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April 10th, 1943 (SATURDAY)

GERMANY: Goebbels tours Essen and is shocked by the bomb damage.

AUSTRIA: Salzburg: The appearance of the two great European dictators meeting at the railway station three days ago has surprised and shocked even their most ardent supporters. Benito Mussolini came for a pep talk from his senior partner; and although he is only 59, Il Duce looked almost senile in appearance, hunched and grey faced.

Hitler, too, is showing signs of strain following the successive defeats of his armies on the eastern front and North Africa. He has developed a nervous tic. He, too, looks much older than 53 years, although his eyes have lost none of their mesmeric fury.

It was the Führer who took command at the meeting here. Il Duce knows that he has lost whatever backing he once had from his own people. Like Hitler's other ally, Antonescu in Romania, Mussolini is urging peace talks, but Hitler will have none of it.

With growing fervour, he has told the Duce of secret weapons, the Vergeltungswaffen - weapons of reprisal - which he is certain will bring the Allies to their knees, and the Schnorkel - device which will enable U-boats to stay at sea for far longer periods. "By putting every ounce of energy into the effort, I succeeded in pushing Mussolini back on the rails," Hitler told Goebbels later. "When he got out of the train I thought he looked a broken old man; when he left, he was in high fettle, ready for any deed."

FINLAND: On 20 March Robert McClintock, the chief American diplomat in Finland, had offered his good services to mediate peace between Finland and Soviet Union. Four days later the Finnish Foreign Minister Henrik Ramsay answered and asked for more information to substantiate whether there is a real basis for a negotiated peace.

The American answer is received today. McClintock states that the offer concerns only arranging a direct contact between Finland and Soviet Union, not any offer to act as an intermediary. After receiving the American statement, President Risto Ryti empowers Ramsay to give the Finnish answer. Finland does not think it possible to start negotiations in the present circumstances. One reason is that the Soviets are unwilling to state their terms for starting the negotiations (Molotov has in fact informed the Americans what their minimum demands are, but has also forbidden to inform the Finns of these). The Germans are also applying heavy pressure on Finland; ambassador Wipert von Blücher has already left Finland for an undetermined period of time. The Germans also demand Finland to conclude a formal alliance with Germany, but this is refused. (Mikko Härmeinen)

U.S.S.R.: Soviet submarine K-3 of the Northern Fleet is sunk off Batsfjord, Norway. (Mike Yared)(146 and 147)

ITALY: US 12th Army Air Force B-17s raid Italian fleet units at La Maddalena in Sardinia sinking the Italian cruiser TRIESTE and two motor torpedo boats and badly damaging the cruiser GORIZIA. (Jack McKillop)

Ninth Air Force B-24s bomb the harbour at Naples. (Jack McKillop)

SICILY: RAF Liberators, under operational control of the IX Bomber Command, hit Palermo. (Jack McKillop)

TUNISIA: The British 8th Army enters Sfax and continues north to La Hencha. The British IX Corps breaks out of Fondouk Pass to late to cut off the retreat of the Axis forces.

During the night of 9/10 April Northwest African Air Force Wellingtons bomb troops and transport on roads in the area surrounding Enfidaville. The following day, B-26 Marauders follow up the Wellingtons with raids on roads and military concentrations near Enfidaville. Fighter-bombers also hit ground targets in the Enfidaville areas. Fighters escort bombers, carry out reconnaissance, and fly sweeps over the battle area from Medjez el Rah to Sousse. (Jack McKillop)

BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: A lone Fifth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress bombs the airfield at Arawe on New Britain Island. (Jack McKillop)

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Thirteenth Air Force B-24s continue to fly harassing strikes as 3 of the heavy bombers hit Kahili Airfield on Bougainville. (Jack McKillop)

NEW GUINEA: Fifth Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb the town and dock area of Wewak. Some of the B-17s also bomb Cape Boram and Kairiru Island while some of the B-24s hit Alexishafen and shipping off Wewak. B-25's pound the harbours at Bobia and Uligan. A lone B-17 strafes barges southeast of Bogia and trucks at Cape Croisilles. (Jack McKillop)

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: The Eleventh Air Force weather reconnaissance B-24 Liberator observes 4 unidentified aircraft near Segula Island. Three B-25 Mitchells, 17 P-40s, and 6 P-38 Lightnings fly 5 attack missions to Kiska, and negative searches for the unidentified airplanes at Segula. The last mission finds Kiska closed in and returns with bombs. (Jack McKillop)

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