Monday, April 30, 2018

July 17, 1941: Heydrich Orders Mass Executions


Thursday 17 July 1941

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Deportation of Jewish women ("repatriated" according to the original caption) in captured Russian territory. Note the Romanian guard on the right. 17 July 1941 (Federal Archives, B 145 Bild-F016206-0003).

Eastern Front: The biggest news on the Eastern Front on 17 July 1941 is the successful German encirclement of large numbers of Soviet forces (elements of 20 divisions) at Uman. About 300,000 Soviet troops are captured. Subduing this large number of combatants is a very successful achievement of the Wehrmacht, but it also proves to be a major distraction during the advance eastward.

In the Far North sector, Finnish General Talvela continues pushing his VI Corps forces into Karelia along the east coast of Lake Ladoga. The Soviet respond by sending reinforcements to the threatened area. On the west coast of the lake, Soviet defenses have been giving Finnish VII Corps more trouble, but today the Finns finally reach the Jänisjoki River. They have surrounded Soviet formations, just as they did during the Winter War, and now spend some time subduing them.

In the Army Group North sector, Soviet 11th Army and 27th Army counterattack the Germans and slow them down.

In the Army Group Center sector, the German forces continue battling Soviet troops in the suburbs of Smolensk (they already control the center). The German Panzer Groups 2 and 3 have virtually surrounded the city (their pincers are still dozens of miles apart), but they do not have the infantry in place to seal a perimeter. Thus, Soviet troops continue to retreat through German lines and through the gap. General Hoth's Panzer Group 3 attacks in the direction of Velikiye Luki.

In the Army Group South sector, German XI Army Corps (Infantry General (General der Infanterie) Joachim von Kortzfleisch) crosses the Dneipr River. Romanian Third Army crosses the Dneister River, and Romanian Fourth Army continues heading toward Odessa. The Germans complete an encirclement at Uman, trapping roughly 300,000 Soviet troops.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Oberleutnant Hans Kolbow is shot down on 17 July 1941.

Oberleutnant Hans Kolbow, Staffelkapitän 6./JG 51, is shot down by Soviet Flak south of Stara Bychow. He manages to exit the aircraft, but his parachute does not have time to open and he perishes. He has 27 victories, 13 on the Western Front. He will win the Ritterkreuz posthumously on 27 July.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German soldiers across the Dniester River, examining a Soviet bunker, 17 July 1941 (Federal Archive, B 145 Bild-F016206-0039A).

European Air Operations: During the day, RAF Fighter Command sends a Roadstead mission to Boulogne and a Rhubarb mission to Dunkirk.

After dark, RAF Bomber Command raids Cologne with 50 Wellingtons and 25 Hampdens. All of the planes return safely. Cologne authorities report no casualties and no serious injuries. A diversionary raid is sent against Rotterdam, but the weather is poor and the five bombers fail to find the target. On the way back, the Luftwaffe shoots one down.

After dark, the Luftwaffe raids Hull, Yorkshire. It is a successful raid, killing 111 and wounding 108 people. In addition, there are 180 fires that make 3500 people homeless.

RAF ace James Lacey shoots down a Luftwaffe He 59 seaplane. The Luftwaffe uses the planes for rescue operations, but due to various "incidents" during the Battle of Britain flowing from British Air Ministry Bulletin 1254 making them fair targets, the Germans now fly them armed and camouflaged, usually with fighter escort.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German soldiers and a Panzer III. 17 July 1941.

Battle of the Atlantic: Italian submarine Malaspina torpedoes and sinks 402-ton British freighter Guelma a few hundred miles north of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Everyone survives.

Royal Navy submarine HMS Thrasher badly damages 129-ton French fishing trawler Virgo Fidelis off San Sebastian. The master runs the trawler aground to prevent sinking, but it is a total loss.

British 198-ton fishing trawler Ben Glamair sinks near Dunstanburgh from unknown causes, perhaps a mine.

British 91-ton drifter Fertile Valley collides with another ship in the River Tay and sinks.

The Luftwaffe bombs and damages 481-ton British freighter Emerald Queen off Saltburn-by-the-Sea. It is towed to Hartlepool.

Convoy OB-348 departs from Liverpool bound for Halifax.

Royal Navy corvette HMS Narcissus (Lt. William G. H. Bolton) is commissioned.

US Navy destroyer USS Ingraham (William M. Haynsworth, Jr.) is commissioned.

U-579 (Kapitänleutnant Dietrich Lohmann) is commissioned, U-449 is laid down, U-487, U-488, U-489, and U-490 are ordered.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German and Romanian troops and tanks (Panzer 35(t)) entering into Chișinău (Bessarabia), 17 July 1941.

