Tuesday, November 13, 2018

September 1, 1941: Two Years In


Monday 1 September 1941

Yellow Star of David 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"A yellow star of David marked with the German word for Jew (Jude) worn by Fritz Glueckstein. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Fritz Gluckstein."

1 September 1941 marks the two-year anniversary of the invasion of Poland that most people consider the start of World War II. It is not an anniversary that gets much notice, but at such milestones, it is good to briefly summarize events to date.

To this point, the German war effort has been remarkably successful. Against many predictions and their own fears, the Wehrmacht generals stormed across most of western Europe with remarkable ease. As of this date, the Germans and their allies even have made inroads into Africa and Asia with greatly varying degrees of success. The war at sea has been moderately successful for the Germans due to the expanding U-boat fleet, but the Kriegsmarine's weakness in surface ships has been confirmed by some embarrassing losses such as the battleship Bismarck in May 1941 and the cruiser Admiral Graf Spee in 1939. There is no doubt that the British and Americans control the seas, while the air war is a draw with only a very slight edge to the Luftwaffe so far despite its vastly superior numbers in the West. The recently restarted Finnish war effort has been outstanding in accomplishing Finnish war objectives, though those have not always been the same as overall Axis objectives.

There are some quibbles with this seemingly perfect picture. Great Britain has suffered privations, but its military remains completely intact. The British Army has defeated the Italians everywhere and is proving extremely troublesome for the Afrika Korps. The Luftwaffe offensive against Britain failed utterly due to the Royal Air Force, though it has caused tremendous misery. The advance into the Soviet Union continues to progress and many still expect the Germans to win, but the Soviets are fighting much harder than anyone expected. Several German generals, such as OKH Chief of Staff Franz Halder, already have drawn the correct conclusions from this unexpected defense. However, there is nothing that the generals can do about it because Hitler's war aims are limitless and unyielding.

The collapse of the Italian war effort is probably the most significant drawback to the German war effort of the first two years of war. Other than at sea, the Italians have contributed at most some tangential support to the war effort and have had to be bailed out in Greece and North Africa. While not completely unexpected, the Italian military failures have forced the Wehrmacht to divide its focus when otherwise it might have been able to mount a more focused and successful attack on the U.S.S.R. The Germans have been forced to defend Italian possessions that serve no useful purpose, while the Italians contribute little beyond the defense of their own area.

Soviet civil defense in Moscow, 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Soviet soldier teaching civilians how to disarm a un-exploded German incendiary bomb, Sverdlov Square, Moscow, 1 Sep 1941 (Russian International News Agency).

Unknown to the Germans, the Italians already have made some tentative peace overtures through the Vatican, but they have gone nowhere. Hitler's own half-hearted peace overtures to the British have been completely ignored, and the situation in France remains tense. The French Resistance is just getting started, motivated by terrorist incidents in Paris. In the Balkans, the partisans have occupied large stretches of "conquered" territory, and the Italian occupying forces have proven completely ineffective against them. This has required more German effort to suppress the partisans, a necessity that shows no sign of easing.

The great political imponderables remain the United States and Japan. The US obviously is doing everything short of declaring war that it can to help its British allies, a fact that irks Adolf Hitler but about which he can do nothing. Japan is playing a double game, feigning blind adherence to the German cause and paying lip service to German objectives while secretly trying to resolve its issues with the Americans short of a conflict. The Imperial Japanese war effort in China is struggling but is aided somewhat by internal Chinese conflicts between the nationalist and communist forces. There seems little prospect of Japan subduing China, suggesting an endless campaign which never threatens Japan but requires constant supplies and reinforcements.

In sum, the Axis is in control at the two-year mark, although with some serious disappointments. There is a real danger of its forces getting overstretched, and the likeliest sector where that could first become apparent is on the Eastern Front.

Operation Barbarossa on 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The status of the Eastern Front as of 1 September 1941.

Eastern Front: The top levels of the German military command increasingly are opposing each other over strategy as resources grow tight. The offensive continues, but it has become impossible to maintain forward momentum in all three army groups at the same time. Choices must be made, and there are tempting major objectives in front of all three fronts.

Regarding the Far North sector, General Halder notes in his war diary that:
[the] Finns have changed their minds and now will continue the drive beyond the national frontiers also on the Karelian Isthmus, but only with limited objectives conformable to their demands for frontier corrections.
Halder later comments on this a little more bluntly, adding that the Finns "do not want to carry the attack beyond their old frontier on the Karelian Isthmus." The Germans, of course, want the Finns to focus on a major objective, Leningrad. Relations with the Finns are still correct, but Marshal Mannerheim already has halted his troops more than once against German wishes.

Finnish troops heading south from Viipuri surround Soviet 43rd and 115th Divisions near Porlammi and Ylä-Somme. About 12,000 Soviet troops melt away through the forest, but the Finns take 9000 prisoners, 55 tanks, 306 artillery guns, and 246 mortars. There also are 7000 Red Army deaths.

In the Army Group North sector, Field Marshal von Leeb tonight proposes an "operational strategy' that OKH Chief of Staff General Halder calls "which is completely out of harmony with our strategy, both in planning and in the direction of the attack." It is easy to read between the lines and presume that von Leeb wants a massive effort north against Leningrad even as the high command is sending troops south to Kiev. German grand strategy always has been divisive within the top generals, and von Leeb naturally wants the glory of taking Leningrad. However, Hitler views Kiev as a higher priority.

On the ground, there are heavy rains. There are some local German gains, but, otherwise, it is a quiet day. Panzer Group 4 recaptures Mga, a major rail junction, and continues on toward Lake Ladoga. These gains come at a heavy cost in lives. The Germans come within artillery range of Leningrad.

In the Army Group Center sector, General Guderian's Panzer Group 2, however, is stalled on its way south from Army Group Center toward Kiev. Soviet General Timoshenko launches a major counterattack at Gomel which forces Guderian to adopt a defensive posture when he should be attacking south. Other Soviet offensives along the central sector, timed to begin together, also break out east of Smolensk and elsewhere. Soviet 24th Army makes some gains into the German 4th Army line at the lightning-rod position at Yelnya but takes heavy losses.

