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January 14 1945

Sunday, 14 January 1945

3rd Byelorussian Front battling German 3rd Panzer Army around Kattenau

2nd Byelorussian Front opens its ofensive into East Prussia
The Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front begins attacks on German AG North in heavy snow conditions. The immediate success achieved in the fighting results in the cancellation of planned supporting artillery fire.

Zhukov and Konev have total of 163 divisions with 32,143 guns, 6,460 tanks and SP guns and 4,772 aircraft. Germans are outnumbered 5 to 1 and their 1,100 tanks are virtually immobilized by fuel shortages.

1st Byelorussian Front opens its ofensive, smashing into German 9th Army and threatening to envelop Warsaw
To the south, Soviet 1st Belorussian Front (Zhukov) opposite Warsaw and to the south launches an offensive from the Pulawy and Magnuszew bridgeheads. The latter bridgehead is only 15 miles wide and 7 miles deep but contains some 400,000 troops and 1700 AFVs. Poor weather results in limited air support. The attack begins with a short artillery bombardment that targets the German 56th Panzer and 8th Corps of 9th Army, part of AG Center (Harpe). Success is immediate and both corps are scattered.
The 1st Belorussian Front opened its attack on the German 9th Army from the Magnuszew and Puławy bridgeheads at 08:30, again commencing with a heavy bombardment. The 33rd and 69th Armies broke out of the Puławy bridgehead to a depth of 30 km, while the 5th Shock and 8th Guards Armies broke out of the Magnuszew bridgehead. The 2nd and 1st Guards Tank Armies were committed after them to exploit the breach. The 69th Army’s progress from the Puławy bridgehead was especially successful, with the defending LVI Panzer Corps disintegrating after its line of retreat was cut off. Though the 9th Army conducted many local counter-attacks, they were all brushed aside; the 69th Army ruptured the last lines of defence and took Radom, while the 2nd Guards Tank Army moved on Sochaczew and the 1st Guards Tank Army was ordered to seize bridgeheads over the Pilica and attack towards Łódź.[19] In the meantime, the 47th Army had crossed the Vistula and moved towards Warsaw from the north, while the 61st and 1st Polish Armies encircled the city from the south.

Meanwhile, forces of 1st Ukrainian Front cut the rail line to Krakow south of Kielce. 1st Ukrainian Front, having torn a hole in German front, pushes forward around Baranow
By 14 January, the 1st Ukrainian Front had forced crossings of the Nida river, and began to exploit towards Radomsko and the Warthe.

Farther south in Hungary the Soviets resist German attempts to relieve Budapest and in eastern Czechoslovakia, they take Lucenec. 2nd Ukrainian Front continues assaulting Pest. 27th Army of Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front captures Lunenec

Joy as Germans begin to fall back again in Poland


A cease-fire is agreed between the British and the Communist ELAS organization. ELAS agrees to release all hostages it has taken except those accused of collaboration.
British troops and Greek communist forces reach another ceasefire agreement. In Greece, Communists and the British agree to a cease-fire in the struggle to control Athens (and with it Greece)

British forces clear the Roer Triangle during Operation Blackcock; it is an area noted for its industrial dams.
The 2nd British Army began Operation Blackcock. The operation’s objective was to clear the Roer Triangle formed by the towns of Roermond, Sittard and Heinsberg in the Netherlands and drive the German 15th Army back across the Rivers Rur and Wurm and move the frontline further into Germany. The operation was carried out under command of the XII Corps by three divisions, the 7th Armoured Division (better known as the "Desert Rats"), the 52nd Lowland Division. and the 43rd Wessex Division (“Wessex Wyverns”).