Battle of the Mediterranean: The Twin Pimples raid begins at Tobruk. This is a Commando raid to take two hills held by Italian troops that dominate a section of the Tobruk perimeter. Three officers and forty men of No. 8 Commando leave Allied lines and infiltrate Italian lines undetected at 23:00. They remain under cover until the early morning hours of 18 July.

Dutch submarine O-23 submarine torpedoes and damages 5479-ton Italian freighter Maddalena Odero south of Lampione (Lampedusa), Italy. The Maddalena Odero was en route from Naples to Tripoli with munitions. The ship's master beaches the ship at Cala Croce on Lampedusa to prevent it from sinking, but after subsequent RAF attacks, it is a total write-off. Dutch sources place this attack on 17 August 1941 and not 17 July, and the August date does seem to be the correct one, but it is placed here just in case and for those brought here by the apparently incorrect date.

The Luftwaffe (Junkers Ju 87 aircraft of Lehrgeschwader 1) bombs and badly damages Royal Navy landing craft tank HMS LCT 10 off Sidi Barani. It is taken under tow, but sinks.

RAF No. 830 Squadron based on Malta raids Tripoli and damages 6212-ton Italian tanker Panuco. Unable to unload its cargo due to damage, it heads back to Palermo, then Naples for repairs.

The Luftwaffe raids Tobruk.

At Malta, there is a minor bombing raid before dawn on Fort St. Angelo. Around 11:30, an air battle surrounding an Italian reconnaissance SM-79 leads to two Italian Macchi 200 fighter losses and one Hawker Hurricane loss.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Soldiers beside a Panzer III in Finland/Karelia, 17 July 1941 (SA-Kuva).

Battle of the Pacific: Soviet submarine M-63 hits a mine and sinks off Vladivostock. This is a "friendly" minefield.

Partisans: The uprising in Montenegro continues. Captain Pavle Đurišić leads a successful attack of communist insurgents on Berane. The Italians, caught by surprise, continue assembling forces for a counterattack.

Spy Stuff: The Italian Navy, Regia Marina, introduces a new cipher that for the time being leaves the British Ultra cryptographers at Bletchley Park baffled.

POWs: The Orthodox Bishop of Dresden visits the Oflag IV-C prisoners of war camp at Colditz Castle.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Mrs A E Lawrence talking to a sailor on board the ship where she is working. Mrs Lawrence has five sons, one of them is a fitter. Her husband is serving in the Navy." July 1941. © IWM (A 4510).

Spanish/German Relations: The volunteer Blue Division entrains for the Reich, following their commander, Munos Grandes. There are 18,694 men, and 70% of them are from the regular army. Most of the remainder are veterans of the Spanish Civil War, looking for a new battlefront. The entire cadet corps of Spain's leading military academy is on the trains, along with 3,000 students from the University of Madrid. The men arrive in Grafenwöhr, Bavaria to train, receiving German uniforms (save for the Falangist dark blue shirts which give the division its name).

The Wehrmacht plans to deploy the unit, categorized as the 250th Infantry Division, in the Army Group North sector. It is an irreverent lot, with men of all ranks disdaining military protocol, but the Spaniards have excellent morale and believe themselves unbeatable.

US/Japanese Relations: US President Franklin Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull meet with Japanese Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura in Washington DC. They discuss ways to resolve conflicts in the Pacific.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Lieutenant General Walter Keiner.

German Military: General Heinz Guderian receives the 24th Oakleaves as Generaloberst and commander of 2nd Panzer Group. His troops have been the spearhead of the entire Wehrmacht toward Moscow, having taken Minsk and Smolensk, and he is at the height of his success on the battlefield.

General Wilhelm Keitel's son Hans-Georg Keitel is mortally wounded on the Eastern Front by a Red Air Force attack. He perishes in a field hospital on 18 July.

General der Flieger Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, commander of VIII Fliegerkorps, receives the 26th Eichenlaub.

Lieutenant General Walter Keiner receives the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross as Generalleutnant and commander of 62. Infanterie-Division.

Italian Military: General Giovanni Meese takes command of the Italian expeditionary force in the Soviet Union.

Japanese Military: General Tomoyuki Yamashita takes command of Kwantung Defense Army in Manchuria.
 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
From left to right: Admiral King, Secretary Knox, Admiral Stark, and Rear Admiral Turner. They are at the White House looking a bit odd in civilian clothes for a meeting with President Roosevelt (Acme Photo from McKane archives.).

