12 September 1942

12 September 1942


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12 September 1942

Eastern Front

German troops reach the city centre at Stalingrad

Technology

The highest aerial combat of the war takes place at 43,000 feet over Southampton, between a Spitfire Mk IX and a Junkers Ju 86R

War at Sea

German submarine U-88 sunk with all hands south of Spitzbergen



The Superfortress bomber takes flight

On September 21, 1942, the U.S. B-29 Superfortress makes its debut flight in Seattle, Washington. It was the largest bomber used in the war by any nation.

The B-29 was conceived in 1939 by Gen. Hap Arnold, who was afraid a German victory in Europe would mean the United States would be devoid of bases on the eastern side of the Atlantic from which to counterattack. A plane was needed that would travel faster, farther, and higher than any then available, so Boeing set to creating the four-engine heavy bomber. The plane was extraordinary, able to carry loads almost equal to its own weight at altitudes of 30,000 to 40,000 feet. It contained a pilot console in the rear of the plane, in the event the front pilot was knocked out of commission. It also sported the first radar bombing system of any U.S. bomber.

The Superfortress made its test run over the continental United States on September 21, but would not make its bombing-run debut until June 5, 1944, against Bangkok, in preparation for the Allied liberation of Burma from Japanese hands. A little more than a week later, the B-29 made its first run against the Japanese mainland. On June 14, 60 B-29s based in Chengtu, China, bombed an iron and steel works factory on Honshu Island. While the raid was less than successful, it proved to be a morale booster to Americans, who were now on the offensive.

Meanwhile, the Marianas Islands in the South Pacific were being recaptured by the United States, primarily to provide air bases for their new B-29s𠅊 perfect position from which to strike the Japanese mainland on a consistent basis. Once the bases were ready, the B-29s were employed in a long series of bombing raids against Tokyo. Although capable of precision bombing at high altitudes, the Superfortresses began dropping incendiary devices from a mere 5,000 feet, firebombing the Japanese capital in an attempt to break the will of the Axis power. One raid, in March 1945, killed more than 80,000 people. But the B-29&aposs most lethal missions would come in August, as it was the only plane capable of delivering a 10,000-pound bomb—the atomic bomb. The Enola Gay and the Bock’s Car took off from the Marianas, on August 6 and 9, respectively, and flew into history.


Contents

German Type IXC submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXBs. U-515 had a displacement of 1,120 tonnes (1,100 long tons) when at the surface and 1,232 tonnes (1,213 long tons) while submerged. [4] The U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS 750 kW) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft). [4]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h 21.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h 8.4 mph). [4] When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles (117 km 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h 4.6 mph) when surfaced, she could travel 13,450 nautical miles (24,910 km 15,480 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h 12 mph). U-515 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight. [4]

U-515 ' s keel was laid down on 8 May 1941 at Deutsche Werft in Hamburg, Germany. She was launched on 2 December 1941, commissioned on 21 February 1942 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Werner Henke, and attached to the 4th U-boat Flotilla for training. During this period, U-515 conducted listening tests in early May, torpedo firing tests, and in early July tactical exercises with other U-boats. U-515 served with the 4th U-boat Flotilla until 31 August 1942. She then joined the 10th U-boat Flotilla for operations.

First patrol Edit

U-515 left Stettin on 8 September 1942 stopping at Kiel to top-up with fuel. She left Kiel on 11 September for her first patrol, during which she sank nine ships, and damaged one other: [5]

  • Stanvac Melbourne – Panamanian tanker, sunk on 12 September by torpedoes
  • Woensdrecht – Dutch tanker, sunk on 12 September by torpedoes
  • Nimba – Panamanian freighter, sunk on 13 September by torpedoes
  • Ocean Vanguard – British freighter, sunk on 13 September by torpedoes
  • Harborough – British freighter, sunk on 14 September by torpedo and deck gun
  • Sørholt – Norwegian freighter, sunk on 15 September by torpedoes – American freighter, sunk on 17 September with deck gun
  • Reedpool – British freighter, sunk on 20 September by torpedoes
  • Antinous – American freighter, damaged by torpedo on 23 September, sunk by U-512 on 24 September
  • Lindvangen – Norwegian freighter, sunk on 23 September by torpedoes

U-515 returned to her base at Lorient, in occupied France on 20 October. [3]

