25. februar 1945

25. februar 1945


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25. februar 1945

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1. ameriška vojska ujame Duren



Narragansett Bay – 25. februar 1945

25. februarja 1945 je bil zastavnik Thomas William McSteen, 21, ubit, ko je letalo F6F-5N Hellcat (Bu. Št. 70670), ki ga je pilotiral, strmoglavilo v bližini otoka Fox na zahodnem prehodu zaliva Narragansett, med Jamestownom in celino. Praporščak McSteen in tri druga letala Hellcat so takrat sodelovali na vadbi za pristanek nosilcev. Po pregledu najdenega letala so preiskovalci ugotovili, da je do nesreče prišlo zaradi okvare motorja.

Praporščak McSteen je diplomiral na planini Libanon, Penn. Srednjo šolo leta 1941, februarja 1943 pa se je vpisal v mornarico. Julija 1944 je na mornariški letalski postaji Pensacola v Pensacoli na Floridi prejel naročilo zastavnika in krilca pilota#8217.

Zastavnika McSteina je preživela njegova žena Margaret Elizabeth, s katero se je poročil v Pensacola NAS 22. julija 1944. Pokopan je na pokopališču St. Mary ’s v Pennsylvaniji.

Slika od
“Da bi lahko imeli boljši svet ” od gore Libanon, Penn. Šolski dist. 1946
KLIKNI ZA POVEČAVO

Larry Webster, letalski zgodovinar in arheolog

Pittsburgh Post – Gazzette, “Mt. Libanon Girl Ensign ’s Bride ”, 30. julij 1944


Naloga opravljena

13. februarja 1945 ob 18.00 so letala iz elitne skupine 5 poveljstva bombnikov RAF vzletela iz Swinderbyja v Lincolnshireu. Vključevali so 244 polno obremenjenih bombnikov Lancaster s kodnim imenom Plate Rack Force. Ta flota se je eno uro kasneje zbrala nad Readingom in tako oblikovala armado za Nemčijo ter prečkala francosko obalo malo pred 20. uro. Nad Nemčijo je tisto noč delovalo štirinajst zavezniških letal, od katerih so številna sodelovala v preusmeritvah, da bi prikrila glavni cilj. Kompleksni zračni manevri so določeno tarčo skupine 5 skrivali do konca: nemški zagovorniki niso mogli ugotoviti, ali so bili cilj Berlin, Leipzig, Chemnitz ali tovarne goriv na jugovzhodu. Kam naj pošljejo svoje izčrpane borilne sile?

Malo pred 22. uro so se v Dresdnu, zgodovinski saški prestolnici, znani kot "Firence na Labi" oglasile sirene. Visoko zgoraj v neoboroženem britanskem komarju je poveljnik kril Maurice Smith, nočni mojster bombnik, ki je bil v radijski zvezi z visokim štabom poveljstva bombnikov in floto bombnikov, naročil v letalih, ki so spustila zabojnike za označevanje tarč. Nato je dal usodno ukaz:

"Controller to Plate Rack Force: Vstopite in bombardirajte sijaj rdečih ciljnih kazalcev, kot je bilo načrtovano. Bombirajte sijaj rdečih TI, kot je bilo načrtovano."

V dveh minutah je ta sila padla z vrsto orožja, močne eksplozivne bombe so razbile luknje v strehah in stenah, skozi katere je padlo na desetine tisoč manjših vžigalnih naprav. Ti so delovali, saj so bili v Veliki Britaniji preizkušeni na replikah nemških hiš, ki vsebujejo točno takšno pohištvo v tipičnem nemškem domu. Dresden je začel močno goreti na tisoče manjših požarov.

Ko so se sile civilne zaščite Dresdna poskušale spopasti s posledicami tega napada, je prišlo večje število 550 bombnikov, da bi dokončali dvojni udarec takih napadov na mestno središče, pri čemer bi bile sile civilne zaščite ujete, ko so se lotile svojih obupanih poslov. zatiranje požarov. Ker je središče že gorelo dovolj močno, da ga je mogoče videti z razdalje 50 milj, se je ta drugi val odločil, da bo razširil lok uničenja in se preselil v nastanek oboževalcev.

Dresden je kmalu zajel ogromen požar, njegovi državljani so se zadušili ali raztopili v viskozne luže v kleteh. Okoli poldneva na današnjo pepelnično sredo se je zdelo, da je armada ameriških bombnikov B-17 razpršila vse dele Dresdna, ki jih ni zatemnil dim, čeprav je nekaterim uspelo deževati bombe na Prago. Zaradi teh napadov je umrlo 25.000 ljudi - to je najmanjša ocena - in 13 kvadratnih kilometrov Dresdna je ležalo v ruševinah.

Dva dni po napadu so se začeli poskusi bombardiranja Dresdna obravnavati kot vojni zločin nad nedolžnimi prebivalci zgodovinskega kulturnega središča brez industrijskega ali vojaškega pomena. To je bilo delo nacističnega propagandnega suprema Goebbelsa, katerega "spin doktorji" so prebivalce mesta povečali za štirikrat, da bi podprli divjo trditev, da so napadi ujeli dva milijona beguncev z vzhoda, in ki so upoštevali število trupla, ki so jih javno sežgali (s pomočjo SS -jev, ki so imeli nekaj izkušenj s temi nalogami), tako da je dejanski številki 6.856 dodala še nič. Režim, ki je iz Baedeckerjevih vodnikov izbral britanske tarče, se je razširil zaradi škode na nemški kulturni dediščini.

Po kratkem premoru, ko so se vzhodnonemške komunistične oblasti prestrašile vsakega zaveznika, saj je bilo bombardiranje Dresdna v veliki meri namenjeno razbremenitvi Rdeče armade, so do leta 1950 krivili pretežno britanski napad. Američani, pri katerih sta bila glavna krivca Truman in nato Eisenhower: "Wall Street je hotel preprečiti, da bi Sovjetska zveza, njen domnevni zaveznik, pomagala Nemcem po koncu vojne," v svinčenem marksističnem argotu. Nacistični govor o "anglo-ameriških zračnih gangsterjih" je bil recikliran v prav tako nesvobodnem komunističnem tisku.

Čeprav so napadi na Dresden prešli v anale zavezniške oblokije, ki so jih zasenčili le Hirošima in Nagasaki, je bilo pri bombardiranju Dresdna pravzaprav vse izjemno le to, da so bili napadi zaradi pogojnih razlogov grozljivo primerni za stopnjo uničenja, na primer , nizko Pforzheim je bil veliko večji, saj je bila izbrisana šestina prebivalstva in 83% mesta.

Dobro raziskana in nezahtevna knjiga Fredericka Taylorja je trdna obramba napadov v Dresdnu, ki nasprotuje nedavnim poskusom preoblikovanja naroda, ki je svetu dal Auschwitz kot glavne žrtve druge svetovne vojne, poskusom, ki segajo v čas Goebbelsa. Nadaljujejo v obliki kriminalizacije suprema Berta "Bomberja" Harrisa poveljstva bombnikov RAF za visoko strategijo, ki je bila v veliki meri zasnovana tako, da je Stalinu pokazala, da se njegovi zahodni zavezniki dejansko borijo, če ne v, nato pa vsaj nad nacistično Nemčijo. Tudi maščevanje je glede na uničenje britanskih mest igralo pomembno vlogo, da ne govorimo o Beogradu, Rotterdamu, Stalingradu ali Varšavi, katerih uničujoče bombardiranje Luftwaffe ni ustvarilo takšnih polic literature, kot je zavezniško bombardiranje Nemčije.

Priznati je treba, da je knjiga nekoliko preobremenjena z globokimi zgodovinskimi podrobnostmi o naših starodavnih saških bratrancih. Obstajajo tudi opisi razvoja zračnega bojevanja, ki sega vse do italijansko-turške vojne v Libiji, ki se nadaljuje z dolgočasnimi letalskimi motorji.

