November 23rd, 1944
UNITED KINGDOM: Submarine HMS Sidon commissioned.
Submarine HMS L-27 paid off. (Dave Shirlaw)
Western Front: The German 15th Army withdraws deeper into Holland. The German 7th army begins a series of attacks against the US 9th Army. In the south, French units attached to the US 7th Army reach Strasbourg.
FRANCE: Strasburg: The first French troops entered Strasburg today after a two pronged drive by LeClerc's 2nd Armoured Division and de Tassigny's First French Army. The Germans were apparently taken by surprise by the speed of the French advance, which was backed by units of Patch's US Seventh Army. Some 3,000 prisoners were taken. In the Reich Anatomical Institute, set up by Himmler after 1940, the Americans found scores of headless bodies.
An estimated 50,000 Germans remain in the "Colmar pocket" - an enemy salient projecting into the Allied lines below Strasburg as far south as Mulhouse. French artillery on the Rhine in Alsace, a few miles west if Basle, is bombarding German positions in Baden on the east bank. Shunting yards have been demolished and all rail traffic from the Swiss border has been halted. Fires have been started in the foothills if the Black Forest. With ferries on the Rhine either sunk or halted, some German units trapped on the west bank have fled into Switzerland.
When the capture of Strasburg was announced to the French Consultative Assembly in Paris, members cheered and stood up to sing the Marseillaise.
In the U.S. Third Army's XII Corps area, elements of the 137th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, push into Hilsprich, which is needed for the armored attack, but are forced back to St Jean-Rohrbach. the 104th Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division, reoccupies Albestroff but is too disorganized to continue the attack: the 328th Infantry Regiment takes over its sector and attacks toward line the Vittersbourg- Honskirch-Altwiller. A Combat Command B column of the 4th Armored Division, driving east from Mittersheim, reaches the west bank of the Saar River at Fenetran (Jack McKillop)
In U.S. Seventh Army's XV Corps area, the French 2 Armored Division drives into Strasbourg and clears the city, but the Germans retain a small bridgehead at the Kehl bridge. The Germans abandon Phalsbourg, at the western end of the Saverne Gap. As infantry is being shifted through the gap toward Haguenau and Soufflenheim, the Germans begin series of counterattacks N of Sarrebourg, forcing the corps to regroup to meet the threat. Most of the 44th and 45th Infantry Divisions as well as 106th Cavalry Group are disposed at the western side of the Saverne Gap. In the VI Corps area, the 3d Infantry Division takes Saulxures and Saales; in conjunction with the 100th Infantry Division to the left, they overrun St Blaise. Two regiments of the 103d Infantry Division are moving to outflank the Steige pass, while the third, on the southern flank, attacks in conjunction with the 36th Infantry Division in the region west of Ste Marie. The 143d and 141st Infantry Regiments, 36th Infantr y Division, are closing in on Fraize, the 143d taking Mandray. (Jack McKillop)
In the French First Army area, the II Corps takes Chateau-Lambert but progress elsewhere is negligible. The corps is ordered to open the route of advance for Combat Command 6, which, with the 2d Moroccan Division, has been placed under corps command. In the I Corps area, the Germans for the second time cut the route to the Rhine River in the vicinity of Seppois. (Jack McKillop)
In the British Second Army area, XXX Corps goes on the defensive and releases. Further efforts earlier in the day to take Wurm and Beeck have failed. (Jack McKillop)
In the U.S. Ninth Army's XIX Corps area, Combat Command A of the 2d Armored Division takes about half of Merzenhausen and halts to consolidate. Elements of the 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, takes Bourheim in strenuous fighting; the Germans soon begin counterattacks, which continue for the next three days. Elements of the 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, take Lohn and hold it against a counterattacks; elements of the 119th Infantry Regiment, assisted by diversionary fire from Erberich, clear Pattern; and the 30th Infantry Division then halts their attack to await clearance of Kirchberg and Inden. (Jack McKillop)
On Thanksgiving Day with the US First Army, in the 104th Division sector, the Germans strongly defended Petzlohn near the army boundary and the 413th Infantry lost and then recaptured Hill 272. The 414th Infantry on the right flank made substantial progress along the north bank of the Inde River. The 1st Division made progress on the left flank of the division zone, where the 47th progressed one half mile towards Hucheln. The 4th Division's 8th Infantry fought forward 700 yards through the forest along the Schevenhtte-Dren road and the 12th Infantry progressed about 500 yards through minefields and artillery fire northeast towards Grosshau. In the 8th Division zone, the 121st Infantry was temporarily checked by a German counterattack that was repulsed in the afternoon. (Robert Rush)
In the U.S. Third Army's XX Corps area, the 358th Infantry Regiment of the 90th Infantry Division takes over the attack from Combat Command A of the 10th Armored Division, attempting to push through the Orscholz line to the villages of Sinz and Muenzingen with the 3d and 2d Battalions: the 3d Battalion clears the Ampholz Woods east of Tettingen; the 2d is disorganized by friendly fire which is falling short. (Jack McKillop)
The USAAF Eighth Air Force flies Mission 722: In Germany, 146 B-17 Flying Fortresses and 73 P-51 Mustangs make a GH attack on the Norstern benzol manufacturing plant near Gelsenkirchen and 13 bomb the marshalling yard at Duisburg with the loss of 1 P-51. (Jack McKillop)
During the day, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 168 Lancasters to carry out a G-H raid through cloud on the Nordstern synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen; 162 bomb the target with the loss of one aircraft. The bombing appears to be accurate. (Jack McKillop)
During the night of 23/24 November, RAF Bomber Command Mosquitos bomb five targets: 61 hit Hannover with the loss of one; nine attack an aircraft engine factory at Eisenach; six bomb a marshalling yard at Gottingen; four bomb Hagen and one bombs Dortmund. (Jack McKillop)
U-3519, U-3520 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
HUNGARY: The Russians capture Tokay in southern HUNGARYand the rail junction of Cop (Csap), which has changed hands several times during the last few weeks, falls to the Red Army. They announce that with the help of the Finns they have cleared Lapland of Germans.
