Saturday, December 19, 2015

U.S. Defense Secretary Orders Fewer Ships, More Jets

USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) during sea trials

USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) during sea trials. Photo: U.S. Navy

By Tony Capaccio
(Bloomberg) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered U.S. Navy leaders to buy fewer ships so the service can spend more on jets such as the F-35 as well as munitions and upgraded systems for electronic warfare.
“For the last several years, the Department of the Navy has overemphasized resources used to incrementally increase total ship numbers at the expense of critically needed investments in areas where our adversaries are not standing still, such as strike, ship survivability, electronic warfare and other capabilities,” Carter wrote in a memo obtained by Bloomberg News that’s rare in its blunt rejection of a military service’s approach.
Carter said the Navy is well on its way to reaching a 308- ship goal that “should be met but not irresponsibly exceeded.” The size of the naval fleet has long been a political flashpoint. In the 2012 presidential race, Republican Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama for letting the number of ships shrink to “levels not seen since 1916.”
In this week’s debate of Republican presidential candidates, Jeb Bush said “the Navy has been gutted and decimated” and Marco Rubio called for reversing cuts to the service.
Navy spokesman Commander William Marks said service officials were aware of Carter’s memo but “budget discussion are pre-decisional and it would inappropriate to discuss anything further until the FY 17 budget is finalized. ”
“Shipbuilding has always been a priority for the Navy,” Marks said in an e-mail. “We will continue to balance capability with capacity in our shipbuilding programs as we have always done.”
Lockheed, Austal
In the memo to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Carter said the Navy’s upcoming five-year plan for fiscal 2017 to 2021 should reduce the combined purchases of Littoral Combat Ships and a new frigate to 40 from 52. The littoral ship, made in separate versions by Lockheed Martin Corp.and Austal Ltd., has been dogged by questions about its mission, performance and ability to survive in combat.
At the same time, Carter directed the Navy to increase purchases over the five years of Lockheed’s F-35 and the F/A-18E/F made by Boeing Co. Thirty-one of the Navy’s version of the F-35 would be added over the Navy’s request.
He also called for more Raytheon Co. SM-6 missiles, a new lightweight torpedo, upgraded electronic warfare systems on surface ships and increased compartment space to carry more Tomahawk cruise missiles on Virginia-class submarines. Carter praised the system, known as the “Virginia Payload Module.”
Carter also said the Navy should reverse planned cuts in purchases of surveillance aircraft. The service had planned to pare three Northrop Grumman Corp. E-2Ds and one of the contractor’s MQ-4C Triton reconnaissance drones.
“The Navy’s strategic future requires more on focusing on posture, not only on presence, and more on new capabilities, not only on new ship numbers,” Carter said.
Outlasting Carter
With the Obama administration ending in little more than a year and Carter’s tenure at the Pentagon likely to end then as well, the Navy and its supporters in Congress may simply outlast his directive.
Questions about the Littoral Combat Ship’s survivability and mission led former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel a year ago to truncate the number of ships planned at 32, to be followed after 2019 by development and purchase of 20 better-armed frigates But the Littoral’s political survivability is buoyed by strong support on Capitol Hill.
Carter’s memo directed the Navy to cut the number of Littoral Combat Ships in its plan for fiscal 2017 to 2021 to six from 14. He also directed the Navy to choose between Lockheed and Austal by fiscal 2019 to build future ships, rather than continuing to turn out two variations.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hunting Hitler Part VII: The Search Continues, June-September 1945 - National Archives

