February 1st, 1944 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: The Germans are eagerly monitoring the activities of the 1st US Army Group, stationed in Yorkshire and Norfolk. They have identified the training grounds, orders of battle and the invasion target - Calais, directly across the Channel.
There is just one problem. The 1st US Army Group does not exist. Like the Twelfth British Army, it is a phantom army created by the British and Americans to mislead the enemy as to where the landing in Europe will really be made.
Other bogus plans, passed on by a German agent who has been turned to work for the Allies, include Operation Fortitude North (an assault on Norway); Graffham (on Sweden); Zeppelin (on the Black Sea coast of Romania). A tricky one for the enemy is Operation Royal Flush: the map that has fallen into their hands could be of the coastline of Sweden, Spain or Turkey. These elaborate deceptions have led the Germans to scatter their armies across Europe to cover the "threatened" invasion points.
A genuine intelligence success has left the Germans grinding their teeth with frustration. They monitored a Churchill and Roosevelt telephone conversation on some forthcoming military operation. It ended, with the Germans none the wiser about the subject, when Roosevelt said: "Well, we'll do our best. Now I'm going fishing."
Britain: After two years of suits without pockets and trousers without turnups, followers of fashion can go to the tailor today and order whatever fripperies their hearts desire. Mr. Hillier, the secretary of the Bespoke Tailors' Guild said today: "Popular opinion has killed the austerity suit. Nobody liked it." The limits on pleats and buttons on women's clothes are also removed.
FRANCE: After months of political squabbling, French Resistance leaders have taken a major step towards creating a more efficient and unified oragnization to fight the German occupying forces. A newly-formed central committee, known as COMIDAC, will liaise between the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) and the National Resistance Committee (CNR) created by Jean Moulin in 1943. two members of the new body represent all the factions within the Resistance.
COMIDAC's charter, which was approved today, defines its role as being a centralized command for all the armed forces of the Resistance - including communists, Gaullists and others who have been fighting independently of each other. This action committee is more appropriate for setting up clandestine operations on short notice than was the FFI command structure.
However, the move has not been welcomed by the Central Intelligence and Military Action Bureau based in London, or by the Algiers-based General Intelligence Directorate. These groups see the decision as a new sign of the desire of the internal Resistance movements for more independence.
GERMANY: U-1008 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: Destroyer HMCS Huron arrived Kola Inlet with convoy JW-56B. (Dave Shirlaw)
ITALY: Alton W. Knappenberger, a Pennsylvania farm labourer, single-handedly disrupts a German attack near Cisterna di Littoria, a market town with a mediaeval castle about 30 miles from Rome. Armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle, Knappenberger is credited with killing 60 German soldiers over a two hour span this day. MOH
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: U-453 rammed and sank sailing vessels Salem, Himli, Agia Paraskevi in the Eastern Mediterranean. (Dave Shirlaw)
INDIAN OCEAN: U-168 turned back for base at Penang because the I WO was suffering from appendicitis. (Dave Shirlaw)
MARSHALL ISLANDS: Glen Boren notes in his diary:
Up early again and send our first strike at dawn. On board ship, we are told that the troops are getting ashore with few casualities and are consolidating as they go. We are not getting many details but they seem to be doing better than in past landings.
We launch two more support strikes during the day. Not a lot to report on for today, being stuck aboard ship, it is hard to get a lot of info. unless the skipper puts it out on the PA..
Busy day for tomorrow.
US seventh Infantry/25th Marine Division lands on Kwajalein/Roi/Namur. (Michael Ballard)
On Roi Island, Pfc Richard B. Anderson, United States Marine Corps throws himself onto an unexploded grenade to save three other marines. (MOH)
HMC MTB 726 commissioned.
MAC ship SS Gadila commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
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