Germans cross the Berislav River ca. 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German 30 Corps crosses the Berislav. Shown is a 105mm M18 field howitzer, which was typical divisional artillery. Photo was taken on or about 1 September 1941. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

In the Army Group South sector, Eleventh Army expands its bridgehead over the Berislav River by pouring in five regiments, or about two divisions. In addition, the Germans take another bridge over the Dnepropetrovsk Ridge, a damaged railway bridge, and expand their bridgehead there. Sixth Army, however, reports "severe enemy pressure" on the approaches to Kiev.

Protecting the crossings at the Dnepr, German fighter group JG 51 claims to have destroyed 77 Soviet bombers.

European Air Operations: The RAF attacks Cologne with 54 bombers (34 Wellingtons and 20 Hampdens) after dark, losing one Hampden. The Germans begin decoy fires which prove effective. The German authorities record damage to only one house, with no casualties.

The British also conduct Roadsted Operations over France, during which they severely damage vorpostenboot V 1512 Unitas 8 at Barfleur, Manche, France.

The RAF also sends four Hampdens to lay mines off Denmark. They return without incident.

A British Overseas Airways (BOAC) Consolidated Liberator Mk. I (serial number AM915) crashes into a hill outside Campbeltown, Argyll, England. All ten people on board perish.

The Luftwaffe sends 25 bombers against Newcastle. This causes extensive damage, destroying over a hundred houses and killing 49 people, with an addition 1000 or so made homeless in the Jesmond and Shildfield areas. Fires are started which blaze for days. A bomb which hits just outside an Anderson shelter kills a man and his two sons while injuring his wife.

The Luftwaffe makes numerous command changes, including installing Oberst Heinrich Conrady in command of KG 3 and Oblt. Georg Pasewald at KG 40.

USS Juneau under construction on 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
USS Juneau under construction, 1 September 1941.

Battle of the Baltic: Soviet submarine SC-135 is commissioned.

Battle of the Atlantic: The US Atlantic Fleet under the command of Admiral Ernest J.  King forms a Denmark Strait Patrol. This is led by battleships USS Idaho, Mississippi, and New Mexico and two cruisers, Wichita and Tuscaloosa. The announced goal is to protect US shipping.  The US Navy permits its ships to escort convoys and escorts ships from Argentia, Newfoundland to Iceland, where the Royal Navy takes over.

Convoy ON-12 departs from Liverpool bound for Reykjavik. Convoy SC-2 departs from St. John, New Brunswick.

British at Tobruk under a captured Italian 149 mm gun, 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
British troops manning a captured Italian 149mm gun relax at Tobruk.

Battle of the Mediterranean: The Germans activate Panzer Group Afrika. General der Panzertruppe Erwin Rommel is in command while General Crüwell is appointed to replace Rommel at Afrika Korps. Afrika Korps includes 90th Light Division, 15th Panzer Division, and Italian Corps C and XX.

The fifth Vichy French convoy evacuating the Middle East (following the French defeat there) departs from Haifa carrying 5216 French troops. This is all done per the armistice agreement with the British.

An Axis convoy of five merchant ships (Andrea Gritti, Riallto, Vettor Pisani, Francesco Barbaro, and Sabastiano Venier) escorted by four Italian destroyers departs from Naples bound for Tripoli. The RAF based on Malta attacks and sinks 6338-ton Andrea Gritti and damages 6343-ton Francesco Barbaro. Francesco Barbaro returns to Messina, while the remainder of the convoy proceeds to Tripoli.

Royal Navy submarine HMS Otus departs from Malta bound for Alexandria carrying mail, supplies and 15 passengers. The submarine attacks an Italian armed merchant cruiser later the day, but misses.

Royal Navy battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth becomes the flag vessel of the commander of the Mediterranean Fleet. The First Battle Squadron transfers its flag to the Barham.

Malta becomes the base for the Royal Navy's 10th Submarine Flotilla under the command of Commander George W G Simpson.

Battle of the Black Sea: Soviet cruisers Chervona Ukraina and Komintern of the Black Sea Fleet support ground operations by bombarding German and Romanian positions.

Soviet river monitor Zhitomir runs aground in the Dnepr River at Cherni, remains stuck, and ultimately is lost to scuttling due to the German advance.

William Ruggles, originator of the phrase "right to work," 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Dallas Morning News editorial writer William Ruggles (pictured above) “thought every American had a right to work." He used those words in an editorial on September 1, 1941. This is the origination of the phrase "right to work."

Special Operations: The German 61st Infantry Division plans Operation Beowulf, an amphibious invasion of Ösel (also called Saaremaa) and Dagö (also called Hiiumaa). The Soviet 3rd Rifle Brigade defends with 23,700 men. Today, Kriegsmarine cruiser Köln bombards the Soviet coastal batteries located at Cape Ristna, putting them out of action.

The major portion of British Operation Gauntlet begins winding down in Spitsbergen. The Canadians continue destroying coal mines, while troopship HMT Empress of Canada and its escorts arrive back from Arkhangelsk. The Empress carries with it 200 French troops who have escaped from Soviet POW camps. The men of Operation Gauntlet evacuate the island along with about 800 local inhabitants and 15 sled dogs. The Allies have taken no casualties.

Spy Stuff: German Abwehr agent Alphonse Louis Eugene Timmerman arrives in England aboard a ship from Spain. He is quickly arrested.

Partisans: Albanian communist partisans form a united front to oppose the Italian occupiers.

German Resistance: General Halder notes in his war diary a meeting with General Buhle and "Count Stauffenberg." Stauffenberg gives a "cheering" account of his visit to Army Group North. Stauffenberg reports that "the material situation" in the sector is "very good," but a shortage of men is developing. Buhle adds that twelve divisions will have to be disbanded during the winter to make up for losses. Stauffenberg recommends that the soldiers be pulled out of the front to recuperate and make them "in shape for new operations." Stauffenberg's report today has nothing to do with the resistance, but we'll be keeping an eye on him when he pops up at the top levels of the Wehrmacht because of his later resistance activities.

Applied Science: Werner Heisenberg, Germany's top nuclear physicist, discovers how to produce Uranium 94 via a chain reaction. Uranium 94, he theorizes, can be used to make an atomic bomb.

Winnipeg Free Press, 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Winnipeg Free Press, 1 September 1941. "Roosevelt Pledges Full Aid." Note that the paper already has news of the Soviet offensive that began on 1 September 1941 in the central sector of the Eastern Front.

