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January 17, 1945

Wednesday, 17 January 1945

The Red Army captures Czenstochova, while German forces evacuate Warsaw. The German defenders of encircled Budapest withdraw to Buda on the western bank of the Danube.

2nd Byelorussian Front captures Ciechanow. Troops of the 2nd Belorussian Front enter Modlin.
1st Byelorussian Front captures Warsaw
1st Ukrainian Front attacking into Krakow

2nd Ukrainian Front clearing Pest. The encircled Axis garrison in Budapest, Hungary withdrew across the Danube River to Buda.
Salonika in Greece was occupied by British troops.

Heavy fog along most of the front reduces Allied offensive action. The British 2nd Army, north of Sittard, successfully holds the village of Dieteren. The US 3rd Army reaches Diekirch.

Operation Blackcock: British 2nd Army captures Echt and Susteren

US 1st Army continues attacking in northern sector of the Ardennes and captures Vielsalm
One such enterprise took place on 17 January 1945, when The Lake Superior Regiment (Motor), commanded by Lt.-Col. R. A. Keane, sent a company across in daylight to raid the village of Hoenza-Driel, on the north bank of the river north-east of ’s-Hertogenbosch. The object of Operation “SCHULTZ” was to establish the identity of the enemy holding this sector of the front by capturing two or more prisoners. The raid was very heavily supported: not only the tanks of the three armoured regiments of the 4th Armoured Brigade, but also two field regiments and one medium regiment of artillery fired, in addition to mortars and medium machine-guns. “SCHULTZ”  was completely successful; three prisoners were taken-though as it happened they were from an independent unit, “Battalion Koch”, which did not help much in establishing the general situation – and the Lake Superior company returned across the river in good order, having suffered only four casualties, none of them serious.
US 3rd Army continues attacking in southern sector of the Ardennes
Cut off in Butzdorf, surrounded by Germans

US 7th Army engaged around Bitche, Rittershoffen, Hatten, Dengolsheim, and Gambsheim

SSOG, Peedee Liguria Jan. 17, 1945. The Operational Group cooperating with the British SOE was to assist the partisans in preventing passage of German troops retreating north through the Liguria region of Northern Italy. On January 17, 1945 Capt. Vanoncini and five men parachuted into the region and were followed on March 21 by two more and on April 2 the remaining nine were dropped.

North Sea Kriegsmarine patrol vessel V-1417 sunk by Allied aircraft. Bei einem brit. Luftangriff am 17.1. sinkt vor Terschelling das deutsche Vorpostenboot V 1417.

US Navy intelligence estimated that the German submarine sailing for New York City waters off the east coast of the United States, U-869, would arrive in early Feb 1945.

Am 16./17.1. scheitert ein letzter Angriffsversuch mit 30 “Linsen” gegen den alliierten Schiffsverkehr vor La Spezia.

The aircraft carrier HMS Venerable (16) was commissioned. Her first commander was Captain William A. Dallmeyer.

Am 17.1. versenken sowjetische Bomber den Transporter Henriette Schulte (1923 BRT) bei Memel.

Bei einem Luftangriff der USAAF auf Hamburg werden die Typ XXI-Boote U 2515, U 2523, U 2530, U 2532, U 2537 und die Bergungsschiffe Hiev und Griep zerstört. Die Handelsflotte verliert die großen Frachter Ammon (7134 BRT), Emma Sauber (2548 BRT), Mangan (1061 BRT), Christian Russ (975 BRT), Aar (900 BRT), Johanna (860 BRT) und Martha Peters (687 BRT). German vessels Hiev, Griep sunk at Hamburg by US 8th Air Force

Norwegen In Oslo bringt eine norweg. Sabotageeinheit (Capt. Max Manus, SOE) am Rumpf der Norwegentransporter Donau (9035 BRT) und Rolandseck (1845 BRT) Haftsprengladungen (sog. “limpets”) mit neuartigem Verzögerungszünder an. Die Sprengladungen der Donau detonieren am 17.1. bei Dröbak an der Mündung des Oslofjords. Der Transporter muß dort schwerbeschädigt auf Strand gesetzt werden, und wird erst nach dem Krieg wieder in Fahrt gebracht. Soldaten kommen nicht zu Schaden. Die Rolandseck wird bei der Detonation im Hafen von Oslo nur leicht beschädigt.

