Newsmap. Monday, December 20, 1943 : week of December 9 to December 16, 223rd week of the war, 105th week of U.S. participation Side: 1 of 2
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WEEK OF DECEMBER 9 TO DECEMBER 16
223rd Week of the War 105th Week of U. S. Paiipaio
Volume II No. 35
When the Nazis retreat they use every means they know to
hamper Allied advance. Blowing up bridges is one method.
These pictures show what happened when the U. S. Army
Engineers tackled the job of replacing one in Italy.
Australian troops moving
up the Huon Peninsula
captured Wareo Junction, Dec. 10, which controls
most of the important trails of the peninsula, and were
moving northward maintaining contact with the enemy.
Wareo, which lies inland ten miles north of Finschhafen
and four and one-half miles north of Sattelberg, was occupied
by the same Australian force which won Sattelberg,
late in November.
Continuing the daily pounding of enemy bases on the
New Britain coast, more than 100 Liberator and Mitchell
bombers, escorted by fighters, blasted Jap positions in the
Gasmata area on the southern coast. They dropped 248
tons of sin a record three-hour raid.
Liberator bombers made 2600 and 2400 mile round
trips to bomb Balikpapan, on the southeast coast of
Borneo, and Makassar, on the southwest peninsula of
Celebes Island. It was the third attack on Balikpapan
which has large oil refineries, and the third on Makassar.
The most southeasterly Jap
base at Nauru was shelled by
American battleships as well as carrier-borne bombers in
an attack Dec. 8. Numerous fires were started in the target
area and ten enemy planes were destroyed, nine of them
on the ground, indicating that the enemy was caught by
surprise. Two U. S. planes were lost and a destroyer suffered
minor damage from shore fire.
Top picture gives an idea of the gap to be crossed. Here
the uprights are in place and the spans are being laid.
Army Sig.. iC-rr rhi-ro
And this is the completed bridge, only 10 hours after the
U. S. Army Engineers went to work on the tough job.
~, ' i| , ~Supported by American and Chinese fliers,
Chinese ground units recaptured the strategic
"rice-bowl" city of Changteh, in Central China which the
Japanese had taken one week earlier. In what appeared to
be a developing action, the Chinese advanced to an area
some 25 miles north of Changteh.
An earlier Chinese communique reported Chinese Army
attacks in the Wuchang area which is across the Yangtze
River from the main enemy base at Hankow. The communique
said the action was about 30 miles south of
Wuchang. The American planes taking part there and in
another bombing of Hanoi in French Indo-China included
"Rome or Death" is the slogan chalked on the side of the
car carrying these jubilant Italian soldiers to the fighting
front where they joined the Allies in battle against the
German enemy who have been plundering their homeland.
Soviet troops recaptured Cherkassy, the last big
German stronghold on the middle Dnepr River
and were making progress in the direction of Kirovograd,
65 miles to the southwest. In addition the Red Army reported
repelling strong German counterattacks in the area
west of Kiev, where enemy reserve tank and infantry forces
have recovered substantial ground.
The fight for Cherkassy was reported particularly fierce.
A Soviet supplementary communique stated the Germans
converted all brick houses into fortified firing points and
put snipers in cellars and attics. The city was taken street
by street with the Germans repeatedly throwing in tanks
carrying tommy-gunners. Some 6000 Germans were reported
killed in the battle and considerable prisoners and
booty were captured.
The fighting west of Kiev had moved back to within 60
miles of that important city but the Soviets reported holding
off the enemy's attacks in the area southwest of Malin.
Strong German counterattacks on both the
Fifth and Eighth Army fronts in Central Italy
failed to regain the hard-won ground taken by the Allied
troops last week.
The Fifth Army had cleared and held a 25-mile square
area containing Mount Camino and Mount Maggiore and
now stood before the plains which led toward Cassino, on
the main route to Rome.
The Eighth Army established a new bridgehead across
the Moro River and widened the hold on the north bank,
closing in on the lateral road connecting Ortona, Orsogna
and Guardiagrele which was the defense line. Front reports
stated the road was no longer of use to the enemy.
Repeated counterattacks by the German defenders of
Ortona, led by tanks, were repulsed by Canadian troops.
Bad weather again hampered activity on the Fifth Army
front and there was little major activity. Artillery and
mortar fire were exchanged continuously. From their positions
last week, the Allies were still 75 miles from Rome.
The Luftwaffe took one of its
worst beatings of the war when
the U. S. Eighth Air Force delivered a heavy attack on the
important port of Emden, Dec. 11.
Flying Fortresses and Liberators shot down 117 enemy
fighters and our escorting Thunderbolt fighters knocked
down 21. This total of 138 enemy planes destroyed cost
us 17 heavy bombers and three fighters.
Emden is a junction for German inland waterways, including
theDortmund-Ems Canal from the Ruhr industrial
area and the bombing of the city's naval installations,
U-boat yards, factories and port works was reported highly
In Southeast Europe, American bombers, escorted by
long-rge fighters, effectively bombed the capital of Bulgaria,
Sofia, hitting the rail yards there. One of the heaviest
forces of bombers put into action by the Allies over the
Balkans hit Nazi-held Athens and the nearby harbor at
In a fierce two-day battle with a
wolf pack of twenty German sub.
marines in the North Atlantic recently, Allied warships
and planes sank five U-boats and crippled three more.
Only three Allied planes were lost and 99 per cent of two
valuable convoys reached port safely.
A week earlier an Allied communique announced that
six U-boats had been sunk in eight days which, with the
current announcement, brought to eleven the number of
enemy undersea craft destroyed in recent North Atlantic
A joint Anglo-American statement revealed that fewer
Allied merchant vessels were sunk by enemy subs in November
than in any month since May, 1940.
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-K"'' Chay^^^^n 'yia
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[United States.] Army Orientation Course. Newsmap. Monday, December 20, 1943 : week of December 9 to December 16, 223rd week of the war, 105th week of U.S. participation, poster, December 20, 1943; Washington, D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc944/m1/1/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.