US/Chinese Relations: All of the top U.S. leaders in China - the American Consul-General at Shanghai, the commander of the Yangtze Patrol, and the commanding officer of the 4th Marine Regiment at Shanghai - recommend withdrawing all naval forces in China. This appears to be a result of recent damage sustained from Japanese bombing.

Japanese/Soviet Relations: The Japanese demand a guarantee of safety for their ships and reparations after a fishing trawler hits a mine off Vladivostok. The Soviets respond to both requests with a firm "No" and tell the Japanese to stay away from their ports.

Anglo/Soviet Relations: The RAF flies Hawker Hurricane fighters of Nos. 81 and 134 Squadrons off of HMS Argus to Vaenga near Murmansk.

Soviet/Estonian Relations: The Soviets execute Estonian military leader Karl Parts. At this time, there is great enthusiasm within some quarters of Estonia at being "liberated" by the Germans.

Wehrmacht ceremony of some sort on 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Wehrmacht ceremony of some kind at Ekserserhuset on Karljohansvern.

German/ Spanish Relations: Adolf Hitler meets with the commander of the Spanish Blue Division, General Agustín Muñoz Grandes. The division is on its way to the Army Group North sector of the Eastern Front and is marked by its high enthusiasm for the war.

Japanese Military: An attack on Pearl Harbor remains under fierce debate within the Japanese high command. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto shuts down opposition within his own command and gets his men working on the grand project despite their own doubts:
What you recommended was understandable but I have resolved to carry out the Pearl Harbor attack no matter what the cost. So please do your best to develop the plan from now on. I will place all the details of the project in your hands.
Kusaka proceeds to draw up the plans.

Mineichi Koga becomes commander of the China Area Fleet of the Japanese Navy, while Nobutake Kondo becomes commander of the 2nd Fleet.

Captain Chiaki Matsuda becomes the commanding officer of Settsu.

Soviet Military: The prototype of the Bereznyak-Isayev BI-1 was a Soviet short-range rocket-powered interceptor is readied for gliding tests at Khimki, Moscow Oblast, Russia. Boris N. Kudrin will conduct the flight tests. The aircraft suffers from an insufficient rudder and horizontal stabilizer. The engine being developed by Leonid Dushkin is not yet ready.

General Golikov becomes commanding officer of the 10th Reserve Army on or about this date.

General Frank Andrews on the cover of Time magazine, 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
General Frank Andrews on the cover of Time magazine, 1 September 1941.

US Military: The US Army Air Corps places its first production order for 150 Northrop P-61 ("Black Widow") night fighters. The plane has a much better nickname than its performance.

General Marshall makes Walter Bedell Smith the Secretary of the General Staff.

Philippine Army Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur mobilizes the Filipino military. These troops are inducted into US federal service under MacArthur's command. General Marshal resolves to reinforce the Philippines because Hawaii is sufficiently defended.

Australian Military: Major General J. Northcott becomes commander of the 1st Armored Division.

China: The Japanese begin the Second Battle of Changsha by launching attacks across Lake Tun-Ting.  Japanese 11th Army takes charge of the battle. Chinese planes attempt to interdict the offensive.

Frank Pardee passes away on 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
George Pardee, governor of California from 1903-1907, passes away on 1 September 1941.

Holocaust: German Police Battalion 322 (9th Company) executes about 900 Jews near Minsk. Operating near Vilnius, SS Einsatzgruppen leader Karl Jäger records that his troops executed:
1,404 Jewish children, 1,763 Jews, 1,812 Jewesses, 109 mentally sick people, one German woman who was married to a Jew, and one Russian woman.
Jäger records that local Lithuanians assisted with the executions.

Ther Germans order that, beginning on 19 September 1941, all Jews above the age of 6 anywhere under their control must wear a yellow Star of David with the word "Jude" inscribed in black.

French Homefront: An Air France Bloch 220, registration number F-AQNL, experiences engine failure and crashes into a lake while taking off at Bollermont. There are two survivors and 15 deaths.

Ukrainian Ulas Samchuk, the editor of newspaper Vollnyn, writes in an editorial that Jews and Poles “must disappear completely from our cities.”

The German euthanasia program officially ends, a rare case of Adolf Hitler bowing to public pressure. However, it continues in the camps without much notice by the outside world or the German public.

Alfons Bentele, a veteran of the Dachau camp, takes command of the Majdanek concentration camp.

CalShip edition of 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The first bi-monthly issue of CalShip Log, September 1, 1941.

American Homefront: Television station KYW-TV, located in Philadelphia, begins operation. It is the first television broadcasting station outside of New York City.

It is Labor Day in the United States, and President Franklin Roosevelt gives a radio address. He states in part:
American labor now bears a tremendous responsibility in the winning of this most brutal, most terrible of all wars. In our factories and shops and arsenals, we are building weapons on a scale great in its magnitude. To all the battle fronts of this world, these weapons are being dispatched, by day and by night, over the seas and through the air. And this Nation is now devising and developing new weapons of unprecedented power toward the maintenance of democracy ... Our vast effort, and the unity of purpose that inspires that effort are due solely to our recognition of the fact that our fundamental rights - including the rights of labor — are threatened by Hitler's violent attempt to rule the world.
It is quite a warlike speech for a nation supposedly at peace.

Ted Williams on the cover of Life magazine, 1 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Life Magazine, September 1, 1941 - baseball player Ted Williams. Williams is flirting with hitting .400, an extremely rare feat in baseball.

