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24 декабря 1944

1282-й день

  Будапештская операция. К 24 декабря 6-я гв. ТА 2-го УФ вышла в тыл наносившей контрудар группировки противника.
  Войска 3-го УФ прорвали оборону противника между Дунаем и оз. Веленце. 24 декабря 18-й тк овладел крупным узлом дорог — городом Бичке.
  На территории Чехословакии севернее и северо-западнее города ШАХЫ наши войска овладели городом и узловой железнодорожной станцией ЛЕВИЦЕ.

Обыдёнка ВМФ


«УТВЕРЖДАЮ»
Командующий войсками 1-го Украинского фронта Маршал Советского Союза КОНЕВ
Член Военного совета 1-го Украинского фронта генерал-лейтенант КРАЙНЮКОВ
План командующего войсками 60-й армии
о проведении оперативной маскировки в полосе армии (24 декабря 1944 г.)
«…
Изготовление макетов:
а) макеты танков – 200 шт.;
б) макеты пушек – 600 шт.;
в) макеты автомашин – 300 шт.;
г) макеты полевых кухонь – 50 шт.
Три сапёрных б-она 59-й инженерной бригады.
Два взвода маскировочной роты
и один стрелковый батальон.
С 23 по 29.12.44 г.
…»
Командующий войсками 60-й армии генерал-полковник КУРОЧКИН        
Член Военного совета 60-й армии генерал-майор ОЛЕНИН
Начальник штаба 60-й армии генерал-майор ГОНЧАРОВ
22 декабря 1944 г. Ф. 417, оп. 88462с, д, 7, лл. 14-17.

Постановление ГКО
№ 7201 Об обеспечении электроэнергией, топливом и паром Чирчикского электрохимического комбината, Березниковского и Сталиногорского азотных заводов Наркомхимпрома. РГАНИР, Фонд ГКО, д. 345, лл. 112-113.
№ 7202 О мероприятиях по обеспечению углём заводов Наркомавиапрома № 27, 39, 95, 125, 149, 213, 268, 286, 289, 301, 455, 456, 467, 469. РГАНИР, Фонд ГКО, д. 345, лл. 114-115.

Распоряжение ГКО
№ 7203. О дополнительном снабжении продуктами питания рабочих ряда производств и профессий НКУП. РГАНИР, Фонд ГКО, д. 345, лл. 116,117-118.
  [Ващета продуктами питания рабочие могут снабжать себя без посторонних. А вот предметами…]

№ 7204 [О дополнительном выделении бензина СНК Грузинской ССР в 1945 г.]

Постановление ГКО № 7205 О реорганизации фронтов ПВО и передислокации штабов фронтов ПВО.

Из Северного фронта ПВО создан Западный. Южный фронт переименован в Юго-Западный фронт ПВО. Из Особой Московской армии ПВО создан Центральный фронт ПВО.

  24 декабря 1944 года И.В. Курчатов выпустил заключение по «Обзорной работе по проблеме урана», полученной разведывательными службами.
  «…„Обзорная работа“ представляет собой прекрасную сводку последних данных по основным теоретическим и принципиальным направлениям проблемы. Большая часть данных была уже известна нам по материалам, полученным летом 1944 года. В обзорной работе, однако, содержатся два новых, чрезвычайно важных, принципиальных указания».

ПЛ в Ла-Манше потоплен американский транспортный корабль “Леопольдвилль”, 819 американских солдат погибли.
Ла-Манш. У-486 (Г. Мейер) потопила транспорт Леопольдвиль. Погибло 763 чел. 66 Пехотной дивизии.

Получено 24 декабря 1944 года. ЛИЧНО И СЕКРЕТНО ДЛЯ МАРШАЛА СТАЛИНА ОТ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА РУЗВЕЛЬТА

Для того чтобы все мы могли получить информацию, важную для координирования наших усилий, я хочу дать указание генералу Эйзенхауэру направить вполне компетентного офицера из его штаба в Москву для обсуждения с Вами положения дел у Эйзенхауэра на западном фронте и вопроса о взаимодействии с восточным фронтом. Мы будем сохранять полную секретность.

Я надеюсь, что Вы встретитесь с этим офицером из штаба генерала Эйзенхауэра и обеспечите обмен с ним информацией, которая будет взаимно полезной. Положение в Бельгии неплохое, но мы вступили в такой период, когда нужно поговорить о следующей фазе.

Просьба дать скорый ответ на это предложение ввиду крайней срочности дела.

  Печатается по изданию: Переписка Председателя Совета Министров СССР с Президентами США и Премьер-министрами Великобритании во время Великой отечественной войны 1941-1945 гг. М., 1958, второй том, документ № 250.