Nedvomno je najbolj fascinantna tema, ki jo Taylor uspešno razvija, kako in zakaj so načrtovalci RAF in obveščevalci pridobili cilje. Prepričljivo zavrača - obotavlja se, da bi napisal "ruši" - legendo, da je bil Dresden zgolj kulturno središče, saj so bili celo (sosednji) proizvajalci porcelana v Meissenu spremenjeni v vojaške teletiperje. Pravzaprav je imel Dresden precejšnje objekte lahke industrije, ki so bili prikrito preoblikovani iz proizvodnje cigaret ali zobne paste, ki jih je mogoče stisniti, v proizvodnjo takšne natančne vojaške opreme, kot so merilniki bomb, varovalke in radijski sprejemniki, pa tudi velike količine nabojev.

Dresden je bil tudi pomembna železniška postaja, ki se je uporabljala za preusmerjanje moških in materialov iz preostale Evrope, okupirane z nacisti, v boj proti napredujoči Rdeči armadi. Vse, kar bi lahko zmanjšalo silovit odpor, s katerim so se Rusi srečali v drugih "trdnjavskih" mestih, je naletelo na navdušeno odobravanje. Ni dokazov, da so bili napadi namenjeni navdušiti Sovjete z zahodno letalsko močjo. Za zaveznike vojna ni bila skoraj "končana", kar bi dokazali hudi bitki pri Ardenih ali v berlinskem središču.

Enako pomembno je, da se je britanski skupni obveščevalni odbor že odločil, da je udarec proti Berlinu izjemen udarec glede na razdaljo prestolnice, zračno obrambo in razpršenost mest ter da bi zato moralo poveljstvo bombnikov udariti v bolj kompaktna mesta na vzhodu, kar bi izrecno povzročilo kaos. Dresden se je začel pojavljati kot možna tarča. Pomanjkanje visoko eksplozivnih bomb je povečalo privlačnost deviških ciljev, ki bi lažje goreli, če bi jih zasuli s poceni in številnimi zažigalnimi napravami. Anonimni meteorološki uradniki RAF so končno zapečatili usodo Dresdna, ko so 13. februarja zjutraj napovedali prelom oblakov nad mestom in dobro vreme nad bazami Lincolnshire, kamor se bodo bombniki vrnili. Končne elemente katastrofe sta zagotovila nemška odstranitev protiletalskih pušk, ki so jih uporabili na terenu proti Rusom, in neuspeh nacističnih oblasti v Dresdnu, da mestu ne zagotovijo ustreznih javnih zavetišč (čeprav je regionalni gauleiter zagotovil svojo hišo). z globokim bunkerjem).

Taylor spretno prepleta različne osebne pripovedi o vplivu napadov na stalno ali začasno prebivalstvo Dresdna, vključno z njegovo suženjsko delovno silo. Toda glavna naloga njegove knjige je braniti poslanstvo, ki je bilo zgolj uspešno in ne izjemno. Ob koncu dolge vojne je prišlo do tega, da je, čeprav je na splošno brutalno in dušilo moralno občutljivost, imelo tudi dovolj jasno utemeljitev v boju med dobrim in zlim.

· Tretji rajh Michaela Burleigha: Nova zgodovina je objavil Pan.


Sestrelitev Arado-234 25. februarja 1945 pri Bohmteju

Objava avtorja Površinske slike & raquo 04. avgust 2020, 12:52

Iščem nekaj informacij o sestrelitvi Arado-234 25. februarja 1945 v bližini Bohmteja, severovzhodno od Osnabrücka. Stroj (8./ KG 76, Wknr .: 140456, Kennung F1 + AS) je upravljal Arnold Przeta. Po mojih podatkih sta Arado sestrelila dva pilota 364. FG, USAAF. Arado je štartal z letališča Achmer.

Iščem uradna poročila, fotografije itd. O dogodku. Lepo bi bilo, če bi mi lahko pomagali. Živim v bližini Bohmteja in pišem knjigo o drugi svetovni vojni v svoji domovini. Na fotografiji je grob Arnolda Przete na vojnem pokopališču v Bramscheju vzhodno od Achmerja in severno od Osnabrücka.


Zgodovina 25. februar 1945: Glas Kanade za svetovni uradni začetek

Na ta datum, 25. februarja 1945, se je Kanada pridružila številnim drugim državam pri svetovni radiodifuziji.

Sprva znana kot "mednarodna storitev" kanadske radiodifuzijske družbe, je leta 1972 kratkoročna radiotelevizija kasneje postala znana kot Radio Canada International.

Pogled z vlaka leta 2008, ki prikazuje velikost zgradb in višin in anten antene © prof. Anthony C Davies- MDS975

Po več kot dveh mesecih poskusnih prenosov, vključno s posebno božično oddajo, je takratni premier Kanade William Lyon Mackenzie-King uradno uvedel novo storitev, ki so jo skoraj takoj poimenovali "glas Kanade"

Dejansko se je že v tridesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja zdelo, da bi morala Kanada imeti način izražanja svojega mnenja in stališča o svetovnih zadevah.

Včasih so bili napačno opredeljeni kot prvi dom družbe RCI, to pa je bila pravzaprav druga lokacija, ki se je leta 1950-51 v središču Montreala preselila v prenovljeni nekdanji hotel Ford. Že nekaj let prej je CBC-IS oddajal iz nekdanje tovarne bordelov in oblačil. © CBC

Z izbruhom vojne leta 1939 se je potreba povečala, čeprav se je osredotočilo na oddajanje kanadskih novic kanadskim vojakom v tujini. Leta 1942 je bila odločitev dokončno dokončana, vendar je zaradi pomanjkanja v času dobava oddajnikov zamujala za več kot dve leti. Toda do leta 1944 so bile stvari skoraj pripravljene.

Vrhunski oddajniki ABB v Sackvilleu v New Brunswicku 2008, odpravljeni leta 2012. Rob logotipa RCI je viden spodaj levo spodaj © Anthony C Davies-

Tudi fokus se je spet nekoliko spremenil, saj se je vojna že bližala koncu. Do uradne oddaje ni bilo treba samo oddajati novic od doma za kanadsko vojaško osebje v angleščini in francoščini, ampak tudi v nemščini kot vidik psihološkega bojevanja in Nemcem poročati o tem, kaj se je v vojni v resnici dogajalo.

Kmalu zatem, marca, so se začele tudi češke oddaje

Sprva ustanovljena v nekdanji tovarni oblačil v Montrealu, kasneje pa v bordelu, se bo nova storitev sčasoma preselila v velik hotel Ford, ki ga je leta 1948 kupila CBC in ga v dveh letih obsežno prenovila za namestitev radijskih in pozneje televizijskih oddaj.

Oddajnik se je nahajal na Tantramarjevih močvirjih v New Brunswicku, blizu Sackvillea.

Fotografija iz filma prikazuje uničenje ene od zadnjih anten RCI © Amanda Dawn Christie

Do leta 1951 in s selitvijo v nove pisarne v nekdanjem hotelu Ford v središču Montreala je RCI predvajal v 14 jezikih.

Mednarodna služba (CBC-IS) je prav tako skoraj takoj začela snemati kanadsko glasbo, saj je bilo takrat malo na voljo in je med drugim izpolnila pooblastilo, da bo v tujini še naprej odsevala kanadsko kulturo. Posnetki so bili odpravljeni za odpravo te pomanjkljivosti v Kanadi, hkrati pa so zadovoljili lastne potrebe mednarodne službe. Uspeh se je razvil v "storitev prepisovanja" in katalog dobesedno na stotine vrhunskih kakovostnih posnetkov klasične in lahke glasbe Kanadčanov in iz njih.

Maison Radio-Canada v Montrealu. Pogled z vzhoda z vidnimi nakladalnimi zalivi, prizemnimi konstrukcijami in parkiriščem. RCI zdaj zaseda majhen odsek pod nivojem tal B. Od leta 2016 je celotna stavba na prodaj. © Atilin-wikicommons

V desetletjih po tem je RCI postal resnično značilen in zelo cenjen glas v svetu, s signalom, ki je - zahvaljujoč vzajemnim dogovorom z drugimi izdajatelji televizijskih programov - dosegel ves svet. Število jezikov se je skozi leta povečevalo in zmanjševalo, odvisno od svetovnih razmer, vendar je bilo ocenjeno, da se milijoni vsak dan prilagajajo oddajam RCI za nepristranske svetovne novice in informacije ter zgodbe iz Kanade in okoli nje.

Vendar pa so leta 2012 znižanja proračuna prisilila konec kratkoročnih oddaj in 80 -odstotno zmanjšanje števila zaposlenih.

