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5 November 1943

5 November 1943


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5 November 1943

War in the Air

Eighth Air Force Heavy Bomber Mission No. 121: 374 aircraft sent to attack marshalling yard and oil plants at Gelsenkirchen, 118 to attack the marshalling yard at Munster, supported by 11 pathfinders. 10 aircraft lost.

War at Sea

German submarine U-408 sunk with all hands north of Iceland

German submarines U-848 sunk with all hands off Ascension Island

Pacific

American aircraft damage five Japanese cruisers and two destroyers at Rabaul, reducing the Japanese naval threat to the landings on Bougainville.

Italy

The Vatican is bombed



November 5, 1943 – Otto Wolf

It was a difficult decision for a Jewish family to go into hiding from the Nazis. There were many risks involved and the odds of success were low. It was also hard because going into hiding meant living at the mercy of helpers. No one could hide for very long without the help of non-Jewish neighbors, friends, or compassionate strangers. Most Jewish families were used to providing for themselves, so relying on charity was a strange and unsettling experience. Accepting the charity put the helpers at risk too. Those caught aiding Jews were severely punished or even killed. In spite of the risks, Otto Wolf’s family decided to go into hiding in the summer of 1942 in order to avoid deportation.

The Wolfs lived in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia and hid in the forests and in various shelters around the region. For two years, their main helper was a man named Slávek. At first, Slávek was very dedicated to providing for the Wolf family. Over time, however, his dedication seemed to waver. Perhaps he grew tired of carrying such a great burden. Maybe the pressure of trying to hide his activities from nosy neighbors caused his nerves to fray. Whatever the case, he began to let days pass in between delivering food and supplies. He often failed to show up when he had promised to come. Of course, this placed the Wolfs under enormous stress. When they complained to Slávek, he perceived them to be ungrateful. On November 5th, 1943, things had come to the breaking point. Otto wrote “Papa hasn’t been sleeping at nights: That’s how angry he is at Slávek. For lunch, we have soup made from the last of our potatoes. Slávek hasn’t brought more, even though we have been asking him for three days now…Papa is incredibly upset. He and I go for a walk. At half past eight, I take a bag and go to the Pluhařs’ to borrow some potatoes. I tell them that we are hungry. They lend me some, and we cook them in the hut. We then go for water and afterward to bed. We hope that Slávek will bring some bread and potatoes in the morning. It is sprinkling. Hunger.”

Later, when Slávek found out that the Wolfs went to the Pluhařs for help, he was angry. Perhaps he feared that they would betray them all. This didn’t happen, though. Instead, Slávek and the Pluhařs became rivals in offering help. In the end, due to rising tensions among them all, the Wolfs had to leave both sets of helpers behind to seek refuge from others. Otto’s account shows how complex and difficult it was for people to give and to accept help during the Holocaust.

Read the last page of Otto’s diary, completed by his sister Felicitas, two weeks after his death.


Today in World War II History—Nov. 5, 1943

75 Years Ago—Nov. 5, 1943: Capt. Clark Gable leaves England, having flown 5 missions with the US Eighth Air Force, with footage for his documentary, Combat America.

In the first US carrier strike on Japanese base of Rabaul, aircraft from USS Saratoga & USS Princeton cripple 7 cruisers and 2 destroyers.

Japanese destroyer Chikuma being bombed by an aircraft from USS Saratoga, 5 Nov 1943 (US National Archives)


Today in World War II History—Nov. 5, 1943

75 Years Ago—Nov. 5, 1943: Capt. Clark Gable leaves England, having flown 5 missions with the US Eighth Air Force, with footage for his documentary, Combat America.

In the first US carrier strike on Japanese base of Rabaul, aircraft from USS Saratoga & USS Princeton cripple 7 cruisers and 2 destroyers.

Japanese destroyer Chikuma being bombed by an aircraft from USS Saratoga, 5 Nov 1943 (US National Archives)


Rosa Parks ignites bus boycott

In Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks is jailed for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, a violation of the city’s racial segregation laws. The successful Montgomery Bus Boycott, organized by a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., followed Park’s historic act of civil disobedience.