August 1941

August 1, 1941: More Executions on Crete
August 2, 1941: Uman Encirclement Closes
August 3, 1941: Bishop von Galen Denounces Euthanasia
August 4, 1941: Hitler at the Front
August 5, 1941: Soviets Surrender at Smolensk 
August 6, 1941: U-Boats in the Arctic
August 7, 1941: Soviets Bomb Berlin
August 8, 1941: Uman Pocket Captured
August 9, 1941: Atlantic Conference at Placentia Bay
August 10, 1941: Soviet Bombers Mauled Over Berlin
August 11, 1941: Rita Hayworth in Life
August 12, 1941: Atlantic Charter Announced
August 13, 1941: The Soybean Car
August 14, 1941: The Anders Army Formed
August 15, 1941: Himmler at Minsk
August 16, 1941: Stalin's Order No. 270
August 17, 1941: Germans in Novgorod
August 18, 1941: Lili Marleen
August 19, 1941: Convoy OG-71 Destruction
August 20, 1941: Siege of Leningrad Begins
August 21, 1941: Stalin Enraged
August 22, 1941: Germans Take Cherkassy
August 23, 1941: Go to Kiev
August 24, 1941: Finns Surround Viipuri
August 25, 1941: Iran Invaded
August 26, 1941: The Bridge Over the Desna
August 27, 1941: Soviets Evacuate Tallinn
August 28, 1941: Evacuating Soviets Savaged
August 29, 1941: Finns take Viipuri
August 30, 1941: Operation Acid
August 31, 1941: Mannerheim Says No



2018

Thursday, August 9, 2018

August 31, 1941: Mannerheim Says No


Sunday 31 August 1941


Viipuri Victory Parade, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish soldiers at a military parade in Viipuri celebrating its capture, 31 August 1941. They find the city in ruins, with 3807 of 6287 buildings destroyed (SA-Kuva).

Eastern Front: On 31 August 1941, the true nature of the relationship between the Finns and the Germans is starkly revealed without any possibility of misinterpretation. German General W. Erfurth contacts Finnish Field Marshal Mannerheim on behalf of Field Marshal Keitel, head of OKW, and informs Mannerheim that Keitel will be sending a letter coordinating a joint attack on Leningrad. Mannerheim already has decided not to attack Leningrad, and politely replies that he is not interested. However, Erfurth later delivers the letter anyway.

Mannerheim is not acting alone, as the Finnish Social Democrat government led by President Risto Ryti is dead-set against any advances beyond the old border. Ryti and Mannerheim, after receiving Keitel's letter shortly thereafter, collaborate on a negative reply. There will be no Finnish attack on Leningrad (though this is a sensitive topic to Russians who feel the physical evidence in the city of Finnish artillery shelling indicates otherwise).

This is a decisive moment in World War II. The Finnish Army has been the dominant force in the north, outclassing both its Soviet opponents and its German allies. German troops in the forests and swamps have had mixed success and have little hope of advancing further without Finnish military assistance. Finnish refusal to attack Leningrad from the north means that the Soviet can concentrate all of their defensive forces in the south, effectively doubling their effectiveness.

Finnish and Geman collaboration is far from over. The Finns simply have shown their own limits. From now on, though, their status as "co-belligerents" rather than true German "allies" is unmistakable.

Viipuri Victory Parade, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish forces held a victory ceremony in Viipuri/Vyborg Main Square before the statue of Torkel Knutsson, 31 August 1941 (SA-Kuva).

In the Far North sector, Mannerheim orders that Finnish forces attack to the south but stop their advance once they reach a line well short of Leningrad. This line runs from the mouth of the river Rajajoki to Ohta and actually is slightly beyond the old border - which Mannerheim has requested and received permission from the government to do in order to achieve the best defensible positions (Minister of War Lt. General Walden also supports this). Ryti's government demands in exchange for this slight concession that Germany supply 25,000 tons of rye in order to support Finland keeping all of its men at the front (this is a continuing theme in Finnish/German relations throughout the war). Mannerheim leaves the exact line in between those two points unsaid in order to give his troops local flexibility on seizing the most advantageous defensive points (hills, rivers, marshes, etc.).

A quick look at the map shows that Mannerheim's line represents a shortened front between the Baltic and Lake Ladoga while avoiding Soviet fortifications on the outskirts of Leningrad (the 22nd Karelian Fortified Region, or KaUR). Mannerheim's specificity on stopping along a specific line avoids incidents encountered previously in other sectors in which some Finnish troops refused to cross the old border. The troops now are reassured that they are not advancing endlessly into the Soviet Union and thus feel more confident in advancing slightly into the USSR. Finnish 12th Division reaches the town of Kivennapa south of Viipuri on the old border today but continues advancing beyond pursuant to Mannerheim's orders.

Soviet troops are in disarray on the Karelian Isthmus. Having lost Viipuri, they stream back toward Leningrad and prepare to make a stand in the Stalin Line anchored by the KaUR. On the other side of Leningrad, the Germans continue to advance but still do not have a tight line around the city.

Viipuri, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Street scene in Viipuri, 31 August 1941.

In the Army Group North sector, the final Soviet troops evacuate from Tallinn and the Germans complete their capture of the city. The Soviets counterattack at Mga and retake it. The Germans complete the capture of Novgorod north of Lake Ilmen, providing a secure "block" on the eastern flank of Army Group North. Moscow radio announces in its usual vague wording that "the enemy is at the approaches of Leningrad." The Leningrad government puts up posters throughout the city saying "The Enemy is at the Gates." The city is prepared for a siege, with sandbags in store windows and everyone mobilized to help in the defense.

In the Army Group Center sector, General Guderian's Panzer Group 2 and Second Army continue trying to drive south to Kiev against fierce resistance from Soviet Bryansk Front. The Soviets are counterattacking and have stopped the Germans for the moment. Marshal Boris Shaposhnikov reports:
The offensive on Roslavl' by the Reserve Front's 43rd Army is developing successfully. However, the enemy is bringing forces up for an attack from the south. Consequently, it is necessary to speed up the preparations for the 50th Army's offensive and to begin it on 1 September or, in the last resort, on 2 September, in order to assist the 43rd Army's attack and prevent the enemy from concentrating forces against it. The 50th Army must continuously and energetically continue reconnaissance with reinforced battalions along the front.
The German defenders at Yelnya are under extreme pressure but continue holding their positions. Field Marshal von Bock does not have reinforcements at hand due to the diversion of Panzer Group 2 to Kiev.

In the Army Group South sector, the Wehrmacht opens the offensive toward Rostov by building a pontoon bridge over the Dneipr. LII Corps (General of the Kavalrie von Briesen) captures a bridge at Derievka just south of Kremenchug.

Viipuri Victory Parade, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish troops in Viipuri celebrating its capture, 31 August 1941 (SA-Kuva).