Trenutna lokacija RCI prikazuje glavno pisarno in območja za preostale kitajske, angleške, francoske, španske in arabske oddelke. © Leo Gimeno- RCI

Zdaj, v 71. letu, RCI trenutno proizvaja spletne informacije in oddaja v petih jezikih, angleščini, francoščini, mandarini, španščini in arabščini.


Manila 1945, uničenje "bisera Vzhoda": Pregled divjanja: MacArthur, Yamashita in bitka pri Manili

Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita in bitka pri Manili pripoveduje zgodbo o enem najbolj brutalnih poglavij v zgodovini druge svetovne vojne. Gre za natančno raziskano poročilo o osvoboditvi Manile februarja 1945. Avtor James M. Scott (Ciljajte na Tokio in Vojna spodaj), podrobno opisuje grozljive zločine, ki so jih Japonci zagrešili, ko so ubili, posilili in uničili Manilo, tako lepo mesto, ki je bilo nekoč znano kot "biser vzhoda". Čeprav je nasilje grafično opisano in ga je včasih težko prebrati, Scott odlično opiše grozodejstva in dokumentira japonske zločine. To je zgodba, drugačna od katere koli druge, ki se je zgodila v pacifiškem gledališču vojne, hudega mestnega vojskovanja v velikem, naprednem, sodobnem mestu.

Divjanje se začne z Douglasom MacArthurjem, ki stoji na verandi svoje koče na filipinskem otoku Corregidor in se z ženo in sinom v noči na 11. marec 1942. pripravlja na evakuacijo v Avstralijo. Japonci so 2. januarja 1942 vstopili v Manilo in po vsem mestu je preplavil teror. Ameriški civilisti in Filipinci so se bali najhujšega, kar je Pacita Pestano-Jacinto v svojem dnevniku opisala, o čem mislijo vsi: »Zdaj nevarnost ne bo prišla z neba, nova nevarnost bo živela med nami. Z nami. " Avtor pri opisovanju dogodkov, ki so se zgodili v Manili februarja 1945, uporablja nešteto dnevnikov in dnevnikov, od Filipincev, Američanov, ameriških vojakov in japonskih vojakov. Število dnevnikov in dnevnikov, ki smo jih navedli Divjanje jih je nešteto. Jasno ponazarja svež in prepotreben pristop k težki temi. Ti izkazi iz prve roke prinašajo dogodke, ki so se zgodili, kot je opisano v Divjanje, živ.

Razmere so se z japonsko okupacijo Manile hitro poslabšale. Japonci so poskušali prepričati javnost, da so Američani vojno izgubili. Začeli so propagandno kampanjo, ki je vključevala gledališča, ki predvajajo filme, ki prikazujejo Pearl Harbor, Bataan in Corregidor. Gospodarstvo nekdaj velikega mesta je začelo propadati, podjetja so se zaprla, javne šole pa so se zmanjšale na del tistega, kar so nekoč bile. Postalo je zelo jasno, da se Japonci niso trudili vzdrževati infrastrukture Manile. Juan Labrador, španski duhovnik, je v svoji mlekarni zapisal: "Življenje v mestu je onesnažil roj parazitov: zdravniki brez pacientov, odvetniki brez strank, učitelji brez šol." Sčasoma lakota pri ljudeh naredi vse, kar je potrebno za preživetje. Otroci so bili zapuščeni ali celo prodani. Vse to je podrobno prikazano grafično. Univerza v Santo Tomasu je bila ustanovljena kot taborišče za internacije, kjer je bilo skoraj tri leta v ujetništvu več kot 4000 tujih državljanov, vključno z Američani. Tako kot na ulicah Manile so se razmere v taborišču hitro poslabšale.

Bralca pritegne trpljenje, ki ga povzroča prebivalstvo Manile, v nenehnem upanju, da bo prišla ameriška vojska in končala vse trpljenje, da bo mesto osvobojeno in da se bo življenje nadaljevalo. Vendar, kot dobro vemo, se to ne zgodi.

20. oktobra 1944, več kot dve leti po tem, ko je MacArthur pobegnil iz Corregidorja, se je general vrnil na Filipine. Japonci niso nameravali predati Manile. 25. septembra 1944 je general Tomoyuki Yamashita dobil poveljstvo nad vsemi kopenskimi silami na Filipinih, vendar, kot pojasnjuje Scott, je japonska poveljniška struktura v obrambi Manile vključevala več poveljnikov iz vojske in mornarice. Poleg Yamashite so bili v obrambi Manile še admiral Okochi, general Yokoyama in kontraadmiral Sanji Iwabuchi. Admiral Okochi je kontraadmiralu Iwabuchiju ukazal, naj uniči pristanišče, pristanišče in mostove. Yokoyama se je strinjal z Okochijem in postavil vojaške sile v Manilo pod poveljstvo Iwabuchija. Yamashita je svoj sedež preselil v gorsko mesto Baguio, 125 milj severno od Manile.

Iwabuchi je imel pod poveljstvom 12.500 mornarjev in 4.500 vojakov in se je proti ukazom odločil za obrambo Manile od hiše do hiše. Čete so iz avtomobilov in tovornjakov zgradile barikade, zgradile škatle, postavile mine ob cestah in na križiščih zabarikadirale ulice. Okna so napolnili tudi z armiranim betonom, v stenah naredili reže za pištole in na strateška mesta skrivali strelivo. Japonski tisk je zapisal: "Tu, na teh otokih v prostranem Tihem oceanu, se bo zgodila velika tragedija. To bo boj do smrti. " Pacita Pestano-Jacinto je v svoj dnevnik zapisala: "Poraz je edina stvar, zaradi katere se lahko spremenijo v zveri."

Elementi 5. konjenice ZDA so 3. februarja 1945. zvečer prispeli v taborišče za internacijo Santo Tomas. V taborišču je veselje in praznovanje s prihodom Američanov. Lačni ljudje so nahranjeni, čeprav se je to za večino izkazalo preveč in jim je zbolelo. Zdravstvena oskrba je namenjena tistim, ki jo potrebujejo. Zunaj taborišča se je začel zakol in uničenje bisera Vzhoda. Podrobno dobimo opise napadov v bolnišnici San Juan de Dios, cerkvi Santo Domingo in nemškem klubu. Japonski vojaki so posilili na tisoče žensk, bajonetne otroke, odrezali glave in zažgali mesto. Intramuros, zgodovinsko obzidano mesto znotraj Manile, bi bilo eno zadnjih mest, kjer bi Japonci zdržali. Tu je Sancho Enriquez svojo družino skril v zavetišče, kjer je njegova žena, ko se je vrnila in odkrila vodo, odkrila "pohabljena telesa naših štirih otrok skoraj do neprepoznavnosti".

Obstajajo zgodbe o junaštvu. Ena od močnih točk, ki so jih zagovarjali Japonci, je bila železniška postaja Paco. Tristo japonskih marincev je staro železniško postajo spremenilo v trdnjavo. Naloga 148. pehote je bila izkoreniniti Japonce iz njihove trdnjave. Po enem dnevu sondiranja ameriški vojaki niso mogli prodreti v odpor in trdne utrdbe. Zasebnika Cleto Rodriquez in John Reese sta v utrdbah našla šibko točko in jo izkoristila. Nadaljevali so naprej in v več kot dveh urah pobili več kot 80 Japoncev, kar je omogočilo, da je položaj zasedla ameriška vojska. Reese je bil ubit, oba moška pa sta kasneje prejela častno medaljo.

Kogar koli južno od reke Pasig je ujel stalni navzkrižni ogenj japonskega in ameriškega topništva. Avtor poudarja, da odločitev o uporabi ameriškega topništva ni prišla zlahka. MacArthur je želel rešiti čim več mesta, kolikor je le mogel. Hkrati so bili poveljniki ZDA bolj zaskrbljeni zaradi reševanja življenj ameriških vojakov. Ameriški vojni dopisnik in avtor John Dos Passos je zapisal: "Bilo je kot kegljišče nad našimi glavami, pištole so streljale najprej z ene, nato z druge strani." Več kot en Filipinec je po bitki krivil Američane, da so z topništvom uničili njihovo mesto.

