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|News for the Troops, No. 54, 9 June 1944|
|World War II||German|
|P.W.E./O.S.S.||1944||2||22.0 cm x 32.0 cm|
|Printer/s||Date of First Print-run|
|Total Number of Leaflets Printed||Total Number of Leaflets Pulped|
|First Dissemination by Aircraft||Last Dissemination by Aircraft||Total No. Dropped by Aircraft|
|09/10 June 1944||09/10 June 1944||525,000|
The Anglo-Americans have united their bridgeheads in the Seine-Bight into a continuous front 60 kilometres wide. New reinforcements were landed overnight all along this front on calm seas.
The tank battle flared up again during the morning hours. Heavy tanks rolled up against the positions in Caen and south of Bayeux, behind the fire of the Anglo-American naval guns.
At the same time, heavy battles are in progress on the Cherbourg peninsula against the last rail and road connections between Cherbourg and the hinterland.
In an operation with many casualties, German troops launch additional counterattacks, to prevent the Anglo-Americans from cutting off Cherbourg completely.
Especially bitter battles rage on the road from Carentan to Cherebourg, which is now, for the most part, in the hands of the Allies. Anglo-American paratroopers who have taken Montebourg and St. Mère Église on this vital road are thrusting further to the west.
More than 60 kilometres to the east, on the German right flank in the Seine bight, the German troops in Caen are almost completely cut off. Heavy fighting for their last road connection are in progress.
Attacks from all Sides
The Caen sector is today one of the flashpoints of the new, heavy tank battles. Units of the 21st Panzer Division are warding off tank attacks here.
Yesterday the 21st Panzer Division succeeded in advancing in the vicinity of Douvres. In the evening hours, however, they were pushed back toward Caen again. Behind their positions, newly landed paratroop units had established themselves at many points.
Also, the SS-Panzer Division, which after early successes in the hard tank battles yesterday, had heavy losses, is located today south of Bayeux in bitter defensive fighting.
At Luc-sur-Mer and Delivrande, two isolated groups of the 716th Infantry Division sought to break out of their encirclement.
Troop movements in the rear areas become more and more difficult as the rail and road connections to new positions are interrupted.
Directly behind the battle lines, communications are threatened by paratroops and are under fire of the heavy artillery of the invasion fleets. Further back, Anglo-American fighter planes make low level attacks on the German columns, which have no fighter protection.
Road intersections and bridges are bombed systematically.
Between Paris and the mouth of the Seine, connections between France east of the Seine and west of the Seine are still possible only over a few makeshift bridges.
The Fleet Commander, Admiral Schniewind has retired and has refused further commands.
It has been learned from sources close to Admieral Schniewind that his unexpected retirement can be ascribed to differences of opinion with Grand Admiral Dönitz over the operation of the navy under current circumstances.
Messages from all parts of France about acts of sabotage and raids reveal that members of the French resistance movement have placed themselves under military command for the offensive.
To this point, the assessment is that it is a matter, predominantly, of attacks on bridges and railroads, and light signals to an Anglo-American airplane.
The first reports spoke of murdered or abducted sentries. Shortly thereafter, reports came in to headquarters of the 7th Army of attacks on road- and railroad bridges, ammunition and fuel dumps and warehouses.
Then reports came in that the guerrillas are giving signals to the Anglo-American bombers with fire signals and flare pistols.
Two Bridges Blown Up
From the battle areas of he invasion coast, the following reports of the activity of the French guerrillas are available:
Between Bayeux and St. Lô, one railroad bridge blown up.
Between Vire and St. Lô, one railroad bridge blown up.
On the Caen-Falaise road, wire stretched across the road in several places, causing accidents to several dispatch riders.
Not far from Vire, three separate bomb attacks on German columns on the march.
On the Cherbourg peninsula, the French guerrillas are assisting the invasion troops build runways for allied aircraft.
"Not all French belong to the resistance front hostile to Germans", the French Labour Minister Déat explained yesterday in a lead article in the Paris newspaper, "Oeuvre".
"I, myself", continued Déat in his exposition, "feel solidarity with the German soldiers, and I am convinced that many other French people think as I do."