Second patrol Edit

U-515 left Lorient on 7 November for her second patrol. While moving along the African coast, on the night of 11 November, she attacked a British depot ship (probably HMS Hecla, which was attacked on 11 November and sank on the 12th), and was subsequently depth-charged by a British destroyer (probably HMS Venomous). While sailing through the mid-Atlantic on 6 December, the U-boat spotted and sank the passenger ship SS Ceramic. U-515 patrolled the Azores for about a week, then returned to Lorient on 5 or 6 January 1943. [6]

Third patrol Edit

Minor repairs were carried out, and on 20 February 1943, the U-boat left Lorient for her third patrol. She sank the British freighter, SS California Star about 335 miles northwest of the Azores on 4 March and on 9 March she sank a second ship, the French freighter Bamako off the west African coast. On 29 April the U-boat was attacked by Catalina flying-boats. U-515 fired at the aircraft with her 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, but did not shoot any down. The aircraft did not cause any damage to her, she submerged after the attack. During a 12-hour period on the night of 30 April and 1 May, U-515 attacked convoy TS 37 off Freetown and sank seven ships:

  • Kota Tjandi – Dutch freighter, sunk on 30 April by torpedoes
  • Bandar Shapour – British freighter, sunk on 30 April by torpedoes
  • Corabella – British freighter, sunk on 30 April by torpedoes
  • Nagina – British freighter, sunk on 30 April by torpedoes
  • Mokambo – Belgian freighter, attacked on 1 May with torpedoes, sank on 2 May
  • City of Singapore – British freighter, sunk on 1 May by torpedoes
  • Clan MacPherson – British freighter, sunk on 1 May by torpedoes

A few days after the attack on convoy TS 37, U-515 was re-supplied with fuel and torpedoes by U-460. She continued on her patrol and on 9 May sank the Norwegian freighter Cornville with torpedoes. U-515 completed her third sortie, returning to Lorient on 23 June. [7] In recognition of a successful patrol, all crewmen were given long leaves and many awarded the Iron Cross, Second class.

Fourth patrol Edit

Extensive repairs and modifications were carried out at Lorient. The after part of the bridge was expanded and equipped with 20mm anti-aircraft cannon and a 37mm flak gun. She also carried four T5 Zaunkönig acoustic homing torpedoes. [8] U-515 left Lorient on 29 August to patrol the west coast of Africa. About one week in, she spotted a convoy off the Azores and started to attack however, she was detected by a convoy escort and badly damaged by depth charges, which forced her to return to base for repairs, reaching Lorient on 12 September. [9]

Fifth patrol Edit

Repairs took six weeks and were completed by late October. On 1 November 1943, U-515 left Lorient, stopping at St. Nazaire to pick up two T5 Zaunkönig torpedoes, which were designed with either a magnetic or percussion fuze and which were faster and had a longer range than the G7e/T4 Falke torpedoes. U-515 left St. Nazaire on 9 November and started patrolling off the Azores and Portuguese coast. On the morning of 18 November, she spotted a convoy, but was in turn spotted by aircraft. The U-boat submerged, but was detected by destroyers. These three ships depth-charged U-515 for several hours and caused major damage. The main ballast tank and reserve oil tank were ruptured several batteries, the electronics, and the forward hydroplane motor were also damaged. U-515 fired a T-5 acoustic torpedo at one of the escorts, HMS Chanticleer, hitting her and causing damage beyond repair. [8] Several more attacks were made and U-515 had nearly run out of air when the attacks finally stopped, and she was able to surface. Despite extensive damage, the crew decided to make repairs at sea, [10] which were completed on 22 November. U-515 started to patrol the west coast of Africa and on 17 December, torpedoed and sank the British freighter Kingswood. Two days later she sank another ship, the British freighter Phemus. While returning to base, she sank the British freighter MV Dumana on 24 December. [8] On 16 January 1944 U-515 reached Lorient.

Sixth and final patrol Edit

Major repairs were carried out on U-515, including the installation of new batteries. Repairs were completed by late March and on the 30th, she left Lorient. On 8 April 1944, U-515 spotted a carrier-based aircraft and submerged an hour later she surfaced and was attacked by another aircraft. U-515 engaged the machine with her 3.7-cm anti-aircraft gun. The plane's bombs missed the U-boat and U-515 failed to shoot down the aircraft.

