May 22nd, 1943 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Frigate HMS Duff launched.
Minesweeping trawler HMS Ganilly launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: General der Jagdflieger Adolf Galland flies the 4th prototype of the Me262 (code PC+UD werknummer 262 000004). (Russ Folsom) He reaches 520mph and says that it would regain air superiority for Germany. But Hitler wants it made into a bomber.
Ruhr: As emergency services deliver bread, milk and coffee to households which have had their power supplies cut, Albert Speer, Hitler's armaments minister, has pulled 7,000 men out of the Atlantic Wall defences in France to repair the breached Ruhr dams. At least 476 people died, and 156 are missing (91), after a nine-foot wave of 100 million cubic metres of water tore through the Mohne valley, wrecking road and rail bridges and flooding towns and villages. Among the dead are many slave labourers, including women from the Ukraine. A further 47 died in the Eder area.
German Admiral Karl Doenitz withdraws his U-boats from the North Atlantic after mounting losses.
U-877 laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
BALTIC SEA: Finnish patrol boats in action against their Soviet counterparts. VMV 17 is hit by gunfire, two men lost and one wounded, in addition two wounded in other boats. Two enemy boats sunk. (Dave Shirlaw)
ITALY: The Allies bomb Sicily and Sardinia.
U.S.S.R.: Moscow: There are increasing signs that both sides are about to launch their long-prepared summer offensives on the eastern front. Artillery barrages are rumbling all along the front, and there is intense aerial activity while the ground forces spare for position. The battle will almost certainly centre on the great Soviet salient bulging into the German lines before Kursk. Hitler planned to launch Operation Citadel, a huge attack to cut off the salient, on 9 May, but postponed it on 5 May until mid-June to allow more preparation. He knows that the course of the war depends on it.
Soviet submarine Shch-408 of the Baltic Fleet is sunk off Vaindlo Island by the Finnish minelayer Ruotsinsalmi. (Mike Yared)(146 and 147)
JAPAN: The large Japanese Naval Force consisting of the battleships HIJMS Musashi, HIJMS Kongo and HIJMS Haruna; the aircraft carrier HIJMS Hiyo; the heavy cruisers HIJMS Tone and HIJMS Chikuma; and five destroyers that departed Truk Atoll in the Caroline Islands on 16 May, arrives in Tokyo Harbor and joins the Attu relief force. (Jack McKillop)
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: US troops in south Attu penetrate the valley that leads to Chichagof; those in the north remain in their positions. The Southern Landing Force is blocked in their attempts to take Sarana Nose, a high point at the junction of Sarana and Chichagof Valleys, but by nightfall, the Northern Landing Force has taken the position.
Bad weather forces cancellation of all air missions by the USAAF's Eleventh Air Force.
Fifteen Navy Type 1 Attack Bombers, Allied Code Name "Betty," make a torpedo attack on the gunboat USS Charleston (PG-51) and destroyer USS Phelps (DD-360) patrolling Attu. The ships suffer only negligible damage and shoot down one "Betty." (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Napanee arrived Montreal, Province of Quebec for refit. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Naval Air Station Hitchcock is commissioned as a blimp patrol facility to cover the Gulf Coast of Galveston, Texas. (Jack McKillop)
Destroyer USS Kimberly commissioned.
Destroyer USS Caperton launched.
Destroyer escort USS Harveson launched.
Light fleet carrier USS Langley launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Two Grumman TBF Avengers of Composite Squadron Nine (VC-9) in the auxiliary aircraft carrier USS Bogue (ACV-9) depth charge and damage the German submarine U-569 in the North Atlantic. The sub is subsequently scuttled by her crew in position 50.40N, 35.21W; 25 of the 46-man crew survive. This is the first U-boat sunk by an escort carrier on a hunter-killer patrol. (Jack McKillop)
U-305 was attacked twice at 1302 and 1521 by Avengers from USS Bogue. The boat had to return to base. (Dave Shirlaw)
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