Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 26, 1944;


Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Tuesday, December 26,1944
MacArthur Says Japs in Philippines
Suffer -Worst Defeat- in History
Associated Press War Editor
Enemy forces in the Philippines have "sustained perhaps the greatest defeat in the military annals of the Japanese army," General Douglas MacArthur announced today and Emperor Hirohito said the plight of Nippon in her "sacred war" is "becoming more critical."
In a double amphibious landing Christmas day, coupled with two overland pushes, American divisions seized the only remaining Japanese escape ports and wrote a virtual end to the Leyte island campaign.
The 67-day battle, MacArthur said, cost General Tomoyuki  Yarnashita
113,221 men, 2,748 planes, 41 transports and 27 warships.
"This destruction has seldom been paralleled in the history of warfare," MacArthur said.
American casualties totaled 11,217, including 2,6211 killed, 8,422 wounded and 172 missing.
Division Capture Port
In yesterday's smashing climax, the 77th division captured the port of Palompon in a surprise amphibious landing under cover of a land based artillery bombardment by long range guns; the 7th division stormed ashore from landing barges to seize Puerto Bello to the southeast; and the 24th division cleaned out Japanese around San Isidro, a port north of Palompon.
The 32nd division and the First (dismounted) cavalry relentlessly pressed in from the east.

German Armored
Columns Plunge
Deeper Into Belgium
Two German armored columns by Sunday night had plunged 50 miles into Belgium, reaching within four miles of the Meuse river. The enemy wiped out the
American St. Vith salient and formed a solid front 35 miles wide.
Supreme headquarters disclosed this information Tuesday.
Two and possibly three Nazi armies have moved into the battering counter offensive, believed by supreme headquarters, believed to have been planned by Hitler himself,  in an effort to shatter Allied forces in the west.
Backed up by infantry, the twin German tank pushes had careened 11 more miles into Belgium since the last previous
headquarters report.
They had pinched out the American stand west of St. Vith—a jutting salient that had split the German offensive prongs—and formed a single bulge 35 miles wide and now 50 miles or more deep.
In the heart of this bulge a surrounded American force several thousand strong fought doggedly to hold the important Belgian road hub of Bastogne after rejecting a surrender ultimatum. It is under incessant Nazi armor and infantry attacks.
The whole hope of this isolated force focussed to the
south where General Eisenhower's counterassault had beaten
back up the Arlon road within five miles of Bastogne—and
still was gaining ground.
The American wedge west of St. Vith had kept Field Marshal Karl von Rundstedt's drives split. German stabs had veered north of LaRoche through to Grandmenil and Lierneux, threatening to cut off Americans dug in on ridges west of St. Vith and keeping Von Rundstedt's assault prongs from merging.
These forces had to be pulled out in rearguard fighting 1 the last two or three days, supreme headquarters said, and the German junction had been formed by Christmas morning.

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