Diary March 24, 1944

Major-General Orde Wingate
Wingate (left) in the middle of his staff, as they waited for parachute supplies behind the Japanese lines.
WW2 War Diary for Friday, March 24, 1944:

Air War

Burma: Major-General Orde Wingate, leader of the Chindits, killed in air crash in Burma; aged 41.
Germany: 1,000 bomber night raid on Berlin (726 over target; 2,496t bombs dropped). Heavy damage on target, but many bombers are blown off course and more than 50 shot down by flak; 73 lost in all operations (including diversionary attack on Kiel). Flight-Sergeant Alkemade jumps, without parachute, from blazing RAF Avro Lancaster bomber 5,486 meters above Western Germany and lands safely in snowdrift (night March 24-25).

Eastern Front

Southern Sector: Russian 1st Ukrainian Front reaches river Dniester.

Home Fronts

Germany – THE GREAT ESCAPE: 76 Allied airmen escape from Stalag Luft III near Sagan (night March 24-25); 50 recaptured and executed.

Occupied Territories

Italy – Ardeatine Caves Massacre: The SS executes 335 Italian civilians (including Jews and criminals) near Rome as reprisal for Partisan activities (bomb assassination of German police patrol in Rome).

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