US Military: Admiral Ernest J. King, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Admiral Harold R. Stark, and Rear Admiral R. Kelly Turner visit the White House for an "extraordinary White House conference" with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They are there to discuss military preparations.

German Government: Alfred Rosenberg officially takes over as the person in charge of exploiting newly captured lands in the East. From the Nuremberg judgment against Rosenberg:
With his appointment as Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories on 17th July, 1941, Rosenberg became the supreme authority for those areas. He helped to formulate the policies of Germanisation, exploitation, forced labour, extermination of Jews and opponents of Nazi rule, and he set up the administration which carried them out.
Hitler, in his 16 July meeting with Rosenberg (and others), made clear that he expected ruthless exploitation. Rosenberg complies.

US Government: President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 2497, which imposes sanctions on 1800 Latin American firms doing business with Germany and/or Italy.

Soviet Government: The Soviet 3rd NKO Directorate is merged back into the NKVD. It becomes the NKVD's Special Departments Director (UOO). Viktor Abakumov is named UOO's chief and Solomon Milshtein his deputy.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Soviet POWs at a field kitchen at Vitebsk, 17 July 1941 (Hermann, Federal Archive, Bild 146-2004-0151).

Spain: On the fifth anniversary of the "National Uprising" (Alzamiento Nacional), Francisco Franco gives a speech to his fascist party's National Council in Madrid. It is perhaps his most bellicose speech of World War II, and it surprises a lot of people, including his own Foreign Minister (and brother-in-law), Serrano Suner.

Everybody in the diplomatic corps is present for the afternoon speech, including the United States ambassador, Alexander W. Weddell. Franco makes clear his belief that the Reich is on the march to victory, accuses the British of maintaining an "inhuman blockade of a continent," excoriates the U.S. for not selling food to Spain (a claim of dubious truthfulness), and warns the United States of getting involved in the European conflict:
No one is more authorized than ourselves to say that Europe has no ambition in America. A contest between the two continents is an impossible thing. It would mean only a long war at sea without results; fabulous business for a few and unsuspected miseries for many; prodigious losses of ships and goods; a war of submarines and high-speed vessels striking blows at the hitherto peaceful commerce of the world.
He then goes further and adds that "the American coasts are in danger from the attacks of the European powers." He concludes:
The war was badly planned and the Allies have lost it... What is proposed is a new between the continents which by prolonging their agony will give them an appearance of life and in the face of this we who love America feel the anxiety of the moment and pray that the evil of which we have a foreboding may not reach them.
Exactly what Franco intends to accomplish with this speech is unclear. However, he gives no indication that he is about to declare war on anybody, and thus, in light of the pro-German tone of the speech, it can be viewed as a continuation of his strategy of placating Hitler while keeping his own distance from the war itself.


 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Jewish women being deported in occupied Russia, 17 July 1941 (Federal Archive, B 145 Bild-F016206-0004).

Holocaust: Reinhard Heydrich issues guidelines for prisoner-of-war camps. He orders the SS "Einsatzkommandos of the Security Police and the Security Service" to exterminate entire classes of Soviet people:
This includes all important Party and State functionaries and especially so-called professional revolutionaries, all People's Commissioners of the Red Army, leading personalities of the state, all members of Russian intelligence services, and all Jews and other people who are known to be agitators or fanatical communists.
Heydrich is not acting alone; he has coordinated his guidelines with General Keitel's OKW, which previously issued orders absolving German soldiers from war crimes on the Eastern Front and mandating the execution of commissars. However, this order goes further, as he states that "all Jews" in the POW camps are to be separated out and executed.

The actual impact of this order is debatable because there is ample evidence that large-scale liquidations of these groups already have been in progress throughout Operation Barbarossa. However, if there is one single order that energizes and encapsulates the Reich's killing machine against "politically intolerant elements," this is it. Previous extermination orders have been only verbal or vague about the treatment of Jews, but this order puts in writing with the full backing of the Reich government the practice of not only abusing Jews but exterminating all male Jews of military service age. It is but a short step from this order to the extermination camps.

At Vilnius, the Einsatzkommando 9 (EK 9, a sub-group of Einsatzgruppe B) continues its liquidations of Jews. It has been shooting about 500 Jews a day int he Panefiai Forest. These will continue for the next two days, and the total number of Jewish men shot will total about 5,000. A unit of EK 9 also is in the process of shooting 527 Jewish men in the Belorussian town of Ashmiany.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Wendell Willkie at a "Beat Hitler" rally, 17 July 1941.

