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Feb 11

Stalingrad a Soviet victory: World War II week by week

Catching up where we left off before our when our microfilm machine was repaired…

Feb. 1, 1943
Stalingrad was almost over after five months of house to house combat. Both the German Army and Air Force would suffer losses here that would be difficult to replace. A further debacle for the Nazi forces was developing in North Africa.

Former Cal Poly student Orvin K. Judd was one of 19 who died in the crash of a navy seaplane on Jan. 21 near Ukiah.

The battle for Stalingrad was ending. Telegram-Tribune front page from Feb. 1, 1943.


Feb. 2. 1943
An eerie silence settled over Stalingrad for the first time there since late August. Women, children and elderly civilians came out of caves and sought out the ruins of their former homes.
Thousands of frozen bodies littered the streets.
The Germans lost 147,200 dead, an estimated 91,000-110,000 captured including 21 generals. Only roughly 6,000 would survive to return home after the war.
Germany held a 3-day period of national mourning while the Soviet Army advanced on all fronts.

Feb. 3, 1943
San Luis Obispo sent 40 men to induction center in Fresno including Alexander Paul Madonna.

The first 50 naval cadets were transferred from Cal Poly to Del Monte in San Diego. Two hundred more cadets were expected this week.

Feb. 5, 1943
Southern Pacific carried an annual payroll of $1,699,000 in 1942 according to a report released by the San Francisco based company. That would be a significant number even in a 21st century context.
Payroll at Camp San Luis had now swelled to that about that much a month.
The average number of railroad employees in town was 535. Theodore Maino was building the new $50,000 Spanish stucco train station, construction was anticipated to take six months. During the year SP had installed a sedimentation basin and sand filter adjacent to the roundhouse to filter locomotive water. The thirsty steam engines now had a supply capacity of 800,000 gallons a day. The additional troop trains required an addition of 1,000 feet of three-inch pipe and 3,220 feet of new track was added to manage increased traffic and switching. A modern centralized traffic control system was put in service on August 13, 1942 to manage the increased traffic over Cuesta Grade.

A war bond drive was underway again building to an event in front of City Hall.

Paso Robles sent 80 men off for induction into the armed services.

Plans were being made to allow Axis prisoners to work on farms on a volunteer basis. Labor was still in short supply.

Budweiser advertised that they would suspend delivery to the west coast due to shortages in rail capacity.
“For over fifty years we have been proud of your selection of Budweiser as a symbol of your famous hospitality, and we join with you in looking forward o the day when this companion of good taste will again be available.
In the busy meantime, we commend to our friends the many fine beers now being brewed on the Pacific Coast.”

Feb. 8, 1943
A 15-yer-old San Miguel boy was exonerated by army authorities after he shot and killed a man assaulting his mother. Daniel Glazier shot Pvt. Forrest Gibbs with a .22 rifle when the Camp Roberts soldier grabbed the boy’s mother in front of their home at the Burns auto court.

Rationing was extended to shoe sales; 200,000 stores were now limited to selling three pairs of shoes for each civilian per year.

A wave of home burglaries hit San Luis Obispo over the weekend.

The last Japanese forces on Guadalcanal were trapped in a V shaped piece of jungle on the island.

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