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February 3, 1945

Saturday, 3 February 1945

2nd Baltic Front making new attacks against German Army Group Courland

Baltic Sea Z-25 and two torpedo boats support German 3rd Army around Koenigsberg. Kriegsmarine torpedo recovery boat TFA-4 sunk by Soviet coastal gunfire
Ostsee Am 3.2. wird - nach Aussage eines Zeitzeugen - das dt. Torpedofangboot TFA 3 (ex-dän. T-Boot Dragen) durch sowj. Küstenartillerie bei Pillau zunächst beschädigt und muss an der Pommernküste östlich Stolpmünde auf Strand gesetzt werden

3rd Byelorussian Front attacking along Baltic coast. 2nd Byelorussian Front attacking toward Baltic coast. Landsberg and Bertenstein are taken.

1st Guards Tank Army of Soviet 1st Byelorussian Front attacking Kustrin
Thawing ice on the Oder brings Soviet attacks across the river to a halt

Unsuccessful revolt by Soviet POWs at Mauthausen

Roosevelt, Hopkins, Admiral Leahy, and party arrive Saki airfield in the Crimea by air from Malta for Yalta conference

The Soviet State Defense Committee (GKO) ordered all German males between the ages of 17 and 50 in Soviet-occupied territories to be deported to the Soviet Union as forced laborers.

RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force conducts Rodeo operation
US 1st Army captures Dedenborn, Dreiborn, Herhahn, Einruhr, Berescheid, Ettelscheid, Bronsfeld, and Ramscheid
US 3rd Army attacking around Pruem, Roth, Halenfeld, Buchet, and Bleialf
US 7th Army attacking around Oberhoffen, Drusenheim woods, and Herrlisheim
French 1st Army mopping up in Colmar and continuing to clear the pocket. French and American units complete the capture of Colmar. All formations of French 1st Army are now making good progress in this sector.
After undergoing partial reorganization, the Ninth Army was composed of the XIX and XIII Corps.

Convoy JW 64 departs the Clyde for Kola Inlet
Nordmeer Konvoi-Operation JW.64. Ausfahrt nach Murmansk mit 29 Schiffen, gesichert von den Sloops Cygnet und Lark, dem Zerstörer Whitehall und den Korvetten Alnwick Castle, Bamborough Castle, Bluebell und Rhododendron.

Norwegen “Banff Strike Wing” greift am 3.2. mit Mosquitos der 143., 235. und 248. Sqn RAF den Schiffsverkehr vor Bergen an und beschädigt den deutschen Dampfer Tiefland (1923 BRT). Keine Flugzeugverluste.
Niederlande Am 3.2. greifen Lancasters der Sqn. 9 und 617 des RAF Bomber Command die dt. S-Boot-Bunker in Ijmuiden und KU-Boot-Bunker in Poortershavn wie auch Spitfires der 2. TAF die „KK-Depots“ in Amersfoort an.

HMT Arley (RN): The naval trawler struck a mine in the North Sea and sank under tow off Cromer (53°06′N 01°16′E).
U-1279 (Kriegsmarine): The Type VIIC/41 submarine, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans Falke, was depth charged and sunk in the North Sea off Bergen, Hordaland, Norway (61°32′N 1°36′E) by HMS Bayntun (K 310)and HMS Loch Eck (K 422) (both RN), HMS Braithwaite (K 468) with the loss of all 48 crew.

***
Maximum Effort: USAAF send a 1000 B-17s to Berlin

US 8th Air Force attacks Berlin with 443 bombers, of which 23 lost, Magdeburg with 362 bombers, targets of opportunity with 69 bombers

More than 900 B-17 Flying Fortresses bombers of the USAAF Eighth Air Force, protected by over 550 P-51 Mustangs fighter escorts, attacked the Berlin railway system and drop 3,000 tons of explosives. The raid killed about 3,000 Berliners. The newspaper district, central area and some others were severely damaged and almost totally destroyed. Government and Nazi Party building were also hit, including the Reich Chancellery, the Party Chancellery, the Gestapo headquarters, and the People’s Court.

Die US-amerikanische Luftwaffe fliegt mit 937 Bombern, begleitet von 613 Jagdflugzeugen, einen der schwersten Luftangriffe auf die deutsche Reichshauptstadt Berlin, bei dem über 3000 t Sprengbomben abgeworfen werden. 22 000 Menschen, darunter der Präsident des Volksgerichtshofes, Roland Freisler, kommen bei dem Angriff ums Leben.