American Homefront: New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio fails to get a hit in a 4-3 win at Cleveland's Memorial Stadium before a crowd of 67,468 people, going 0-3. Cleveland third baseman Ken Keltner makes a great play, backhanding a sharply hit ball and throwing DiMaggio out in the first inning. DiMaggio has no other good hits in the game, and this ends DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak which began on 15 May. DiMaggio does, however, get a walk and continues his on-base streak, which eventually reaches 74 consecutive games and also sets a record (eclipsed by Ted Williams' 84-game on-base streak in 1949).

Among other little-known facts about DiMaggio's streak is that, after this streak-ending game, DiMaggio immediately embarks upon another 17-game hitting streak. During his 56-game streak, DiMaggio batted .408 with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in, with the Yankees going 41-13-2 during the streak. For the season DiMaggio is batting .375 before the streak ends, but he trails Boston Red Sox center fielder Ted Williams, who is lurking near .400. Also during the streak, the Yankees went from 5 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Browns to 1st place by 6 games in the American League.

Oh, and one last fact about the streak: the way that it ended cost DiMaggio $10,000. This is because the Heinz Corporation had promised that amount to DiMaggio if he got to 57 games so that he could endorse their Heinz 57 products. However, if you count the 1941 All-Star game held at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, where DiMaggio went 1-4, he actually did hit in 57 consecutive games.

Virginia Woolf's "Between the Acts" is published posthumously. Woolf drowned herself on 28 March 1941 shortly after finishing the novel.

 17 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Joe DiMaggio makes zeroes with his fingers to signify the end of his epic hitting streak, 17 July 1941.

July 1941

July 1, 1941: US TV Broadcasting Starts
July 2, 1941: MAUD Report
July 3, 1941: Stalin Speaks
July 4, 1941: Pogroms in Eastern Europe
July 5, 1941: Germans on Schedule
July 6, 1941: Australians Attack Damour
July 7, 1941: US Marines in Iceland
July 8, 1941: Flying Fortresses In Action
July 9, 1941: British Take Damour
July 10, 1941: Sword and Scabbard Order
July 11, 1941: Cease-fire in Syria and Lebanon
July 12, 1941: Anglo/Russian Assistance Pact
July 13, 1941: Uprising in Montenegro
July 14, 1941: Katyusha Rocket Launchers in Action
July 15, 1941: Smolensk Falls
July 16, 1941: Stalin's Son Captured
July 17, 1941: Heydrich Orders Mass Executions
July 18, 1941: Twin Pimples Raid
July 19, 1941: V for Victory
July 20, 1941: The Man Who Wouldn't Shoot
July 21, 1941: Moscow in Flames
July 22, 1941: Soviet Generals Executed
July 23, 1941: Secret Plan JB 355
July 24, 1941: Operation Sunrise
July 25, 1941: US Naval Alert
July 26, 1941: Italian E-Boat Attack on Malta
July 27, 1941: MacArthur Returns
July 28, 1941: Auschwitz Exterminations
July 29, 1941: Rescue From Crete
July 30, 1941: Raid on Petsamo and Kirkenes
July 31, 1941: Final Solution Order


2018

Friday, April 27, 2018

July 16, 1941: Stalin's Son Captured


Wednesday 16 July 1941


Bristol Blenheims 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Low-level oblique aerial photograph taken during a major daylight raid on the docks at Rotterdam, Holland, by Bristol Blenheim Mark IVs of No. 2 Group. The Commanding Officer of No. 18 Squadron RAF, Wing Commander T Partridge, in Bristol Blenheim Mark IV, V6267 'WV-M', leads the second wave of the attack in at low level toward the docks, seen on the skyline. Moments later he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and killed with his crew, Segreant G Dvorjetz and Flight Sergeant J Smith." 16 July 1941 (© IWM (C 1951)).

Eastern Front: The Germans continue their giant pincer movement at Uman on 16 July 1941. This involves several Wehrmacht armies heading for a meeting behind a huge Soviet troop concentration. Soviet Marshal Budyonny is determined to hold Kiev and views assembling a mass of men in a relatively confined space as the best way to do that. The Germans also are forming a giant pincer at Smolensk further north. There are so many armies swirling about that another German encirclement here or there is not only not decisive, it is almost perfunctory.

General Halder hopefully notes in his war diary that "the enemy is softening" and "here, it seems he has nothing left in the rear." However, in fact, the Soviets always have plenty left in the rear to replace any troops the Germans take prisoner.