Hunting Hitler Part VII: The Search Continues, June-September 1945

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park. This post is part of a multi-part series.
At the end of May 1945, Allied military and diplomatic officials went to Berlin to discuss the occupation of Berlin with Marshal Georgy Zhukov, Soviet commander of the Russian Zone of Occupation. During these early talks the death of Adolf Hitler was a matter of some discussion. While some Russians believed Hitler still was alive, others did not. This latter belief was based on some dental evidence they had which indicated that a body they had recovered and inspected was indeed that of Hitler. Apparently Zhukov and General V. D. Sokolovsky, the deputy commander in chief of Soviet forces in the Russian Zone, told the dental identification story to several western military men and diplomats who had visited Berlin for quadripartite preliminary talks, including General Lucius Clay, the American Deputy Military Governor and Robert Murphy, the American Political Adviser.[1]
On June 5 when the Supreme Allied Commanders met in Berlin in order to organize the establishment of the Four-Power Government, responsible Russian officers told officers from General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower’s staff that Hitler’s body had been discovered and "identified with almost completely certainty." They said the body was found in the bunker together with three others. It had been badly charred, attributed to the flamethrowers with which their troops had advanced. According to them, the bodies were examined by Russian doctors and this led to an "almost certain identification." They said if the Russians were not officially announcing Hitler’s death, it was only due to their reluctance to commit themselves as long as there was the "slightest room for doubt." However, they openly admitted that all the evidence available pointed to the conclusion that Hitler was dead. Again, on June 6 Zhukov’s staff officers assured Eisenhower’s staff officers that Hitler’s body had been discovered, exhumed and scientifically identified.[2]
On June 6, the day the Soviet Military Administration in Germany was set up, the Russians held an unofficial press conference in Berlin at which correspondents from the United States, Great Britain and France were present. An officer from Zhukov’s staff disclosed details of the search for Hitler’s corpse and authorized the correspondents to report-without naming him as the source, that it had been found and identified with a high degree of probability. He said (incorrectly) Hitler’s smoke-blackened and charred corpse was one of four that had been discovered in the bunker on May 3 and 4. They had been burnt in the corridor by a flame-thrower, but despite this, after careful examination of teeth and other characteristics the Russians singled out one body which they believed almost certainly was that of Hitler. After examination by chemists from the Red Army, there were indications that Hitler most probably died of poisoning. Asked why no official announcement of the discovery has been made yet by Moscow, the Russian source said as long as any element of uncertainty existed, the Russians did not wish to state definitely that Hitler’s body has been found. The source added, however, that there seems little doubt that this actually is the corpse of Hitler. Covering the event, Joseph W. Grigg, Jr., United Press Staff Correspondent for Combined U.S. Press, observed that "The Russians have given no hint as to how the bodies of Hitler, Goebbels and other Nazis found in Berlin have been disposed of. This probably will remain a secret for all time to guard against the possibility of Nazi fanatics trying to recover the bodies." His story ran June 7 in The Washington Post and The New York Times.[3]
While the Soviets in Berlin on June 6 were saying that they believed with a high degree of certainty that Hitler was dead, Stalin was saying just the opposite. On June 6 in Moscow when Hopkins, Harriman, and Bohlen again met with Stalin, Stalin said he was sure that Hitler was still alive. Thus, it is not surprising that after the June 6 press conference, Stalin immediately sent Andrei Vyshinsky (later prosecuting attorney at Nuremberg) to Marshal Zhukov in Berlin as his "political representative to the Chief of the Soviet Military Administration." [4]
At a major press conference on June 9, with Vyshinsky sitting next to Zhukov, the new "official Russian version" was announced to American, British, French and Russian correspondents. Hitler’s last-minute marriage to Eva Braun was disclosed by Zhukov. He said that she had flown to Berlin in the last day to be at Hitler’s side. "It is well known that two days before Berlin fell Hitler married Eva Braun" he said. He added that the Russians had found references to the marriage in the diaries of Hitler’s personal adjutants. Zhukov said "We have found no corpse that could be Hitler’s" and added that Hitler and Braun had good opportunities to get away from Berlin; "He could have taken off at the very last moment, for there was an airfield at his disposal." Zhukov told the press "The circumstances are highly mysterious. We did not identify Hitler’s body and I cannot say anything about his fate. …" Zhukov added, "Now it is up to you British and Americans to find him." At the press conference Colonel General Nikolai E. Berzarin, Soviet commander of Berlin, turning to the question of whether Hitler had died in Berlin, said "There are all sorts of people who were close to him who say that he killed himself. Still others say he was killed by an exploding shell," however, Russian soldiers had not yet found Hitler’s body. "My personal opinion is that he has disappeared somewhere into Europe." Berzarin said "Perhaps he is in Spain with Franco. He had the possibility of getting away." The newly Soviet appointed German Buergermeister of Berlin, Arthur Werner, said "Hitler-we just don’t know…There are many Germans who say he has found refuge in another country."[5]