US 8th Air Force, with 937 bombers (24 planes lost) and 613 (900) fighters, carries out the heaviest attack to date against Berlin which levels large areas of the city and kills more than 25,000 civilians, setting fire to 5 sq km in central districts (2,267t of bombs); Tempelhof marshalling yards and Airport seriously damaged.

Roland Freisler, a prominent and notorious Nazi judge, was killed during the massive air raid on Berlin. Freisler was the Reich Ministry of Justice and President of the Volksgerichtshof (People’s Court), which was set up outside constitutional authority.
The first bombs fall on Berlin on 3rd February.
Smoke starts to cover the target as more bombers arrive
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Reconnaissance photo of 8th Air Force bomb damage to Berlin
View of Mohrenstrasse, Berlin, Germany after the Allied bombing of 3 Feb 1945
Part of the post raid bombing analysis from 3rd February 1945.

http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/mustang/combat-reports.html

2/3 February 1945
495 Lancasters and 12 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups to Wiesbaden. 3 Lancasters crashed in France. This was Bomber Command's one and only large raid on Wiesbaden. There was complete cloud cover but most of the bombing hit the town. 5 important war industries along the banks of the Rhine were untouched but the railway station was damaged.
Wanne-Eickel: 323 aircraft – 277 Halifaxes, 27 Lancasters, 19 Mosquitos – of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups. 4 Halifaxes lost. This target was also cloud-covered and the attack, intended for the oil refinery, was not accurate. Local people assumed that the target was a local coal mine – Shamrock 3/4; most of the bombing fell in the open ground around the mine.
Karlsruhe: 250 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos of No 5 Group. 14 Lancasters lost. No 189 Squadron, from Fulbeck, lost 4 of its 19 aircraft on the raid. Cloud cover over the target caused this raid to be a complete failure. Karlsruhe reports no casualties and only a few bombs. The report mentions 'dive bombers', presumably the Mosquito marker aircraft trying to establish their position. This was a lucky escape for Karlsruhe in its last major RAF raid of the war.
43 Mosquitos to Magdeburg and 20 to Mannheim, 54 RCM sorties, 44 Mosquito patrols. No aircraft lost.
Total effort for the night: 1,252 sorties, 21 aircraft (1.7 per cent) lost.

3 February 1945
36 Lancasters of No 5 Group attacked U-boat pens at Ijmuiden (No 9 Squadron) and Poortershaven (No 617 Squadron) with Tallboy bombs. It was believed that these pens, in that part of Holland still occupied by the Germans, were sheltering midget submarines. The weather was clear and hits were claimed at both targets without loss.
1 Halifax flew an RCM sortie.

RAF Bomber Command sends 36 aircraft to attack U-boat pens at Ijmuiden and Poortershaven during the day

RAF Bomber Command sends 210 aircraft to attack Bottrop, 149 aircraft to attack Dortmund, 42 aircraft to attack Wiesbaden, 20 aircraft to attack Osnabruck, 19 aircraft to conduct minelaying operations overnight

9 aircraft detailed to drain the oil of BOTTROP. The marking appears to have been very goog, and the bombing was well concentrated in the later stage of the attack. There were numerous searchlights coming and enemy fighters were active over the target and on the return route. Two aircraft failed to return F/L M Spinley DFM and F/L J.G. Evans and crews. F/O G.B. Hampson and crew arrived from P.N.T.U. (ex 170 Sqdn.) 12 non operational flights.

US 12th Air Force grounded by poor weather conditions

Nine + Two V-2 rocket launches against Antwerp. Four V-2 rocket launches against England
15 V-2 rocket launches Batt. 1., 2., 3./485, 3./836, SS 500. 1 failure. Impact:
Ilford. 1 Dead, 51 injured.
Plankenbergstraat, Duerne. 16 Dead. 5 Properties demolished, 86 seriously damaged including partially demolished.

U-2361 was commissioned. Her first commander was Oberleutnant zur See Heinz von Hennig.

In der US-amerikanischen Hauptstadt Washington werden erste Zahlen über die Lieferungen der Vereinigten Staaten an die UdSSR im Rahmen des 1940 vom US-Kongress verabschiedeten Leih- und Pachtgesetzes bekanntgegeben.

