February 2nd, 1945((FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Convoy JW-64 sailed from the Clyde. The following AP report was released to the newswires - Information received from neutral and underground sources indicates that the Germans are ready to send 200 U-boats out into the sea lanes for a large-scale attack on convoys en route to France and Russia, the Daily Telegraph said today. Estimates have been made in Stockholm, the newspaper said, that the German navy has a total of 400 serviceable submarines and is building new ones at the rate of 20 monthly. A report from the Norwegian underground said many were based at Bergen and Trondheim. The new submarines, many of them long-range 1500-tonners, were said to be fitted with a number of new devices.
GERMANY: (From the unpublished memoirs of Tom Hough, RCAF fighter pilot) The ragged column of Allied PoWs from Stalag Luft III, arrive at a railway siding and a long line of boxcars labelled 40 hommes ou 8 chevaux. Hundreds of men were crammed inside each car. Conditions were worse than primitive, Mr. Hough said. "The press was so acute that no one could lie down. At best, perhaps half of us could sit down at one time, knees drawn up to our chests. Later, when complete exhaustion set in, some collapsed on top of others, so in places we lay in layers." (Henry Sirotin) Article by Buzz Bourdon, Globe and Mail, Thursday, May 5, 2006. Page S9. Link
Berlin: Plötzensee: The Jesuit priest Alfred Delp, one of the Kreisau Circle is executed. In his trial on January 9, 1945, Delp replied to the Judge of the People's Court, Roland Freisler: "I can preach forever, and with whatever skill I have I can work with people and keep setting them straight. But as long as people have to live in a way that is inhuman and lacking in dignity, that's as long as the average person will succumb to circumstances and will neither pray nor think. A fundamental change in the conditions of life is needed" (213 p.162)
Carl Friedrich Gördeler, Weimar politician, is hanged. (231)
U-4705 is commissioned.
HUNGARY: 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:
February 2. The front is here. Machine guns have been mounted on both balconies on the upper floor. They wanted to put an automatic weapon in my room. I was speaking with a German in the hall when a mine exploded in front of the door and the German collapsed. A splinter had sliced his finger clean off. The poor man is screaming. The firewood in the garden is being carried off to be made into barricades for the windows. Pieces of furniture are also being put in the windows. While they put it up in one room I take it down in another and carry the furniture back.
MALTA: President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill departed Malta for the summit in Yalta with Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
SINGAPORE:88 USAAF B-29s destroy the docks and Japanese naval base.
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: Cabu, East Luzon: In a dramatic raid 24 miles behind enemy lines last night, US rangers and Filipino guerrillas freed 510 haggard and emaciated PoWs held captive since Bataan fell in 1942. During the five-minute attack all 223 guards were killed, as elated prisoners shouted "the Yanks are coming". One PoW collapsed and died from excitement.
MARIANAS ISLANDS, SAIPAN: Japanese aircraft are sighted for the last time from this island.
NEWFOUNDLAND: Frigate HMCS Strathadam departed St John's for Londonderry to join EG-25.
Minesweeper HMCS Noranda returned Halifax from workups Bermuda.
ECUADOR: The government declares war on Germany.
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