The following day, June 10, Maj. Gen. Kenneth W. D. Strong, the SHAEF G-2, asked a Soviet intelligence officer regarding Zhukov’s statement that Hitler was still alive. The Soviet officer replied that the Russians had revised their earlier opinion that Hitler was dead, and that none of the evidence at present in their possession indicates definitely that this was so. Ambassador Murphy informed the State Department that while SHAEF G-2 did not exclude the possibility that Hitler may be in the Allied area, they did not accept the implication of Zhukov’s statement that primary responsibility rested with "us for finding him."[6]
On June 10 in Madrid the Spanish Foreign Minister had his press secretary deny Zhukov’s report that Hitler might have found shelter in Spain. The Spanish statement said: "Hitler, married or single, alive or dead, is not on Spanish soil, nor would he be allowed here, and if he entered he would not receive shelter."[7]
The Russian press on June 14 reviewed an article by Elliott [probably George Fielding Eliot] in the New York Herald Tribune commenting on Zhukov’s reported statement that the English and Americans should organize a search for Hitler. Elliott reportedly expressed agreement with Zhukov and was cited as emphasizing the probability of the Soviet statement that Hitler at present was outside the Soviet occupation zone. Elliott was quoted to effect that Hitler probably fled to Spain where there were many German refugees who probably would seek to organize Hitler’s flight. Elliott was also quoted describing a possible escape route for Hitler to Argentina. The news item concluded by quoting Elliott’s opinion that the Allies ought to organize measures to apprehend Hitler including if necessary military operations against Franco’s Spain.[8]
In June, witnesses to what had transpired in the Bunker on April 30 began surfacing in the western zones of occupation. On June 20 at the headquarters of the 21st Army Group (which became the British Army of the Rhine in August 1945), at Bad Oeynhausen, near Hanover, Herman Karnau, a guard at the bunker, told his story to reporters that he saw the bodies of Hitler and Braun burning on ground above Hitler’s bunker. He said he did not know how they had died, but suspected it was at the hands of Dr. Stumpfegger, medical officer at the Reich Chancellery. This account was published in The New York Times the next day. Also published in the same edition of the June 21 newspaper was an account of Hitler’s death by Erich Kempka, Hitler’s chauffeur, who had helped provide the gasoline for the cremation and who witnessed it. He had also spoken to reporters on June 20 and provided a great many details on the deaths of Hitler and Braun, and provided information on the death of the Goebbels’ family. He told the reporters that interviewed him that shortly before Hitler and Braun had shot themselves, Hitler ordered Otto Guensche to have their bodies burned so that their remains would not fall in Russian hands. He also said that he, Bormann, Goebbels, Guensche, and Heinz Linge, and a couple of others whose names he did not remember saw the bodies burning in the Chancellery garden near the Bunker. He added: "I doubt if anything remained of the bodies. The fire was terrifically intense. Maybe some evidence like bits of bones and teeth could be found, but I doubt it. Shells probably landed there and scattered everything all over."[9]
Newsweek carried a piece on July 2 about the end of Hitler, quoting from Karnau and Kempka as to what happened. Time magazine on July 2 reported that at the end of June a SHAEF spokesman had said, summing up the Hitler situation "We have every reason to believe he is dead, but no evidence that he is not still alive." It also reported the Russians, who had done all the investigating in Berlin, had not amended their reports that no trace of Hitler had been found; no believable witnesses in their custody had actually seen him die; and Hitler had ordered his henchmen to spread the story that he was dead. [10]
A United Press story from London on July 15 reported that The Sunday Dispatch said that search parties were hunting for Hitler’s body in the Tyrol Mountains of Bavaria. A German POW had said that Hitler had been buried in the mountains under the direction of Himmler’s Reich Main Security Office (RSHA).[11] An Associated Press story from Stockholm on July 15, reported that a Swedish newspaper reported that day that a rumor was circulating in Bern, Switzerland, that Hitler was hiding in the principality of Liechtenstein under the name of "Dr. Brandl." The story added that Braun was not with Hitler but probably in Argentina. [12]
