Monday, December 10, 2018

September 11, 1941: Convoy SC-42 Destruction

Thursday 11 September 1941

Lindbergh America First speech, 11 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Charles Lindbergh gives a speech for the America First Committee in Des Moines, Iowa, 11 September 1941.
Eastern Front: In a curt, don't-bother-me-again reply to General Kirponos' 10 September 1941 request to withdraw from Kiev, Joseph Stalin personally responds:
Do not abandon Kiev and do not blow up the bridges without Stavka permission.
The Soviet troops stay put even as the German panzers continue driving toward each other to the east to close an encirclement.

Battle of the Atlantic: On 11 September 1941, Kriegsmarine Wolfpack Markgraf, composed of 14 U-boats in a picket line, confronts Convoy SC-42 in the North Atlantic 100 miles southeast of Greenland. The convoy departed from Nova Scotia on 30 August 1941 bound for Liverpool.

It is a wild affair, with ships sinking all around, some on fire, and men in the water and in lifeboats. The action is confused and so are the historical records, with different sources identify different ships sunk on different days. However, it is confirmed across all sources that September 10 and September 11, 1941, are horrendous days for Convoy SC-42.

U-82 (Kptlt. Siegfried Rollmann), on its first patrol out of Trondheim, is in the thick of it. It sank 7,465-ton British freighter Empire Hudson on the 10th, and today sinks three ships and seriously damages a fourth in quick succession just after midnight:
  • 7519-ton British freighter Bulysses
  • 3915-ton British freighter Gypsum Queen
  • 1999-ton Swiss freighter Scania (damaged)
  • 5463-ton British freighter Empire Crossbill
However, that is not the only punishment that the Wolfpack inflicts today.

Swedish freighter SS Garm, sunk on 11 September 1941 by U-432 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Swedish freighter SS Garm, sunk on 11 September 1941 by U-432. There are six deaths from a crew of 20.
Three other U-boats get in on the action:
  • U-432 (Kptlt. Heinz-Otto Schultze) sinks 1231-ton Swedish freighter Garm
  • U-207 (Oberleutnant zur See Fritz Meyer.) sinks British freighters 4924-ton Berury and 4803-ton Stonepool
U-207's crew does not have very long to celebrate its two kills. Convoy escorts HMS Leamington and Veteran launch depth charges and sink U-207. There are no survivors among the 41-man crew.

To add to the devastation, U-105 (Kapitänleutnant Georg Schewe) finds a convoy straggler 1549-ton Panamanian-flagged freighter Montana (a Panamanian flag generally indicates that it is a United States ship).

To date, Convoy SC-42 has lost 15 of its 65 ships. It still has a long way to Liverpool, too. However, as reinforcements the Admiralty sends naval trawler Buttermere and Flower-class corvettes HMCS Wetaskiwin, HMCS Mimosa, and HMS Gladiolus from convoy HX 147 and the 2nd Escort Group consisting of the Admiralty type flotilla leader HMS Douglas (Commander WE Banks senior officer), the Town-class destroyer HMS Leamington, the V and W-class destroyer HMS Veteran and S-class destroyers HMS Skate and HMS Saladin. This armada guards Convoy SC-42 the rest of the way but SC-42 will lose yet another ship on the way to its destination.

A barrage balloon station in England, 11 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A barrage balloon station in England garrisoned by the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (AP Photo).
POWs: The commandant of Stalag 318 (later Stalag VIII-F and known as the "Russian Camp"), Colonel Falkenberg, notes on September 11, 1941:
These cursed Untermenschen [sub-humans] have been observed eating grass, flowers and raw potatoes. Once they can’t find anything edible in the camp they turn to cannibalism.
Hermann Goering hears of this comment and retells it, with some embellishments, often at parties.

Japanese Military: Emperor Hirohito takes personal command of the Japanese Imperial Army. This is merely a ceremonial command, but some analysts in the United States wrongly interpret this as a peaceful gesture.

Admiral Yamamoto and his staff continue planning the attack on Pearl Harbor as he begins ten days of meetings with the Imperial Japanese Navy's General Staff. The Japanese Combined Fleet conducts a training exercise in the North Pacific.

US Military: The ground-breaking ceremonies for the Pentagon building take place in Arlington, Virginia on a patch of farmland. It will take two years to build at a cost of $83 million. The Pentagon is planned to consolidate 17 War Department buildings into one complex. It has been ordered by Brig. Gen. Brehon B. Sommervell.

