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Liveblogging World War II: April 9, 1943

The Stars and Stripes:: Daily Newspaper of U.S. Armed Forces in the European Theater of Operations:

Yanks, British Join in Pursuit Axis Foe in Full Retreat, Loses Much Material And Many Prisoners. U.S. Offensive Kept Much Rommel Armor Busy as Montgomery's Army Smashed Through Wadi Akarit Defenses

American and British troops, who joined forces halfway down the road between Gafsa and Gabes Wednesday with an informal "Hello there, Limey" and "Glad to see you, Yank," were hot on the heels of Rommel's retreating Afrika Korps along the coastal reaches of southern Tunisia last night. In the Maknassy area, where the Americans have been advancing slowly but steadily for days, the enemy was still fighting a rearguard action, and in Maknassy Pass 'itself artillery duels were reported to be in progress. Many prisoners were reported to have been taken in the American advance east of El Guettar, though no official count has been announced. The junction of the American and British forces was made by small patrols in armored scout cars. There was no enemy opposition, and the two patrols just advanced along the road until they met. The men climbed out, shook hands and took pictures.

Rommel, it appeared last night, was in full flight. Abandoning much material, the enemy was retreating northwards along the Tunisian coast towards La Skirra—and along the road from El Guettar toward the coast. Hard on his heels, mobile forces of the Eighth Army were repeating the processes that carried them right along the coast of Libya from Egypt into Tripoli, while American forces from El Guettar area were pushing forward in his wake, supported by the French.

Jap Air Fleet Smashed off GuadalcanalL Yanks Get 37 of 98 Planes On First Anniversary Of Bataan

A Japanese air armada of 98 planes attempting to bomb U.S. shipping off Guadalcanal yesterday—the first anniversary of the fall of Bataan—was crushed by U.S. fighters in one of the greatest air combats in the Solomons area. Thirty-seven aircraft were officially reported destroyed in the battle, the Navy Department announced. At the same time, Flying Fortresses struck for the fourth time in seven days at Jap shipping off Kavieng, New Ireland, heavily bombing an enemy convoy carrying supplies and troops for the hard-pressed defenders of New Guinea. The U.S. fighters from Guadalcanal blasted 21 Zeros, five dive-bombers and 11 other enemy planes out of the sky for a loss of one Airacobra and six Wildcat fighters. One U.S. pilot was saved. Including yesterday's toll, the number of Jap planes shot down over the Solomons is now at 943, the Navy Department added. No details of this latest blow to this Jap convoy off Kavieng are y»t available….

Reds Encircle Nazi Garrisons Around Kuban, Isolate German Posts In Forward Moves, Take Prisoners

Soviet tactics of encirclement threatened today to isolate German garrisons holding in strong defensive positions on the Kuban front. The strength of the German positions is largely ofset by their precarious communications in the waterlogged Kuban Delta and the Nazis are lighting strenuously to defend the narrow strips of ground and roads which emerge above the water. Several of the isolated villages in the Delta, which are connected by the strips of land, have been taken by the Russians in the last few days and Soviet forces are slowly, but surely, pushing the Germans back towards the sea.

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