During July, various Allied personnel visited the bunker in Berlin and subsequently reported on their visits. When Michael Musmanno visited the bunker, the Russian commandant in charge of the area, Major Feodorovitch Platonov, at once broke into a spirited argumentative denial that Hitler was dead. Musmanno had not made any assertion in the matter one way or the other. He had merely stated that he was examining the place where Hitler lived his last days and hours. The Russian major, pointing at a spot in the garden exclaimed "It is not true that Hitler was found there! Our experts have established that the man found here didn’t look like Hitler at all. And we didn’t find Eva Braun either!" Journalist Percy Knauth visited the bunker in July and published an account of it in Life magazine. Citing what Kempka had said about which room Hitler had committed suicide, Knauth inspected the room and wrote that there were bloodstains on the left-colored armrest of the sofa. Blood dripped down and collected in small coagulated stripes in the corner. Blood was also to be seen on the outer side of the sofa on the brocade cloth. On July 17, Permanent Under-Secretary of State Sir Alexander Cadogan noted in his diary after visiting the bunker, that he was shown a shallow crater in which he was told Hitler and Braun had been buried and later dug up and cremated. "This is also a rumor, of which there are many, and nobody knows the truth…"[13]
At the Potsdam Conference Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the President, wrote that Stalin and Molotov, Truman, Secretary of State James Byrnes and he were together for lunch on July 17 and Stalin repeated what he had already told Hopkins in Moscow: "he believes that the Fuehrer had escaped and was hiding somewhere. He went on to say that the painstaking Soviet search had failed to discover any traces of Hitler’s remains or positive proof of his death." During the lunch Byrnes asked Stalin his views of how Hitler had died "To my surprise, he said he believed that Hitler was alive and that it was possible he was then either in Spain or Argentina." Some ten days later Byrnes asked Stalin if he had changed his views and he said he had not.[14]
At his first news conference, Colonel-General Alexander V. Gorbatov, the Russian member of the Allied Kommandantur in Berlin, on July 30 was questioned as to his views regarding the fate of Hitler. He answered that there was still no definite satisfactory evidence of his death. He added, however, that among Russian officers the saying was that if Hitler was alive he was certainly not in Russian-occupied territory. He also noted that he had heard reports that Hitler’s dentist had taken a human jawbone to Moscow and identified it as that of Hitler, but Gorbatov said he knew nothing of the matter beyond that.[15]
During July and August reports continued to surface of Hitler being alive. One in July indicated that he had taken a submarine to either Argentina or Chile; others that he was alive and hiding in Argentina. Reports of sightings continued in September.[16]
Report of Hitler in Argentina, July 1945. FBI Case File 65-53615.
Report of Hitler in Argentina, July 1945. FBI Case File 65-53615.
A news story from London on September 8, under the headline "World-Wide Search for Hitler Goes On," began "A manhunt that ranges from Berlin to Madrid, from Tokyo to Buenos Aires, is underway today on the chance that Adolf Hitler is still alive." Continuing, "The actual fate of the former Chancellor is the war’s biggest mystery and the Allies, not daring to gamble on such an issue, are tracking down every clue, investigating every rumor lest the story that Hitler took his own life beneath Berlin’s Reichschancellory prove to be history’s greatest and most tragic hoax." The reporter indicated that the Allies were checking every report, "no matter how fantastic." He noted that "One story has it that Hitler escaped to Japan by submarine; another that he is in Argentina; a third that he is hiding in Sweden. The latest rumors are that he is on board a yacht in the estuary of the Elbe River or living in luxury at a long-prepared lodge in the Bavarian Mountains."[17]Moscow newspapers on September 9 carried a Tass item with heading "Rumors about Hitler," dateline Rome, September 8, saying Rome Radio has reported that Hitler has been seen in Hamburg, living under another name.[18] Russian newspapers noted on September 10 of the probability that Hitler was still alive. The idea was even put forward that Hitler was in hiding in Germany.[19]
Harry Collins, a news reporter in London, on September 15 wrote that while there were reports that the charred body of Hitler had been found by the Russians in the Berlin Chancellery, the question remained "Is Hitler alive? The welter of speculation grows with each new ‘clue’ and ‘disclosure.’ The answer is simple-his conquerors do not know." Collins wrote that the Russians had never accepted as proved that the body they found in the Chancellery grounds was Hitler’s. He reported that British Army authorities had declared that the latest rumor that Hitler was seen in Hamburg was "completely unfounded" and that they denied that the British were searching for Hitler. "Yet," Collins noted, "it is known that British intelligence is far from convinced that Hitler is dead."[20]
Izvestia ran a story that Hitler and Braun were alive and well, and living in a moated castle in Westphalia, in the British Occupation Zone of Germany.[21] An American journalist in Germany believed that in throwing out names of such countries as Spain and Argentina, Stalin was probably just paying off old political grievances against Franco and other neutrals. But, in having a go at the British he was virtually accusing them of harboring a living Hitler.[22] Dick White, head of counter-intelligence in the British Zone, described the situation as "intolerable."[23] In September he would turn to Hugh Trevor-Roper to investigate the death of Hitler.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Union Jack flown at the Battle of Trafalgar set to go under the hammer