FDR giving a radio speech, 11 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
President Roosevelt with Microphones, September 11, 1941 (NARA).
American Homefront: President Roosevelt gives a Fireside Chat on the sinking by a U-boat of USS Greer, a US Navy destroyer sunk near Greenland on 4 September 1941. The Germans claim that the Greer shot first and the U-boat reacted in self-defense. Roosevelt calls the incident an "outrageous" incident of "piracy" and recites a list of other grievances at sea against the Germans. FDR gives U.S. convoy escorts the right to fire at submarines on sight. He cautions, however, against overreacting to these "acts of international lawlessness."
We have sought no shooting war with Hitler, we do not seek it now.
Roosevelt vows to keep open the seas "no matter what it costs" and likens U-boats to rattlesnakes.

At an American First Committee rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Charles Lindbergh accuses President Roosevelt and his administration of engaging "subterfuge" and using "dictatorial powers" to push his "war party" toward war. His most controversial remark, however, follows:
The three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration.
This remark and others during the speech are similar to public statements of Adolf Hitler.

Vizeadmiral Johannes Bachmann 11 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Vizeadmiral Johannes Bachmann (KIA April 1945) inspects Schiermonnikoog 'Vredenhof' Cemetery in the Dutch Frisian Islands, 11 September 1941. 



2018

September 10, 1941: Guderian Busts Loose

Wednesday 10 September 1941

German soldiers in Norway 10 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German soldiers at Brårudåsen Fort in Horten, Norway (on the coast south of Oslo) on 10 September 1941. This is now a historical landmark. Notice how they put the biggest guy in the unit right behind the officers, he seems kind of amused by it. Norway is a backwater area suitable for training purposes by the Wehrmacht throughout World War II. However, there are some labor troubles there which require the imposition of martial law on 10 September 1941.
Eastern Front: General Guderian's Panzer Group 2 has been diverted from the road to Moscow in order to encircle Kiev. However, as of 10 September 1941, for the past week or so the panzers have been stalled on the Desna River while beating off furious Soviet attacks on its eastern flank. This has led to a furious Hitler row and the Fuehrer's meddling in Guderian's troop dispositions, which Hitler believed too far to the east.

Today, Guderian's armor shakes off the Russian attacks and breaks loose to the southeast again. His forces take Konotop, cutting the main road from Kiev to the east. Even further south, General Walter Model's 3rd Panzer Division of XXIV Army Corps (motorized) takes Romny. The grand plan is starting to come together

Central Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, 10 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The Central Theater opens in Passaic, New Jersey on 10 September 1941. This becomes a favorite venue for top performers such as Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, the Andrews Sisters, Jerry Lewis, the Three Stooges, and Sammy Kaye, among countless others. This was where Glenn Miller gave his farewell performances on 24-27 September 1942. Notice the pronounced art deco influence. The Central Theater was torn down in 1978 and replaced by a McDonald's, which still stands there.
OKH Chief of Staff General Franz Halder notes this sudden success with puzzlement in his war diary:
Curiously, there are no attacks against [Guderian's] east flank. Perhaps this has something to do with the extensive railroad demolitions by our air efforts. On the defensive front, the danger zones west of Bryansk and east of Smolensk stand out as never before, but temporarily at least there is a lull in the attacks Nevertheless, resumption of the attacks must be imminent in view of the railroad movements from Moscow or Tula to Bryansk, and of the very heavy motorized movement toward Smolensk.
Today is usually marked as the end of the battle of Smolensk. Operation Barbarossa was supposed to go like this all along, so Halder's skepticism is a sign of how different the reality has been.

This sudden fortuitous change in events seems to confirm Hitler's recent interference in Guderian's dispositions, which adds to his growing confidence in his own military judgment. These affirmations of Hitler's amateurish interference have long-term consequences.

Not only is Guderian suddenly breaking out, but there are good signs for the Wehrmacht elsewhere as well. A couple of hundred miles to the south, General Ewald von Kleist's Panzer Group 1 also breaks out from its bridgehead across the Dneipr at Kremenchug. Soviet 38th Army counterattacks Kleist's panzers ineffectively.

