Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11,1945; TOKYO BURNING:

Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday Morning, March 11, 1945

Enemy Defenses
Crack Under
Heavy Assaults
First and Third American Armies
Close on Pocketed Nazis;
Germany's Wesel Position Collapses

Exclusive; N. Y. Times-Salt Lake Tribune
By Drew Middleton
PARIS, March 10—
 The allies flattened the last German bridgehead west of the Rhine north of Coblenz Saturday afternoon when the Wesel position collapsed under smashing attacks by the Canadian First and United States Ninth armies and expanded
their own foothold east-of the river atjlemagen, gaining almost a mile in some places.
While Gen. Eisenhower's armies were tightening their grasp on the Rhine's west bank from Coblenz north to Nijmegen, a distance of 150 miles, the First and Third U. S. armies closed in on approximately 23,000 enemy soldiers caught in a pocket 22 miles long and seven to 12 miles wide.
As the allied successes mounted, both the air and the ground forces in the north reported that the German army in the Netherlands appears to be making limited withdrawals toward defenses along the line of the Ijssel river in eastern Netherlands, where some field works are believed to have been built by the enemy
prior to the invasion.
Ninth Armored Forces Expand Remagen Position
While forces of the Ninth armored division expanded the Rcmagen bridgehead, gaining between 500 and 1500 yards along its perimeter and capturing more high ground, other First army forces completed a sweep southward from a, sector around Euskirchen and arrived on the line of the Ahr river along a 20-mile strip between Sinzig, where the Ahr joins the Rhine south of Remagen, and Insul, 20 miles southwest.
The bridge at Remagen was intact despite German bombing and shelling at 2 p. m. Saturday afternoon and there was no confirmation here of enemy reports that it has been knocked out by bombs.
The German news service declared Saturday afternoon that First army forces had pushed up the east bank of the Rhine over five miles from the original crossing to enter the village of Honnef, where', they were joined by other troops who crossed the river in assault rafts.
According to the enemy, an American force of tanks and infantry was counterattacked by German armor at Honnef andwas forced to withdraw.
(insert Pic & Map)

Tokyo Smoke
B-29 Airmen T
(The following eye witness report on the Tokyo B-29 raid was written and offered by Martin Sheridan, B o s t o n Globe correspondent, to the combined American press. Command pilot of the plane in which Sheridan flew was Maj. Walter P. Todd of Ogden, Utah.)
OVER TOKYO, March 10 9UP)—
I not only saw Tokyo burning furiously in many sections but I smelled it. Huge clouds of smoke billowed high above the city. The conflagration was so great that the bomb bay doors
of this Superfortress, the underside of the fuselage and the gun blisters were blackened
with soot.
300 Bombers
This bomber was one of more than 300 from American bases in the Marianas—forming the greatest fleet of Superfortresses ever put in.' the air—which gave the Japanese capital the hotfoot early Saturday.
Our navigator didn't have to give the pilot a bearing in Tokyo. Other bombers were ahead of us and 40 miles from the city we could see the reddish glow of fires already started.
Scores of Fires

As soon as we reached the Japanese mainland we saw scores of smaller fires, en route to Tokyo, and possibly
(See Pace Four, Coiumn Four)
Tokyo Raid
(Continued From PAGE One)
set by the Japanese as diversionary ruses.
The Superfortresses went in singly, a complete change from their previous formation tactics.
Over the outskirts of Tokyo our planes tore through high, somber clouds of smoke and fires. The smoke seemed inside the plane. It smelled like the interior of a long-burnt building. Suddenly there was an opening through the pall of clouds and there was Tokyo.
I have never seen such a display of destruction, nor had such an experience.

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