On 9 April U-515 was attacked north of Madeira by the destroyers USS Pope, Pillsbury, Chatelain and Flaherty. Flooding and loss of depth control forced the U-Boat to the surface, where she was sunk by rockets fired from Grumman Avenger and Grumman Wildcat aircraft and gunfire from the destroyers. [8] [1]

Sixteen of U-515 ' s crew were killed, but 44 survived the attack. [11] The survivors were picked up by the destroyers and later transferred to the aircraft carrier USS Guadalcanal [12] U-515 ' s commander, Werner Henke, was among the survivors. Later in June 1944, he was shot and killed trying to escape a secret interrogation center known as P. O. Box 1142 in Fort Hunt, Virginia, while being held as a prisoner of war. [8]

During U-515 ' s career, she sank 23 ships and damaged two others which later sank, plus damaging another two ships which did not sink. Of the 25 total ships sunk, 21 were freighters totaling 131,769 gross register tons (GRT) two warships totaling 19,277 long tons (19,586 t) one freighter, which later sank of 4,668 GRT and one warship which later sank for another 1,350 tons. [13] U-515 also damaged one freighter of 6,034 GRT and damaged one warship of 1,920 tons. [13]


Following this summer semester, Frank worked at a local bank for one year. He had also recently begun studying economics. When a former classmate set up an internship for Frank at Macy&aposs Department Store in Manhattan, New York, he jumped at the chance to gain business experience. Unfortunately, in 1909, just a couple of weeks after Frank arrived in New York for his internship, his father passed away. Frank quickly headed home for the funeral. Determined to forge ahead in his career, Frank soon returned to the states and spent the next two years working there𠅏irst at Macy&aposs and later at a bank.

In 1911, Frank went home to Germany and took a job with a company that fabricated window frames. During World War I, he worked for a manufacturer of horseshoes for the Germany military. In 1914, however, Frank was conscripted into the German army and sent to the Western Front, where he achieved the rank of lieutenant. When the war ended, Frank took over the family bank, which his younger brother had been managing poorly.

Years later, in 1936, Frank would further exhibit his business acumen by establishing the Opekta Company and appointing himself its director. Two years later, he would set up a second company, Pectacon.


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The Sinking of Prisoner of War Transport Ships in the Far East

Between 12 and 18 September 1944, Allied forces sank three Japanese steamships that were carrying supplies to support the Japanese war effort. But unknown to the Allies at the time, these ships were also carrying Allied prisoners of war (POWs) and Javanese slave labourers (romushas). The Allies sank other POW transport ships during September 1944, but the sinking of the Kachidoki Maru and the Rakuyo Maru on 12 September led to the first eyewitness accounts being given by former POWs to Allied administrations about conditions in camps on the Thailand-Burma railway, whilst the sinking of the Junyo Maru on 18 September was one of the deadliest maritime disasters of the Second World War. The two sinkings, only six days apart, resulted in the deaths of over 7,000 men.

The Kachidoki Maru was the largest of these steamships at over 500 feet long and more than 10,000 tons. She was torpedoed, along with the Rakuyo Maru, on 12 September 1944 by US submarines whilst en route to mainland Japan from Singapore. The Junyo Maru, the smallest steamship at 400 feet long and 5,000 tons, was torpedoed by a British submarine on 18 September off the western coast of Sumatra. When these steamships were sunk, the prisoners and slave labourers on board were all either returning from, or journeying to, the railways upon which they had been designated to work.

More than 1,300 POWs were packed on board the Rakuyo Maru and a further 900 onto the Kachidoki Maru at the docks at Keppel Habour, Singapore, on 6 September 1944. These men had laboured on the Thailand-Burma railway - a 250-mile construction project upon which the POWs had been forced to work since June 1942. Approximately 100,000 romushas and 12,000 POWs lost their lives as a result of the brutal conditions under which they were forced to work. Although the main construction work on the railway had been completed by October 1943, the men were still suffering from the effects of severe malnutrition and tropical diseases such as malaria, dysentery and beri-beri. In this condition, those who were to be transported from Singapore to jobs elsewhere were crammed into the holds of the ships with the hatches closed - 'a layer of men lying shoulder to shoulder' recalled Australian private Philip Beilby - with a shelf above them to contain another layer of men. Rudimentary toilet facilities - boxes over the side of the deck - were at their disposal (IWM SR 23824).