M-305 (Kriegsmarine): The minesweeper foundered and sank off Brüsterort, Germany.
East China Sea Japanese vessel Minka Maru sunk by mine on the Yangtze River above Kiukiang, China.
Indian Ocean Japanese vessel Nichinan Maru sunk by RN submarine Stygian (P 249), commanded by Lt. Guy S. C. Clarabut, off Malaya …einen kleinen Tanker und eine Dschunke.

Steinburg (Germany): The cargo ship struck a mine and was beached near Libau, Latvia.
Shch-307 (Kptlt. Kalinin) torpediert in der Nacht zum 17.1. ein Schiff, wahrscheinlich den durch Minentreffer bereits beschädigten Dampfer Steinburg (1319 BRT). Shch-318 (Kpt 3.Rg. Loshkarev) bleibt im Januar südwestl. von Libau erfolglos, während Shch-407 (Kpt. 3.Rg. Bocharov) Mitte Januar von Memel ebenfalls vor die Küste des Samlandes (Brüsterort) verlegt.

S58 and S60 (Kriegsmarine): The Type 1939 Schnellboots were beached on the island of Unije in the Adriatic Sea and then destroyed by Motor Gun Boats. Kriegsmarine S-boats S-58 and S-60, having previously run aground, scuttled
T-15 (IJN): The No.1-class landing ship was torpedoed and sunk in the East China Sea off southern Kyushu by USS Tautog (SS 199), commanded by Lt. Commander Thomas S. Baskett.
U-2515, U-2523, U-2530 [U-2532] (Kriegsmarine): The Type XXI submarine was bombed and sunk at Dock 111, Blohm & Voss yard, Hamburg in an air raid.

Convoy ON 279 departs Southend for New York City. Convoy OS 105 / KMS 79 departs Liverpool. Convoy GUS 66 departs Oran for Hampton Roads

US 9th Air Force bombers grounded by poor weather conditions
US 8th Air Force attacks Paderborn with 397 bombers, Hamburg with 147 bombers, Harburg with 78 bombers, Bielefeld with 37 bombers
USAAF bombers attacking Paderborn and dropping 1,031 t of bombs.

291 RAF bombers attacking Magdeburg and dropping 1,060 t of bombs.
16/17 January 1945
371 aircraft – 320 Halifaxes, 44 Lancasters, 7 Mosquitos – of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups dispatched to Magdeburg. 17 Halifaxes lost, 4.6 per cent of the total force, 5.3 per cent of the Halifax force. This was an area raid. Bomber Command claimed that it was successful, with 44 per cent of the built-up area being destroyed. No local report is available.
Zeitz: 328 Lancasters of Nos 1, 6 and 8 Groups. 10 Lancasters lost, 3.0 per cent of the force. The target was the Braunkohle-Benzin synthetic-oil plant near Leipzig. Much damage was caused to the northern half of the plant.
231 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and No 5 Groups attacked a synthetic-oil plant at Brüx in Western Czechoslovakia. The raid was a complete success. Speer also mentioned this raid as causing a particularly severe setback to oil production. 1 Lancaster lost.
138 Lancasters of No 3 Group attacked the benzol plant at Wanne-Eickel. No results known. 1 Lancaster lost.
17 Mosquitos to Mannheim and 9 to Hamburg, 55 RCM sortie Mosquito patrols, 23 Halifaxes and 8 Lancasters minelaying off Oslo and in the Kattegat. 1 Mosquito of No 100 Group lost.
Total effort for the night: 1,238 sorties, 30 aircraft (2.4 per cent) lost.
Weather: Fair to cloudy with slight rain early. Visibility mainly moderate.
Wind light variable becoming W’ly 10-25 mph. All aircraft returned from yesterday operations by approximately 0155 hrs.
17 January 1945 1 Hudson on a Resistance operation.