The US 1st Army achieves an advance 2 miles toward St. Vith in continuing attacks. British forces attacking southward from Laroche link up with elements of US 3rd Army advancing north-west from Bastogne
US 1st Army continues attacking on northern flank of German Ardennes salient, with spearheads nearing US 3rd Army
US 3rd Army continues attacking on southern flank of German Ardennes salient, with spearheads nearing US 1st Army

47th Royal Marine Commando took over the task of reducing the bridgehead. In Operation “HORSE” on 13-14 January the Marines made a gallant but fruitless attack against the position from both flanks; the exposed nature of the approaches, together with exhaustion of ammunition and loss of control through casualties to leaders, resulted in a further repulse. The Commando suffered 49 casualties.
It was now evident that only a deliberate operation on a larger scale, including a greater weight of supporting artillery, could dislodge the enemy from Kapelsche Veer. On 14 January, as soon as it was apparent that “HORSE” had failed, Crocker's headquarters issued orders for a new operation, “ELEPHANT”.

US 7th Army engaged around Bitche and nearby areas

Atlantic Ocean British vessels British Freedom, Athelviking sunk by U-1232. US vessel Martin van Buren damaged by U-1232 and subsequently written off
The U-1232, commanded by Kapitän zur See Kurt Dobratz, attacked the convoy BX-141 east of Halifax in the western Atlantic Ocean. The U-1232 sank the British motor tanker British Freedom and the British motor tanker Athelviking and badly damaged the American Liberty steam merchant Martin Van Buren. Of the British Freedom’s complement, 1 died and 56 survivors were picked up by the HMCS Gaspe (J 94). Of the Martin Van Buren’s complement, 3 died and 66 survivors were picked up by the HMCS Comox (J 64) and the HMCS Fundy (J 88). Of the Athelviking’s complement, 4 died and 47 survivors were picked up by the Canadian motor launch HMCS ML-102. The 6,985 ton British Freedom was carrying US Navy special fuel oil and was heading for the United Kingdom. The 7,176 ton Martin Van Buren was carrying provisions, tires, cigarettes, locomotives, and vehicles and was heading for Halifax. The 8,779 ton Athelviking was carrying molasses and 14 landing craft on deck and was heading for the United Kingdom. The U-1232 attempted to torpedo the frigate HMCS Ettrick (K 254), commanded by Lt. Commander Edward M. More. Later in the action the HMCS Ettrick, while conducting an attack, ran over the conning tower of the U-1232. The U-1232 was badly damaged and forced to depart for its home base.

The corvette HMCS Trillium (K 172), while escorting the 47-ship Convoy ON-278 from Southend to New York City, collided with a coaster, which sank. There is no record of either the name of the vessel or loss of life in this incident. The HMCS Trillium required five weeks of repairs, afterward resuming mid-ocean service until the end of the war.

North Sea Kriegsmarine 2nd S-Boat Flotilla conducts minelaying operations. Six German motor torpedo boat flotillas operate in the estuaries of the Scheldt, Thames and Humber rivers during the night (January 14-15).
Nordsee Leichter Kreuzer Nürnberg (Kpt.z.S. Gießler) und Minenschiff Linz (FKpt. Abel), die Zerstörer Friedrich Ihn und Theodor Riedel, die Torpedoboote T 19 und T 20 sowie 7 Boote der 8. R-Flottille bringen im Skagerak  die defensive Minensperre Nr.39 “Titus I” aus. Ein brit. Luftangriff wird abgewehrt. – Der norw. Frachter Vaga (1615 BRT) wird zwischen Bergen und Kopenhagen von Halifax ,C’ der RAF-Sq. 58 durch Bomben-Nahtreffer versenkt (Minenschiffe, 8.5.1).
Ostsee Sowjetische Torpedobomber versenken am 14.1. nordwestlich von Brüsterort den deutschen Frachter Mimi Horn II (3944 BRT).

U-3521 was commissioned. Her first commander was Oberleutnant zur See Günther Keller.

The US 8th Air Force resumes strategic operations after a month-long pause caused by the Battle of the Bulge. US 8th Air Force attacks oil industry and transportation targets with 847 bombers, of which seven lost, escorted by 645 fighters, meeting heavy fighter opposition.