The Rakuyo Maru and Kachidoki Maru set sail on 6 September as part of convoy HI-72 bound for Japan. As well as POWs, the ships were carrying important supplies for the Japanese war effort, including oil, rubber and bauxite, making the convoy a target for Allied attacks. Japanese troops and POWs alike had their concerns about whether they would make the journey safely. Other transport ships had already been lost including the Lisbon Maru on 1 October 1942, the Suez Maru on 29 November 1943, the Harugiku Maru on 26 June 1944 and the Koshu Maru on 4 August 1944. In total, 23 ships transporting POWs are thought to have been sunk by Allied forces during the conflict in the Far East, with the loss of nearly 11,000 POWs and thousands of romushas.

Upon boarding the Rakuyo Maru, and to help quell the concerns of their comrades, some Australian POWs drew upon their experiences of the sinking of the HMAS Perth during the Battle of the Sunda Strait at the end of February 1942. As they were packed into the hold, they gave advice to fellow POWs on what to do in the event of a sinking. Lying 'gazing out to sea talking to each other' (IWM SR 23824), the men were also concerned with practical matters - the sort of work that they might be required to undertake in Japan (the rumour was that it would be coal mining, of which nobody had any experience), and the little that they possessed in the way of personal belongings. They did not have much in the way of clothing either, and during the last two years' captivity had become accustomed to a climate different from the one they expected to encounter in Japan. They wondered how well they would adjust, given the stresses that they had already endured. Any amount of time that the POWs were allowed out of the hold onto the deck was precious this brought each man a chance to breathe some fresh air, instead of the stifling stench of the dysentery-ridden hold, and to move his stiff, cramped limbs.

At 5.00am on 12 September, six days into the voyage, torpedoes from USS Sealion hit the Rakuyo Maru. Rivers of fire were blazing in the sea from the convoy's oil tankers that had been hit earlier in the night, but the men knew that they needed to abandon ship. There were very few lifejackets and the Japanese had commandeered the lifeboats. POWs threw anything in the water that would float - pieces of wood, rubber - remembering to collect water bottles before they jumped. The crude oil made the men vomit as they ingested it and it burned - as the salt water did - when it made contact with fissures and ulcers on their skin. But the oil also created a thick greasy coating that those who spent several days at sea believed gave them some additional protection from the harsh sun during the day and the bitter wind at night. Surviving men would watch from the water, trying to avoid the pull from the ship as the Rakuyo Maru sank the following afternoon.

At 10.40pm on 12 September, USS Pampanito torpedoed the Kachidoki Maru. She sank much quicker than the Rakuyo Maru - within minutes, rather than hours. The 900 men on board had to jump into the sea in the dark of night. The stronger swimmers tried to help those that they could hear struggling around them. 'But', remembered Thomas Pounder, a gunner with the Royal Artillery, despite his confidence in the water, 'when I hit the water, I went right down…it seemed as though somebody wrapped a rug right round me, I couldn't move' (IWM SR 4887). Having struggled to reach the surface and being pushed away from a lifeboat by Japanese guards, Pounder eventually managed to climb onto a bamboo raft where he would spend the rest of the night. As day broke, he looked for the man who had been his best friend through their time on the Thailand-Burma railway, and who had been next to him on the ship. But they had been separated and Pounder's mate was among the 400 men who lost their lives in the sinking of the Kachidoki Maruthat night. Japanese ships returned the following morning to pick up the surviving men. Along with over 500 other POWs, Pounder was transferred to the Kibitsu Maru, upon which the rescued men would continue their journey to mainland Japan. Here they remained in captivity until the end of the war.

For the survivors of the Rakuyo Maru torpedoing, it would be three, four and - for a small number of men including Philip Beilby - six days before they were rescued from the sea by the same Allied submarines that had sunk the convoy. Those days at sea were spent 'absolutely famished for water, the mouth dries up and your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth', all the while staring out at 'pure and crystalline-looking' salt water (IWM SR 23824). For the first couple of days the men tried to maintain their morale by singing songs to pass the time, but the sun's glare off the water became 'unbearable', the oil in the eyes burned, the salt water ulcers caused 'itchy patches' and the skin peeled away. Hallucinations caused some men to swim out to ships that were not there - and drown as a result. Others died of thirst, became aggressive, or simply went 'crazy'. The men had jumped from the Rakuyo Maru feeling free because their captors and the bayonets were no longer around them, 'but you're not free really because the bottom of the sea is calling you' (IWM SR 23824).