A Union flag thought to have flown from HMS Leviathan at the Battle of Trafalgar is to be sold at auction by Holt's Auctioneers in March 2016. Pictured is Roland Elworthy from Holt's Auctioneers with the flag.
Photo: submitted.
A Union flag thought to have flown from HMS Leviathan at the Battle of Trafalgar is to be sold at auction by Holt's Auctioneers in March 2016. Pictured is Roland Elworthy from Holt's Auctioneers with the flag. Photo: submitted.
The flag - believed to have been flown on HMS Leviathan during the 1805 battle - is expected to be sold for between £30,000 and £50,000 when it is auctioned in March at west Norfolk-based Holt’s Auctioneers’ London sale room.
Roland Elworthy, senior valuer at Holt’s Auctioneers based in Wolferton, said he had “no doubt as to the flag’s provenance” and that it had “enormous historic value.”
The flag has been in the family of its current owner - Arthur Cory, of Penllyn Castle in Wales - for generations.
A sworn affidavit that accompanies it states that it has been in the present owner’s family since the reign of William IV and that it was thought to have been given either as a token of friendship, to settle a gambling debt or as a prize for wining a race.
Roland Elworthy, senior valuer at Holt’s Auctioneers based in Wolferton in west Norfolk, said: “Being entrusted with the sale of such an important item is a real thrill for us and, frankly, an honour, and I have no doubt as to the flag’s provenance. How it passed from the ship and arrived with the Cory family will probably always remain anecdotal, but a great deal of research coupled with the opinion of independent specialists indicates that we have a genuine Trafalgar Union Flag. That makes it terribly rare, only two others are known to exist; one is held by the Maritime Museum at Greenwich (H.M.S. Minotaur), and the other is in private hands (H.M.S. Spartiate).”
The Battle of Trafalgar, part of the Napoleonic Wars, took place on October 21 1805 and saw the Royal Navy, led by Admiral Lord Nelson, defeat the combined fleets of the French and Spanish.
Admiral Lord Nelson had commanded all his ships to fly a Union Jack, and HMS Leviathan was one of the ships that sailed behind HMS Victory.
She was engaged in battle for over three hours. Four of her crew were killed and 22 were wounded. All three of her masts were badly damaged and a large section of rigging was shredded.
HMS Leviathan was later converted to a prison for 28 years and then used as target practice for Royal Navy ships at Portsmouth before she was broken up for firewood in 1848.
For more about the auction, visit