“The mother of the civil rights movement,” as Rosa Parks is known, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1913. She worked as a seamstress and in 1943 joined the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

According to a Montgomery city ordinance in 1955, African Americans were required to sit at the back of public buses and were also obligated to give up those seats to white riders if the front of the bus filled up. Parks was in the first row of the Black section when the white driver demanded that she give up her seat to a white man. Parks’ refusal was spontaneous but was not merely brought on by her tired feet, as is the popular legend. In fact, local civil rights leaders had been planning a challenge to Montgomery’s racist bus laws for several months, and Parks had been privy to this discussion.

Learning of Parks’ arrest, the NAACP and other African American activists immediately called for a bus boycott to be held by Black citizens on Monday, December 5. Word was spread by fliers, andꂬtivists formed the Montgomery Improvement Association to organize the protest. The first day of the bus boycott was a great success, and that night the 26-year-old Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., told a large crowd gathered at a church, “The great glory of American democracy is the right to protest for right.” King emerged as the leader of the bus boycott and received numerous death threats from opponents of integration. At one point, his home was bombed, but he and his family escaped bodily harm.

The boycott stretched on for more than a year, and participants carpooled or walked miles to work and school when no other means were possible. As African Americans previously constituted 70 percent of the Montgomery bus ridership, the municipal transit system suffered gravely during the boycott. On November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Alabama state and Montgomery city bus segregation laws as being in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On December 20, King issued the following statement: “The year old protest against city buses is officially called off, and the Negro citizens of Montgomery are urged to return to the buses tomorrow morning on a non-segregated basis.” The boycott ended the next day. Rosa Parks was among the first to ride the newly desegregated buses.

Martin Luther King, Jr., and his nonviolent civil rights movement had won its first great victory. There would be many more to come.


The Daily Sun (Goose Creek, Tex.), Vol. 26, No. 135, Ed. 1 Saturday, November 13, 1943

Daily newspaper from Goose Creek, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.

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six pages : ill. page 18 x 13 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.

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  • Main Title: The Daily Sun (Goose Creek, Tex.), Vol. 26, No. 135, Ed. 1 Saturday, November 13, 1943
  • Serial Title:The Daily Sun

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Daily newspaper from Goose Creek, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.

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six pages : ill. page 18 x 13 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.

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  • Volume: 26
  • Issue: 135
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5 November 1943 - History

The Solomon Islands campaign, one of the decisive battles of World War II in the Pacific, was at its height, and the issue had not yet been resolved. Our destroyers were steaming north in search of the Japanese, who were reported to be evacuating their forces from the islands of Buka and Rabaul.

Suddenly our ships made contact with an unidentified force&mdashstrength unknown&mdashand closed to fight it out.

The battle continued throughout the night. One after another, the breaks fell to us. The pieces of the puzzle gradually slipped into their proper places as, one by one, the enemy warships were routed or sunk.

But, as dawn came, a new battle loomed ahead. Pursuit of the beaten Japs had put our formation deep in enemy waters, far beyond our own air cover. The weather was clear. Japanese airfields were close by, and we knew they had many fighters and bombers on the four bases in the vicinity of Rabaul.

As we began our retirement to the southward, aerial attack seemed imminent. We hadn&rsquot suffered a single casualty during the night action, but now, perhaps, our luck had run out.

To our surprise, nothing happened&mdashnothing at all. The Japanese did not strike back! As we continued to sail into friendlier waters, identical requests began coming to the flagship from every destroyer in the formation. Finally we passed them all along to Admiral Merrill, our commander back in Purvis Bay: &ldquoPlease arrange Thanksgiving services for all hands on arrival.&rdquo

They were waiting for us when we returned to port&mdashour Protestant, Catholic and Jewish chaplains. An explanation was also waiting&mdasha reconnaissance dispatch stating that 58 enemy bombers and 145 fighters had been observed on Japanese airfields near Rabaul. They had not attacked up presumably because, through the grace of Divine Providence, they didn&rsquot know our exact position and, hence, couldn&rsquot find us in time.

I&rsquoll always remember that Thanksgiving Day in that beautiful, tropical harbor: battle-scarred ships nested together in a quiet anchorage, battle-weary crews giving thanks to God for their victory&mdashand for their deliverance.


Post by Qvist » 28 May 2004, 12:49

Please feel free to revive it!