European Air Operations: During the day, RAF Bomber Command sends 30 Blenheim bombers against several targets. Twelve bombers attack the Lille power station, while the RAF sends six bombers against each of several targets: Lannion airfield, St-Omer airfield, and Le Trait Shipyards. The weather is poor, so some of the bombers choose other targets that they can see. In addition, three Flying Fortresses bomb Bremen. All of the bombers then return safely.

After dark, RAF Bomber Command attacks Cologne and Essen despite the poor weather. There are 103 bombers (45 Wellingtons, 39 Hampdens, 7 Halifaxes, 6 Manchesters, and 6 Stirlings) over Cologne, with an additional five Manchesters on searchlight-suppression missions. The RAF loses 3 Hampdens, one Manchester, and one Wellington over the city, and another Wellington shot down over England by a Luftwaffe intruder. Accuracy is very poor, and only 68 bombers actually release bombs over the city. There is one death in the city, suggesting that most of the bombers miss it completely.

The night's secondary target is Essen. The 43 Whitleys and 28 Wellingtons sent there lose only one Whitely and accomplish very little due to the cloud cover. Only a handful of people are killed and ten injured.

In addition, the RAF sends 6 Wellingtons over Boulogne and 12 Hampdens on minelaying at Kiel Bay and the Frisian Islands. There is one Wellington lost.

The Luftwaffe attacks Hull after dark. A bomb hits a shelter and causes many casualties. Approximately 200 homes are destroyed and 38 people are killed.

Soviet marines, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Marines (Naval Infantry) of the Baltic Fleet, 31 August 1941.

Battle of the Baltic: The German 5th R-Boat Flotilla lays 32 mines between German minefield Juminda and Finnish minefield Valkjarvi during the night. This was the scene of over 20 Soviet ships hitting mines and sinking recently during the evacuation of Tallinn.

A total of 164 Soviet vessels reach Kronstadt out of roughly 200 that participate in the Tallinn evacuation - the rest are at the bottom of the Baltic. The four convoys carry 28,000 troops and civilian evacuees - many thousands either drowned or were rescued along the way. The convoy escorts now change missions and provide shore bombardment in support of ground troops defending Leningrad.

Viipuri Victory Parade, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish troops in Viipuri celebrating its capture, 31 August 1941 (SA-Kuva).

Battle of the Atlantic
: This is one of the few days of this stage of World War II when no ships are reported sunk for any reasons in the Atlantic.

The ships of Operation Dervish, the first British convoy to the Soviet Union, reach Archangel. It includes six freighters an oiler escorted by aircraft carrier HMS Victorious, heavy cruisers Devonshire and Suffolk, and several destroyers. Four Soviet destroyers greet the convoy at sea and guide it in.

For the month of August 1941, total Allied shipping losses edge up slightly, from 109,276 tons in July to 125,550 tons in August. Imports to - which now include the Soviet Union for the first time - edge up as well, from 3,765,724 tons to 4,002,450 tons. Allied losses to U-boats are down from 94,209 tons to 80,310 tons, but that is counterbalanced by increased losses to the Luftwaffe (from 9275 tons to 23,862 tons). Losses to mines fall from 8583 tons to 1400 tons, which is the lowest point of the war and also the lowest until August 1942.

The Allies lose 36 ships of 103,452 tons in the Atlantic and 5 ships of 27,247 tons in the Mediterranean. The Axis (primarily Italy) loses 11 ships of 52,538 tons in the Mediterranean, most on the vital convoy route from Naples to Tripoli which the Royal Navy knows all about and where it maintains patrols. RAF bombers based on Malta also are becoming more effective against Axis shipping. The Kriegsmarine loses four U-boats (which includes U-570, which is captured and the crew made prisoners of war) but has a new high of 65 available in the Atlantic.

Viipuri Victory Parade, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish troops at Viipuri celebrating its capture, 31 August 1941 (SA-Kuva).

Battle of the Mediterranean: The Luftwaffe attacks Alexandria shortly before midnight. There are two deaths of Royal Navy officers and an officer is wounded, along with numerous other casualties. Damage to the port itself and shipping is minimal.

An Italian convoy of three large liners (Neptunia, Oceania, and Victoria) being used as transports, escorted by six destroyers, departs from Tripoli bound for Taranto. Royal Navy submarine HMS Upholder (Lt Cdr Wanklyn) attacks the convoy but misses. Another Italian convoy of five freighters and a mine-ship also departs from Tripoli bound for Naples.

Dutch submarine O.21 spots an Italian submarine in the Tyrrhenian Sea and makes an unsuccessful attack.

Nine Wellington bombers based on Malta attack Tripoli, damaging buildings.

During the month of August, Royal Navy submarines based on Malta sink six ships totaling 50,000 tons, 1 Italian cruiser (Bolzano), and damage 4971-ton freighter Aquitania and perhaps a destroyer.

Battle of the Black Sea: Soviet submarine M-34 spots 4958-ton Italian tanker Tampico off Varna, Bulgaria. It attacks but misses.

The Germans sink several Soviet river warships on the Dneipr:

  • Several Soviet ships are lost in the Dneipr River today:
  • Zhitomar-class river monitor Bobruysk (hit by artillery and scuttled)
  • Auxiliary river guard ship SK-4 Tekrik
  • Trudovoy-class river gunboat Trudovoy (runs aground, is towed off, then hit by panzer tank fire and sunk)

The Soviets are learning through hard experience that river gunboats are no match for shore-based panzers and artillery.

Sighting guns on a Bf-109, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German crew sighting the 20mm cannon on a Bf 109F fighter of JG 54 "Greenhearts" (Grünherz) fighter wing, near Leningrad, Russia, August 1941 (Reiners, Federal Archive, Bild 101I-390-1220-19), 

Partisans: At 07:00, the Jadar Chetnik unit attacks Loznica. The Chetniks take many 18 killed and 93 casualties in total, including leader Lieutenant Colonel Veselin Misita, who is killed. Many Germans surrender (93), and the Chetniks take Loznica. The victors treat the captured Wehrmacht troops humanely, which is not always the case in this region. Those Germans who can get away flee to Banja Koviljača.

While the Chetniks are attacking Loznica, the 25-strong Cer Chetnik Detachment under the command of a regular artillery officer, Captain First Class Dragoslav Račić, attacks the village of Bogatić. This attack does not go as well as the attack on Loznica, as the Germans have reinforcements nearby. The Račić group continues the attack through the day and holds its position through the night.