USS Pampanito and USS Sealion had continued to patrol the area in the South China Sea following the attack on the convoy. After three days the submarine crews spotted wreckage and debris with men floating on rafts: 'We couldn't recognize them' reported Lieutenant Commander Davis, Executive Officer on the Pampanito, 'They were all hollering and screaming at the top of their voices…They were very hard to handle, they were just covered with a heavy oil, all over their bodies, their hands, and we had a devil of a time trying to get them on board, they were slick, couldn't pick them up. They were quite weak and they couldn't help themselves very much…I remember the first one that came up - he actually kissed the man as he pulled him up on deck, he was so happy to get on there. They were quite in a state of hysteria, they had practically given up when they finally got picked up by us'. Lieutenant Commander Landon Davis's full account of rescue is available on the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association's website, as is remarkable edited film footage of the rescue of 157 POWs from the Rakuyo Maru sinking, filmed using the USS Pampanito's periscope cameras. The original film footage is preserved within US National Archives.

A typhoon would hamper the search, but for three days the submarines - with assistance from USS Barb and Queenfish -continued to pull the men from the sea. A small number would die in the days following their rescue, but the former POWs from the Rakuyo Maru were eventually repatriated to Australia and Britain. Whilst on board the submarines, the former POWs heard news of the war's progress, and provided their own intelligence to military personnel on conditions in the Far East. The rescued men were full of praise for the submarine crews and the care that they provided for the survivors before they arrived at a medical base in Saipan.


The Bonham Herald (Bonham, Tex.), Vol. 16, No. 12, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 17, 1942

Semi-weekly newspaper from Bonham, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.

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four pages : ill. page 23 x 16 in. Scanned from physical pages.

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This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: Fannin County Area Newspaper Collection and was provided by the Bonham Public Library to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 12 times. More information about this issue can be viewed below.

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Check out our Resources for Educators Site! We've identified this newspaper as a primary source within our collections. Researchers, educators, and students may find this issue useful in their work.

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The evolution of the Bonham Public Library began in 1901, when a public library was established as an outgrowth of a circulating library sponsored by the Current Literature Club. One hundred and fifteen years later the Library strives to meet the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of the Bonham community.


21 September 1942

21 September 1942: At Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington, the Boeing Model 345, the first of three XB-29 prototypes, Air Corps serial number 41-002, took off on its first flight.

Edmund T. “Eddie” Allen, Director of Aerodynamics and Flight Research, was in command, with Al Reed, Chief of Flight Test and Chief Test Pilot, as co-pilot. They climbed to 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) and began testing the XB-29’s stability and control, control power and response, and stall characteristics.

The flight was uneventful. Landing after 1 hour, 15 minutes, Allen is supposed to have said, “She flew!”

Eddie Allen lean’s out of a cockpit window following the first taxi test of the XB-29. (Boeing)

The XB-29 was 98 feet, 2 inches (29.921 meters) long with a wing span of 141 feet, 3 inches (43.053 meters), and 27 feet, 9 inches (8.458 meters) high to the top of its vertical fin. The prototype bomber had a gross weight of 105,000 pounds (47,627 kilograms).

Boeing XB-29-BO, 41-002, the first of three prototypes. (U.S. Air Force)

The prototype bomber was powered by four air-cooled, supercharged and fuel-injected 3,347.662-cubic-inch-displacement (54.858 liter) Wright Aeronautical Division Duplex-Cyclone 670C18H1 (R-3350-13) twin-row 18-cylinder radial engines with a compression ratio of 6.85:1. The R-3350-13 was rated at 2,000 horsepower at 2,400 r.p.m., and 2,200 horsepower at 2,800 r.p.m. for takeoff, burning 100-octane gasoline. These engines drove 17-foot-diameter (5.182 meters) three-bladed Hamilton Standard constant-speed propellers through a gear reduction of 0.35:1. The R-3350-13 was 76.26 inches (1.937 meters) long, 55.78 inches (1.417 meters) in diameter, and weighed 2,668 pounds (1,210 kilograms). Wright built 50 of these engines.

The XB-29 had a maximum speed of 368 miles per hour (592 kilometers per hour) and cruised at 255 miles per hour (410 kilometers per hour). Its service ceiling was 32,100 feet (9,784 meters).

