Karl Dönitz launches Operation Hannibal. The Kriegsmarine begins the evacuation by sea of hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees from East Prussia and the Danzig area, the Red Army having cut all land communications with the rest of the Reich.
Die Evakuierung von Soldaten und Flüchtlingen aus Ostpreußen und aus dem Gebiet um die Danziger Bucht auf dem Seeweg durch die deutsche Kriegsmarine beginnt.
Die Kriegsmarine beginnt die Evakuierung der deutschen Bevölkerung aus Ostpreußen auf dem Seeweg. Damit soll möglichst vielen Deutschen die Flucht vor der auf Berlin vorrückenden Roten Armee ermöglicht werden. Zwei bis drei Millionen Menschen gelangen auf diese Weise in den Westen.
Das Denkmal von Tannenberg in Ostpreußen, das zur Erinnerung an den deutschen Sieg über die russischen Truppen im Ersten Weltkrieg errichtet worden war, wird von deutschen Streitkräften bei ihrem Rückzug gesprengt.
Truppenverbände der sowjetischen 1. Weißrussischen Front erobern die Stadt Bromberg in Westpreußen.
Tuesday, 23 January 1945
Königsberg: The German cruiser Emden transports the bodies of Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg and his wife Gertrude back to Germany, in the face of the advancing Soviet forces. They had been buried, against their wishes, at Tannenburg, the site of his greatest WWI victory against the Russians. After the war they will be reburied at Elisabeth Church in Marburg, near Frederick Wilhelm I and Frederick II.
2nd Byelorussian Front attacking around Mohrungen and Elbing
Zhukov captures Bromberg.
1st Ukrainian Front reaches the Oder around Oppeln and Steinau
2nd Ukrainian Front opens new offensive along Slovak-Hungarian border. A new advance from around Miskolc by the 2nd Ukrainian Front (Malinovsky) with both Soviet and Rumanian troops involved.
3rd Ukrainian Front blunting German attacks around Lake Balaton and Budapest
Hitler orders that oilfields in Hungary and Austria must receive top priority for defense
The Second Division of the Russian Liberation Army is formed under General Zverev.
FINLAND: U-242 (Oblt.z.S. Pancke) lands a German agent.
Operation Blackcock: British 2nd Army captures Aphove, Straeten, and Scheifendahl
On 23 January Field-Marshal Montgomery indicated that preparations by the First U.S. Army for an offensive towards Bonn might have a delaying effect on “VERITABLE” and “GRENADE”, since the latter could not begin until the Ninth Army had been brought up to a strength of 12 divisions. However, he assured General Crerar that he would have six days’ warning of any postponement of “VERITABLE”
US 1st Army continues attacking in northern sector of the Ardennes, capturing St Vith. St. Vith was recaptured by the Americans on 23 January. St. Vith falls to the attack of tank units from US 18th Corps.
US 3rd Army continues attacking in southern sector of the Ardennes
The German forces are falling back over the River Our from throughout the Ardennes salient but are losing heavily to Allied air attacks.
US 9th Air Force aircraft claim more than 1000 German vehicles destroyed
US 7th Army remains engaged in Bitche sector, with some units withdrawing under pressure
French 1st Army attacking Colmar pocket
Strasbourg: The French First Army has halted the German offensive, North Wind, at the last bridge before Strasbourg. General Eisenhower was willing to give up the city, liberated on 23 November, in order to allow the US Seventh Army to withdraw, but General de Gaulle threatened to remove his forces from the Allied command if Strasbourg was sacrificed. Eisenhower gave way, but said that the French must defend the city.
General Ernest Harmon takes command of US XXII Corps
Berlin: Hitler belatedly agrees to a major new shipbuilding programme and orders the extension of the slave-labour system in the northern dockyards. Hitler appoints Himmler, who has no experience of operational command, C-in-C Army Group Vistula.
Daikyo Maru (Japan, 5244 BRT): Convoy MOTA-32: The standard Type 1K ore carrier (A.K.A. Taikyo Maru) was torpedoed and sunk in Namkwan Harbor, China (27°02′N 120°27′E) by USS Barb. 360 troops, 28 Gunners, and 56 crewmen lost. 6 Daihatsu and 2 Shohatsu landing barges lost as cargo.
As an element of U.S. Navy Task Group 17.21 (coordinated attack group), the submarine USS Barb (SS 220), commanded by Commander Eugene B. Fluckey, entered the shallow harbor of Namkwan, China and attacked Japanese Convoy MOTA 32. Despite her claim that she sank three vessels, probably sank a fourth, and damaged two more, she actually only sank the 5,244 ton Japanese merchant Taikyo Maru.