Zadnja trdnjava, ki so jo imeli Japonci, je bila kmetijska stavba in tam je zdržal Iwabuchi. Spoznal je, da predaja ni možna z nožem, ki mu je "razrezal trebuh". 3. marca se je bitka pri Manili končala. Uničenje Manile je bilo popolno in njegove posledice bodo trajale generacije. Yamashiti je sodilo vojaško sodišče in 23. februarja 1946 je bilo obešeno.

Iz česa lahko sklepamo Divjanje? Morda je to, da nasilje, ki smo ga povezali s koncem druge svetovne vojne v Pacifiku, ni bilo omejeno le na Iwo Jimo, Okinavo, ognjeni bombni napad v Tokiu ali atomske bombe. Manila se je začela leta 1945, zadnje leto vojne, kot eno najbolj brutalnih poglavij v zgodovini vojne. Scottov zaključek je, da se Manila od tistega grozljivega februarja 1945. nikoli ni okrevala. Starodavno obzidano mesto je ležalo v ruševinah, obnova mesta je bila skoncentrirana južno od mesta v Makatiju in tam, kjer je bil nekoč nemški klub, je zdaj prazno igrišče. Leta 1995, ob peti obletnici, je kip, ki ga je oblikoval Peter de Guzman, spomnil na tiste, ki so izgubili življenje. To je zelo močan opomin, da so bili ubiti nedolžni civilisti, med njimi ženske in otroci.

Divjanje ni prijetno branje, je pa zgodovinski opis enega najbolj grozljivih poglavij v zgodovini druge svetovne vojne. Je dobro dokumentiran in vključuje izbrano bibliografijo in kazalo. Fotografije v knjigi oživijo grozodejstva, ki so jih Japonci zagrešili tistega grozljivega februarja 1945. To ni branje za tiste s slabim srcem, vendar daje oster in natančen prikaz bitke pri Manili in barbarstva ki je človek sposoben.


Kanada v drugi svetovni vojni

Landry, Pierre. “Talijanska kampanja ” Juno Beach Center. Združenje Juno Beach Center, 2003. [Datum dostopa].

Osvoboditev Nizozemske in kapitulacija Nemčije

Zima pri Maasu, 8. novembra 1944 in#8211 7. februarja 1945

Po bitki pri Scheldtu se je prva kanadska vojska pripravila na zimo. Tri mesece, med 8. novembrom 1944 in 8. februarjem 1945, Kanadčani niso sodelovali v nobeni obsežni operaciji. Počitek je bil več kot dobrodošel. 3. pehotna divizija in 2. oklepna brigada sta se borili od začetka junija, druge enote od julija.

Pripadniki čete “B ”, peti poljski polk, streljajo 25-palčno v bližini Maldena na Nizozemskem, 1. februarja 1945. Od leve proti desni: narednik Jack Brown, Bdr. Joe Wilson, topniki Lyle Ludwig, Bill Budd, George Spence in Bill Stewart.
hoto avtorja Michael M. Dean. Oddelek za nacionalno obrambo / Nacionalni arhiv Kanade, PA-146868.

Teh pet mesecev delovanja je imelo velik vpliv na vse bataljone prve armade. Moški so bili ubiti v akciji ali evakuirani, potem ko so bili ranjeni, drugi, ki so trpeli zaradi izčrpanosti bitke, so se zrušili pod stalnim stresom vedno prisotne smrti, vsak dan soočeni z minometi, granatami in naboji. Druge je sovražnik ujel, da bi jih zaslišali in jih nato premestili v stalag na nemškem ozemlju.

V severozahodni Evropi, tako kot v Italiji, so bile kanadske enote pod močjo, brez usposobljenih ljudi, ki bi zapolnili praznine, ki so jih pustile velike žrtve. Oktobra 1944 je to postalo kritično vprašanje in kanadski obrambni minister polkovnik J. Layton Ralston je kanadske čete v tujini pregledal, da bi ukrepali. Ker je bil prepričan v nujnost oskrbe vojske s svežimi četami, je Ralston skušal pridobiti podporo kanadske vlade za obvezno službo v tujini. V strahu, da bi to povzročilo še večjo krizo s kanadskim prebivalstvom, je premier King zavrnil obljubo, da Kanadčani nikoli ne bodo poslani v tujino proti svoji volji. Ralston je odstopil in ga je na mestu obrambnega ministra zamenjal general Andy McNaughton. Užival je v upanju, da se bodo pripravniki teritorialne obrambe strinjali, da jih pošljejo na fronto, da se ta rešitev ni obnesla in problem je ostal nerešen.

Fotografija Barney J. Gloster. Oddelek za nacionalno obrambo / Nacionalni arhiv Kanade, PA-138068.
Fotografija Barney J. Gloster. Oddelek za nacionalno obrambo / Nacionalni arhiv Kanade, PA-138068.

Po drugi strani so bili po petih mesecih kampanje kanadski vojaki zdaj izkušeni bojevniki, a prezimovanje pri Maasu v bližini Nijmegna na Nizozemskem ni bilo nobeno zabavo. Morali so braniti mostišče, ki bi ga uporabili kot izhodišče za prehod čez Ren. Tudi Nemce so morali držati na nogah. Niso bili daleč, na drugi strani Maasa. Medtem ko sta ameriška in britanska vojska začeli napad južneje, so morali Kanadčani dati sovražniku vtis, da je napad neizbežen in ga prisilil, da zapušča čete na tem območju. Kanadski vojaki, ki so oblekli bele uniforme kot prikrivanje v zasneženi pokrajini, so patruljirali na “aktiven in agresiven ” način ter izkoristili vsako priložnost, da se uveljavijo ali postanejo ujetnik.

Nepričakovan razvoj dogodkov je bil, da se načrtovani napad odloži za nekaj tednov. Med 16. in 26. decembrom 1944 je Hitler poskušal izločiti ameriške čete iz Ardenov, da bi ponovno zavzel Antwerpen. Američani so uspeli ustaviti nemško napredovanje, vendar je operacija povzročila nekaj tednov zamude pri ofenzivi na Ren.

Bitka pri Porenju, 8. februar –, 11. marec 1945

Za operacijo Veritable je morala prva kanadska vojska zapustiti območje Nijmegen in se premakniti proti jugovzhodu, da bi prevzela Porenje, ozki pas zemlje med rekama Maas in Ren. Nizozemsko-nemška meja je sledila Maasu v tem sektorju. Prvič so se morali bojevati na nemških tleh in pričakovano je bilo hudo nasprotovanje. Območje so zaščitile tri obrambne črte: prva je bila vrsta postojank, nato Siegfriedova linija, ki je potekala skozi gozd Reichswald, in na koncu niz utrdb skozi gozd Hochwald. Da bi upočasnili napredek zaveznikov, so Nemci uničili nasipe in poplavili območje. Blažje vreme in otoplitev februarja so omehčali blatna tla in ovirali napredovanje oklepnih vozil in topništva.

Pehota Chaudièrejevega polka, ki gre po nasipu med čiščenjem poplavljenega območja v bližini Cleva v Nemčiji, 10. februarja 1945.
Fotografija Colin C. McDougall. Oddelek za nacionalno obrambo / Nacionalni arhiv Kanade, PA-159561.

Pod poveljstvom generala Crerarja in prve kanadske vojske so bile divizije II kanadskega korpusa, pa tudi devet britanskih divizij, nekatere belgijske, nizozemske, poljske in ameriške enote. To je bila največja vojaška sila pod kanadskim poveljstvom doslej.

Operacija se je začela 8. februarja z bombardiranjem iz letal in močno ofenzivo topništva. V boju pod prvo kanadsko vojsko je XXX britanski korpus korakal proti gozdu Reichswald. Na svojem levem boku je morala 3. kanadska divizija z vzdevkom “the Water Rats ” očistiti poplavljeno območje severno od ceste Nijmegen-Calcar. V ta namen je kanadska pehota uporabljala amfibijska vozila Buffalo, vendar ni mogla računati na podporo topništva ali tankov.