RAF Bomber Command sends 134 aircraft to attack Saarbrucken during the day, 587 aircraft to attack Leuna, 151 aircraft to attack Grevenbroich, 115 aircraft to attack Dulmen, 83 aircraft to attack Berlin, 31 aircraft to conduct minelaying operations overnight
13/14 January 1945
Saarbrücken: 274 aircraft – 242 Halifaxes, 20 Lancasters, 12 Mosquitos – of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups. 1 Halifax crashed in France. Bomber Command assessed this raid, on the railway yards, as being extremely accurate and effective.
Weather: Cloudy with slight rain and drizzle during morning. Visibility moderate. Wind NE’ly less than 10 mph.

Politz: 218 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked this oil plant, near Stettin. 2 Lancasters lost. This raid had been planned as a blind-bombing attack but, because the weather conditions were better than forecast, low-level marking was carried out and very accurate bombing followed. Bomber Command, on the basis of photographic reconnaissance, states that the oil plant was 'reduced to a shambles'.
19 RCM sorties, 22 Mosquito patrols, 10 Lancasters minelaying off Swinemünde. 1 Mosquito of l00 Group lost.
Total effort for the night: 550 sorties, 4 aircraft (O.7 per cent) lost.

14 January 1945 134 Lancasters of No 3 Group attacked the railway yards at Saarbrücken in clear visibility and without loss.
10 aircraft detailed for daylight operations on SAARBRUCKEN. The Master Bomber was S/L P.F. Clayton DFC and his Deputy was F/L M.W. Kitson. When the M/B arrived on target he found the main force had arrived and were starting to bomb., they had arrived three minutes early. He took control and ordered aircraft to orbit, as they were overshooting. Marking was pulled back to the A/P and the M/B was able to direct the attack sucessfully. Bombing for the last part of the attack was good. 6 further aircraft detailed for night operations on the LEUNA oil plant at MERSEBERG. 1 aircraft returned early with Radio Receiver burnt out. Small fires were seen from the previous raid. One large explosion was seen which lit the cloud with a red glow. On return of this second raid the weather had deteriorated rapidly and they were diverted to TANGMERE. 5 non operational flights.

Luftwaffe loses 90 fighters in daylight operations in defense of the Reich and occupied territory against Allied strategic bombing
USAAF fighters claim 174 Luftwaffe aircraft downed

1st Lt. Schuyler A. Baker, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
1st Lt. Darrell A. Beschen, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
1st Lt. Richard H. Black, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
1st Lt. John K. Brown, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
1st Lt. Harley L. Brown, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
Capt. Charles H. Cole, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
Major Richard P. Gatterdam, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
1st Lt. Dale N. Jones, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
1st Lt. Reps D. Jones, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
1st Lt. Duane F. Kelso, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
2nd Lt. Jack D. Leon, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
Major Merle B. Nichols, 14 January 1945, 20th FG
F/O Allen L. Shaffer, 14 January 1945, 20th FG

Capt. Donald M. Cummings, 14 January 1945, 55th FG
1st Lt. Brooks J. Liles, 14 January 1945, 55th FG

2nd Lt. R. E. Smith, 14 January 1945, 78th FG
1st Lt. Richard H. Spooner, 14 January 1945, 78th FG
2nd Lt. W. Warren, 14 January 1945, 78th FG
1st Lt. Mark T. Wilson, 14 January 1945, 78th FG

1st Lt. John W. Rohrs, 14 January 1945, 353rd FG
2nd Lt. James E. Frye, 14 January 1945, 353rd FG
1st Lt. James F. Hinchey, 14 January 1945, 353rd FG