A quick glance at the map shows the extreme peril of the massive Soviet troop concentration holding Kiev that is led by Marshal Budyenny. Hard-pressed by German Sixth Army's frontal assault, the Soviets holding the city now face encirclement a hundred miles to the east. This area of Ukraine is an excellent tank area for tank movements, with flat plains and relatively few waterways. While Kleist's and Guderian's panzers are far apart on the map, they theoretically could meet within only a few days. The noose around Kiev is tightening, and all of the military professionals on both sides can see it.

Junkers Ju-88 downed in the Suez Canal 10 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"RAF officers inspect the wreckage of a Junkers Ju 88 lying in the waters of the Suez Canal after being shot down by an RAF night fighter near Kantara on the night of 9/10 September 1941." (© IWM (CM 1309)).
Soviet Colonel-General Mikhail Petrovich Kirponos, in command of the Southwestern Front at Kiev, urges the Stavka to take precautions as diplomatically as he can. Instead of asking for himself, he simply "relays the concerns of others," a standard tactic when one knows the request is likely to be denied:
The enemy tank group has penetrated to Romny and Gaivoron. The 21st and 40th Armies are not able to liquidate this group. They request that forces be immediately transferred from the Kiev Fortified Region to the path of the enemy advance and a general withdrawal of front forces.
Kirponos has a good grasp of the situation and is a competent commander. Among other things, he took the prospects of a German invasion seriously on the eve of Operation Barbarossa and managed to keep his forces in better shape than other frontier commanders. However, in Moscow, Kirponos, despite his proven success, is seen as a bit of a weak figure, someone without the true offensive spirit. That Kirponos urges a tactical focus on the defensive again is seen as just another sign of his lack of intestinal fortitude. The Stavka ignores him.

Soviet soldiers in the Ukraine 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Soviet troops under artillery fire in western Ukraine, 1941.
In any event, overall Southwestern Direction Commander Marshal Budyenny already has requested permission to withdraw from Kiev, and that request has been denied. Stalin has told Budyenny to keep his forces where they are no matter what happens. This defies tactical logic but at this point in the war, Stalin is simply playing for time. Stalin needs to prolong the situation in the south at all costs because, otherwise, the situation in the north will deteriorate faster. He is awaiting lend-lease shipments, and the weather won't stay nice forever. Stalin's forces have to continue to hold out for weeks for his delaying tactics to work, but the Germans will decide if that happens more than Stalin will.

Norway: The German occupation government declares martial law in Oslo today due to a labor strike by shipyard workers. The workers were upset that their milk rations were ended. This was the famous "Milk Strike." The authorities arrest five labor activists and shoot two of them, lawyer and Communist Viggo Hansteen and labor activist Rolf Wickstrom. There is a monumental joint tombstone and memorial to them in Oslo.

SS Winterswijk, torpedoed and sunk by U-432 on 10 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Dutch 3205-ton freighter SS Winterswijk was torpedoed and sunk off southern Greenland on 10 September 1941 by U 432 under the command of Kptlt. Heinz-Otto Schultze. The Winterswijk had served briefly as USS Winterswijk for the US Navy in 1918.

2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

September 9, 1941: Germans Attack Leningrad

Tuesday 9 September 1941

Look magazine 9 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The September 9, 1941 Look magazine features an article entitled, "Why we will fight Japan - soon" by Hallett Abend.
Eastern Front: After weeks of gradually closing the vise on Leningrad, on 9 September 1941 the Germans begin their assault on the second city of Russia. Two Soviet battleships, "October Revolution" and "Marat," open fire on the Wehrmacht with their main guns. The ships are immobile because their non-gunnery crews have been drafted for the ground defense of the city. The German panzers are still about ten miles outside of the city proper, but they have cut off all land escape routes and the only way in or out for the defenders is by air or over Lake Ladoga.

The Luftwaffe mounts a major raid to soften the city up, a typical tactic for the Germans which they will follow again almost exactly a year from now at Stalingrad. Junkers Ju-87 Stukas of StG 2, accompanied by Bf 109 fighters of elite squadron JG 54, concentrate on the Soviet Baltic fleet parked at Kronstadt and Leningrad Harbor. Things go badly quickly for the Luftwaffe, as 43-ace Oblt. Hubert Mütherich, Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 54, perishes when his badly damaged Bf 109 somersaults upon landing. The Red Air Force is not much of a problem, but Soviet anti-aircraft fire over cities is deadly.