SECNAV Awards Purple Heart to Chattanooga Sailor and Marines

attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

of this year, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire D. 'Skip' Wells, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith were killed and Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley was injured during a tragic and senseless attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee," Mabus said.

"Following an extensive investigation, the FBI and NCIS have determined that this attack was inspired by a foreign terrorist group, the final criteria required for the awarding of the Purple Heart to this Sailor and these Marines. This determination allows the Department of the Navy to move forward immediately with the award of the Purple Heart to the families of the five heroes who were victims of this terrorist attack, as well as to the surviving hero, Sgt. Cheeley.

Although the Purple Heart can never possibly replace this brave Sailor and these brave Marines, it is my hope that as their families and the entire Department of the Navy team continue to mourn their loss, these awards provide some small measure of solace. Their heroism and service to our nation will be remembered always."

USS Essex (LHD2) - San Diego

Sailors man the rails while pulling into Naval Base San Diego aboard Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex is the flagship of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is returning from a seven month deployment to the 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and global maritime security. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy (Released

US Fleet Commander Warns Of Arms Race With China - gCaptain

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Harrison Report, President Truman, and General Eisenhower Posted on December 15, 2015 by Netisha

The Jewish community in the United States expressed many complaints during April and May 1945 about how displaced persons, particularly Jews, were being treated by the U.S. Army in Germany. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., apparently sometime in June, contacted the State Department about the stories he had heard and urged an immediate investigation. He recommended that the State Department appoint Earl G. Harrison, formerly U.S. Commissioner of Immigration and then both dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the American representative to the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, to conduct the inquiry. The Acting Secretary of State, Joseph C. Grew, agreed with the recommendation, and wrote President Harry S. Truman on June 21 that the Department of State was sending Harrison to survey the conditions of the displaced persons, “particularly the Jews,” in Europe and that “an expression of your interest will facilitate the mission and reassure interested groups concerned with the future of the refugees that positive measures are being taken on their behalf.” He attached a letter for the President to send to Harrison expressing his interest. Truman signed the letter, dated June 22.[1]
Harrison left for Europe in early July with Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Patrick M. Malin, Vice-Director of the International Committee on Refugees, and Herbert Katzski of the War Refugee Board. They visited about thirty Displaced Persons camps, often in separate groups, and what they saw and heard outraged them.[2]
Harrison sent the Secretary of State an interim report on July 28.[3] The Secretary of State provided a copy to the War Department. On August 3, the War Department sent a cable to Eisenhower, setting forth the conclusions Harrison had made and requesting he verify the accuracy of Harrison’s conclusions and furnish the War Department the results of his investigation.[4] Eleven days later Eisenhower cabled the War Department, setting forth his policies governing the handling of stateless, non-repatriables and other classes of displaced persons in the U.S. Zone. He noted that former inmates of concentration camps were to receive special care and attention and that separate centers were to be established for these persons, “such as Jews.” He then went on to address the various conclusions that Harrison had made in his interim report. He added that: “American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is representing Jewish interests in U.S. zone. This committee has not made official complaints as it has recognized that all matters in Harrison’s report are being remedied with utmost speed consonant with difficulties of situation.”[5]
On August 24, President Truman received Harrison’s final report.[6] The report detailed the inadequacy of housing, medical and recreational facilities, and noted the lack of any efforts to rehabilitate the internees, and addressed many issues of the plight of displaced Jews in Germany. Harrison advised that Jews should receive the “first and not last attention” and recommended they be evacuated from Germany as quickly as possible and allowed to enter Palestine. “The civilized world,” he ended his report, “owes it to this handful of survivors to provide them with a home where they can again settle down and begin to live as human beings”[7]
President Harry S. Truman wrote General Eisenhower on August 31:
I have received and considered the report of Mr. Earl G. Harrison, our representative on the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, upon his mission to inquire into the condition and needs of displaced persons in Germany who may be stateless or non-repatriable, particularly Jews. I am sending you a copy of that report. I have also had a long conference with him on the same subject matter.
While Mr. Harrison makes due allowance for the fact that during the early days of liberation the huge task of mass repatriation required main attention, he reports conditions which now exist and which require prompt remedy. These conditions, I know, are not in conformity with policies promulgated by SHAEF, now Combined Displaced Persons Executive. But they are what actually exists in the field. In other words, the policies are not being carried out by some of your subordinate officers.
For example, military government officers have been authorized and even directed to requisition billeting facilities from the German population for the benefit of displaced persons. Yet, from the report, this has not been done on any wide scale. Apparently it is being taken for granted that all displaced persons, irrespective of their former persecution or the likelihood that their repatriation or resettlement will be delayed, must remain in camps-many of which are overcrowded and heavily guarded. Some of these camps are the very ones where these people were herded together, starved, tortured and made to witness the death of their fellow-inmates and friends and relatives.
The announced policy has been to give such persons preference over the German civilian population in housing. But the practice seems to be quite another thing.
We must intensify our efforts to get these people out of camps and into decent houses until they can be repatriated or evacuated. These houses should be requisitioned from the German civilian population. That is one way to implement the Potsdam policy that the German people ‘cannot escape responsibility for what they have brought upon themselves.’
I quote this paragraph with particular reference to the Jews among the displaced persons:
As matters now stand, we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them except that we do not exterminate them. They are in concentration camps in large numbers under our military guard instead of S.S. troops. One is led to wonder whether the German people, seeing this, are not supposing that we are following or at least condoning Nazi policy.
You will find in the report other illustrations of what I mean.
I hope you will adopt the suggestion that a more extensive plan of field visitation by appropriate Army Group Headquarters be instituted, so that the humane policies which have been enunciated are not permitted to be ignored in the field. Most of the conditions now existing in displaced persons camps would quickly be remedied if through inspection tours they came to your attention or to the attention of your supervisory officers.
I know you will agree with me that we have a particular responsibility toward these victims of persecution and tyranny who are in our zone. We must make clear to the German people that we thoroughly abhor the Nazi policies of hatred and persecution. We have no better opportunity to demonstrate this than by the manner in which we ourselves actually treat the survivors remaining in Germany.
I hope you will report to me as soon as possible the steps you have been able to take to clean up the conditions mentioned in the report.
I am communicating directly with the British Government in an effort to have the doors of Palestine opened to such of these displaced persons as wish to go there.[8]