Post by Wasa » 28 May 2004, 12:51

Post by Volklin » 21 Jun 2004, 10:17

Post by Panzergenadier » 26 Sep 2004, 20:43

Hello. In December 1943 against 2. Ukranian front are: 2.Fallsch. Div., 320. Inf. Div., 286. Inf. Div., 376. Inf. Div., 8. SS Kav. Div. "Floryan Gayer", 10. Mot. Div., 3. Pz. Div., 11. Pz. Div., 13. Pz. Div., 14. Pz. Div., 3. SS Pz. Div. "Totenkopf"
On the 3-rd of february 1944 outside Cherkassy pocket were: 17.Pz. Div., 14.Pz. Div., 11.Pz. Div., 13.Pz. Div., 3.Pz. Div., 34.Inf. Div., 198. Inf. Div., 167. Inf. Div., 320. Inf. Div., 378.Inf .Div., 4(four) StuG Brg.
from 4-th of February ro 10-th of February 1944 were sent additionally: 1.Pz. Div., 16.Pz. Div., 106.Inf. Div., 1.SS Pz. Div."LSSAH", 4 (four) Pz. Abt. and 3 (three) StuG Abt.
This info is from Ivan Konievs' book "Notes of the Fronts' Commander"

Regards and my best wishes,

Post by Qvist » 27 Sep 2004, 19:19

Thanks for the information - but is Konievs autobiography a satisafactory source for German deployments? Even the (classified) General Staff study on Korsun apparently makes some serious errors when it comes to this. See this critique:

Post by Panzergenadier » 27 Sep 2004, 20:07

Hello, Qvist. Yaeh, I know that sometimes Soviet historians deliberately increase the strenght of the opposing German forces. But this information is true and the same information is shown in various sources( some Soviet, some not). However I.m going to post some more info and thereis something wrong or different please post a message.

Regards and my best wishes,

Post by Panzergenadier » 27 Sep 2004, 20:18

Hello. The link that Qvist provided shows detailed examination of that work. However in Konievs' book the strenght of the German is shown acording to POWs stories and the Ultimatum to the enclosed units. However yesterday I shown the divisions outside the pocket. This information is based mainly on intelligence reports and German papers.

Regards and my best wishes,

Sturmartillerie Situation frm 1943 to 1944

Post by Ron Klages » 08 Oct 2004, 08:31

The thread was dying so let me enegize it with some data that covers the Sturmartillerie Unts.

Eastern Front August 31, 1943
30 Brigades and 1 Battery with 28 StuG III Kzs, 722 StuG III lgs and 63 StuH 42s for a total of 813

Eastern Front October 1, 1944
32 Brigades with 530 StuG III lgs and 234 StuH 42s for a total of 764

Southwest Front August 31, 1943
1 Brigade and 1 Battery with 32 StuG III lgs and 9 StuH 42s for a total of 41

Southwest Front October 1, 1944
3 Brigades with 28 StuG III lgs and 11 StuH 42s for a total of 39

Western Front August 31, 1943
2 Brigades one without equipment and one with unknown qty

Western Front October 1, 1944
7 brigades with 68 StuG IIIlgs and 37 StuH 42s for a total of 105

Southeast Front August 31, 1943
1 Brigade with 22 StuG III lgs and 9 StuH 42s for a total of 31

Southeast Front October 1, 1944
2 brigades with qty not known

Artic Front August 31, 1943
2 batteries with 20 StuG III lgs for a total of 20

Artic Front October 1, 1944
No units present

Homeland August 31, 1943
5 brigades with unknown qty

Homeland October 1, 1944
4 brigades with unknown qty

August 31, 1943
39 brigades and 4 batteries with 905 plus StuG IIIs and StuHs

October 1, 1944
48 brigades with 908 plus StuG IIIs and StuHs

More units and about the same number of guns.

Post by Gothard » 10 May 2005, 05:40

Ive got the monthly Inventories if it helps. take me some time to get it all posted:

For June 1943:
Army only.
1. Kar 98 Rifles - 4,427,547
2. Pistols - ( various makes ) 1,043,148
3. Machine Guns - 181,450
4. SMG/Asslt Rifles - 242,639
5. Rifle Gren lanunchers - 298,635
6. Mortars - 34,940
7. Light AT guns - 3,800
8. Med. At Guns - 3,656
9. Hvy At Guns - 501
10. Shoulder fired At guns - na
11. Light AA - 5,900
12. Heavy AA - 512
13. Inf Guns - 4,857
14. Rocket Launchers - 2,323
15. Light Artillery - 6,473
16. heavy Artillery - 2,969
17. Super heavy art. - 409
18. pzkw I - na
19. pzkw 2 - 38
20. pzkw 3 - 1,407
21. pzkw 38t - 197
22. asslt guns - 1,612
23. pzkw 4 - 1,211
24. Pzkw V - 263
25. Pzkw VI - 191
26. AA tanks - ?
27. Tank destroyers - ?
28. Other AFV - 1,966
29. Maultier - 3,419
30. Raupenschlepper Ost - 3,303
31. Trucks - 385,371
32. Cars - 274,648
33. Motorcycles - 243,722