The airplane was designed to carry 20,000 pounds (9,072 kilograms) of bombs. Though the prototypes were unarmed, the production B-29s were defended by 10 Browning AN-M2 .50-caliber machine guns in four remotely-operated power turrets, with 2 more .50-caliber machine guns and a single AN-M2 20mm autocannon in the tail.

The B-29 Superfortress was the most technologically advanced—and complex—aircraft of the War. It required the manufacturing capabilities of the entire nation to produce. Over 1,400,000 engineering man-hours had been required to design the prototypes.

The B-29 was manufactured by Boeing at Seattle and Renton, Washington, and at Wichita, Kansas by the Glenn L. Martin Company at Omaha, Nebraska and by Bell Aircraft Corporation, Marietta, Georgia. There were three XB-29 prototypes, 14 YB-29 pre-production test aircraft, 2,513 B-29, 1,119 B-29A, and 311 B-29B Superfortress aircraft. The bomber served during World War II and the Korean War and continued in active U.S. service until 1960.

The first prototype, 41-002, was scrapped in 1948.

Boeing B-29A-30-BN Superfortress 42-94106, circa 1945. (U.S. Air Force)


Poll Tax Issue Concerns Every Worker

From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 36, 7 September 1942, p.ق.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

There, are today 5,000,000 men in the armed forces. By next year, this number will be increased to eight million – a very substantial portion of the adult voting population of the United States

These men are presumably fighting for democracy. Yet the proposal to grant them the elementary democratic right of voting is being kicked around like a political football in Washington because the ruling class is opposed to suspending the poll-tax restriction for service men from the eight poll-tax states. (It has since been, approved by Senate-House conferees, and will probably pass. However, Southern congressmen have announced they will fight it to the last: ditch. – Editor)

It is significant that it is not only the reactionary Southern congressmen who have opposed such a waiver. Senator Barkley – Roosevelt’s majority leader in the upper house – led the Senate opposition to lifting the poll-tax restriction. And after Barkley’s opposition had failed to kill the measure, Vice-President Wallace, in appointing a committee of five Senate conferees to discuss the matter with the House, made sure that three of these conferees were active opponents of the waiver.

The entire ruling class trembles at the thought of suspending, the poll-tax: for military men from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia because it knows that such a gesture in the direction, of democracy “for the duration” may produce ramifications in the post-war period. Soldiers permitted to vote by a poll-tax waiver will not passively accept disfranchisement again when they have exchanged khaki for overalls. The fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers of these soldiers will also begin insisting on their right to vote and with this insistence may come a radical change in the whole iniquitous system of the South which has kept millions in degradation.

Anti-poll-tax agitation has been carried out mainly in the name of democratic rights for Negroes, but actually, more whites than Negroes are robbed of the right to vote by the poll-tax. The poll-tax hits at all who don’t have an extra dollar or two left over from rent, food and clothing to spare for the right to vote.

Through the technique of the poll-tax, ten million “have-nots” in the South are deprived of any say at all in the government, while a few thousand have an unfettered hand in exploiting them. In the Southern states this means that the Southern, rulers can keep at a minimum all educational appropriations, public works, social legislation and all measures of a progressive nature.

The South on the whole remains, therefore, deep and dark, almost like a vast colonial country where little, if anything, is done to extend the benefits of improved technology to the masses.

To the South come the Northern capitalists, to invest in the mines, mills and factories. Like the imperialists in Africa and Asia, these capitalists are assured by their Southern partners of a continual supply of “cheap labor,” ignorant and illiterate, backward and degraded.
 

Fear Labor Movement

However, the very industrialization of the South is creating a proletariat, which will no longer countenance the vested interests and machine rule of a few. The Southern oligarchy is aware that from this proletariat is developing a labor movement which will not only abolish the poll-tax but will make serious inroads on the whole economy of which the poll-tax is only a symptom. Alabama, particularly, with its mines and factories, is swiftly becoming organized and constitutes a fertile field for socialist education (as the New York Post recently pointed out.)

It is this rising militancy of the Southern workers, Negro and white, which causes the Southern bourbons to try more desperately to maintain their rule by lynch law, rabble-rousing race agitation and local repressive measures of a viciousness rivalled only by British imperialism in the colonies and German fascism in Europe.

In Alabama, Horace Wilkinson’s “League to Maintain White Supremacy” is but another aspect of his notorious anti-union and anti-labor activities: The “new Negro,” whom the Southern tories fear so much, is the Negro who, working alongside of his white fellow workers, has learned that together the workers must fight militantly and aggressively for their rights and for their class as a whole.