On 24 December the furthest penetration was reached. Panzer Lehr Division took the town of Celles, while a bit farther north, parts of 2nd Panzer Division were in sight of the Meuse near Dinant at Foy-Notre-Dame. A hastily assembled Allied blocking force on the east side of the river, however, prevented the German probing forces from approaching the Dinant bridge. By late Christmas Eve the advance in this sector was stopped, as Allied forces threatened the narrow corridor held by the 2nd Panzer Division.

By 24 December, the German advance was effectively stalled short of the Meuse. Units of the British XXX Corps were holding the bridges at Dinant, Givet, and Namur and U.S. units were about to take over. The Germans had outrun their supply lines, and shortages of fuel and ammunition were becoming critical. Up to this point the German losses had been light, notably in armor, which was almost untouched with the exception of Peiper’s losses. On the evening of 24 December, General Hasso von Manteuffel recommended to Hitler’s Military Adjutant a halt to all offensive operations and a withdrawal back to the West Wall. Hitler rejected this.

However disagreement and confusion at the Allied command prevented a strong response, throwing away the opportunity for a decisive action. In the center, on Christmas Eve, the 2nd Armored Division attempted to attack and cut off the spearheads of the 2nd Panzer Division at the Meuse, while the units from the 4th Cavalry Group kept the 9th Panzer Division at Marche busy. As result, parts of the 2nd Panzer Division were cut off. Panzer Lehr tried to relieve them, but was only partially successful, as the perimeter held.
Sunday, 24 December 1944
Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front and 3rd Ukrainian Front encircle German forces in Budapest except for a narrow corridor to the west. Soviet forces are engaged on the outskirts of Budapest while other forces advancing past the city have almost cut it off. Soviet tanks penetrate the outskirts of the Budapest. There is a 25 mile wide corridor to the west.

US 9th Army attacking into Winden

German 6th Panzer Army captures Manhay. Spearheads of German 5th Panzer Army attacking British 30th Corps around Celles. German 5th Panzer Army attacking Bastogne. The furthest advance has been achieved by elements of the German 5th Panzer Army. The 2nd Panzer Division has reached the outskirts of Dinant with the 116th Panzer Division on the right flank near Hotten and the Panzer Lehr Division on the left flank to the west of St. Hubert.
American forces in Bastogne continue to resist; some 260 Allied transports drop supplies to the defenders. Allied fighter-bombers fly over 600 sorties in the Ardennes.
US 9th Air Force aircraft support ground operations, attack transportation targets, and conduct armed recon missions with a total of 1157 sorties

French 1st Army captures Bennwihr

Channel. Belgian vessel Leopoldville sunk by U-486 off Cherbourg with loss of 819 US troops. German U-486 sinks the transport Leopoldville, 819 of those on board drown.

The Belgian transport ship SS Leopoldville carrying 2,000 American soldiers is sunk off the coast of France. More than 800 lives, predominantly those of American servicemen, are lost.

Sailing with Convoy WEP-3, the Belgian troop transport Leopoldville was torpedoed and sunk by the U-486, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Gerhard Meyer, approximately five miles off Cherbourg, France in the English Channel. Of the ship’s complement and passengers, 819 died and 1555 survived. The 11,509 ton Leopoldville was carrying troops and war material and was bound for Cherbourg.

December 24, 1944: In the English Channel, U-486 (Oblt.z.S. Gerhard Meyer) sinks the Allied troop carrier SS Leopoldville with the loss of 763 men of the US 66th Infantry Division. All news and information on this incident is suppressed by orders of SHAEF headquarters.


Kriegsmarine S-boats unsuccessfully attack Allied convoy overnight
Kriegsmarine S-boats conduct minelaying operations along Thames-Antwerp convoy route overnight
Kriegsmarine midget submarines unsuccessfully attack Allied shipping in the Scheldt estuary overnight

Atlantic Ocean RCN minesweeper Clayoquot sunk by U-806. While escorting Convoy CC the Canadian fleet minesweeper HMCS Clayoquot (J 174) was torpedoed and sunk by the U-806, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Klaus Hornbostel, outside the approaches to Halifax harbor in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 8 died and 73 survived.
Arctic Ocean Soviet patrol craft BMO-594 sunk by U-637
Baltic Sea German vessel Eberhard sunk by mine. Swedish vessel Hansa sunk by Soviet submarine L-21
North Sea British vessel Empire Path sunk by mine
Trier

Bomb bay view of Martin B-26 Marauder bombers of the 323rd and 394th Bomb Groups drop 122 tons of bombs in an effort to take down the railroad bridge across the Moselle river at Trier, Germany, 24 Dec 1944.