“ Prelomi v nasipih, ki jih je razstrelil sovražnik, so ponoči povzročili obsežne poplave. Cesta, ki jo je zgradila družba RCE do območja D coy, je bila izprana in sedež splavu je obdan z vodo. Nekatere od naših postojank smo morali opustiti, saj je voda še naprej naraščala s hitrostjo 2 do 3 palcev na uro čez dan. ”
– Vojni dnevnik Highland Light Infantry of Canada, 6. februar 1945

Nemci pa so se lahko zanašali na odlične obrambne naprave in protitankovske jarke, mreže jarkov, utrjene položaje –, pa tudi na očitno neizčrpno zalogo orožja in streliva. Zdaj so se borili za domovino in ta misel je povečala njihovo odločnost. Poleg tega je večino dežja vlaga in mraz ustvarila neprijetne bojne razmere. Kljub vsemu se je operacija dobro začela, saj so prvi dan padli napredni položaji, Siegfriedova linija pa se je zlomila že 10. februarja.

16. februarja je 7. brigada naletela na nepričakovano nasprotovanje v bližini gozda Moyland, proti Calcarju. Pehota je naletela na mitraljez, minomet in ogenj. Po nekaj dneh nasilnega boja in velikih žrtev za kraljeve puške Winnipeg in kanadsko škotsko je 7. brigada organizirala sistematičen napad, da bi očistila gozd preostalega sovražnika. 21. februarja je bil les zajet, vendar je šest dni bojev divizijo stalo 485 mož, ubitih, ranjenih ali ujetih.

Coy in C Coy naletita na veliko nasprotovanje, saj je sovražnik v gozdu Moyland Wood. Zdi se, da je tam veliko sovražnikov, čeprav so britanske enote predhodno očistile sovražnikove položaje ...
– Strelski polk Regina, vojni dnevnik, 16. in 18. februar 1945

Shermanovi tanki 4. oklepne divizije pripravljeni za napredovanje v bližini Sonsbecka v Nemčiji, 9. marca 1945.
Fotografija Jack H. Smith. Oddelek za nacionalno obrambo / Nacionalni arhiv Kanade, PA-113682.

V tem času je bila 4. brigada vpletena v krvavo akcijo vzdolž ceste Goch-Calcar: tanke in prevoznike čete Kenguru je ustavilo blato, v katerem so se zataknili, in ogenj iz skritih 88-milimetrskih pušk ob cesti. On the 19th and 20th, violent attacks and counter-attacks followed one another. Driven back, the 4th Brigade managed to regain some ground but it had lost some 400 men, including several captured by the enemy.

Dear Mother and Dad,
Just a note to let you know I’m well and a Prisoner of War in Germany. Please don’t worry about my condition or health-you know me, and I’m the same as ever. Your prayers have been with me, I know, and through my experiences I have been conscious of them and of you. I was captured late in the afternoon of Feb. 19. It was rather a rough time and I ended up on the wrong side of the line when the attack was over and things were more settled. I can receive all mail sent to me and the address is on the outside of this sheet. Hope war is over before I hear from you.

Your army son-Bob
– Lt/Cpl Robert Sanderson, POW at Stalag XI B, to his parents, 10 March 1945, from Letters from a Soldier : The Wartime Experience of a Canadian Infantryman, 1993

After the slow advance of the last few days, Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds believed a concentrated attack could capture Xanten and the Hochwald. This was operation Blockbuster and it started on February 25th. II Canadian Corps made good progression and seized Keppeln, Üdem and the Calcar Ridge. The struggle for the Hochwald Forest, bitterly disputed to the First German Army, lasted from February 27th to March 3rd. The Canadians captured Xanten, east of the Hochwald Forest, on March 10th.

“On one occasion after a tank had fired three rounds of rapid HE through the window of a building, a German soldier stuck his head out of a window and thumbed his nose at the oncoming infantry. Resistance was fanatical and a very small number of prisoners were taken…”
– Algonquin Regiment, War Diary, 7-10 March 1945

Canadian infantrymen passing German refugees near Xanten, Germany, March 9th, 1945.
Photo by Ken Bell. Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, PA-137462.

Meanwhile, the Ninth US Army moved from the south towards Wesel. To avoid getting trapped between the two Allied armies, the Germans retreated in good order to the opposite bank of the Rhine. On March 11th, the 21st Army Group occupied the Rhine’s left bank: the Battle for the Rhineland was over.

The purpose of this note is to express to you personally my admiration for the way you conducted the attack, by your Army, beginning February 8 and, ending when the enemy had evacuated his last bridgehead at Wesel. Probably no assault in this war has been conducted under more appalling conditions of terrain than was that one. It speaks volumes for your skill and determination and the valour of your soldiers, that you carried it through to a successful conclusion.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower to H.D.G. Crerar, March 26th, 1943

Crossing the Rhine, March 23rd, 1945

On the evening of March 23rd, Marshal Montgomery gave the signal to operation Plunder, the crossing of the Rhine near Wesel and Rees. A set-piece attack, with prior aerial and artillery bombings. In flat-bottom landing crafts and amphibious vehicles, four British and US divisions, together with a commando brigade crossed the 500 metres to the river’s opposite bank. The 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade took part in the operation, crossing the river north of Rees and later capturing Millingen.

Loading carriers into Buffaloes, and Buffaloes moving towards Ijssel River near Westervoort, The Netherlands, April 13th, 1945.
Photo by Jack H. Smith. Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, PA-132605.

The British and Canadian troops which fought in the Rhineland suffered tremendous losses from the German artillery. This is why Montgomery decided that it should be silenced by a large-scale airborne operation, codenamed Varsity. While the infantry was crossing the Rhine, 1,589 aircraft flew over the area in successive waves. In full daylight and despite intense counter-attacks, the parachute battalions were dropped behind the German lines and got to work as soon as they touched the ground. Some 1,337 gliders then landed in the drop zone with vehicles and equipment for the airborne troops. The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was involved in that operation and landed in a wooded area along the Wesel-Emmerich road. It was immediately met with heavy machine-gun and sniper fire this did not halt the Canadian paratroopers who reached and cleaned up their targets.

At the end of the afternoon, land and airborne troops made their junction and solidified the bridgehead on the Rhine’s east bank. The Battle was over and the Allies had succeeded in crossing one of the last natural defences of the German Reich. A speedy end to the war now became a definite possibility.

As March drew to an end, Canadian units moved northwards to take Emmerich on the right bank, while General Crerar transferred the First Army’s HQ to that same side of the Rhine. On April 1st, 1945, I Canadian Corps under Major-General Charles Foulkes was placed under the First Canadian Army in replacement of I British Corps of Major-General Crocker, which had been under Crerar’s orders since the campaign of Normandy and was now passed under the Second British Army.

After the crossing of the Rhine, the First Canadian Army was given two tasks: to liberate western Netherlands and to march through northeastern Netherlands and northern Germany up to the Weser River.

The Liberation of Western Netherlands, April 2nd – 25th, 1945

In the west I Canadian Corps had been tasked with taking control of Arnhem. The objective was to open the Arnhem-Zutphen road to the convoys supplying the troops moving to the North-East. RAF Spitfire and Typhoon fighters attacked German defences in Arnhem on April 12th and in the evening artillery pounded the city. On the 14th, Arnhem was totally cleared. Apeldoorn was liberated from April 15th to 17th.

Dutch civilians loading a Canadian-supplied truck with food, following agreement amongst Germans, Dutch and Allies about the distribution of food to the Dutch population. Near Wageningen, Netherlands, 3 May 1945.
Photo by Alexander M. Stirton. Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, PA-134417.

As they moved forward, I Canadian Corps troops observed increasing signs of malnutrition in the civilian population there was indeed a major risk of famine in western Netherlands. German troops in the area were surrounded and likely to flood the region if attacked. To avoid a humanitarian crisis, I Corps halted on April 22nd and started negotiating with local German authorities for a truce that would allow food supplies to be delivered by trucks and aircraft. Starting May 3rd, thousands of tonnes of food were distributed.

The Northern Front, March 23rd – April 25th, 1945

For its part, II Canadian Corps progressed rapidly on the northern front as German resistance got weaker. In many locations, however, the enemy still put up a good fight. In Zutphen and along the Twente Canal, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division was halted by the determination of the 361st Infantry Division reinforced by an airborne training battalion mostly made up of teenagers. They finally yielded on April 8th, and Zutphen was taken. Near Zutphen, Canadians soldiers came across a heartrending sight, Stalag VI C, a camp for prisoners captured on the Russian front.