KV-1 tank burning on Finnish front, 9 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Finnish soldier watches a Soviet KV-1E burn at Jessoila (Essoila or D´essoilu), Ladogan Karelia. This particular KV-1 had been terrorizing this portion of the front for a week. It finally hit two mines and was stopped - the Soviet crew abandoned it and set it on fire. When the Finns went to push it off the road with a bulldozer the bulldozer hit a mine, too. The KV-1 was the fiercest tank on the battlefield in 1941, its main drawbacks being that it was slow and had few close-arms defenses. September 9, 1941 (colorized, SA-Kuva).
The vise on Leningrad is closing to the north of the city, too. Finnish troops reach of outermost ring defenses of Leningrad and stop according to their orders from Marshal Mannerheim. The Germans desperately want the Finns to put pressure on the Soviets from the north, but Mannerheim refuses. He views the Continuation War as one of recovery of lost territories, not conquest. The Finns dig trenches and at most let loose a few perfunctory artillery salvos to satisfy their German co-belligerents.

The Finns also advance far to the north, above Lake Ladoga. This is a far less critical sector for the Soviets, so they do not waste many units in this area. While the Finns form a very fierce and effective fighting force, the men are very leery of antagonizing the Soviet Union even at its time of greatest distress. The men in this sector grudgingly cross the old border in this area by rationalizing that a line further east would be shorter and be more defensible. The only question here is where to stop, everyone knows that Finnish troops are not heading to Moscow.

Camp Chaffee 9 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
On September 9, 1941, construction started on Camp Chaffee in western Arkansas. The first soldiers arrive on 7 December 1941 - a fateful day - and it becomes a POW camp for German prisoners from 1943-1946.
This is a moment of great peril for the Soviet Union. Leningrad is now at hazard, and far to the south Marshal Budyenny also makes his first request to evacuate Kiev today. A quick German capture of Kiev would allow General Guderian to take his Panzer Group 2, now on the way south toward Kiev, back toward Moscow. This would enable the Wehrmacht to assault Moscow according to the timetable that he set out in his Fuehrer Directive issued just yesterday. It is not inconceivable that successes now would enable the Germans to bag all three major Soviet cities - Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev - and force some kind of adverse settlement on the Soviets.

So, a collapse of Red Army morale right now would be fatal. However, Marshal Budyenny's sole qualification as a general is that he does exactly what Stalin wants. Since Stalin wants him to stay in Kiev, Budyenny stays in Kiev regardless of the hopelessness of defending it against the German 6th Army. For his part, Stalin, whether consciously or not, is following the dictate of Czar Alexander I during the Napoleonic Wars of trading space for time. The bottom line is that everyone keeps fighting, the Germans are stopped, and men on both sides keep dying.

Evening Star 9 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The Washington, D.C. September 9, 1941 edition of the Evening Star claims that the Soviets are pursuing the Germans, which is true in the Army Group Center but far from the truth everywhere else. The front page shows a caricature of Hitler looking at a picture of smoking ruins and exclaiming, "According to plan." 

2018

Saturday, December 8, 2018

September 8, 1941: Leningrad Cut Off

Monday 8 September 1941

Life magazine 8 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Ann Teal, a model, appears on the cover of the 8 September 1941 issue of Life magazine. She is the face of a feature entitled "College Girl's Pigtails." Miss Teal served in the U.S. Navy during World War II with the rank of ensign. She was a communications decoder in Naval Operations at the War Department in Washington, D.C. A longtime resident of New Canaan, Connecticut, Ann Teal married Charles Bradley and became Ann Teal Bradley. She passed away on 20 February 2013.

Eastern Front: On 8 September 1941, the Wehrmacht's Army Group North captures the small town of Schlusselberg on the shores of Lake Ladoga. Leningrad is now cut off from all land communication from the south, while Finnish troops on the Karelian Isthmus blocks all communications from the north. Really, though, the siege began when the Germans cut the last rail line in late August at Mga. The besieged city's only source of supply from this point forward is by ferry across Lake Ladoga. This begins the "900 days" of Leningrad's siege.

