WWII in real time


American Superfortress bomber has been in design since 1939, aiming for an operational range of 2,667 miles: allowing USA to bomb Nazi Europe if Britain fell to Germans. In theory, B-29 can fly higher (31,850ft) & faster (350mph) than almost any Axis fighter plane. https://t.co/UfWy7SBsda RealTimeWWII photo

The world's largest bomber has made its first test flight: Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" can carry its own weight, 20,000lbs, in bombs. https://t.co/2N7lVhYG0R RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese troops in Papua New Guinea are starving & diseased- 10 die to malaria for every 1 shot by Australians. Supplies must be carried by hand along 60 mile jungle track.

Japanese invaders of Guinea are now just 25 miles off Port Moresby, crucial gateway to north Australia; Aussies are throwing in all available troops.

Andrei Khozyainov, Soviet soldioer in Stalingrad: "Little ammo, no water. Heat, thirst, smoke. We have to piss in the machineguns to keep the barrels cool."

Improvised stronghold in Stalingrad’s grain elevator defies German infantry charges & artillery shelling; the stored corn within has caught fire. https://t.co/gH5yTQdLPl RealTimeWWII photo

Stalingrad's civic monuments have become fortresses- a few dozen Red Army men hold out in the city's concrete grain elevator. https://t.co/mljMURk0ga RealTimeWWII photo

Chuikov: "Most of the divisional commanders didn’t really want to die in Stalingrad. The second something went wrong, they’d start saying: 'Permit me to cross the Volga.' I would yell 'I’m still here' & send a telegram: 'One step back and I’ll shoot you!'"

Chuikov has sited his command post on the west bank of the Volga, close to front line, ferociously enforcing Stalin's order "Not one step back!" & denying his officers permission to retreat.

Red Army General Vasily Chuikov is newly appointed commander of forces in Stalingrad, leading shattered remnants of two Soviet Armies: "I understand my orders just fine... I’ll either keep them out of Stalingrad or die trying." https://t.co/zLDpIXjdAm RealTimeWWII photo

Volga River is now a killing ground for Luftwaffe bombers- Red Army troops cross on slow, defenceless ferries, even rowboats, through a gauntlet of falling shells & strafing bullets. https://t.co/fyhYsmjSMC RealTimeWWII photo

Battle for the centre of Stalingrad is still raging- Soviets are hurling troops into city, trying to keep their fragile grip on the west bank of river Volga. https://t.co/KMPyLOBfFi RealTimeWWII photo

German "Laconia Order" tells submariners: "Stay hard! The enemy doesn't save women & children when bombing our towns". https://t.co/sgdorbz22b

German Grand Admiral Dönitz, shocked by American bombing of U-boats carrying Allied survivors, orders submarine captains to abandon torpedoed ships, rather than try to rescue or give supplies.

As American bombs & bullets rip into survivors cowering on exposed deck, German U-boats are forced to crash-dive, fleeing US attack- leaving hundreds shipwrecked from Laconia adrift in Atlantic. https://t.co/VUxaLy5NuC RealTimeWWII photo

An American B-24 "Liberator" bomber spots two German submarines on a rescue mission, their decks crammed with British & Italian survivors of wrecked ship. Under radio orders, the US plane attacks the U-boats. https://t.co/EFeP8GPLjY RealTimeWWII photo

Immediately after sinking the Allied ship, German submarine U-156 scrambles to save Laconia's survivors, loading hundreds onto the U-boat's foredeck & radioing nearby Axis ships for a rescue mission. https://t.co/FzAEdwqwLS RealTimeWWII photo

A German U-boat has torpedoed & sunk British troopship RMS Laconia in the Atlantic, with over 2500 people onboard- 1793 of them are Italian prisoners of war. https://t.co/PkUcYhSz9C RealTimeWWII photo

An attempted Allied amphibious assault on Libya has ended in disaster: 750 British, New Zealand & Rhodesian soldiers dead or captured in North Africa after trying to land at Axis ports of Benghazi & Tobruk.

Stalingrad: In last 24 hours, Red Army have suffered 30% casualties in desperate counterattacks to try & keep German forces from reaching the River Volga.

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