Solid opposition was also encountered in Deventer on the Ijssel River the 3rd Division took the city in a single day, April 10th, and rapidly cleared it with the support of Dutch resistance fighters. The 3rd Division moved on further north but met only disorganized and easily subdued opposition. On April 15th, it reached Leeuwarden, some 15 kilometres from the North Sea.

Infantry of the South Saskatchewan Regiment lying down and firing through a hedge near Dutch farmhouse, Oranje Canal, the Netherlands, April 12th, 1945.
Photo by Daniel Guravich. Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, PA-138284.

In the meantime, the 2nd Infantry Division was moving rapidly along the 3rd Division’s right flank. Supported by airborne detachments it reached Groningen on April 13th. Snipers on the roofs and machine-guns hidden in cellars were some of the difficulties encountered. SS soldiers in civilian clothing fired at Canadian soldiers who were told to shoot on sight. Fighting went on until April 16th.

The 1st Polish Armoured Division under Major-General Maczek joined once again II Canadian Corps on April 8th. It moved rapidly along the Dutch-German border. The 4th Canadian Armoured Division for its part followed a more southerly route, through Meppen in Germany on April 6th, finally to reach the Küsten Canal on the 14th.

The following weeks saw the easy cleaning up of the whole sector under control of II Corps. Troops were able to move on quite fast, liberating the remainder of the Dutch territory and occupying the plains of northern Germany up to the Weser. The might of the Wehrmacht was by then broken, and as the Allies closed in on Berlin, Hitler committed suicide.

At 1900 hrs we heard over the BBC that the German Army in ITALY had unconditionally surrendered and later on that BERLIN had fallen. The general feeling is that it can’t last much longer now…
– Royal Winnipeg Rifles, War Diary, 1-7 May 1945

German soldiers being disarmed by troops of I Canadian Corps at a small arms dump in the Netherlands, May 11th, 1945.
Photo by Alexander M. Stirton. Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, PA-134398.

Throughout the Dutch countryside, a cheering population greeted its Canadian liberators with shouts and kisses the noise of machine guns was a fading memory. On the evening of May 4th, Canadian soldiers heard on BBC airwaves a long-awaited announcement: Germany had surrendered. A few hours later, orders arrived from HQ that all hostilities were to stop on May 5th at 0800.

Suggested Reading:

  • Terry Copp and Robert Vogel, Maple Leaf Route: Victory, 1988
  • C.P. Stacey, The Victory Campaign, Volume 3 of the Official History of The Canadian Army in the Second World War, 1960.
  • W. Denis Whitaker and Shelagh Whitaker, Rhineland: The Battle to End The War, 2000

Sorodno

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April 25, 1945 | Conference to Form U.N. Meets as Allied Forces Near Victory Over Nazis

UN Photo/McCreary President Harry S. Truman arriving in San Francisco for the United Nations Conference on International Organization on April 25, 1945.
Historic Headlines

Learn about key events in history and their connections to today.

On April 25, 1945, in San Francisco, 46 nations met to discuss the creation of the United Nations, an international organization intended to maintain peace between nations. The conference began as troops from the United States and Soviet Union linked up on the Elbe River, in central Europe, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe.

The main stories in the April 25 edition of The New York Times told of the Allied success in Germany. One article described the atmosphere in San Francisco, where international leaders were preparing to “meet in the Opera House tomorrow to organize the peace which they have fought so hard to win.”

The main issue surrounding the conference was the participation of Poland, which had no representation because of a dispute between the 𠇋ig Three” Allied countries over whether to recognize the London-based Polish government-in-exile or the Warsaw-based provisional government. Poland would not take part in the San Francisco Conference, which lasted two months and eventually included 50 countries.

The leaders at the conference confirmed the organization of the United Nations and drafted the U.N. Charter. The most contentious issue was the veto power of the Security Council, which was debated by the United States and the Soviet Union. The issue was settled when American leaders reached out directly to the Soviet leader Josef Stalin. The conference concluded with the unanimous approval of the charter on June 26, by which time the war in Europe had ended.

The Times reported on the events of April 25 in Germany in its April 28 edition. The war correspondent Drew Middleton wrote, “Two armies of plain men who had marched and fought from the blood-splashed beaches of Normandy and the shattered streets of Stalingrad have met on the Elbe River in the heart of Germany, splitting the Third Reich and sealing the doom of the German Army, whose tread shook the world only three short years ago.”

On April 30, Adolf Hitler was said to have committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin as Allied forces took control of the German capital. His successor as head of the Nazis, Karl Dönitz, immediately began to negotiate a surrender. The Nazis formally surrendered on May 8.


Benny Scott (1945–2009)

William Benjamin Scott, known in the racing world as “The Professor” because of his other career as a college instructor and administrator, was a second-generation African American race car driver. He was born on February 4, 1945 in Los Angeles, California. Scott’s father, Willie (Bill) “Bullet” Scott, raced midget cars in Southern California in the 1930s and later became a mechanic. Benny Scott, while in high school, worked on cars with his father and raced go-carts.

Scott knew that his passion would be expensive so in 1967 he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology from the Los Angeles Mission College, and later obtained his Ph.D. from California State University at Long Beach. He became an instructor at the Los Angeles Mission College during the day, while competing in stock car events in Southern California at night and on the weekends. He finished the 1969 season ranked 10th. During that season he won the Foreign Stock Car Association of Southern California title, his first championship. Racism on the track was always apparent. In Georgia, in 1971, Scott was permitted on the track only after a blacks-only ambulance arrived in case he had an accident. Despite these challenges he finished third in the 1971 Cal Club regional Formula B standings.

Scott was featured in Champion Spark Plug’s first national print advertising featuring an African American driver. Champion also became a secondary sponsor for Black American Racers, Inc. and a charter member of the Black American Racers Association (BARA). BARA was created in 1972 and quickly blossomed into a nationwide organization of 5,000 racers and racing enthusiasts from 20 states. It supported African American efforts to integrate all aspects of auto racing competition.

Scott set an auto racing record at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California on May 4, 1975 where he achieved a pole position at 100.882 mph. He was the first driver ever to top 100 mph in a Formula Super Vee at Laguna Seca (called Mini-Indy at the time). He was also the fastest driver during the entire weekend and even bested his qualifying speed in the race at 101.111 mph.

In 1976, Benny Scott was inducted into the Black Athletes Hall of Fame. He returned to Formula Super Vee racing in 1978 and finished the season for fellow African American driver Tommy Thompson who was killed in a crash at the Trenton Speedway in Trenton, New Jersey. Scott never competed after 1978, because of a lack of further corporate sponsorship.

Scott married Shill Scott in 1966. At the time she was a high school teacher with a Master’s in art. Together, they had one son, Damien. Benny Scott also had another son, Eric Parker, who was born and adopted in 1964. The two were reunited in 1995. Scott worked many years as a psychology professor at the Los Angeles Harbor College in Southern California. In 2001, he retired from his position as Dean of Academic Affairs at the Los Angeles Mission College to the San Juan Island in Washington State. Scott died on September 25, 2009 in at the age of 64.


25 February 1945 - History

Montrose was re-occupied by the RFC in July 1915 when No 6 Reserve Squadron was formed there. The Reserve Squadrons were in fact training units. However, with the approach of winter, the prevailing weather conditions in that part of Scotland were so consistently unfit for flying that no progress was being made with elementary flying training. It was therefore decided to use the station for advanced training only and for that purpose the permanent staff and equipment of No 6 Squadron were turned into No 25 Squadron RFC on 25 September 1915. The Squadrons first commanding officer was Major Felton Vessey Holt DSO of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, who later rose to Air Vice-Marshal and commanded the Fighting Area when he was killed in a mid-air collision. At first the unit was equipped with half a dozen elementary types of aircraft which included S7 Longhorn, Curtiss, Maurice Farman, Martinsyde Elephants, Caudron and Avro. These, with the exception of the Caudron and Maurice, were replaced by BE2Cs soon afterwards.