Pay special heed to the machine gun figures. Germans lost 70,000 machine guns as of march 43. more than 25% of total stocks. They never recovered during 1943, averages in January were 250,000. Midyear approx 180,000 and by years end 215,000. This is a drastic reduction in firepower at company level. Smg's Were reduced the same way.
A huge increase in firepower was gained in the widespread distribution of rifle grenades during 1943. These were introduced beginning in the spring and by midyear there were 300,000 launchers.
Medium anti tank gun stocks doubled and heavy AT guns were introduced on a large scale late spring with about 500 onhand by midyear. Heavy AA was also increased twofold and used in a dual role.
Rocket launchers took a serious pounding during the spring going from 3000 at years start to 2000 midyear and nearly 3000 again at years end.
some new pzkw II variants came out midyear but only about 50 all told.
pzkw III stocks dropped by 50% from the start of the year and 38t went from 300 to 200. Assault gun numbers increased from 1000 to 1500 by midyear by utilizing the pzkw III production. Panther tanks began to reach the lines from late spring and were being integrated into their units by midyear with a little less than 300 built.
Tiger tanks rose from 70 to 180 by midyear.
The maultier added a lot of mobility to the motorised troops and were intrudeced from spring 1943 - 3,500 wer ein the front lines by midyear.
Raup OSt was slow and cumbersome - numbers going from 1,000 to 4,000 by midyear but they gave the inf some much needed mobility to handle the new AT guns.

All told basic trends are a reduction in automatic firepower thats offset by rifle grenades.
A shift towards larger anti tank guns and off road prime movers. Big focus on the 88mm gun in tank and anti tank as well as AA roles.

Pzkw III was phased out, 38t was being used more for SP roles - artillery, AT guns. etc..
Pzkw IV was emerging as the main battle tank by midyear with Panthers playing a supporting role along with a few guest appearances by the tigers.


Current Events November 30, 1943:

Edwardsville Intelligencer
EDWARDSVILLE, ILLINOIS, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1943.


Allied Forces Crack Nazi Winter Line, Open Roads Leading To Rome

People Warned Axis Partner
Facing Certain Defeat in Europe
Anzacs Open Assault on Bonga

Prepare to Fight
Alone, Radio Says

Propaganda Chief Tells Natives
Of Growing Allied Military Might

THE STARS AND STRIPES
Daily Newspaper of U.S. Armed Forces in the European Theater of Operations
New York, N.Y.—London, England Tuesday, Nov. 30,1943

U.S. Bombers Again Hit Reich
Eighth Sets
New Record
For Month
Tenth November Attack
Alerts Germany from
Berlin West

U.S. heavy bombers, surpassing their best previous month of operations against Nazi-occupied Europe, struck into northwest Germany for the second time in three days yesterday to set air-raid sirens screaming all the way from the Reich's western borders to Berlin.
Their objective was described in Eighth Air Force's preliminary flash as "targets in northwest Germany." The specific targets had not been announced at a late hour last night.
The harried German defense forces, fearful of Allied raids by day as well as night upon their battered and burned capital, quickly alerted the city for a new attack. Reports reaching Stockholm last night said Berlin liad been alerted since 3 PM.
The USAAF attack, rounding out Eighth Air Force's most active month of the war—a month that saw launched from British bases the greatest force of American heavy bombers ever dispatched in
this theater—was delivered shortly after RAF Mosquitoes hammered western Germany again in swift nuisance raids designed to keep Nazi fighter forces, and the population as weir, overworked and sleepless.
One of Bigges Forces
Although the size of the American heavy bomber formations which droned into Germany yesterday was not immediately disclosed, it was likely it was one of the biggest so far put into the air by Eighth Air Force.
The November targets prior to yesterday's attack were:
Nov. 3—Wilhelmshaven, Germany's most important naval base on North Sea coast.
Nov. 5—Gelsenkirchen, coal mining town in Ruhr, and Munster, railway and waterways center on which many of Ruhr industries depend.
Nov. 7—Duren, great railway center.
Nov. 11—Munster.
Nov. 13—Bremen, Germany's second largest port, war production and shipbuilding center.
Nov. 16—Knaben, Norway, molybdenum mines, and Rjuken, Norway, large power stations.
Nov. 18—Kjeller, Norway, airdrome and aircraft works.
Nov. 19—Northwest Germany.
Nov. 26—Bremen.
Up to yesterday's mission, a compilation of figures from Eighth Air Force communiques showed that 149 enemy aircraft were destroyed against the loss of 45 Forts, six medium bombers and 23
fighters.
Retaliation Talk Again
New German boasts of a new weapon "which may make total war even more total" came meanwhile from battered Berlin.
The German correspondent of the German-controlled Scandinavian Telegraph Bureau, quoting a statement by Georg Schroeder, chief of Europa Press, who writes with the approval of Propaganda
Minister Goebbels, said the new weapon would be used soon to repay Britain with reprisals.