US 8th Air Force attacks transportation targets and airfields with 1894 bombers and 813 fighters, of which 12 bombers and 10 fighters lost
US fighters claim 95 Luftwaffe aircraft downed
(Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown.
Mission 759: 10 of 12 B-24s hit the La Pallice coastal battery in France without loss.
Mission 760: A high pressure front across W Europe brings clear weather and the Eighth AF launches a maximum effort against airfields and communications in W Germany; this was the largest air strike of WWII; 2,034 bombers and 853 fighters are dispatched; they claim 92-6-21 Luftwaffe aircraft; 12 bombers and 10 fighters are lost:
1. 858 B-17s are dispatched to hit airfields at Darmstadt (189), Frankfurt- Rheine (143), Bilbis (100), Babenhausen (96), Zellhausen (85) and Gross Ostheim (60); secondary targets hit are marshalling yards at Pforzheim (37) and Kaiserslautern (24) and Haildraum (60); 26 targets of opportunity are hit by 37 B-17s; they claim 18-5-1 aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost, 11 damaged beyond repair and 337 damaged; 15 airmen are KIA, 21 WIA and 76 MIA. Escorting are 343 of 358 P-51s; they claim 53-0-6 aircraft; 7 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
2. 542 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Merzhausen air depot (198) and airfields at Giessen (74), Kirchgons (54), Nidda (53) and Ettinghausen (43); secondary targets hit are Koblenz (42), Darmstadt (7), Kaiserslautern (5) and Babenhausen (4); 20 B-17s hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost, 9 damaged beyond repair and 109 damaged; 21 airmen are KIA, 23 WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 350 of 368 P-51s; they claim 13-1-13 aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
3. 634 B-24s are dispatched to hit Euskirchen (62), Wittlich (62), Gerolstein (59), Mayen (59), Ahrweiller (54), Bitburg (35), Eller (32), Pfazel (28), Ruwer (27), Schonecken (26), Rheinbach (25), Daun (24), Wetteldorf (18), and Cochem (11); 75 others hit 18 targets of opportunity; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 150 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 20 MIA. Escorting are 87 of 92 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 4-0-0 aircraft without loss.
4. 24 of 24 P-51s fly a scouting mission; they claim 3-0-1 aircraft without loss. 5. 9 of 11 P-51s escort 9 Spitfires and 8 F-5s on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft without loss.

RAF Bomber Command sends 338 aircraft to attack airfields at Lohausen and Mulheim during the day, 104 aircraft to attack Hangelar airfield, 97 aircraft to attack Cologne airfield, 12 aircraft on minelaying operations off Norway overnight
Luftwaffe loses 40 fighters in daylight operations in defense of the Reich and occupied territory against Allied strategic bombing
23/24 December 1944 52 Mosquitos to Limburg railway yards, 40 to Siegburg and 7 on ‘training flights’ to Bremen, Hannover, Münster and Osnabrück, 62 aircraft of No 100 Group on RCM and Mosquito operations, 6 aircraft on Resistance operations. No aircraft were lost. Each of the Mosquitos shown as being on 'training flights' visited all 4 targets and dropped 1 bomb on each; these operations later became known as 'siren-sounding tours'.

24 December 1944 338 aircraft – 248 Halifaxes, 79 Lancasters, 11 Mosquitos – of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups attacked the airfields at Lohausen and Mülheim (now Düsseldorf and Essen civil airports). The purpose of the raids was not recorded; it is possible that they were to hinder the movement of supplies by transport aircraft from the Ruhr to the Ardennes battle area. Both attacks took place in conditions of good visibility and the bombing was accurate. 6 aircraft lost – 2 Lancasters and 1 Halifax from the Lohausen raid and 3 Halifaxes from the Mülheim raid.

V1 carrying Heinkel IIIs ambushed over North Sea

Some 50 specially modified German He111 bombers launch V1 flying bombs in flight, aimed at Manchester. Only 1 bomb hits the target area, 17 fall nearby. A total of 37 people are killed and 67 are injured. Steps are taken to strengthen anti-aircraft defences but no further attacks occur.
One V-2 rocket launch against Antwerp. Am 24.12. wird der US Frachter Timothy Bloodwood in Antwerpen durch eine deutsche V-2 Rakete beschädigt, die über dem Hafengebiet explodiert.