For the first 3 months of the Squadron s existence No 25 Squadron was used as a pool from which pilots were drawn as replacements for the Expeditionary Force in France. However, on 31 December the Squadron started moving south to Thetford in Norfolk, initially equipped with the various trainer types but 2 months later re-equipping with its operational aircraft the two-seat FE2b, together with a few Bristol Scouts. The FE2b was a two-seat pusher fighting reconnaissance machine designed by the Royal Aircraft Establishment. The majority of the 12 machines were presentation machines. Four were presented by the Government of Zanzibar, one by residents of South Australia, one by the Board of Trade, Montreal and another by members of the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce. All the aircraft were marked with their benefactor.

At Thetford the Squadron continued with the advanced training of pilots and in addition trained a number of officers as observers. Since all its aircrew had been instructors there was a minimal work-up period. A further duty undertaken by the Squadron was the provision of night flying pilots for the defence of London against Zeppelin attacks. The threat of the Zeppelin had become more and more serious. Special Squadrons were not yet in existence but after 2 airship attacks on the city in September 1915, a special strategic disposition of aeroplanes, guns and searchlights was made in the London area. The RFC share of the defence of the capital fell mainly upon the Reserve Squadrons and as a consequence No 25 Squadron lost several personnel to these units.

The Squadron went to St Omer in France on 20 February 1916 as a long-range reconnaissance and fighter unit. Initially the Squadron was tasked with flying into the routes adopted by the German aircraft on their way to raid England and intercepting them. But this never really worked and soon the squadron was transferred to the Western Front to protect GHQ and Audruicq, where a considerable ammunition dump was situated. Patrols were conducted daily in the company on No 21 Squadron, beginning an hour before sunrise and finishing at sunset. In March the Squadron began in earnest with the provision of escorts. The necessity of escorts marked an important phase in air tactics. When the war began aeroplanes on both sides were chiefly employed for reconnaissance. Their numbers were few and the practice was for machines to go out as singletons. Mainly because air fighting was in the embryonic stage and because of a sense of chivalry, machines went about their duties with little danger from the air their chief dread was fire from the ground.
Sentimental considerations soon gave way to the stern necessities of war. Machines on reconnaissance and artillery work began to attack hostile machine as the occasion arose and fast single seat aircraft armed with machine guns were detailed to attack enemy machines conducting operations behind the lines. With the introduction of the German Fokker monoplane, with a synchronised forward-firing machine gun reconnaissance and bombing machines were compelled to go out in numbers, one aircraft to do the work and the others to act as escort.

On 1 April the Squadron moved to Auchel (Lozinghem) Aerodrome and became part of the 10th Army Wing, 1st Brigade RFC operating with the 1st Army. The front of the 1st Army extended from just north of Fromelles to a little south of Souchez. Within these limits No 25 Squadrons patrols in association with No 27 Squadron and No 18 Squadron, were to protect reconnaissance and photographic machines working in the vicinity of the line and to prevent enemy aircraft doing the same task over friendly trenches! The pilots found with delight that the FE could hold its own against the Fokker monoplane and in fact, during April 1916 the enemy aircraft mostly avoided combat with them. However, in a patrol on 29 April, 2nd Lt Lord Doune and 2nd Lt R V Walker (observer) shot down and killed Baron von Saal Saafeld, the son of the Prince of Saxony.

During the 2 months April and May 1916, only 4 casualties due to enemy action were suffered by the Squadron. In June the casualties rose to 3 times that number and the majority of them were due to Fokkers. In June the Squadron strength was increased to 18 machines, 20 pilots and 18 observers (including 6 NCOs) in preparation for the battle of the Somme, where it took on tactical photo reconnaissance patrols and bombing raids behind enemy lines. This role was undertaken, in addition to its fighting duties which involved the maintenance of offensive patrols over the lines. During one of these on the evening of 18 June 1916, Lt McCubbin and Cpl Waller shot down the German Ace Max Immelman. This was the second encounter with No 25 Squadron on that day for Immelmann. In the late afternoon he had been scrambled to intercept 8 aircraft who had crossed the lines near Arras. He dispatched a No 25 Squadron FE2b flown by Lt C E Rogers to record his 16th victory and returned to base. In the evening he flew again and once more was in combat with No 25 Squadron, this time shooting down the FE2 of Lt R B Savage. However, in doing so he passed in front of Lt McCubbins aircraft which turned to follow the German. Immelman saw the danger, but almost simultaneously Cpl Waller the FE2s observer, was able to fire a long and accurate burst at the Fokker, which spun to the ground and crashed.

Prior to the infantry assault on 1 July, the Squadron was tasked with balloon busting raids in association with No32 Squadron. This operation was designed to embarrass the enemy by depriving him of this form of observation. Nine enemy balloon kites were shot down in total in two sorties.
Throughout the time No 25 Squadron had been in France, the Squadron had been practising night flying sorties, initially by way of an experiment, but then on 1 July 1916 the Squadron was formally tasked with night bombing of strategic targets. These were performed in conjunction with a variety of RFC Squadrons including specifically No s 2, 10 and 40 Squadrons. On 19 July No 25 Squadron added to its duties by carrying out offensive patrols in support of the Army (what we would now call Close-Air Support). These patrols were made in conjunction with an attack by the XI Corps (1st Army) and II Anzac Corps on hostile trenches in the Somme area and were continued as long as the offensive lasted. The patrols were again performed in conjunction with No 32 Squadron and included patrols over enemy aerodromes and any other targets of opportunity.

During the next few months the Squadron continued to carry out patrols and photographic reconnaissance and less frequently, night bombing. Its main work was carrying the offensive behind enemy lines by offensive patrols and the odd bit of bombing. Although removed from the battle front and therefore employed on duties of a secondary nature, the Squadrons work was constant and strenuous. The pressure had to be maintained along the line to hold the German Squadrons and so prevent them reinforcing those on the Somme. Enemy aerodromes, junctions, billets, sidings and dumps radiating from Lillie were attached almost every day throughout the Somme battle. One of the largest sorties during the battle involved 12 Fees of No 25 Squadron, 7 BEs of No 16 Squadron and 7 BEs of No 10 Squadron all coordinating to attack Douai Railway station. Favourite targets of the Squadron were railways, trains and airfields (targets that were again to become favourites in the next war!).

During one of the many fights that occurred in this period Sgt T Mottershead and 2nd Lt C Street shot down a Fokker. Afterwards Sgt Mottershead was posted to No 20 Squadron and after his death was awarded a Victoria Cross.

The Squadron continued to take part in the combined raids until the end of the Somme battle. However, from the middle of October the bombing machines, which had hitherto done their work with little interference from hostile machines began to experience considerable resistance. The increased opposition was also experienced by the FEs engaged on offensive patrols. In November patrols were considerably increased in strength which also increased the number of aircraft involved in the fights that ensured. In one fight 12 FEs of No 25 Squadron, plus 2 de Havillands of No 29 Squadron were involved in a fight with 20 enemy scouts.
[Footnote: At the time of his death Lt Immelmann had been officially credited with the destruction of 16 Allied machines. He was one of the pilots of the Fokker monoplane. The original Fokker manoeuvre was a dive attach from height and if that did not succeed in sending the Allied machine down the Fokker would dive out of
range before returning to the attach. Immelmann improved on these tactics by discovering the climbing turn, which has been since named after him, by which he regained height and attacking position without losing touch with the enemy. His death greatly depressed the German Air Service at the outbreak of the Somme and it was not until the end of the struggle that Oswald Boelcke, later succeeded by Manfred von Richthofen, succeeded in restoring German prestige in the air.

The Squadron did a considerable amount of fighting during the next few months. However, with 1917 came a change of duties, when in addition to the bombing and offensive patrols it undertook an increased amount of photography under strong escort from their own aircraft. The FEs were becoming increasingly vulnerable against a new generation of German aircraft (mainly Halberstadts) and so the FE2s, supplemented now with a few Ds, were transferred to bombing duties and No 25 Squadron undertook night raids for the first six months of the year. The first FE2d machines, with which the Squadron was later re-equipped, were received during March 1917 and by the end of the first week in May the FE2b s had all been replaced. However, the new type of machine was not retained for long. In June a further re-equipping was begun with the arrival of DH4. No 25 Squadron was the first RFC Squadron to receive the DH4 and with it was to receive a greatly enlarged capability. The main operations in June were centred around the northern part of the Front and consisted of line patrols photography and bombing. However, with the arrival of the DH4 the Squadron now became a long range unit. In June and July the Squadron carried out fewer line patrols and devoted more of its time to long range bombing, reconnaissance and photography patrols by day and night behind German lines. The targets in August were enemy aerodromes, railways and fuel dumps.

