January 30th, 1945 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Submarines HMS Sea Devil and Astute launched.
GERMANY: Berlin: Hitler gives Goebbels the decorative title of Defender of Berlin, and makes a radio broadcast asking the German people to die in order to preserve Nazism... "However grave the crisis may be at the moment, through our unalterable will, our readiness for sacrifice, and our own abilities, we will overcome the crisis. We will endure. It is not Central Asia that will win, but Europe, led by this nation, which for 1500 years has defended and will continue to defend Europe against the East -- our Greater German Reich, the German nation." (Gene Hanson)
Berlin: Speer writes a memo to Hitler, informing him that the state of German industry is so bad that food and electricity must now be given priority over arms production.
BALTIC SEA Sea: Wilhelm Gustloff, an
ex-Kraft Durch Freude ship (Strength Through Joy) in the service of the German
Kriegsmarine, is sunk in the Baltic Sea by a Soviet sub with the loss of over
5,000 lives - the largest single naval loss of life in history.
At 2108 Gotehhafen time (2:08pm CST) the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk by the Soviet sub S13. When the Gustloff sunk, new research has now shown that there were a total of 10,582 people on board, 9,343 of whom were killed. The remaining 1,239 were rescued.
HUNGARY: Leading Soviet tanks reach the northern edge of Vérmező (Lit. field of blood) at the western foot of Castle Hill in Budapest. They begin firing on the makeshift landing strip set up by the Germans for troop gliders.
Often flown by very young and poorly trained Hitler Youth pilots, many still managed to land, guided with pocket torches held by local children aged between 13 and 16 drawn from the Budapest Section of the Nazi-run "German Youth" organisation. Often the only chance for survival on this incredibly dangerous landing site was to set down on the southern end and exit the glider as quickly as possible before it was destroyed by Soviet guns.
By January 30 the Soviets and pro-Soviet Hungarian forces had managed to capture the first building on Castle Hill, a school at Attila utca 135.
In Mészáros utca near Déli railway station László Deseő, 15 years old at the time of the siege, kept an hourly diary of the destruction that raged around him:
January 30. At two in the morning horses were brought into the flat.
Everything shook in our cellar. My parents are horrified to the extent that they have lost all interest...It is said that after a few days the ceiling will be soaked through with manure. Then there will be something in the cellar for us to get our noses around.
MALTA: Churchill and Roosevelt meet to prepare before the summit with Stalin in Yalta.
U.S.A.: Destroyer USS Ernest G Small laid down.
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