US 12th Air Force bombers grounded by poor weather conditions

Convoy UC 50A departs Liverpool for New York City. Convoy MKF 36A departs Gibraltar for Liverpool. Convoy HX 328 departs New York City for Liverpool

USS Barbero sank Japanese tanker Junpo Maru and damaged a transport in the South China Sea, hitting them with 9 of 14 torpedoes fired.
US vessel Robert J. Walker sunk by U-862 off southeast coast of Australia

USN Task Group 94.9 bombards Iwo Jima. Japanese vessels T-8, T-157 sunk by USN Task Group 94.9 off Iwo Jima. US 20th Air Force attacks Iwo Jima with 23 B-29 bombers flying from the Marianas. US 7th Air Force attacks Iwo Jima with 50 B-24 bombers, then 17 fighters

Bonin Islands US 7th Air Force attacks Chichi Jima with 23 B-24 bombers

Burma British 14th Army reaches Pyingaing
British 15th Corps attacking around Kindaung and pushing toward Htizwe in the Arakan. RN Task Force 64 with destroyers Napier and Nepal and supporting warships bombards Japanese positions along the Arakan coast in support of 15th Corps operations
US 10th Air Force attacks Japanese positions, transportation lines, and depots around Pangkai, Man-namman, Man Om, Mong Nge, Kyanhnyat, Si-U, Lashio, and elsewhere. RAF aircraft attack Myedu

China US 14th Air Force conducts armed recon missions around Hengyang, Lingling, Siangtan, Changsha, and elsewhere in southern China, fighters claim 30 Japanese aircraft destroyed at Tsinan airfield. Japanese vessel Goro Maru sunk on the Yangtze River by US 14th Air Force aircraft

US 6th Army continues clearing western parts of Leyte Island
Japanese aircraft attack Hill airfield on Mindoro Island and destroy supplies of aviation fuel
US FEAF fighters claim 33 Japanese aircraft downed over Luzon. US FEAF attacks Clark airfield on Luzon Island with 22 B-24 bombers. US FEAF bombers attack Palawan Island

East Indies IJN sub chaser Ch-30 sunk by USN submarine Barbero off Borneo. US FEAF aircraft attack targets on Borneo, in the Molucca Islands, and elsewhere. Japanese vessel Shinei Maru sunk by USAAF aircraft off Timor Island. RAAF 1st Tactical Air Force attacks various targets

USS Ticonderoga, USS Alabama, USS Astoria, arrived at Ulithi, Caroline Islands together with other ships of Task Group 38.3.
USS Boarfish departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her first war patrol.
USS Cero arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her sixth war patrol.
USS Kete departed Saipan, Mariana Islands, resuming her first war patrol.
USS Finback arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her eleventh war patrol.
Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Air Group 90 departed.
USS Missouri arrived at San Francisco, California
USS Hackleback arrived at the Fleet Sonar School at Key West, Florida

US. Rationing tightened. All beef products are again being rationed. New quotas are introduced for most other commodities as well.

Home front Cold, damp day. Big explosions during the day at odd times.

24. Dezember 1944
Die ungarische Hauptstadt Budapest ist von der Roten Armee eingekesselt.
Das US-Kriegsdepartement teilt mit, dass seit der Landung der Alliierten in der Normandie am 6. Juni bis zum Heiligen Abend 800 000 deutsche Soldaten gefangengenommen wurden.

U 486 (Oblt.z.S. G. Meyer) versenkt am 18.12. die brit. Silverlaurel (6142 BRT), verfehlt am 21.12. einen Zerstörer, versenkt am 24.12. den von den Zerstörern Anthony, Brilliant und 3 weiteren Escorts gesicherten belg. Truppentransporter Leopoldville (11.509 BRT), mit dem 819 Mann untergehen.

Das Ende November ausgelaufene U 637 (Kptlt. Riekeberg) versenkt am 24.12. im Finnenbusen das sowj. Wachboot BMO-594.

U 806 (Kptlt. Hornbostel) versenkt am 21.12. aus einem HX-Konvoi vor Halifax den brit. Dampfer Samtucky (7219 BRT) und am 24.12. aus dem Konvoi XB.139 den Minensucher Clayoquot, der anschließend auf einen Frachter abgeschossene T-5 Torpedo detoniert im «CAT»-Gerät des Minensuchers Transcona.


Operation ”REI“: Jap. Flottenverband (am 24.12. aus der Camranh Bucht / Indochina ausgelaufen) beschießt mit dem Zerstörer Kasumi (KAdm. Kimura), dem Schweren Kreuzer Ashigara, dem Leichten Kreuzer Oyodo und den Zerstörern Kiyoshimo, Asashimo, Kaya, Sugi und Kashi den US-Landekopf auf Mindoro. Das Transportschiff James H. Breasted (7212 BRT) wird erst durch jap. Artillerie, dann durch ein US-Flugzeug beschädigt und als Totalverlust aufgegeben. Nach Luftangriffen der 5. Luftflotte USAAF mit B-25 Bombern und Jägern und Versenkung der Kiyoshimo durch das Schnellboot PT 223 dreht der jap. Verband ab, kann aber im ganzen seiner Vernichtung entgehen.
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