On 11 October 1917 the Squadron severed its long connection with the 10th (Army) Wing and moved to Boisinghem where it came under the orders of the 9th Wing. From this date the Squadron activities increased dramatically. Instead of operating over an area limited to the extent on one Army Front, its duties involved the Fronts covered by all the British Armies. Its work now consisted of long-range reconnaissance, photography and bombing of distant targets outside the Army area. In addition to the strategic raids the Squadron also bombed tactical targets. During these patrols the formations were protected by escorts of Bristol Fighters (eg. No 22 Squadron) and SE5s (No 84 Squadron).

During the first 2 months of 1918 the Squadron did less bombing and made an increasing number of photographic reconnaissance. In March bombing attacks were again more frequent, the Squadron attacking stations, sidings and again enemy aerodromes. All these raids were carried out form the aerodrome at Villers-Bretonneux on the Amiens-St Quentin road, which the Squadron occupied on 6 March. When the Germans started their last big offensive on 24 March 1918, the Squadron was forced to move again to Beauvois with No 27 and No 79 Squadrons, about 5 miles west of St Pol. On 25 March No 25 Squadron joined in the attacks on the advancing Germans, with No 27 Squadron and No 8 Naval Squadron in low level tactical bombing and strafing.

On 29 March the Squadron moved a little further NW and occupied an aerodrome at Ruisseauville, temporarily coming under the command of 81st Wing and later 54th Wing before returning to 9th Wing. In April, once the offensive was over, the Squadron returned to its high altitude long-range operations, sometimes going over
100nm into enemy territory, reconnoitering road and rail targets. This was a role well suited for the DH4. The DH4s performance was so superior that any combats which took place were usually in the Squadrons favour.
An attack on Courtrai Railway station on 23 June proved to be the last bombing raid made by the Squadron. Thereafter, its undivided attention was given to the work of long-range photo-reconnaissance. The continued advance of the allied armies rendered frequent changes in the areas to be reconnoitered during August and September. A large number of enemy aerodromes were photographed in October. During the closing months of the war the Squadron had its share of fighting although hostile aircraft were never attacked in so far as was necessary to secure the safe return of the machine of to gain the information. The last combats of the war for the Squadron on the morning of 9 November proved to be successful 2nd Lts Seeds and Buckland engaged 7 Fokkers at 17000ft scoring 2 confirmed kills and scattering the rest to remain unscathed.

On 27 October the Squadron moved to La Brayelle near Douai and was still operating there at the date of the Armistice. A month later it moved forward to Mauberge whence the first aerial reconnaissance of the war was made in August 1914, while the British Expeditionary Force was marching to Mons.

The Squadron was scheduled to convert to DH9s when the war ended. In fact a few DH9s were delivered. However, the DH4s outlived them and were retained until 1919. In May 1919 the Squadron moved into Germany as part of the Army of Occupation moving to Bickendorf between 26 May and 7 July and Merheim from May until 6 September 1919. The Squadron then left enemy territory in September to return to the UK, moving to South Carlton in Lincolnshire. The Squadron remained there until December 1919 when following a move to Scopwick, Lincs it was reduced to a cadre. On 20 January 1920 the Squadron was disbanded at Scopwick, Lincs.

The Squadron began to reform at Hawkinge on 1 February 1920 as a permanent Squadron of the Royal Air Force commanded by Wg Cdr Sir Norman Leslie. As a permanent Squadron of the RAF, No 25 Squadron assumed the title of No 25 (Fighter) Squadron on 24 March 1920. The reformation was completed on 20 April 1920 equipped now with Sopwith Snipe single seat fighters. In fact, it was the only fighter squadron in the UK at that time and thus, with its 9 Snipes, was responsible for the defence of the whole of the country! In September 1922 it set off overseas to play its part in the Chanak crisis in Turkey, reinforcing the garrison at San Stefano, Constantinople.

No 25 was overseas for a year, flying policing patrols with No s 4(AC), 207. 208 and a Flight from No 56 Squadron, but no action ensued and with the crisis over the Squadron returned to Hawkinge in the autumn on 1923. Commanded now by Squadron Leader A H Peck DSO MC, the Squadron was destined to stay there until a few weeks before the outbreak of World War II. During the first year at Hawkinge the Squadron flew in several defence exercises, but concentrated to a large extent on formation flying. As a result the Squadron performed at the Hendon Pageant in 1924 a performance that was the first in a number of highly successful and memorable displays.

A year later In October 1924 the Squadron became the first RAF unit to receive the highly maneuverable Gloster Grebe biplane. Initially there were some casualties as a result of wing weakness, however the fitting of interplane struts cured the problem and the Squadron built up from time that time. In 1925 the Squadron entered a new sphere of peace-time operations-that of Army Co-operation , whilst still maintaining the status and duties of a Fighter Squadron, these additional duties included a form of ground support and attack with guns and bombs. The Squadron still continued to display its multi-aircraft synchronised formation flying at Hendon and was chosen to fly escort for the President of France, King Fued of Egypt, the King and Queen of Afghanistan and the Prince of Wales.

In May 1929 Armstrong Whitworth Siskins 3as replaced the Grebes, but they lasted only three years before No 25 received Hawker Furies in February 1932. The last two years of the Siskin saw the Squadron largely engaged in Army Co-operation exercises although later more time was spent on interceptor tactics. In 1932 No 43 Squadron had already taken delivery of Furies and later when the Squadron s traditional rivals No 1 Squadron received Furies, the three Squadrons (25, 43 and 1 Squadrons) all came to acquire the reputation of a corps d elite prestige that was to remain with them long after the Fury had disappeared from service. With the Furies the Squadron pioneered the art of tied-together aerobatics, three of the aircraft being connected to each other in vic formation by bungee cord to take off, fly a whole aerobatic routine and land again without breaking the cord. Needless to say, this was a great draw at displays and featured more than once at the Hendon Empire Days (1933 1935). The Furies served with great success through the 1930s, culminating in a blistering attack on the airfield in the final Hendon display in 1937. In 1933 the Squadron had achieved such a high standard of proficiency that it won outright the prestigious Phillip Sassoon Fighting Area Trophy with a score of 99.9%.

Following the heady days of the 1920s and early 1930s, the Squadron was in for a period of indecision. During November 1936 the Squadron was the recipient of the first operational Fury MkIIs but was forced to relinquish them a year later in October 1937 to No 41 Squadron when 2-seater Hawker Demons arrived as replacements. These in turn were replaced 8 months later in June 1938 by the single seat Gloster Gladiators taken over from No 56 Squadron. These stayed for another 8 months and then came Bristol Blenheim Mk Ifs. This meant a great change for the pilots and their single-engine biplanes replaced by twin-engined monoplanes and also brought to the Squadron navigators and air-gunners, so the whole atmosphere of the unit altered.

Intended for nigh and long-range fighter air defence duties the Blenheim fighters were moved to Northolt in August 1939 for the defence of the London area. On the 3 September No 25 Squadron became a night fighter Squadron. On 15 September the Squadron moved to Filton to act as night cover for the British Expeditionary Force which was sailing from Cardiff en route for France. This detachment lasted until October when the Squadron returned to Northolt and then later to North Weald. With the Blenheim Mk Ifs there was also a detached flight of Blenheim Mk IVs at Martlesham. These were equipped with early airborne interception equipment and spent time co-operating in the early development on AI radar. When war came in September 1939 these Blenheims set up a system of patrols over the North Sea to detect any raiders against the UK, a plan that was scotched by the absence of any enemy aircraft. The Squadron s first operations other than these patrols took place at the end of November 1939, when it flew long-range fighter attacks against shipping and the seaplane base at Borkum. On 26 November 1939 the Squadron made a long-range daylight attack on the base but due to bad weather was unable to find its target 2 days later 6 of the Squadron aircraft and crews combined with No 601 Squadron to make another attempt and managed to strafe the base and shipping. In 1940 by recording the first kill, a Do17 using an AI radar. In May 1940 No 25 Squadron received 2 Westland Whirlwinds for evaluation as night fighters, however, the aircraft was found to be unsuitable for that role.


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