RAF Bomber Command sends 72 aircraft to attack Magdeburg overnight

8 V-2 rocket launches. Batt. 444, 1./485. Impacted:
Bengeo, Hertfordshire. Fell in field. Blast damage to 10 houses.
Hatfield Broad Oak. Fell in field. 7 Persons seriously injured.
Chingford. Fell in cemetery. Blast damage to surrounding property. 40 Persons injured.

Japan Japanese vessel T-15 sunk by USN submarine Tautog off Kyushu

Formosa US 20th Air Force attacks Shinchiku with 80 B-29 bombers flying from Chengtu. USAAF XX Bomber Command launched 90 or 92 B-29 bombers from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China against Shinchiku Airfield in northern Taiwan; 78 or 79 of them made it over to the target area, damaging hangars, barracks, and other buildings. This was to be the final B-29 mission against Taiwan.
Shinchiku Airfield under B-29 attack, northern Taiwan

Volcano Islands US 7th Air Force attacks Iwo Jima with 14 B-24 bombers

China Hunan-Kwangtung-Kiangsi operations: Chinese 59th, 60th, 102nd and 160th Infantry Divisions unsuccessfully attack raiding force of Japanese 20th Army around Lohchang and Pingshih
US 14th Air Force attacks Ishan with 12 bombers,  targets throughout southern China with more than 180 fighters, fighters claim almost 50 Japanese aircraft destroyed on the ground
Burma US 5332nd Infantry Brigade of Northern Combat Area Command clears Namhkam. British 14th Army attacking Ayadaw. US 10th Air Force attacks Japanese positions, bridges, supply depots, and other targets around Ho-hko, Mansam, Konkha, Onbaing, Wabyudaung, Nawngchio, No-na, Man Hpa-yaw, Man Namket, Nahu, Panghai, Mong Nge, and Ho-Pok
Japanese forces in Burma began organizing counterattacks against the latest Anglo-Indian offensive.

US 6th Army attacking around Urdaneta, Binalonan, Pozorrubio, and Damortis on Luzon
USN escort carrer Nehenta Bay (CVE 74) damaged by storm
Vom 14.-27.1. treffen 4 weitere Nachschubkonvois für die US-Landungskräfte ein. Am 15.1. wird der Geleitträger Hoggatt Bay bei einem Explosionsunglück mit Bomben westl. von Luzon beschädigt. Ab 17.1. sind die Einheiten der 6. US-Armee nicht mehr auf Flottenunterstützung angewiesen, die letzten Verbände werden abgezogen. Die Geleitträger haben vom 6.- 17.1. bei nur 2 Verlusten insgesamt 6152 Einsätze, davon 1416 für den Naheinsatz (“Close Support”) geflogen.

Shalimar beschädigt am 17.1. südlich der Malakka-Straße vier Landungsfahrzeuge

USS Guitarro arrvied at Mios Woendi, Biak Islands, Dutch East Indies and received repairs.
USS Puffer arrived at Guam, Mariana Islands, ending her sixth war patrol.
USS Wake Island was detached from Task Group 77.14.
USS Shamrock Bay completed her duties off Luzon, Philippine Islands and set sail for Ulithi, Caroline Islands as a part of Task Group 77.14.
Submarine Mero was launched at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, United States, sponsored by the wife of Henry G. Taylor.

General Arnold suffers his fourth heart attack in less than two years

London… Empire forces war casualty statistics are published which report a total of 1,043,554 casualties of all ranks up to November 30, 1944. These include 282,000 dead and 80,000 missing.


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