USS Barb attacked a Japanese convoy near Nanguan Island (“Namkwan harbor”), Zhejiang Province, China at 0405 hours, firing eight torpedoes and recording eight hits. At 1130 hours, Commander Eugene Fluckey sent Sino-American Special Technical Cooperative Organization (SACO) chief Commander Milton Miles a radio message, thanking him for the intelligence about the attack location. In Jun 1991, Fluckey was able to visit the fishing village of Huang Qi where several eyewitnesses of the attack still lived; the Chinese recalled seeing 4 Japanese ships sinking and 3 heavily damaged.
Am 23.1. feuert Queenfish mehrere Torpedos in den Hafen von Namquan, dabei werden möglicherweise mehrere Schiffe beschädigt.
I-48 (IJN): The Type C2 submarine was depth charged and sunk in the Pacific Ocean 12 miles north west of Yap, Caroline Islands (09°55′N 138°17′E) by USS Conklin and USS Corbesier and Raby (DE 698). All 122 crewmen killed.
S-199 (Kriegsmarine): The Type 1939/40 schnellboot was sunk in a collision with S-701 (Kriegsmarine).
Taian Maru (Japan): The cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Pacific Ocean off Palau by USS Gar.
Vigsnes (Norway): The cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Irish Sea (53°32′N 4°19′W) by U-1172, commanded by Oberfähnrich zur See Jürgen Kuhlmann, (Kriegsmarine). All 25 crew survived. The 1,599 ton Vigsnes was carrying coal and was heading for Mersey, England.
East China Sea IJN guardboat No. 7 Kainan Maru sunk by USN submarine Sennet (SS 408), commanded by Commander George E. Porter, Jr. USS Sennet attacked Japanese patrol boats off the Bonin Islands, sinking one and damaging another with 1 of 6 torpedoes fired.
U 636 verfehlt am 23.1. eine Jagdgruppe und wird von 6 BO- und 2 MO-U-Jägern sowie 2 TKA gejagt.
North Sea Kriegsmarine 5th S-Boat Flotilla conducts minelaying operations off East Dudgeon overnight
Nordsee In der Nacht vom 22./23.1. operieren die S-Flottillen 4, 6, 8 und 9 mit insgesamt 16 Booten gegen 3 zu erwartende Konvois in der Scheldemündung. Doch die deutschen Vorbereitungen sind den Engländern durch Funkaufklärung bekannt geworden; das ”Nore Command“ setzt von vorn herein starke Küstenschutzverbände ein: Die 9. S-Flottille (KKpt. von Mirbach) mit S 206, S 168, S 130 und S 175 greift einen Konvoi nördlich von Dünkirchen an. S 168 und S 176 versenken den brit. Nachzügler Halo (2365 BRT), anschließend wird die Flottille durch den brit. DE Seymour, die Fregatte Stayner und 4 MTB bekämpft. Die Boote der 6. S-Flottille (Kptlt. Matzen) und der 4. S-Flottille (KKpt. Fimmen) weichen dem Gefecht der 9. S-Flottille aus und bleiben ohne Feindberührung. Die 8. S-Flottille (KKpt. Zymalkowski) mit S 194, S 196, S 197, S 199 und S 701, erreicht die Themse nordöstlich von North Foreland und führt Gefechte mit den brit. Geleitfahrzeugen, Geleitzerstörer Seymour und Korvette Guillemot, und 3 MTB-Gruppen. Auf britischer Seite wird MTB 495 schwer beschädigt. S 199 wird durch Kollision mit S 701 zerstört und muss bei Fort Tongue Sand selbstversenkt werden. Kurz vor dem Einlaufen der Flottille wird S 701 als Nachzügler noch von eigenen Vorpostenbooten beschossen. Es bleibt bis zum Kriegsende nicht einsatzfähig.
Convoy GUF 19 departs Oran for Hampton Roads. Convoy HX 334 departs New York City for Liverpool. Convoy UGS 70 departs Hampton Roads for Gibraltar. Destroyers HMCS Sioux and Algonquin arrived Clyde with Convoy RA-63.
22/23 January 1945
Duisburg: 286 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3 and 8 Groups. 2 Lancasters lost. This raid was intended for the benzol plant in the Bruckhausen district of Duisburg. This target was identified visually by moonlight and much damage was inflicted on it. Further bombing also hit the nearby Thyssen steelworks, either by misidentification or by a simple spread of the bombing. Duisburg’s local report assumed that the steelworks were the primary target and stated that 500 high explosive bombs fell on the Thyssen premises.
