The crews were interned by the Swiss authorities in camps at Adelboden, Grippen, Les Diablerets and in the notorious punishment camp at Wauwilermoos for escapees. They were supposed to be treated like P. In all, around 1, American servicemen were interned in neutral Switzerland. The highest night photograph of the war was taken on April 18, , over Osnabruck.
The RAF Mosquito crew used a target indicator flash and took the picture from 36, feet. An old B24 Liberator bomber, stripped of all equipment and fitted with a radio control system to be operated from a 'mother' plane after the B24 crew had baled out, blew up in mid-air during a trial flight in preparation for 'Operation Aphrodite' the code name for the bombing of the flying bomb sites on the Continent.
An electrical malfunction triggered the explosion killing the pilot and co-pilot. December 6, Fourteen planes were lost but sadly Dutch civilians lost their lives. March 13, Fifteen locomotives and around railway freight cars were destroyed. The killing of innocent civilians during raids on specific targets became an increasingly severe problem for bomber crews. The attack by RAF bombers on the rail yards at Lille-Deliverance , France, killed civilians and destroyed over a thousand homes. At the rail yards around 2, freight cars were destroyed. Unfortunately, the rail yards being located in a built-up area, Belgian civilians were killed.
Around bombers, mostly Canadian Halifaxes from 46 Group, attacked the rail yards at Noisy-le-sec near Paris. Many bombs fell on a built-up area of the town destroying over houses and killing civilians. Some were injured. March 3, Over inhabitants of the suburb of Bezuidenhout, a suburb of The Hague, Holland, were killed when Allied bombers missed their intended target, the V-2 launching sites in the Hague Forest, and dropped their bombs on Bezuidenhout. As D-day approached a special security procedure was put in place to protect all documents concerning the time and place of the invasion D-Day.
It was the highest security classification of all. General Eisenhower had ordered that no one with any knowledge of D-Day be sent on operations where there was the slightest danger of being captured. Those with such information were called ' Bigots '. The word is derived from the two words ' To Gib ' which was stamped on papers and baggage of all officers being sent to Gibraltar prior the invasion of North Africa in November, The letters were reversed to form the code-word 'Bigot' and used to list all persons with the secret information about D-Day.
During 'Operation Tiger' ten officers were known to be Bigots. Top priority was given to find and identify the bodies. Fortunately all bodies were recovered and the secrets of D-Day were safe. The code name given to the teams of specially trained men who were parachuted into France before and after D-Day.
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Their mission was to link up and co-ordinate the resistance groups in sabotage and guerrilla warfare against the German occupying forces prior to and during the Normandy invasion. The name Jedburgh comes from the southern Scottish town of Jedburgh where most members did their initial training before moving on to Milton Hall in Cambridgeshire, England. In all, around 'Jeds' were formed into teams of three men, one British, one American and one French.
After a punishing period of physical training they were dropped behind enemy lines from planes of 38 Group squadrons to begin work with the Maquis.
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The story of the Jedburghs only became public after records became de-classified in In an area comprising around 30, acres a total of 3, people families farms with livestock were evacuated. This enormous task had to be completed in six weeks. During the actual exercise, while manoeuvring for position in Lyme Bay on the night of April 27 the landing ships were attacked by nine German motor torpedo boats, E-boats, from Cherbourg in France. On board the two landing ships the casualties were severe, men killed sailors and soldiers and hundreds injured.
This was more than ten times greater than the casualties sustained in the real assault on Utah Beach on June 6 43 Americans killed, 63 wounded.
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Altogether, including casualties from other ships and those killed by friendly fire on shore, a total of Americans gave their lives during Operation Tiger. In spite of all precautions taken to protect the secrets of D-day, some officers still engaged in ' Careless Talk '. One such case was that of US Major General Henry Miller, chief supply officer of the US 9th Air Force, who, during a cocktail party at London's elegant Coleridge's Hotel, talked freely about the difficulties he was having in obtaining supplies.
He added that things would ease after D-day declaring that would be before June When Eisenhower learned of this indiscretion he ordered that Miller be reduced to the rank of colonel and sent back to the US where shortly after, he retired from the service.
Around midnight on June 5, , Private C. Just before the jump, Private Hillman carried out a final inspection of his parachute. He was surprised to see that the chute had been packed by the Pioneer Parachute Company of Connecticut where his mother worked part time as an inspector. He was further surprised when he saw on the inspection tag, the initials of his own mother! D-Day stands for Designated Day, the actual day on which an operation would begin. H-Hour, the starting time for the attack to begin.
This expression was first used on September 20, , during World War I. Michael Salient.
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On June 28, , a conference code named 'Rattle' was held in a hotel in Largs, Scotland. It was attended by around 20 Generals, 11 Air Marshals, 8 Admirals, 15 high ranking Americans and 5 equally high ranking Canadians. Presided over by Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. It was at this conference that the uppermost question of where the Allied armies would land in Europe, was settled.
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By June 12, , troops were on the beaches, plus 54, vehicles. By July 2, another , men and , vehicles were put ashore. The ship armada at Normandy totalled 6, vessels of all kinds. In the 10 days after D-day June 6 to June 16 a total of 5, Allied soldiers were killed. The number of French civilians killed during the landings has never been established but must number in the hundreds. From D-Day till the end of the war, British casualties were 30, dead and 96, wounded. At age 57 he was also the oldest soldier to come ashore.
Sadly he died in France a month later of a heart attack. Thousands of carrier pigeons accompanied the troops to Normandy on D-day and brought back essential details to Allied Headquarters in a capsule tied to their legs. A special loft was erected at the secret code deciphering centre at Bletchley Park. News of Wellington's victory at Waterloo first came by pigeon post. Many of these birds were specially bred in Belgium prior to It flew back miles to its base at RAF Leuchers in Scotland in time for rescue boats to reach and save the crew of the stricken bomber.
Winkie was awarded the Dickin Medal the animal version of the Victoria Cross the first pigeon to be awarded with the medallion. Many of these pigeons were dropped by specially designed parachutes to be picked up by members of the French resistance. They were soon on their way back to Britain with Important information.
At this time the Germans were training Falcons to intercept the pigeons while in flight and many were killed this way. Founded by Maria Dickin in , the Dickin Medal was awarded to any animal, bird or dog, displaying conspicuous gallantry during war. Managed by the elite division MI, the office in charge of Pigeon operations, these pigeons were responsible for the saving of thousands of military lives. The city of Colvi in Italy was occupied by British troops on October 18, , at 10am, well ahead of schedule. Attempts by radio to cancel the raid failed.
A pigeon, GI Joe, borrowed from the Americans at the nearby airfield to accompany the troops, was released with the important message to cancel the raid, tied to it's leg. It arrived just as the bombers were about to take off. It is estimated that around a thousand British soldiers could have died if the raid had proceeded. On June 21, , a large force of Allied bombers attacked the German capital, Berlin.
Included in the force were American planes which, after they had dropped their bombs, decided to continue on to Poltava , the US shuttle base in the Soviet Union. Later that night the airfield was attacked by German fighters inflicting heavy damage. A total of 47 Bs were destroyed and 19 severely damaged.
On September 13, these shuttle bases were closed as the advances of the Red Army placed them too far from the front. The next use of napalm was on April 15, , when American bombers attacked the Atlantic coast town of Royan at the mouth of the Gironde. It was also used in the bombing of Tokyo. This jellied fuel became the standard fuel explosive, later used widely - and notoriously - during the Vietnam War. It was later proved to be a forgery by Hans Van Meegeren.
In , Van Meegeren was arrested by Dutch authorities and sentenced to one year in jail. He died just nineteen days after his jail sentence began.