In Paris endet ein viertägiger Kongress der Widerstandsorganisation „Front Nationale“. Die 1813 Delegierten, die etwa zwei Millionen Mitglieder vertreten, sprechen sich einmütig für die Anerkennung der im Mai 1944 eingerichteten provisorischen Regierung Frankreichs unter Führung von General Charles de Gaulle aus.

HF: Another fine day, and much warmer.


South China Sea Japanese vessel No. 3 Nanryu Maru sunk by USN aircraft off Amoy, China / off Takao, Formosa.
IJN river gunboat Karatsu (ex-Luzon (PR-7)) sunk as blockship at Manila
USS Sea Robin (SS 407), commanded by Commander Paul C. Stimson, torpedoed and damaged the Japanese transport Suiten Maru off Bawean Island, Netherland East Indies
Minesweeper W.102 (ex-HMS Waglan) is damaged (cause unspecified) north of Haitan Island 25°40’N, 119°50’E.

Tantivy (Cdr. Rimington) versenkt am 3.2. einen Schlepper und zwei Routendampfer.

The first firebombing raid on Japan was conducted by the U.S. Army Air Forces XXI Bomber Command on the city of Kobe where 159 tons of incendiaries burned more than a thousand buildings. The raid was considered relatively successful, so the U.S. Army Air Forces decided to continue using these tactics.

Volcano Islands US 7th Air Force attacks Iwo Jima with 10 B-24 bombers, strafes with 15 fighters

China Hunan-Kwangtung-Kiangsi operations: 40th Infantry Division of Japanese 20th Army occupies Nanhsiung

Burma US 5332nd Infantry Brigade of Northern Combat Area Command attacking around Hpa-pen
US 10th Air Force provides support for ground operations around Hosi, Myitson, and Molo with 27 fighters, attacks Japanese positions at Loilem with 12 bombers, attacks Japanese positions, supply dumps, and other targets around Kyaung-hen, Mongkyet, Hsipaw, Hsenwi, Nasang, Konghsa, and Hkaihsi with 80 fighters
Frank Messervy ordered his Indian 4th Corps to attack Chauk and Pagan

The Battle of Manila On 3 February, elements of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division under Maj. Gen. Verne D. Mudge pushed into the northern outskirts of Manila and seized a vital bridge across the Tullahan River, which separated them from the city proper, and quickly captured Malacanang Palace. A squadron of Brig. Gen. William C. Chase’s 8th Cavalry, the first unit to arrive in the city, began a drive toward the sprawling campus of the University of Santo Tomas which had been turned into an Santo Tomas Internment Camp for civilians and the US Army and Navy nurses sometimes known as the “Angels of Bataan”.
Two battalions of 511th Parachute Regiment of US 11th Airborne Division drop at Tagaytay Ridge south of Manila
US FEAF aircraft attack Cavite naval base, Corregidor Island, Mindanao Island. The first 915 paratroopers were flown in forty-eight Douglas C-47s of the 317th Troop Carrier Group. The first serial of eighteen aircraft dropped their troops with pinpoint accuracy on the selected drop zone. The second serial of thirty aircraft dropped its planeloads early five miles from the drop zone. At noon that same day, the mistake was repeated again as another serial of fifty-one planeloads of paratroopers jumped early onto the same spot five miles short of the drop zone. In spite of the confused parachute drop, the paratroopers managed to successfully link-up at 1500 hours that afternoon with the 187th and 188th Glider Regiments of the 11th Airborne Division attacking north toward Manila.
The Japanese began burning Tondo, a district of Manila in northwest portion of the city.

Santo Tomas University was liberated by the US Army 1st Calvary Division (8th Regiment, 1st Brigade). They were backed by five tanks from the 44th Tank Battalion and assisted by Filipino Guerrillas. The tanks entered through the gate at Calle Espana after a brief skirmish, freeing many of the captives. The Japanese, commanded by Lt. Col. Toshio Hayashi gathered the remaining internees together in the Education Building, as hostages, exchanging fire with the Americans.

East Indies RAAF aircraft attack Halmahera Island

USS Tunny departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her eighth war patrol.

The AA cruiser USS Tucson (CL-98) was commissioned. Her first commander was Captain Arthur D. Ayrault.
The USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754) was commissioned. Her first commander was Commander Harry Smith.


Walt Disney’s “3 Caballeros” released
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