There are 2,950,000 civilians, including many women and children who have crowded into the city as refugees, and 450,000 soldiers/sailors left in Leningrad. The Wehrmacht is within ten miles of the city to the south, with 1st Panzer Division (Lieutenant General Friedrich Kirchner) advancing up the left bank of the Neva River and 6th Panzer Division (Major General Franz Landgraf) following the railway line embankment on the Moscow line. Soviet militia forces (Opolchenye) man the line and there is artillery support from navy ships in Leningrad Harbor and Kronstadt Naval Base on Kotlin Island, but those are targets for constant Luftwaffe attacks.

Hitler has a choice to make. Does he attack Leningrad, or invest it through the winter and await a capitulation or starvation? He is inclined to wait it out despite the wishes of the commander of Army Group North, Field Marshal Ritter von Leeb, to seize it quickly. The decision is complicated by the outright refusal of Marshal Mannerheim to use Finnish forces in an attack on Leningrad. Hitler ultimately decides to wait it out and use artillery to soften up the Leningrad defenses because he has more pressing places to use his troops and armor.

Newsweek Adolf Hitler 8 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Newsweek of 8 September 1941 features Adolf Hitler on the cover enjoying his "flaming war."

2018

September 7, 1941: Hitler Orders Drive on Moscow

Sunday 7 September 1941

National Day of Prayer 7 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"The Commander in Chief Western Approaches, Admiral Sir Percy Noble, KCB, CVO, taking the salute during the march past at the conclusion of the Parade Service at a home port." Day of National Prayer, 7 September 1941 (© IWM (A 5312)).

Eastern Front: One of the continuing problems besetting the Germans during Operation Barbarossa had nothing to do with the Red Army. It was a perpetual lack of focus and direction. On 7 September 1941, Adolf Hitler tries to resolve the ambiguity once and for all with Führer Directive 35.

Directive No. 35 provides that the Soviet forces standing in front of Moscow "must be defeated and annihilated in the limited time which remains before the onset of winter weather." The Directive is extremely detailed in terms of unit movements, specifying not only the units to be used for specific purposes but the days on which they are to attack.

The Directive provides that an attack toward Moscow is to begin "at the earliest possible moment (end of September)." A general pincer movement past Smolensk "in the general direction of Vyazma" is to destroy the Soviets' "Army Group Timoshenko." Once that is done, Army Group Center can then "begin the advance on Moscow with its right flank on the Oka River and its left on the Upper Volga River."

Yellow Star of David badge 7 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Yellow Star of David must be worn by all Jews over the age of six within the Reich (7 September 1941 NY Times).

The important thing about Directive No. 35 is that it finally, though belatedly, officially recognizes Moscow as an important Wehrmacht objective. This is cheering to Field Marshal von Bock at Army Group Center and many other generals who feel that Moscow is the key to the entire campaign. They felt that Moscow was the obvious objective for the campaign and should have been the priority from the beginning. The remaining question is whether there is enough time before blizzards begin to reach the Soviet capital.

The main issue with Directive No. 35 which makes it somewhat problematic is that by its own terms an advance on Moscow depends upon first destroying the Soviet forces in front of that city. On 7 September 1941, the Red Army is actually advancing west through Yelnya and is hardly defeated. The Soviets will have something to say about when and how Moscow is attacked.

In any event, Directive No. 35 is well-reasoned and tactically sound despite its limitations. It is one of the few Hitler Directives which will be carried out almost exactly as stated under the codename "Operation Typhoon." However, the eventual outcome may not be as the Germans wish.

Lieutenant Colonel Hans von Ahlfen and other officers in the Ukraine, 7 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Lieutenant Colonel Hans von Ahlfen and other German officers conversing in the Ukraine near Kremenchug, 7 September 1941 (Federal Archive B 145 image-F016205-25).

2018

September 6, 1941: Japan Prepares for War

Saturday 6 September 1941

Japanese Imperial Conference 6 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Emperor Hirohito presides over the Imperial Conference of 6 September 1941.

Japanese Government: The Japanese hold an Imperial Conference to discuss the next steps to take regarding the United States and its allies. Those steps are decidedly warlike. Under consideration is a decision is to commit to war with the United States unless progress is made in peace talks with the United States by 10 October 1941.

Hirohito attends the conference. Typically, a sitting Emperor says little at such affairs and merely ratifies the decisions taken by others. This is not, however, how this conference turns out.

