a unique unit: the Tri-national Tornado Training Establishment.

In 1977, having taken the important decision to procure the Tornado, the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom determined to take the process a step further. They agreed that crews destined to fly the swing-wing jet should be trained side-by-side at a single establishment, sharing aircraft, training aids and instructors.

In 1978, work began in earnest to prepare the station for its role as the training unit for the new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, the Tornado. Among the first units to transfer to the station was the Tornado Aircrew Course Design Team (TACDT) which was previously located at Headquarters Strike Command. Their important business was to create the syllabus for the aircrew to meet the requirements of the three Air Forces and the German Navy. The decision to set up the Tri-national Tornado Training Establishment was finally confirmed when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the three nations in May 1979.

The first two RAF Tornados were delivered to Cottesmore in July 1980, followed by the first two German aircraft in the September of that year. The first two Italian aircraft arrived in April 1982. The culmination of years of preparation was reached in January 1981 when TTTE was officially opened by the three Chiefs of Air Staff.

For 20 years until April 1999, the major operational unit based at Cottesmore was the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE), with Tornado GR1s. TTTE carried out all the conversion training on the type for the RAF, Italian and German Air Forces. But with the decision to relocate Tornado training to member nations, the TTTE was disbanded. Within weeks however, flying returned to the Station when Cottesmore's new residents Nos. 3 and 4 Squadrons moved their 26 Harrier GR7s and T10s from RAF Laarbruch after it was closed. In the near future, both Cottesmore and nearby Wittering will be the bases for the new Joint Force 2000 - a combined RAF Harrier and Royal Navy Sea Harrier rapid reaction force. Also based here is the Offensive Support Squadron manned by members of the RAuxAF.


Subject/Index Terms

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 5 Hollinger document cases

Access Restrictions: The collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Michael Southwood

Acquisition Method: Gift. Accession # A84-6

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], USS Vulcan (AR-5) Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.


Kyk die video: Panzergrenadier Photoalbum 194344 Unboxing 1 - Stalingrad - 6th Army - Bicycle Infantry - Paulus (Januarie 2022).