Thousands of bombers, fighter bombers, light bombers and fighters attacked targets of all sorts yesterday in the sector from the Norman peninsula to Paris, from small groups of marching soldiers to truck columns, railroad trains and bridges.
The Luftwaffe was again not in a position to protect the important communications far behind the front.
A train of 14 passenger cars carrying reinforcements was attacked by fighter-bombers en route to St. Brieuc. Over 60 fragmentation bombs left the cars shot through with holes, like a sieve. Many soldiers were so torn up that they could be identified only by their ID tags.
The railroad bridge between Breteuil and Falaise sustained six hits and collapsed. Also destroyed were the three-arch bridge west of Evreux, the railroad bridge in Guer and that in Cambourg.
At St. Maurice, 30 trucks of an army truck convoy were surprised. Fifteen trucks were destroyed, another ten damaged.
London radio reports that over 2,000 German soldiers have been debarked from the invasion coast in England as prisoners of war.
The 14th Army in Italy, under the command of General Eberhard von Mackensen has virtually ceased to exist. Followed, bombed, strafed and dispersed by Anglo-American bombers, fighters, tanks and fast troops, there are now still only isolated units and small groups of improvised units that are continuing the march to the north, where they are to develop a new defensive front together with divisions from northern Italy in a defensive position Pisa-Florence-Rimini.
On the coast, and on the road through Viterbo, there is nothing more to halt the Anglo-American advance. The German troops flowing to the rear are no longer able to give battle. The heavily fortified Citavecchia naval harbour had, accordingly, to be surrendered to the Anglo-Americans without a fight, and without time even to blow up the harbour facilities. A large part of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division was taken prisoner in Civitavecchia.
Only Remnants Continue to Fight
The few who still have the will to try to beat their way to the new defensive positions hang like grapes on the trucks that have survived the air bombardment and the low level attacks of the rocket-firing fighters.
In Italian battles, only the remnants of the 10th Army are trying to beat their way north on narrow mountain roads on the edge of Abruzza after the evacuation of Subiako.
In self-sacrificing withdrawal fighting,the rearguard, especially, took heavy casualties from the continual flanking attacks..Now comes the news that this entire retreating element is in danger of being cut off. Between Rieti and Termi, Italian partisans have blown up the steepest section of the road.
Six who will survive
As we do every week, we list this time also the names of several Party Leaders who have, in recent days, retired from their so-called "front service" to resume their political functions in the Reich.
After three months of exchange service in the rear area, the following have returned home and been classified unfit for service until the end of the war: District/Regional Party Speaker Hans Fillafer, Maria-Rain Kärnten; Hitler Youth Battalion LeaderIserloh Gladbeck; District Party LeaderHans Kotz, Judenburg; District/Regional Party Speaker Kurt Ludwig, Villach, Kärnten; District Party Leader,Senior Party Area LeaderMartens, Rügen und SA Captain and CouncillorPeter Ritzinger, Graz.
These 6 party leaders have been reclassified as "unfit for service" for the balance of the war, in order to resume their posts as political fighters on the home front.
The first Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross in the invasion battle was received by Corvette Captain Heinrich Hoffmann, commander of the 4th Torpedo Boat Flotilla.
Today the fanfares of the special announcements have become more infrequent, so that one hardly still carries the sound in his ear. Even the brilliant victory over France in 1940 has lost its halo for many and yielded a string of painful problems. Was this victory not a tempting of fate? Did this most brilliant, but also easiest victory in German history led us perhaps to that overconfidence that the ancient Greeks knew as messengers and allies of ruin?
Swastika Banner 5/10/1944
Yesterday morning, as Battalion1B of the 21st Panzer Division arrived to move in at the abandoned residence of Frau Sepp Dietrich in the chateau Saint Foy de Montgomery at Lisieux, their truck convoy was attacked in front of the chateau by allied fighter-bombers. 23 of the 25 trucks were destroyed, one airplane was brought down by machine gun fire.