Meanwhile, in the North, the progress made by organized labor is continually menaced by the possibility and actuality of capital flowing to the South, where the restrictive legislation against labor by poll-tax politicians means that it is easier to set up scab shops. Moreover, nationally, the poll-tax congressmen continually endeavor to keep American “democracy” as a whole retarded to the political level of the Southern states. The Southern oligarchy, with its poll-tax, is so strongly entrenched in the South that it can demand and receive from the national government special appropriations, preferments and political favors, completely out of proportion to its actual voting strength.

Anti-lynch laws and national laws against discrimination remain virtual fantasies while the poll-tax congressmen can control national elections by a solid bloc.

One after another, the Southern poll tax representatives, for example, Howard Smith of Virginia and Senator Rankin of Mississippi, storm through the chambers of Congress yelling for anti-labor legislation and exploding with invectives against Negroes. And let it not be thought that these men are only isolated fanatics. For the poll-tax states elect 76 representatives to Congress – no inconsiderable number when it is realized that they form a solid anti-Negro and anti-labor bloc. Nor is it any accident that anti-labor and anti-Negro invectives flow with equal vehemence from the mouths of these men.

For the rotten Southern economy must make a desperate effort to, survive by keeping the growing labor movement in bounds. And this can best be done, from the point of view of the Southern ruling class, by keeping the Negro in his place and, dividing him from his white fellow workers by constantly nourished race hatred.
 

Anti-Poll-Tax Movement

Today, more and. more, as shown by the AFL and CIO anti-poll-tax resolutions, labor unions are beginning to realize the menace to labor in continued rule by poll-tax state and national “representatives.” It is largely the pressure of labor unions which has persuaded various congressmen to sign a petition to bring the Geyer anti-poll-tax resolution onto the floor of the House. Only a few more signatures are needed.

The “liberals” have always deplored the poll-tax because they were ashamed of its persistence to “free America.” The movement to end the poll-tax is now taking on. real strength because (as the Anti-Poll-Tax Committee reports) labor has waked up to the fact that the poll-tax guarantees political monopoly by those who seek to keep the working class movement devitalized through race antagonisms and restrictive legislation.

To make of this movement a real force, the unions must accompany their anti-poll-tax resolutions and lobbying with intensive organizational drives in the South. Only in this way will the Southern workers themselves develop the organizations and the leadership which will overthrow the poll-tax system and all its accompanying abuses.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 1111 September 15, 1942

At 00.58 AM in the South Atlantic 450 miles Northeast of Ascension Island, U-68 sinks Dutch SS Breedijk (2 killed, 37 survivors in 3 lifeboats are picked up over the next 8 days and a boat with 13 survivors reaches French West Africa). At 11.30 AM 290 miles Northeast of Ascension Island, U-506, U-507 and Italian submarine Cappellini begin arriving to assist U-156 rescuing hundreds of survivors who have been floating since the sinking of British troopship Laconia in the evening of September 12. The submarines, on the surface, start towing lifeboats towards the coast of West Africa.

At 7.14 AM 100 miles East of Trinidad, U-515 sinks Norwegian MV Sørholt (7 killed, 31 survivors reach Trinidad 2 days later). At 3.17 PM near Tobago, U-514 sinks British SS Kioto (20 killed, 54 rescued by Trinidad government ship Trinidad and landed at Tobago).

100 miles Southwest of the Faroe Islands, a British Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber (RAF 58 Squadron, Coastal Command) sinks U-261 trying to break out into the Atlantic on the first patrol, 7 days after leaving Kiel, Germany (all hands lost).

Italian frogmen enter the harbor at Gibraltar and place limpet mines on British SS Ravens Point, which sinks in shallow water (will be repaired and leave Gibraltar on December 27, 1942).

Kokoda Track, Papua. At Ioribaiwa Ridge only 25 miles from Port Moresby. With stalemate in the center and on one flank, Japanese bring up their reserve on the other side looking to outflank the Australian positions through the jungle. They also run into the Australian line creating havoc and disrupting the defenses. The Australians throw in their reserve, 2/25th Battalion, but they cannot dislodge the Japanese.