ESTONIA: With the elimination of the German pocket on southern Oesd Island., Soviet forces now control the entrance to the Gulf of Riga. (Jack McKillop)
ITALY: In the British Eighth Army area, the Polish II Corps secures Mt. Ricci. The V Corps consolidates the bridgeheads across the Cosina River. The Germans begin a withdrawal toward the next water barrier, the Lamonc River. The Indian 10th Division is strongly opposed, however, on the right flank of the corps along the Montone River north of Highway 9. (Jack McKillop)
Bad weather restricts operations by the USAAF Twelfth Air Force. Medium bombers over the Faenza area abort due to overcast and P-47 Thunderbolts hampered by low clouds over the Apennines Mountains, fly only 16 sorties, against rail lines south of Bologna, but succeed in cutting the lines in six places. (Jack McKillop)
YUGOSLAVIA: USAAF Fifteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators attack four transportation targets: 126 bomb a railroad bridge at Zenicca while seven bomb a highway bridge; 19 hit a railroad bridge at Doboj; and seven bomb the Sava highway bridges at Brod. (Jack McKillop)
During the day, RAF bombers of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb two cities: 40 hit Rogetica and 33 bomb Uzice with the loss of one aircraft. (Jack McKillop)
CHINA: Over 120 USAAF Fourteenth Air Force P-40s, P-51 Mustangs and P-38 Lightnings hit targets of opportunity throughout southeast and southwest China while 32 of the fighter-bombers support ground forces in the Chefang area. (Jack McKillop)
HONG KONG: Two USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb Kowloon Docks. (Jack McKillop)
BURMA: Over 50 USAAF Tenth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts support ground forces in the Pinwe and Bhamo areas; 16 sweep and strafe airfields and many targets of opportunity from Anisakan to Nawnghkio; and three hit an ammunition dump at Man Naung. Twenty one P-47s sweep roads in the Ye-U area and strafe rail installations at Kanbalu while ten B-25 Mitchells knock out the Tantabin main bridge and Tangon and Thegyaung bypass bridges, and blast approaches to the Tangon main bridge and Tantabin bypass bridge. (Jack McKillop)
Twelve USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells bomb a storage area near Lashio and eight hit Kutkai and Wanling. (Jack McKillop)
NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES: Eleven RAAF (P-40) Kittyhawks dive bomb Lolobato and Hatetabako Aerodromes on Halmahera Island and 12 others dive bomb Galela Airfield on Galela Island 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Morotai Island. (Jack McKillop)
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: In the U.S. Sixth Army's X Corps area on Leyte, the 128th Infantry Regiment of the 32d Infantry Division improves and consolidates positions south of Limon and for the next few days patrols actively. The 112th Cavalry Regiment, which has been patrolling the Mt. Minoro area, is ordered southwest toward Highway 2 to relieve pressure on the 32d Infantry Division. In the XXIV Corps area, the 77th Infantry Division begins unloading on Leyte and is assigned to the corps. The Battle of Shoestring Ridge opens as the Japanese attack the sector of thinly spread 32d Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, along the Palanas River, forcing a limited withdrawal. (Jack McKillop)
USAAF Far East Air Forces B-24 Liberators bomb Matina Aerodrome on Mindanao Island. (Jack McKillop)
The USN submarine USS Gar (SS-206) lands men and supplies on west coast of Luzon. (Jack McKillop)
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: The RAAF's No. 6 Squadron resumes their attack on Rabaul, New Britain Island, with Beauforts. The town will be attacked three more times before the end of the month. (Jack McKillop)
BONIN ISLANDS: Seventeen USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators from Guam hit shipping at Chichi Jima and Haha Jima and bomb the town of Okimura. (Jack McKillop)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Australian troops of the 9th Battalion, 7th Brigade, 3rd Division, relieve the U.S. 2d Battalion, 132d Infantry Regiment, Americal Division, at Cape Torokina, Bougainville. The Australian arrival opens the campaign on Bougainville that cost over 500 Australian lives by the war's end. (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: The government through Order-in-council at Parliament votes to send 16,000 conscripted men to overseas areas to join the hitherto voluntary Canadian Army. (Dave Hornford)
U.S.A.: Coast Guard-manned Army FS-405 was commissioned at San Francisco with ENS F. D. Statts, USCGR, as her first commanding officer. He was succeeded on 12 September 1945, by LTJG David Mitter, USCGR. She was assigned to and operated in the Southwest Pacific area.
Destroyers USS Alfred A Cunningham and Gainard commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-978 torpedoed SS William D Burnham in Convoy TMC-44. Total loss. (Dave Shirlaw)
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