DEC 15 Salty Talk Tuesday, December 15, 2015 12:01 AM By By Commander Ty Martin, U.S. Navy (Retired)

A ship is built much like a human being, only in the horizontal plane. Her keel fulfills exactly the same purpose as a backbone, being the basic piece to which all others ultimately are connected. The ship’s frames are her ribs, paced out along the length of the keel to give the final structure her form. In human beings, the ribs join in front; in ships, they do not, but have their upper ends held in position by having transverse pieces running between them. These pieces are called "beams," from the Saxon word for "tree," and they also serve to support the deck planking. In time, the word "beam" also came to mean the width of a ship.
The use to which a ship is to put will determine the shape of her hull. If your ship is to be used in an express service, you will want one that is long and narrow, and will slice easily through the water as the famed "clipper ships" did. The length-to-beam ratio in such a ship might be nine or ten to one.
Should you intend your ship to be used in hauling cargoes such as grain or coal, then you would want a hull that could contain a large volume; your length-to-beam ratio in this case would be down to perhaps five to one.
Thus, when someone spoke of a ship being broad-beamed, one thought of a rather ponderous vessel. And ashore, should one speak of another as being broad-beamed, one is saying . . . well, you know.

Bombardment of Hartlepool in First World War to be marked by new museum gallery 18:30, 15 DEC 2015 BY TONY HENDERSON

Hartlepool will remember one of the most momentous days in its history with a major event to commemorate the centenary of its bombardment by the German Navy in the First World War
Hartlepool will remember one of the most momentous days in its history with a major event to commemorate the centenary of its bombardment by the German Navy in the First World War

A new museum gallery opens today which will tell the story of the German Navy’s First World War attack on a North East town.
Just after 8am on December 16, 1914, German warships fired more than a thousand shells at Hartlepool, killing a total of 130 civilians and military personnel and wounding more than 500.
The Heugh Gun Battery on the Headland returned fire in what was the only battle to be fought on British soil during the war.
One of the battery’s soldiers, Theo Jones of the Durham Light Infantry, became the first British soldier to be killed by enemy action on home ground.
Now the momentous day will be recalled in a new permanent gallery at the Museum of Hartlepool at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience which will be officially opened by Coun Kevin Cranney, chairman of Hartlepool Council’s regeneration services policy committee.
He said: “The bombardment was an event of massive significance, not only locally but nationally.”
The gallery includes:
  • An audio-visual presentation and also new photographs and recently-discovered archive footage of the day’s events and the aftermath.
  • The 130 ceramic poppies which formed part of the artwork Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London last year and which were used in the subsequent dedication ceremony for the new Headland memorial to the casualties of the Bombardment.
  • A roll of honour of the names of all the 130 Hartlepool people known to have died in the bombardment.
  • The return to display of objects including the “Bombardment Clock” – which stopped when it was pierced by a shell fragment – and James Clark’s oil painting The Bombardment of the Hartlepools.
  • New exhibits such as a six-inch shell from the German battlecruiser Blucher, which took part in the attack, and the official Government order to the Hartlepools to cease hostilities on November 11, 1918.

Hartlepool will remember one of the most momentous days in its history with a major event to commemorate the centenary of its bombardment by the German Navy in the First World War
Hartlepool will remember one of the most momentous days in its history with a major event to commemorate the centenary of its bombardment by the German Navy in the First World War

The exhibition has been produced by Hartlepool Council’s Museums Service. The Imperial War Museum helped the project by allowing the use of its archive footage.
Mark Simmons, the council’s museums manager, said: “This is the best interpretation of the bombardment and Hartlepool’s role in the wider war which the museum has ever had.
“Previously our First World War exhibits were just among the other displays. Now they have their own dedicated gallery which tells the full story of the bombardment in a powerful and memorable way.”
The force which attacked Hartlepool included the battlecruisers Seydlitz and Moltke, and the armoured cruiser Blucher.
The raid had an enormous effect upon British public opinion because of its targeting of civilians, and became part of a British propaganda and recruitment campaign.
Last year the centenary of the attack was marked by the unveiling of a new bombardment memorial near the Headland lighthouse.

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