At 2.44 PM in the Coral Sea between Santa Cristobel and Vanatu (300 miles Southeast of Guadalcanal), Japanese submarine I-19 fires 6 torpedoes, sinking 1 US aircraft carrier and 1 destroyer and severely damaging a battleship which are escorting 6 troop transports carrying 7th Marine Regiment to Guadalcanal. US aircraft carrier USS Wasp is hit by 3 torpedoes and burns out of control (194 killed, 1969 survivors rescued by other warships including 366 wounded). US battleship USS North Carolina is badly damaged and has to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. US destroyer USS O'Brien suffers minor damage and heads to USA for repairs (via Vanatu Island and Noumea Island) before sinking near Fiji on October 19, 1942. US warships drop 80 depth charges but I-19 escapes unharmed.

Aleutian Islands. US bombers from Adak Island again bomb the harbor at Japanese-held Kiska Island.

Stalingrad. There is grim fighting all day as Germans try to push into the city. They especially want to place artillery on the dominating heights of Mamayev Kurgan, from which they can shell ferries bringing Soviet troops across the Volga, but an NKVD rifle battalion manages to hold on to the top of Mamayev Kurgan despite bitter fighting. German infantry advances down the Tsaritsa River gorge towards the Volga, again threatening to cut the soviet defenses in two.

At 6.33 PM in the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, U-517 fires 4 torpedoes at convoy SQ-36 sinking Norwegian SS Inger Elisabeth (3 killed, 23 survivors reach shore in lifeboats) and Dutch SS Saturnus (1 killed, 35 escape in 2 lifeboats and reach the shore).

At 9.15 PM in the Bjaerangsfjord, Norway, Free French submarine Junon lands 10 British commandos (No. 2 Commando) and 2 Norwegian corporals (Norwegian Independent Company 1) to destroy the German-held power station at Glomfjord (Operation Musketoon).


12 September 1942 - History

World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945. There were several major events leading up to the war and then during the war. Here is a timeline listing some of the major events:

Leading up to the War

1933 January 30 - Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany. His Nazi Party, or the Third Reich, takes power and Hitler is essentially the dictator of Germany.

1936 October 25 - Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy form the Rome-Berlin Axis treaty.

1936 November 25 - Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact. This was a pact against communism and Russia.

1937 July 7 - Japan invades China.

1938 March 12 - Hitler annexes the country of Austria into Germany. This is also called the Anschluss.

1939 September 1 - Germany invades Poland. World War II begins.

1939 September 3 - France and Great Britain declare war on Germany.

1940 April 9 to June 9 - Germany invades and takes control of Denmark and Norway.

1940 May 10 to June 22 - Germany uses quick strikes called blitzkrieg, meaning lightning war, to take over much of western Europe including the Netherlands, Belgium, and northern France.

1940 May 30 - Winston Churchill becomes leader of the British government.

1940 June 10 - Italy enters the war as a member of the Axis powers.

1940 July 10 - Germany launches an air attack on Great Britain. These attacks last until the end of October and are known as the Battle of Britain.

1940 September 22 - Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact creating the Axis Alliance.

1941 June 22 - Germany and the Axis Powers attack Russia with a huge force of over four million troops.

1941 December 7 - The Japanese attack the US Navy in Pearl Harbor. The next day the US enters World War II on the side of the Allies.

1942 June 4 - The US Navy defeats the Japanese navy at the Battle of Midway.

1943 July 10 - The Allies invade and take the island of Sicily.

1943 September 3 - Italy surrenders to the Allies, however Germany helps Mussolini to escape and set up a government in Northern Italy.

1944 June 6 - D-day and the Normandy invasion. Allied forces invade France and push back the Germans.

1944 August 25 - Paris is liberated from German control.

1944 December 16 - The Germans launch a large attack in the Battle of the Bulge. They lose to the Allies sealing the fate of the German army.

1945 February 19 - US Marines invade the island of Iwo Jima. After a fierce battle they capture the island.

1945 April 12 - US President Franklin Roosevelt dies. He is succeeded by President Harry Truman.

1945 March 22 - The US Third Army under General Patton crosses the Rhine River.

1945 April 30 - Adolf Hitler commits suicide as he knows Germany has lost the war.

1945 May 7 - Germany surrenders to the Allies.

1945 August 6 - The United States drops the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The city is devastated.

1945 August 9 - Another atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

1945 September 2 - Japan surrenders to US General Douglass MacArthur and the Allies.


Watch the video: Stalingrad: The Grain Elevator