In the Far North sector, the 1st Jaeger Brigade of Finnish VI Corps reaches the northern shores of Lake Ladoga at Koirinoja on the eastern side of the lake. This divides the defending Soviet 7th Army, which also is defending against the Finnish VII Corps advance toward the western side of the lake. The Stavka grows concerned and begins calling in reinforcements from elsewhere along the Finnish Front.The Finns begin redeploying their forces, sending Finnish 1st Division forward to cover the eastern flank of the advance and also sending forward Finnish 17th Division (which had been left guarding the Soviet base at Hanko). German 163rd Infantry Division, the one that had traveled across Sweden by rail at the outbreak of the war, joins the attack as well. By the standards of the Finnish Front, this is a dramatic expansion of strength. The next objective is the railroad junction of Suvilahti.

Farther north, Axis Operation Arctic Fox is stalled at the village of Kayraly just beyond the road junction of Salla. General Hans Feige, commander of German XXXVI Corps, is hesitant about continuing the advance, so General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, in command of Army of Norway, pays him a visit. Falkenhorst convinces Feige to resume the advance, but Feige wins substantial time to regroup and the offensive remains dormant for the time being. The Soviets land an additional battalion of soldiers in the Bay of Litsa, reinforcing the defense of Murmansk.

Fires in Mogilev, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Near Mogilev on the Dneipr. A mounted patrol has reached a burning village, the scene of fierce enemy resistance. German artillery has demolished the enemy, the village is clear, and the infantry now can march through." 16 July 1941 (Kessler, Rudolf, Federal Archives, Bild 101I-137-1032-14A).

In the Army Group North sector, a Soviet counterattack against LVI Army Korps (General Erich von Manstein) makes some progress. The 8th Panzer Division (Major General Erich Brandeburger) takes the brunt of the attacks on the Shelon River. A large part of its difficulties arises from the speed of its advance, as it has outrun its infantry - something that Hitler has been worried about. Manstein sends the 3rd Infantry Division (Lt. General Curt Jahn) to rescue it, and the Soviets decimate it as well. The Luftwaffe supplies the German troops by air as the slower Wehrmacht troops approach from the southwest.

In the Army Group Center sector, the Soviet 16th Army hurls counterattacks against the German 29th Motorized Division and 17th Panzer Division in Smolensk. Bitter house-to-house fighting takes place in the suburbs while the Germans slowly expand their grip on the heart of the city.

In the Army Group South sector, the Battle of Uman continues. General Ewald von Kleist’s 1st Panzer Group continues to split the defending Soviet Southwestern and Southern Fronts, taking Koziatyn. General Eugen Ritter von Schobert’s 11th Field Army, meanwhile, advances north from the Romanian border, and General Karl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel’s 17th Field Army advances to the south of Uman. The movement of all these armies gradually tightens the noose around the trapped Soviet defenders. Soviet Marshal Budyonny is under orders to stay where he is in order to shield Kiev, and he does. Romanian troops take Kishinev.

Luftwaffe nine-victory ace Kurt Sauer of JG 53 becomes a prisoner.

Bristol Blenheims attack Rotterdam, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
View from the dorsal turret of a Blenheim bomber after bombing the docks of Rotterdam during the raid on 16th July 1941.

European Air Operations: RAF Bomber Command sends a low-level raid at Rotterdam. The attacking 36 Blenheim bombers of RAF Nos. 18, 21, 105 and 139 Sqns scream across the Channel at mast height and score hits on a reported 22 ships (97,000 tons "destroyed," 43,000 tons "severely damaged"), including converted Dutch liner Baloeran, and harbor installations. However, the RAF loses four bombers in the process due to extremely heavy German Flak.

Five Blenheims undertake a sweep off the Dutch coast, while five Hampdens lay mines in the Frisian Islands.

After dark, RAF Bomber Command sends 107 planes against Hamburg. The 51 Wellingtons, 32 Hampdens, and 24 Whitleys fly into bad weather, and only 52 planes report actually making it to the target while 52 others bomb secondary targets. The RAF loses 3 Wellingtons and a Hampden. Damage is moderate, with some fires, 1 injury and 154 people made homeless.

Battle of the Baltic: In a rare incident, Soviet battleship Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya and cruiser Kirov, with Red Air Force support, bombard the German-held port of Riga. This is another example of the Germans' occasionally shaky grip on the Baltic being exposed.

German Panzer II, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German Panzer III at Oinasniemi, Finland, 16 July 1941.

Battle of the Atlantic: The Luftwaffe bombs and damages 2039-ton British freighter Elizabete off the Tyne. The ship makes it back to port in the Tyne.

Two Royal Navy gunboats, HMMGB 90 and 92, are consumed in a fire in Portland Harbour, Dorset.

US light cruisers USS Philadelphia and Savannah depart with destroyers Gwin and Meredith from Bermuda on a neutrality patrol.