The subtext behind these two attacks reveals much about the state of the partisan movement in Yugoslavia. The joint attacks take place despite the prohibition by Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović against attacks until there is a popular uprising. Thus, these attacks represent a splintering of the opposition forces in Yugoslavia.

Special Forces: Canadian forces remain in possession of Spitzbergen. Norwegian radio operators on the island continue feeding the Germans on the mainland false information about bad weather, keeping the Luftwaffe at bay. The native Norwegians on the island prepare to be evacuated to England.

Soviet and British troops meeting in Qazvin, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Soviet and British troops meeting in Qazvin, Iran, on or about 31 August 1941.

Iran Invasion: With a ceasefire in effect, fighting is negligible today. The British eye occupying the "open city" of Kermanshah, while the Soviets also continue expanding their presence within their agreed northern zone of influence. Soviet and British troops meet in Qazvin (Kazvin) at Avej Pass. This basically halts the Soviet advance as both sides watch the diplomats try to arrange a final settlement.

The outcome of the campaign is a foregone conclusion, but the Allies want to convert Iran into an ally, not just subdue it. Iran represents a possible supply line (the "Persian Corridor") from the Western Allies to the USSR, and the less opposition within the country to that idea, the better. The stumbling block is Reza Shah Pahlavi, who wishes to protect German, Italian, Hungarian, and Romanian nationals and give them an opportunity to escape. The Allies, of course, want to intern them. The Iranian government, led by new Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Foroughi, doesn't care about protecting Axis nationals and simply wants the war over, so it is an unstable situation in which either someone gives in - or goes.

Finnish troops with captured Soviet gun, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Finnish anti-tank gun crew poses next to a captured Soviet gun, August 1941.

Cuban/Italian Relations: Cuban authorities seize 5441-ton Italian freighter Recca at Havana and rename it Libertad.

British/Australian Relations: Prime Minister Winston Churchill informs new Australian PM Arthur Fadden that he intends to create a new Far East fleet built around capital ships. These ships would be based in Singapore.

British Military: British women serve in a combat role for the first time when a mixed-gender anti-aircraft battery is formed in Richmond Park, London. There are 200 women and 200 men.

Japanese Military: The Imperial Japanese Navy completes the conversion of Kasuga Maru into an escort carrier named Taiyo at Sasebo, Japan.

Holocaust: At Vilnia, the German SS take 3700 Jews (some sources say 1600), including 2019 women and 817 children, out to Ponar and execute them. This ostensibly is in retaliation for a partisan ambush of a German patrol.

Swiss Homefront: Rationing of cheese is introduced.

American Homefront: Radio show "The Great Gildersleeve" debuts on the NBC Red Network. It airs every Sunday at 18:30 EST. Harold Peary plays Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve, a character that originated on "Fibber McGee and Molly. This is an early example of a spinoff program. Peary also stars in the film adaptation of the sitcom.

Harold Peary as Gildersleeve, 31 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Harold Peary as Gildersleeve.


August 1941

August 1, 1941: More Executions on Crete
August 2, 1941: Uman Encirclement Closes
August 3, 1941: Bishop von Galen Denounces Euthanasia
August 4, 1941: Hitler at the Front
August 5, 1941: Soviets Surrender at Smolensk 
August 6, 1941: U-Boats in the Arctic
August 7, 1941: Soviets Bomb Berlin
August 8, 1941: Uman Pocket Captured
August 9, 1941: Atlantic Conference at Placentia Bay
August 10, 1941: Soviet Bombers Mauled Over Berlin
August 11, 1941: Rita Hayworth in Life
August 12, 1941: Atlantic Charter Announced
August 13, 1941: The Soybean Car
August 14, 1941: The Anders Army Formed
August 15, 1941: Himmler at Minsk
August 16, 1941: Stalin's Order No. 270
August 17, 1941: Germans in Novgorod
August 18, 1941: Lili Marleen
August 19, 1941: Convoy OG-71 Destruction
August 20, 1941: Siege of Leningrad Begins
August 21, 1941: Stalin Enraged
August 22, 1941: Germans Take Cherkassy
August 23, 1941: Go to Kiev
August 24, 1941: Finns Surround Viipuri
August 25, 1941: Iran Invaded
August 26, 1941: The Bridge Over the Desna
August 27, 1941: Soviets Evacuate Tallinn
August 28, 1941: Evacuating Soviets Savaged
August 29, 1941: Finns take Viipuri
August 30, 1941: Operation Acid
August 31, 1941: Mannerheim Says No



2018

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

August 30, 1941: Operation Acid


Saturday 30 August 1941

Hitler and Mussolini and Goering, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Adolf Hitler with Benito Mussolini (left), Hermann Goering, and Field Marshall Keitel during a visit to the headquarters of Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch, 30 August 1941.

Eastern Front: In the Far North sector on 30 August 1941, Finnish troops on the Karelian Isthmus are approaching the old border and capture Raivola. Finnish IV Corps is in the west, II Corps in the center, and I Corps on the eastern side. Marshal Mannerheim issues an order to the three Corps to stop short of the old Soviet fortifications on the other side of the border. The Germans have no say in this and apparently are not even informed. In fact, the Germans still think that the Finns will mount a major assault on Leningrad from the north - which Mannerheim already has decided against.

In the Army Group North sector, the Germans take Mga, about 20 miles southeast of Leningrad. This cuts the last rail link to Leningrad and puts the Wehrmacht in a good position to take Schlusselburg and cut the last road into the city as well.

In the Army Group Center sector, the Soviets resume their counteroffensive against the Wehrmacht's "lightning rod" position at Yelnya. This is resumed in conjunction with other attacks by Western Front and Bryansk Front (General Andrey Eremenko) and thus constitutes the first coordinated Soviet offensive. The German German front holds, but the Soviet troops make an advance of about 10 km on the south flank that threatens encirclement. Field Marshal von Bock has to send 10th Panzer Division (Lt Gen F. Schaal) and an infantry division to prevent a breakthrough.