Gelsenkirchen: 152 aircraft – 107 Halifaxes, 29 Lancasters, 16 Mosquitos – of Nos 4, 5 and 8 Groups. No aircraft lost. This was a small area-bombing raid. The Bomber Command report states that ‘moderate’ damage was caused to residential and industrial areas.
48 Mosquitos to Hannover and 6 to Dortmund, 50 RCM sorties, 40 Mosquito patrols. No aircraft lost.
Total effort for the night: 598 sorties, 2 aircraft (0.3 per cent) lost.
13 aircraft detailed for operations on HAMBORN. Ground detail leading up to the A/P could be seen in the moonlight. The marking and bombing appeared good. A large explosion and several minor ones were seen during the attack, and the glow of fires could be seen 60 miles away on the homeward journey. 1 non operational flight.
US 12th Air Force bombers grounded by poor weather conditions
US 8th Air Force attacks Neuss with 181 bombers
Five V-2 rocket launches against uncertain targets
9 V-2 rocket launches (one failure). Batt. 444, 1./485, 3./836. Impact:
Edmonton. 16 Persons seriously injured. 2 Factories damaged.
Dagenham, Essex. 4 Dead, 26 seriously injured. 4 Properties demolished. Water main fractured.
Stapleford Tawny. Fell on aerodrome. 5 Buildings including large hanger demolished. 13 Service personnel plus 2 civilians dead. 37 Service personnel plus one civilian seriously injured.
Die deutsche Reichsbahn stellt den zivilen Schnell- und Eilzugverkehr wegen der durch zahlreiche alliierte Luftangriffe verursachten Beschädigungen des Schienennetzes ein.
U-2360 (Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Schrobach), U-3523 (Oberleutnant zur See Willi Müller) commissioned. U-2364 launched.
The first of Canada’s conscripted soldiers leave Halifax for overseas duty.
“Argonaut” Roosevelt, Admiral Leahy, and party depart Virginia for Malta aboard USN heavy cruiser Quincy
Dutch Premier Gerbrandy, exiled in London, offers his resignation
Japan US 20th Air Force attacks Nagoya and other targets with 64 B-29 bombers flying from the Marianas, with one B-29 lost
Volcano Islands US 7th Air Force attacks Iwo Jima with 12 B-24 bombers
East Indies Japanese vessels No. 1 Hozan Maru, Nikkaku M. sunk by mines laid by RAF Liberators the previous day off Sumatra
Operation „Meridian“ Die ersten geplanten Luftangriffe am 21./22. und 22./23.1. verhindert eine Schlechtwetterfront vor Sumatra.
The USS Extractor, H.M. Babcock in command, a Navy salvage vessel is torpedoed by the USS Guardfish, Douglas Hammond in command. The Guardfish has mistaken the USN vessel for a Japanese I Class submarine in the early morning light. Both commanders share the blame in a Board of Inquiry hearing.
The submarine HMS Rorqual (N 74), commanded by Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, laid 12 mines from her torpedo tubes in minefield ML 027 off the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. Предыдущая постановка — 17.1.
China Hunan-Kwangtung-Kiangsi operations: 27th Infantry Division of Japanese 20th Army captures Yunghsin airfield. Japanese naval forces land at Pinghai and Hsincheng
US 14th Air Force attacks targets of opportunity across broad region with 40 fighters
Burma Elements of 36th Infantry Division of British 14th Army capture Twingge
Myinmu is taken the by 20th Indian Division. This division and the other British 33rd Corps units, which have crossed the Irrawaddy north of Mandalay, attract significant Japanese counterattacks because of the threat posed to Mandalay. The last Japanese survivors drowned themselves in the Irrawaddy River to avoid capture. This is exactly what General Slim, commanding British 14th Army, has hoped for while British 4th Corps prepares the real advance further south.
US 10th Air Force attacks airfields at Aungban and Hsumhsai with 12 bombers, Japanese positions, supply depots, and other targets around Kawngwang, Sati, Kyaukme, Wengnan, Hko-lawng, Lothke, and Panglaw with 55 fighters, provides support to ground operations around Namhkam, Twingge, and Bahe
US 6th Army pushing toward Clark airfield and Manila, attacking around Bamban, Concepcion, Magalang, Hill 355, and Bobonan on Luzon. Elements of US 14th Corps take Bamban
Detachment of US 8th Army attacking Japanese positions on Poro Island in the Camotes Islands
US FEAF aircraft attack targets on Luzon Island including Baguio, Corregidor, Aparri airfield, and others
USN submarine Nautilus (SS 168), commanded by Commander William D. Irvin, lands supplies for guerrillas on Mindanao Island
USS Wake Island arrived at Ulithi, Caroline Islands for repairs.
HF: More snow in the night, a few ‘planes flying through it. …Dreadfully cold day.