Convoy OB-347 departs from Liverpool, Convoy HX-139 departs from Halifax, bound for Liverpool.

Free French Flower-class corvette FFL Lobelia (K 05, formerly HMS Lobelia) is commissioned.

U-701 (Kapitänleutnant Horst Degen) is commissioned, U-408 is launched.

U-701, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
U-701 is commissioned in Stülcken-Werft, Hamburg. Note that Kapitänleutnant Degen is saluting the flag. 16 July 1941.

Battle of the Mediterranean: Italian submarine Nereide claims that it damages Greek submarine Triton using a torpedo and its deck gun between Ikaria and Mikonos. There is no confirmation of this attack.

The Luftwaffe raids the Suez Canal with 24 bombers during the night and also raids Tobruk in conjunction with the Regia Aeronautica. The RAF raids Tripoli and Benghazi.

An Italian convoy of three ships departs from Taranto bound for Tripoli.

Executions at Banjica concentration camp, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Executions at Banjica concentration camp, Serbia, 16 July 1941. These apparently are the first at the camp.

Partisans: The partisan uprising Montenegro - the "13 July Uprising" - continues. Insurgents in Virpazar use some small boats to trade some injured Italian soldiers for food and medicine in Scutari.

Executions at Banjica concentration camp, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Stalin's son, leader of an artillery battery, doesn't have much to say as a POW.

POWs: In an embarrassing incident for the Soviet Union, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin's son, artillery regiment Lieutenant Yakov Iosifovich Jugashvili (aka Yakov Dzhugashvili), is captured by the Wehrmacht. He is the eldest of Stalin's four children, the son of his first wife, Kato Svanidze. Yakov winds up in a POW camp near Borisov (Barysaw), and one of the other prisoners "outs" him. The Germans publicize the capture in order to use him for propaganda purposes.

Stalin, according to his daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva, believes that Yakov has voluntarily surrendered at the behest of his wife, Yulia. Stalin is so sure of this that, as soon as he hears of the incident, he orders Yulia imprisoned and "interrogated" (which in the USSR of the 1940s usually means some element of torture and mistreatment).

There actually is some evidence that Yakov surrendered voluntarily because a letter written by his brigade commissar alleges that he willingly put on civilian clothes in an attempt to escape from a pocket, but then chose to stay behind and be caught anyway. Since Yakov is caught in civilian clothes, the Germans technically have the right to shoot him - but the Germans shoot anyone they like anyway (pursuant to Keitel's pre-war orders), so they don't need any special reason to do so. Instead, the Germans keep Yakov alive in hopes of using him as a bargaining chip, shuttling him between several POW camps before sending him to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Yakov does not get along with the British prisoners and slips into a deep depression.

What happens to him there is not exactly known, but he does not survive the war. There are various theories and "interpretations" of the story. It is believed, pursuant to captured German documents, that Yakov is shot by a guard for disobeying orders. However, other variants of the story have him voluntarily throwing himself on the electrified wire surrounding the camp or getting into arguments with the British prisoners and then making some kind of disturbance.

Williams Air Force Base, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Williams Air Force Base, now known as Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, sits on about 4,000 acres of land in Mesa, AZ. It is about 30 miles southeast of Phoenix. Williams AFB was established on July 16, 1941. It was used during World War II for training fighter pilots. It was named after Charles Linton Williams, who was born in Arizona and was a pilot. Over 26,500 men and women passed through the base and earned their wings.

Allied Relations: General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French, is startled at his headquarters in Brazzaville when he receives a copy of the Treaty of Saint Jean D'Acre that ended the war in the Levant. He cannot believe that it makes no mention of the Free French at all. In a fit of pique, he repudiates it. However, he quickly is brought to his senses and ultimately channels his anger into advocating for the self-determination of the peoples of Lebanon and Syria - something the British already have decided to do.

US/German/Italian Relations: US Navy transport USS West Point (formerly the SS America) anchors off Staten Island and embarks 137 Italian and 327 German citizens. They are former employees of the consulates that the United States closed during the recent "consulate war." At 14:55, the West Point raises its anchor and proceeds to Lison, where the quarantined foreign nationals will be dropped off.

Anne Frank, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Ann Frank and Otto Frank, Laurens Nieuwenhuis (Miep’s foster father), hand in hand with his granddaughter Irene. Walking behind him are, from left to right: Anna Nieuwenhuis (Miep’s foster mother), Otto Frank, Anne Frank and Esther (an office worker at Opekta). Bep Voskuil. This is on 16 July 1941, the wedding day of Jan and Miep Gies.