Major John L. Elder, 14 January 1945, 355th FG
1st Lt. Newell F. Mills, 14 January 1945, 355th FG
1st Lt. Clifford T. Ashby, 14 January 1945, 356th FG Two (2) Fw 190’s destroyed, one (1) Fw 190 shared destroyed.
1st Lt. Robert E. Barnhart, 14 January 1945, 356th FG
1st Lt. Walter M. Baskin, 14 January 1945, 356th FG
2nd Lt. Clinton D. Burdick, 14 January 1945, 356th FG
Major Donald J. Strait, 14 January 1945, 356th FG
1st Lt. Theodore J. Urban, 14 January 1945, 356th FG

Capt. Thomas H. Adams, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
1st Lt. Raymond M. Bank, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
Major Joseph E. Broadhead, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
Capt. James W. Browning, 14 January 1945, 357th FG Three (3) Me 109’s destroyed, one (1) Me 109 damaged.
Capt. Leonard K. Carson, 14 January 1945, 357th FG Two (2) Fw 190’s and one (1) Me 109 destroyed.
2nd Lt. Donald W. Cheever, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
Lt. Col. Irwin H. Dregne, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
2nd Lt. John F. Duncan, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
Major John B. England, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
1st Lt. Jesse R. Frey, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
Capt. Robert W. Foy, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
1st Lt. Paul R. Hatala, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
1st Lt. Dale E. Karger, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
1st Lt. John A. Kirla, 14 January 1945, 357th FG Two (2) Fw 190’s and two (2) Me 109’s destroyed.
Capt. Chester K. Maxwell, 14 January 1945, 357th FG Three (3) Fw 190’s destroyed.
1st Lt. George J. Rice, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
1st Lt. John R. Stern, 14 January 1945, 357th FG Three (3) Me 109’s destroyed.
Major John A. Storch, 14 January 1945, 357th FG Two (2) Fw 190’s and one (1) Me 109 destroyed.
1st Lt. John L. Sublett, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
1st Lt. Robert P. Winks, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
2nd Lt. Raymond E. Wolf, 14 January 1945, 357th FG
1st Lt. Harold A. Wyatt, 14 January 1945, 357th FG

US 12th Air Force grounded by poor weather conditions

Eleven V-2 rocket launches against uncertain targets. Three V-2 rocket launches against Antwerp.
16 launches, Batts. 444, 1./485, 1., 3./836,SS 500.
Barking. 8 Dead, 52 seriously injured. Severe damage to church and three houses.
Barking. 14 Dead, 40 seriously injured. Town Hall and church badly damaged.
Cheshunt. 3 Dead, 21 seriously injured. Moderate damage to houses and electrical sub-station. Water main fractured.
Ilford. 3 Dead, 11 seriously injured. 2 Properties demolished.
Lewisham. Direct hit on house. 14 Dead, 36 seriously injured. 4 Properties demolished.
Shoreditch. 20 Dead, 90 seriously injured. 12 Properties demolished.

Sonntag.
Verbände der britischen Royal Air Force werfen über den Leuna-Chemiewerken nahe Merseburg in Mitteldeutschland insgesamt 2100 t Bomben ab.
In Horusea in der englischen Grafschaft Yorkshire schlägt ein deutsches Raketengeschoß vom Typ V 1 ein, das zum letzten Mal von einem Kampfflugzeug aus gestartet wurde. The last German V1 launched from an He111 bomber lands on Yorkshire.


Japan US 20th Air Force attacks Nagoya and other targets with 60 B-29 bombers flying from the Marianas

South China Sea IJN minelayer Yurijima sunk by USN submarine Cobia off Malaya
The submarine USS Cobia (SS-245), commanded by Lt. Commander Albert L. Becker, torpedoed and sank the 720 ton coastal minelayer Yurijima off the east coast of Malaya approximately 70 miles east of Kota Bharu.
Formosa US 20th Air Force attacks Kagi airfield and alternate targets with 77 B-29 bombers flying from Chengtu
54 USAAF B-29 bombers from Sichuan Province, China attacked Kagi Airfield in southern Taiwan.
Kagi Airfield under B-29 bomber attack

USS Spot sank two Japanese trawlers with her deck gun in the East China Sea 150 kilometers southeast of Shanghai, China.