In the Army Group South sector, Romanian 4th Army resumes its attack on Odessa after blunting a Soviet counterattack on the 29th. However, the Soviet defenders are fighting with desperation, and even retake Kubanka (site of the Romanian artillery) before being driven back before dark. The Germans are displeased with the Romanian tactics, which have no subtlety and resemble the trench warfare of World War I and massive casualties resulting from frontal attacks - but that is exactly the kind of battle the Soviets want.

General Guderian continues trying to break through the Soviet line north of Kiev but faces fierce resistance. The German plan is for Guderian to form an encirclement with Panzer Group 2 (Gen von Kleist) to trap the 850,000 Soviet troops defending Kiev under General Kirponos and Marshal Budenny. German 2nd Army, pushing south to the west of Guderian's troops, approaches Chernigov.

Hitler and Mussolini, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini acknowledge the salutes of the troops at Field Marshal von Brauchitsch's headquarters, 30 August 1941.

European Air Operations: The RAF sends six Blenheim bombers on a Channel sweep during the day, but they are recalled without loss.

After dark, RAF Bomber Command sends 5 Wellingtons and a Stirling to attack Cherbourg docks and two on minelaying off Warnemunde. There are no losses in either mission.

One of the few Luftwaffe lone raiders attacking England hits a balloon cable over the Humber Estuary. The damage causes it to crash into the North Sea. The crew is rescued by a German ship on 4 September.

Voroshilov Regiment, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Soviet soldiers of the Voroshilov Regiment in training, Moscow, 30 August 1941.

Battle of the Baltic: Now that the convoys from Tallinn are safely at Kronstadt (more or less), the Soviet Baltic Fleet provides gunfire support to the Leningrad Front. The force is organized into three groups:
  • Group 1 (three destroyers and three gunboats) operating in the Neva River to support Soviet 42nd and 55th Armies south of Leningrad
  • Group 2 (two cruisers, destroyer leader Leningrad, five destroyers, and one minelayer) supporting troops east of Leningrad
  • Group 3 (two battleships, cruiser Kirov (recently damaged), a destroyer leader, four destroyers, two additional damaged destroyers, and a gunboat) supporting troops defending the Kronstadt naval base on Kotlin Island.

Soviet 3974-ton transport VT-505/Ivan Pananin runs aground on Suusaari (Hogland Island). There it offers a tempting target for Luftwaffe bombers, which destroy it.

German shore artillery shells and sinks Soviet MO-4-class patrol boat MO-202.

Soviet MO-2-class patrol boats No. 173 and 174 are lost today, perhaps due to German shore-based artillery as well.

After dark, the German 5th R-Boat Flotilla lays 32 mines between minefield Juminda and Finnish minefield Valkjarvi.

Sheltering a child from artillery in Russia, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Russian woman tries to shelter her baby while Axis forces shell the small village of Krasnaya Sloboda. August 30th, 1941.

Battle of the Atlantic: Off of the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway, Royal Navy submarine HMS Trident (Cdr Sladen) comes upon a convoy of German freighters and goes to work. He torpedoes and sinks:
  • 2931-ton freighter Donau II
  • 8561-ton freighter Bahia Laura 
There are 700+ German soldier deaths and 1289 survivors taken aboard multiple other ships in the convoy. The troops were destined for Mountain Corps Norway.

Operation Strength, a Royal Navy delivery of 24 Hurricanes to the Soviet Air Force at Vaenga by HMS Argus, begins. Argus, escorted by heavy cruiser Shropshire and destroyers, departs from Scapa Flow bound for Seidisfjord.

Convoy Dervish, the first supply convoy to the Soviet Union, arrives at Spitsbergen. There it refuels before proceeding on to Archangel.

Convoy WS-11 (Winston Special) departs from Liverpool bound (eventually) for Colombo and Singapore, where it arrives on 6 November. Convoy ON-11 departs from Liverpool, Convoy SC-42 (65 ships) departs from Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia bound for Liverpool.

US Navy battleship USS New Mexico leads Task Group TG1.1.2 out of Hvalfjord, Iceland to patrol the Denmark Strait. This is due to a report of a suspicious vessel (presumed to be a German Hipper-class cruiser) between there and Bermuda by US Coast Guard cutter Alexander Hamilton. The thinking is that it is a German ship returning from a raiding expedition which will seek to use the Denmark Strait to return to Norway. What exactly the Task Group would do if it spotted such a ship is a bit unclear - typically, they are just supposed to notify the Royal Navy, but that is a lot of firepower available just to use the radio.

A German blockade runner, 8306-ton tanker Benno (formerly Norwegian Ole Jacob), departs from Bordeaux, France bound for Kobe, Japan.

Royal Navy sloop HMS Ibis (Lt. Commander Henry M. Darell-Brown) is commissioned and sloop Cygnet is laid down.

Canadian minesweeper HMCS Quinte is commissioned.

U-136 (Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Zimmermann), U-213 (Oberleutnant zur See Amelung von Varendorff), and U-435 (Kapitänleutnant Siegfried Strelow) are commissioned, U-253 is launched, and U-305 is laid down.

Clark Gable, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Clark Gable, Movie-radio Guide Magazine [United States] (30 August 1941). Gable would be in uniform and flying bomber missions within two years.

Battle of the Mediterranean: Royal Navy submarine HMS Unbeaten (Lt Woodward) uses its deck gun to sink 373-ton Italian auxiliary patrol boat V.51/Alfa off Augusta, Sicily.

RAF Swordfish based on Malta of No. 830 Squadron torpedo and sink 861-ton Italian freighter Egadi about 30 miles northeast of Lampedusa.

The RAF attacks Tripoli with 9 Wellington bombers and they sink:

  • 6630-ton Italian freighter RIV
  • 395-ton Italian freighter Neptunus
  • 367-ton Italian freighter Giuseppina V
  • 393-ton Italian freighter Fiametta

Royal Navy submarine Talisman torpedoes and damages Italian auxiliary patrol boats San Michele and Tenacemente about three miles north of Benghazi.

Australian minesweeper HMAS Ballarat (Lt. Alfred D. Barling) is commissioned.

Australian Women's Weekly, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The Australian Women's Weekly, 30 August 1941.

Special Operations: After dark, Operation Acid, a British Commando raid, begins. No. 5 Commando sends two separate teams, each composed of one officer and 14 soldiers, to separate beaches in the Pas-de-Calais, France (Hardelot and Merlimont). The Commandos perform reconnaissance and try to capture a German sentry. However, the Commandos do not encounter any Germans and leave after 30 minutes.