German/Swedish Relations: After hearing some intelligence reports of Swedish ships at Göteburg loading steel for trade with Great Britain, the Germans warn Sweden not to permit any ships to head there or face invasion.

Anglo/US Relations: President Roosevelt's personal emissary Harry Hopkins arrives by air in London.

US Military: Chief of Staff General Marshall instructs General "Hap" Arnold, commander of the US Army Air Force, to send reinforcements to the Philippines, including B-17 bombers.

British Military: Captain J.A.V. Morse is named Naval Officer in Charge of Syrian ports with his headquarters at Beirut.

Vichy French Military: General Weygand becomes governor-general of Algeria.

Hermann and Auguste van Pels, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Hermann and Auguste van Pels in Amsterdam on the day of Jan and Miep Gies’ wedding, July 16, 1941. They hide with Anne Frank and her family in the annex in Amsterdam. They both perish late in the war, Hermann at Auschwitz, Auguste at Theresienstadt (Anne Frank Foundation).

Soviet Military: In another twist in a very long road of the power of commissars, every Soviet command once again is provided with both a military and a political commander of equal responsibility. These commissars have no military training, but they have a lot of opinions and their own channels to Moscow. If the military commander does not do what they say or acts "improperly," the commissars and will denounce them. This gives the commissars outsized power and influence over military commanders, who ignore them at their peril.

Commissar of State Security 3rd Rank (19.07.1941) (the equivalent rank of Lieutenant General) Mikheev Anatoly Nikolaevich, head of the political side of the Kiev Military District, provides an excellent example of how this works today when he accuses NKO Commissar/Marshal Semyon Timoshenko of treason. Mikheev points out the obvious, that Timoshenko had connections with General Pavlov and other executed "traitors," though his real motivations in making the charge may have nothing to do with that. Stalin begins to look at Timoshenko a bit differently and eventually takes away his title of NKO Commissar. However, Timoshenko remains in good standing, more or less, and gradually satisfies Stalin's suspicions.

Strip mining in Illinois, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Coal Mining in Illinois, Strip mining photos," Coal City Public Library, July 16, 1941 (Photo printed by Douglas-Edwards Camera Shop, Joliet, IL)

German Government: At Fuhrer Headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia, Hitler convenes a meeting of his cronies: Hermann Goering, Keitel, Alfred Rosenberg, Bormann, and Hans Lammers (head of the Reich Chancellery). They contemplate something that was never decided before Operation Barbarossa: how to divide up the certain-to-be-conquered Soviet Union.

While plans remain vague, Hitler foresees Germany occupying all of the Soviet Union up to the Urals. He plans to keep the choicest and most strategic prizes for German, including Ukraine (necessary for its food production), the Crimea (as a tourist resort for Germans), the Baltic States (which have many ethnic Germans), the Baku oil fields (Germany has no indigenous oil fields), and the Kola Peninsula in the far north (considered important strategically). Of course, Germany hasn't conquered any of these places yet, but that is considered just a matter of time. Hitler also plans to annex Finland ultimately into the Greater Reich, but the time being will allow it to have its cherished territory of East Karelia.

Hitler confirms Rosenberg's appointment as Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories.

Japanese Government: The Imperial Headquarters-Cabinet Liaison Conference has decided to attack south, rather than north toward Vladivostok, Russa as the Germans want. Foreign minister Matsuoka, however, greatly favors the northern strategy and drops some hints to both the Soviets and the Americans that it will join the attack on the USSR. The Soviet ambassador is startled and demands assurances that the recently signed non-aggression pact between the two countries will be honored. This causes a rift within the Japanese government, and Prince Fumimaro Konoye (Konoe) resigns to form a new cabinet - without Matsuoka. The ironic thing about this sequence of events is that Matsuoka's strategy has a lot to offer - more than drawing the United States into the war, at least.

Miep and Jan Gies, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Miep and Jan Gies on their wedding day, 16 July 1941.

Holocaust: The Petain government ordains that no more than 2% of lawyers can be Jewish.

The Wehrmacht permits men who are 50% Jewish or married to women who are 50% Jewish to serve.

Miep Gies gets married. Gies is one of the Dutch citizens who will hide Anne Frank and her family and four other Jews in an annex in Amsterdam. This marriage gives Gies Dutch citizenship and prevents her deportation back to the Reich where she is a citizen.

American Homefront: The New York Yankees travel to Cleveland to play the Indians at League Park. Yankees centerfielder Joe DiMaggio goes 3-4 against pitchers Al Milnar and Joe Krakauska. While not known now, this is the last game of DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak This record is never broken, and never even approached.