Chateau Saint Foy de Montgomery had been evacuated by the family of SS-Senior Group Leader Sepp Dietrich only three days previous. The furnishings were moved in 4 Wehrmacht trucks to Saarow, near Berlin, the country residence in Brandenburgof SS- Senior Group Leader Sepp Dietrich.
The bombing pause in the Reich lasted another day yesterday. Cologne was the only city in the area of the Reich bombed on Thursday night by Anglo-American nuisance raiders.
The Air Offense Commander-Westsent German warplanes into action against southeast England on Thursday night. Three German aircraft failed to return from this mission.
The major part of the Anglo-American air forces continue to support the landing offensive. Transshipment rail stations and junctions behind the invasion front were hit with bombs. There were especially heavy attacks at Lorient and Nantes
Only a few German anti-aircraft batteries came into action to defend against the new attacks. German day- and night-fighters continue to be put into hopeless action against the unremitting massed attack of the Anglo-Americans.
Strong Anglo-American bomber formations also flew many missions in the south, specifically and most importantly, against sections of railroads on the Riviera, over which the German supply of troops and materiel goes form France to Italy. Also attacked were the harbours of Livorno and the shipyards in Voltri, near Genoa.
"The nervous little Devil"
General Kurt Zeitzler, Chief of the General Staff of the Wehrmacht, who celebrates his 49th birthday today, explained last year: "We will make sure that the Red Army does not reach the pre-war borders."
Party and civil affairs officials in France now want to wear Wehrmacht uniforms. A proposal has been submitted to Field Marshall von Rundstedt through the Landesgruppenleiter der AO, Pg Hubel, to the effect that party and civil officials in the rear areas of the sector of the Commander-in-Chief West be permitted to wear Wehrmacht uniforms as long as combat operations in the west continue.
The party officials clearly believe that, with this camouflage as soldiers, they can escape the unpopularity that is associated with the brown uniform.
One week of premieres of stage works and concerts will be presented by the City of Thorn during the period June 11-June 17.
18th May: Cassino, in Italy, taken by the Anglo-Americans.
19th May: 2,000 Anglo-American bombers in two daylight raids on Berlin and Braunschweig.
20th May: 5,000 Anglo-American bombers and long-range fighters attack railroad installations and the supply system of the Wehrmacht in France and Belgium.
23rd May: Anglo-Americans begin new major attack on the Nettuno beachhead. Wehrmacht headquarters describes situation in Italy as satisfactory.
24th May: Via Appia and the railroad line to Rome are cut by the Anglo-Americans. - Heavy daylight air raid on Berlin.
25th May: The Anglo-American forces in the Nettuno beachhead unite with the armies advancing from the south.
28th May: Reichsminister Speer explains that important branches of the German aircraft industry have been moved to the east to secure production facilities.
29th May: Large fires rage in 10 districts of the Reich after air raids, from Pomerania to the Danube-Alps region.
30th May: Since the beginning of the Anglo-American offensive on May 11th, the Kesselring army has lost 15,000 troops taken prisoner.
1st June: Anglo-Americans penetrate German blocking positions in the Alban Hills.
2nd June: U.S. Bombers land at separate airbases in Russia.
4th June: The Anglo-Americans enter Rome. Luftwaffe High Command explains: U.S. bombers in Russia are not a new danger.
6th June: Anglo-American invasion begins. Atlantic Wall penetrated in several places during the first hours of the allied thrust.
7th June: Anglo-American invasion troops unite behind cut-off German fortifications under cover of overwhelming air superiority.
8th June: Invasion front: Anglo-American troops occupy the city of Bayeux in Normandy.- Italian front: Kesselring retreats to the line Pisa-Florence-Rimini.
For treason for the benefit of the Reich, the Swiss citizens Alfred Heermann Quaderer and Kurt Johann Roos were executed yesterday, after their clemency plea was rejected by the Federal Assembly.
Spinach Dies Off
The Reich Agricultural Administration advises that if fruit is unavailable rhubarb should be eaten. And if vegetables cannot be purchased, orache, nettles, chickweed or dandelions should be substituted.
For spinach or salad, according to the Reich Agricultural Administration, weeds can hardly be distinguished from garden vegetables.