8tli Opens Push
OvertlieSangro
Gains Another Bridgehead
Against Nazis Using
Flame-Throwers

ALLIED HQ, Nov. 29—
The Eighth Army launched a heavy attack yesterday on a five-mile front, pushed its way forward to the outer edge of the main German winter defense line and gained another bridgehead over the Sangro.
The drive, by British, Indian and New Zealand troops, was made in the face of desperate German attempts to withstand the advance. In heavy fighting, the Germans employed flame throwers and
tanks and planes.
Attacking from their bridgehead near Castel Frenrano after a terrific air and artillery assault the Eighth Army repulsed German counter-attacks, enlarged their original gains and occupied high ground to the north of the Sangro.
By winning another bridge over the Sangro near A,rchi the Eighth Army threatened the lateral road running behind the German front. The two bridgeheads are about eight miles apart. In the air, heavy bombers attacked targets at Dogna, north of Trieste, and medium mombers hit shipping in the Dubrovnik, Zara and Sibenik harbors on the Jugoslav coast.


Gotham Hotel, Detroit, Michigan (1943-1963)

The Gotham Hotel in Detroit, Michigan was an example of the intersection between legitimate business and illicit enterprise in the Jim Crow era. The hotel was originally founded to provide a social and business center for local black professionals and a place of accommodation for visiting dignitaries who were unwelcome in downtown hotels. In November 1943, Gotham’s founder and first owners, John White and Irving Roane, two local black entrepreneurs, teamed to purchase the nine-story hotel at the corner of John R Street and Orchestra Place from Albert Hartz, a Danish businessman. For the next two decades the Gotham hosted visiting black dignitaries and celebrities from around the world while simultaneously providing black Detroiters with a clean, comfortable facility for staging dinners as well as public and private social events.

During its first decade the Gotham boasted that it provided accommodations for many of the most prominent African Americans in business, sports, and entertainment. Its guest list included Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, B.B. King, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Count Basie, Langston Hughes, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Billie Holiday as regular visitors.

Yet like many businessmen in the black urban economy, John White was also a gambler who played the numbers and by the 1950s when hotel revenues were declining, reserved the top floor penthouse of the hotel for gambling. Prominent white and black politicians as well as Detroit police detectives frequented the hotel during this period and presumably knew about the hotel’s reputation as a place for gambling. Nonetheless, they looked the other way. The FBI and Detroit Police Commissioner George Edwards, however, were determined to end the hotel’s illegal activities.

Losing money from its legitimate enterprise, providing accommodations for visitors and facilities for local groups, the hotel officially closed for business in September 1962. Four months later in December 1962, over a hundred federal agents, state troopers, and the Detroit police officers raided a gambling den in the vacant hotel and arrested 42 people including the owner, John White. At the time this was the largest gambling raid in Detroit’s history. Police claimed the hotel was the center of a gambling operation that netted as much as $30 million a year.

Two years later, in July 1964, the Gotham was demolished ostensibly to create room for “urban renewal” projects such as Lafayette Park, the Chrysler Freeway, and the Elmwood housing project to replace old neighborhood housing and modernize transportation in the area. Today, however, the hotel’s former location at John R and Orchestra Place still stands vacant.