Everyone at the Imperial Conference expresses their support for war with the United States. However, under questioning by Baron Yoshimichi Hara, President of the Imperial Council and the Emperor's representative, the service chiefs qualify their eagerness by saying that war should be a "last resort." This is a very sharp turnabout from their usual bellicose posturing.

Now very concerned, Emperor Hirohito breaks with tradition and begins questioning the service chiefs himself. He recites a poem written by his grandfather, Emperor Meiji:
The seas of the four directions—
all are born of one womb:
why, then, do the wind and waves rise in discord?
This does not change the course of events but does reinforce the importance that the emperor places on a peaceful resolution. War planning continues and the net effect of the conference is to leave the current course of action - a military solution - intact.

US Government: US Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew has a good idea of the power of the military in the Japanese government. After meeting with Prince Konoye, who pledges to respect President Roosevelt's four principles and other requirements. Grew submits a report to the State Department. He writes in part:
The Prime Minister hopes that as a result of the commitments which the Japanese Government is prepared to assume . . . a rational basis has been established for a meeting between the President and himself.
Grew concludes, however, that a failure to reach an agreement with the Japanese will result in a Japanese military dictatorship and eventual war. In any event, President Roosevelt already has informed the Japanese that he does not intend to have a summit meeting with Prince Konoye or anyone else.

President Roosevelt 6 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the bible previously used in administering the oath of office to Francis Biddle, new attorney general, in the executive offices at the White House, Washington, Sept. 6, 1941 (AP).

2018

September 5, 1941: Germans Evacuate Yelnya

Friday 5 September 1941

Finnish troops and T-26E tanks in the Aunus Isthmus, Finland, 5 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A column of T-26E tanks and a DKW NZ500 Motorbike (1939) of the Finnish 3rd Armoured Company near the Juoksiala village on the Aunus Isthmus, September 5, 1941 (SA-Kuva).

Eastern Front: The Soviet Red Army achieves its first victory of the war by eliminating German opposition in the Yelnya salient. This exposed position on the road to Moscow had been a "lightning rod" for Soviet attacks for weeks. However, the departure of General Guderian's Panzer Group 2 south toward Kiev sealed its fate. Writing  in his war diary, General Franz Halder, OKH Chief of Staff, praises the "great piece of staff work" that accomplished the "execution of the withdrawal from the salient." Some historians mark the evacuation of Yelnya as the first true German retreat during World War II, but it is only a temporary reversal as the Wehrmacht focuses elsewhere.

Japanese Government: The reverberations from President Roosevelt's refusal to meet with Prince Konoye continue. An Imperial Conference is scheduled to discuss the next steps, and those steps are decidedly warlike. Today, Prime Minister Konoye submits to the Emperor a draft of a decision taken on 4 September by the Cabinet to Emperor Hirohito. This Cabinet decision, in turn, is based on plans prepared by Imperial General Headquarters, which is full of war hawks. The decision outlined in the report is to commit to war with the United States unless progress is made in peace talks with the United States by 10 October 1941.

Hirohito reviews the proposal and meets with Konoye, Chief of Staff of the Imperial Army General Sugiyama, and Chief of Staff of the Navy Admiral Osami Nagano. This is an extremely unusual meeting, as the Emperor typically does not engage in discussions about policy but instead merely ratifies them.

In response to a question by Hirohito, Sugiyama claims that Japan could defeat the United States and its allies. Hirohito refuses to accept this, pointing out that the army has promised success in China but failed to achieve it. When Sugiyama counters that China is simply too big to conquer, Hirohito responds with anger that the Pacific Ocean also is vast and would be difficult to conquer.

Admiral Nagano later recalls to a friend:
I have never seen the Emperor reprimand us in such a manner, his face turning red and raising his voice.
Considering that Hirohito is renowned for his placid demeanor, this is quite a statement. Hirohito decides to take an active role in the Imperial Conference scheduled for 6 September.

Estonia: The Germans complete the occupation of Estonia as the final Soviet forces flee by ship. The USSR had occupied Estonia in 1940 as part of a deal with Hitler regarding the Polish campaign. The only Soviet troops remaining in the Baltic states now are a few holdouts on the Baltic islands.

Cab Calloway in Canton, Ohio, 5 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The big news in Canton, Ohio is that Cab Calloway is opening at the Palace for three days only, 5 September 1941.

2018