Nach erneuten, von starken Monsun-Winden behinderten Beölungen am 13./ 14.1. fliegen die Trägergruppen am 15.1. Jägervorstöße und Angriffe gegen Süd-Formosa, die Pescadoren und die chines. Provinz Fukien.

Volcano Islands US 7th Air Force attacks Iwo Jima with 12 B-24 bombers

Burma British 14th Army probing Japanese positions around Monywa
US 10th Air Force attacks bridges near Nampawng and Hay-ti with 12 bombers, supports ground operations around Si-U and Mabein with 26 fighters,attacks Japanese positions, supply depots, and targets of opportunity around Hsenwi, Se-u, Kongnyaung, Kutkai, Mongmit, Manai, and Kawnghka with 60 fighters

China US 20th Air Force attacks Hengyang and other targets of opportunity with 20 B-29 bombers flying from Chengtu
US 14th Air Force attacks Hankow airfield with 27 bombers supported by 45 fighters (claim 16 Japanese fighters downed over Hankow), targets around Kengtung, Wuchang, Wanting, Shanhsien, and elsewhere with 80 aircraft
Japanese vessel Akatsuki Maru sunk in Yangtze River by US 14th Air Force P-51 Mustangs

US 6th Army expanding Lingayen Gulf beachhead on Luzon
US 8th Army sends detachment to secure Camotes Islands
US FEAF aircraft attack Cabantuan, Aparri airfield, Clark field, and other targets on Luzon Island
USN PT-73 runs aground off Mindoro Island and abandoned

Caroline Islands US 7th Air Force attacks Truk Atoll with 43 bombers

The army freight supply vessel FS 41 broke loose from her moorings at Amchitka, Alaska, in heavy weather, and demolished 300 feet of an Army dock. The fleet tug USS Sarsi (ATF 111) was sent from Adak to go to the ship’s assistance.
***
Athelviking (UK, 8779 BRT): Convoy BX 141: The tanker was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean east of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (44°28′N 63°28′W) by U-1232 (Kriegsmarine) with the loss of four of her 41 crew. Survivors were rescued by HMCML-102 (Royal Canadian Navy).
British Freedom (UK, 6985 BRT): Convoy BX 141: The tanker was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean east of Halifax (44°28′N 63°28′W) by U-1232 with the loss of one of her 57 crew. Survivors were rescued by HMCS Gaspe.
Martin van Buren (US, 7176 BRT): The Liberty ship was torpedoed and damaged in the Atlantic Ocean (44°28′N 63°28′W) by U-1232 with the loss of three Gunners. Survivors abandoned ship and were rescued by HMCS Comox and HMCS Fundy. Martin van Buren was taken in tow by a tug, but the tow line was cut by a naval vessel which ignored signals being flown by the tug. She drifted ashore at Sambro and broke in two. She was declared a constructive total loss. The wreck was scrapped in situ in 1950.
USS PT-73: The HIGGINS 78’ -class PT Boat wrecked and scuttled in Baliquias Bay Mindoro (13°50′N 120°10′E).
S-180 (Kriegsmarine): The Type 1939/40 schnellboot was sunk by a mine.
Yurishima (IJN): The minelayer (A.K.A. Yurijima) was torpedoed and sunk in the South China Sea off Kota Bharu, Malaya (05°45′N 113°13′E) by USS Cobia
***
The RaLa Experiment of the Manhattan Project conducted its second test using exploding bridgewire detonators.

Dwight Eisenhower wrote to George Marshall recommending Omar Bradley to be promoted to the rank of a full general, citing Bradley’s past success and the need to close the rank gap between Bradley and British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.


Home front : Very dark tonight, and no planes about, but I nightly expect some more flying bombs.
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