Operation Gauntlet, the Royal Navy raid on Spitzbergen, continues without any interference from the Germans. The Norwegian operators of the radio station keep the Luftwaffe away by sending false reports of heavy fog to the mainland, and the Canadians quickly capture any ships that appear. Overall, the raid is a resounding success, and the Canadian troops continue destroying mining equipment and rendering the island useless to the Germans.

Iran Invasion: With a ceasefire in effect while the opposing parties dicker over terms of an armistice, the Soviets occupy the "open city" of Qazvin. This is 94 miles (151 km) from Tehran. The Soviets also take the "non-open" city of Hamadan after some light bombing that kills a small child.

The Soviet troops remain on the move throughout the day, while the British are content to stop and allow negotiations to play out. The Soviets and British have agreed beforehand to occupy their respective spheres of influence contained in a 1908 agreement, so there is little point to being aggressive at this point - as long as the British and Soviets trust each other. Elements of Indian 10th Infantry Division enter Kermanshah.

Soviet and British troops meet at Sinneh.

Parade for Queen Wilhelmina on Aruba, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Parade for Queen Wilhelmina's birthday on Aruba by the 4th Cameron Highlanders, 30 August 1941 (Ingleby Jefferson).

Italian/Japanese Relations: Italy has learned through press reports of Ambassador Nomura's meeting with President Roosevelt on the 29th, so Italian Ambassador to the US Don Ascanio dei principi Colonna meets with Ambassador Nomura. Nomura tries to fob him off with generalities about the meeting, but Colonna is not satisfied. Nomura then adds that Japan would continue to abide by the Tripartite Pact, but was simply trying to avoid war in the Pacific. Nomura later, however, cables Tokyo and states that he successfully maintained secrecy about the true nature of Prince Konoye's note to President Roosevelt, including the proposed summit meeting.

German/Japanese Relations: Tokyo sends a message to Berlin stating that Ambassador Nomura had simply carried on informal discussions with Secretary Hull and then submitted a note to President Roosevelt whose contents had been revealed to the world press. However, the statements by Japan and the US did not reveal the true contents of Prince Konoye's message to Roosevelt, so this remains a secret from Japan's allies.

German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop asks his Japanese counterpart, Soemu Toyoda, if the Japanese would be willing to attack the Soviet port of Vladivostok. The Japanese already have decided against this, but Toyoda responds that Japan indeed is preparing for such an attack but just needs a little more time.

New York Times, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Dictators in 5-Day Parley Form Plans to Counter Our Aid in East and West," New York Times, 30 August 1941.

German/Romanian Relations: The Germans and Romanians reach agreements on Romanian administration of Transnistria - which would include Odessa.

British/Soviet Relations: Joseph Stalin receives a message from Winston Churchill which is very fulsome and promises continued aid. Specifically, Churchill promises that two RAF squadrons of 40 aircraft will arrive at Murmansk by 6 September along with 200 P-40 Tomahawk fighters, and perhaps 200 more Hurricanes later for a total of 440 fighters. Churchill, unaware of the furious US/Japanese negotiations in progress, also notes that President Roosevelt "seems disposed... to take a strong line against further Japanese aggression."

F4F Wildcat, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Grumman XF4F-4 BuNo 1897 (F4F Wildcat), 30 August 1941. These served with the RAF and were called "Martlets." The first Martlets with folding wings ("Sto-Wing folding system") were delivered as Market Mk IIs in August 1941. (US Air Force).

Japanese Military: The Imperial Japanese Navy requisitions 6353-ton freighter Kogyo Maru for conversion into an ammunition ship.

Requisitioned 10,439-ton Hokoku Maru begins its conversion into an armed merchant cruiser with the installation of four 6-inch (152-mm) guns and other equipment.

American Homefront: "Dive Bomber," directed by Michael Curtiz ("Casablanca") and starring Errol Flynn and Fred MacMurray, is released by Warner Bros. It is a technicolor war drama that contains a lot of footage of US aircraft and aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. The US Department of the Navy gives its full cooperation and requests that it be made and released as soon as possible for recruiting purposes. The new SBD Dauntless dive bomber is featured. Filming takes place at Eglin Field, Florida, North Field at NAS San Diego and Naval Station San Diego, California. "Dive Bomber" becomes the sixth most popular film of 1941 and Warner Bros.' top earner for the year.

"Green Eyes" (Aquellos Ojos Verdes) by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra with Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell hits No. 1 on the Billboard chart. It is Jimmy Dorsey's fourth Number One hit of 1941 - and not his last, either.

The New Yorker, 30 August 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The New Yorker, 30 August 1941 (cover by Garrett Price).

August 1941

August 1, 1941: More Executions on Crete
August 2, 1941: Uman Encirclement Closes
August 3, 1941: Bishop von Galen Denounces Euthanasia
August 4, 1941: Hitler at the Front
August 5, 1941: Soviets Surrender at Smolensk 
August 6, 1941: U-Boats in the Arctic
August 7, 1941: Soviets Bomb Berlin
August 8, 1941: Uman Pocket Captured
August 9, 1941: Atlantic Conference at Placentia Bay
August 10, 1941: Soviet Bombers Mauled Over Berlin
August 11, 1941: Rita Hayworth in Life
August 12, 1941: Atlantic Charter Announced
August 13, 1941: The Soybean Car
August 14, 1941: The Anders Army Formed
August 15, 1941: Himmler at Minsk
August 16, 1941: Stalin's Order No. 270
August 17, 1941: Germans in Novgorod
August 18, 1941: Lili Marleen
August 19, 1941: Convoy OG-71 Destruction
August 20, 1941: Siege of Leningrad Begins
August 21, 1941: Stalin Enraged
August 22, 1941: Germans Take Cherkassy
August 23, 1941: Go to Kiev
August 24, 1941: Finns Surround Viipuri
August 25, 1941: Iran Invaded
August 26, 1941: The Bridge Over the Desna
August 27, 1941: Soviets Evacuate Tallinn
August 28, 1941: Evacuating Soviets Savaged
August 29, 1941: Finns take Viipuri
August 30, 1941: Operation Acid
August 31, 1941: Mannerheim Says No



2018