Joe DiMaggio, 16 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Joe DiMaggio, New York Yankees, hitting in his 56th consecutive game in Cleveland, July 16, 1941 (BL-5595-95, National Baseball Hall of Fame Library).


July 1941

July 1, 1941: US TV Broadcasting Starts
July 2, 1941: MAUD Report
July 3, 1941: Stalin Speaks
July 4, 1941: Pogroms in Eastern Europe
July 5, 1941: Germans on Schedule
July 6, 1941: Australians Attack Damour
July 7, 1941: US Marines in Iceland
July 8, 1941: Flying Fortresses In Action
July 9, 1941: British Take Damour
July 10, 1941: Sword and Scabbard Order
July 11, 1941: Cease-fire in Syria and Lebanon
July 12, 1941: Anglo/Russian Assistance Pact
July 13, 1941: Uprising in Montenegro
July 14, 1941: Katyusha Rocket Launchers in Action
July 15, 1941: Smolensk Falls
July 16, 1941: Stalin's Son Captured
July 17, 1941: Heydrich Orders Mass Executions
July 18, 1941: Twin Pimples Raid
July 19, 1941: V for Victory
July 20, 1941: The Man Who Wouldn't Shoot
July 21, 1941: Moscow in Flames
July 22, 1941: Soviet Generals Executed
July 23, 1941: Secret Plan JB 355
July 24, 1941: Operation Sunrise
July 25, 1941: US Naval Alert
July 26, 1941: Italian E-Boat Attack on Malta
July 27, 1941: MacArthur Returns
July 28, 1941: Auschwitz Exterminations
July 29, 1941: Rescue From Crete
July 30, 1941: Raid on Petsamo and Kirkenes
July 31, 1941: Final Solution Order


2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

July 15, 1941: Smolensk Falls


Tuesday 15 July 1941

A blown bridge at Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A blown bridge at Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania, 15 July 1941.

Eastern Front: Demonstrating that the Wehrmacht's striking power remains intact on 15 July 1941 despite weeks of unrelieved wear and tear and Soviet counterattacks, Generals Hoth and Guderian brush aside Soviet opposition at Smolensk. Ultimately, the Germans encircle about 300,000 Soviet troops in the Smolensk–Orsha pocket. It is an unalloyed victory and one of the great triumphs of Operation Barbarossa.

In the Far North sector, Finnish VI Corps advances toward Lake Ladoga from the northeast and continues clearing resistance on the eastern shore of the Jänisjärvi Lake (north of Lake Ladoga). The defending Soviet 7th Army opposing VI Corps is outnumbered and over-matched and struggles to maintain a front north of Lake Ladoga. However, Finnish VII Corps has been having much more trouble advancing parallel to VI Corps on the western shore of Jänisjärvi Lake, and only today does it run up against the main Soviet fortifications. The Finns hope that both Corps will be able to round the lake and meet to the south of it and surround the remaining Soviet defenders, but the two Finnish Corps are operating completely independently and must both overcome their respective opponents for that to happen. An advance to Lake Ladoga also would split the Soviet defenders.

In the Army Group North sector, Soviet 11th Army counterattacks against German 4th Panzer Group in the Lake Ilmen region. The Soviet forces are ravaged, but buy time for Soviet forces further back to build fortifications. In Leningrad, citizens begin building tank traps and other fortifications.

In the Army Group Center sector, the German 29th Motorized Division (General Walter von Bolternstern) of XXXXVII Panzer Korps, supported by 17th Panzer Division, reach the outskirts of Smolensk by 04:00 and take the heart of the city by dark. Soviet 16th Army remains in the suburbs and launches counterattacks, which results in house-to-house fighting. This is a rarity so far during Operation Barbarossa, as the panzers so far have been able to stick to the roads and follow them east toward Moscow. German 7th Panzer Division and 20th Panzer Division bypass Smolensk and reach Yartsevo, to the city's east. Isolating the Soviet forces around Smolensk is more significant in the long run than actually taking the city, and to do both in the same day is a phenomenal achievement. General Hoth's 3rd Panzer Group takes Nevel.

In the Army Group South sector, the Battle of Uman begins when General Ewald von Kleist’s 1st Panzerarmee separates the two Soviet sectors of the front south of Kiev and north of Vinnytsia by capturing Berdychiv. General Karl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel’s 17th Field Army advances to the south of Uman and General Eugen Ritter von Schobert’s 11th Field Army advances northward from the Romanian border. The plan is to encircle large Soviet formations in the vicinity of Kiev, but the Soviets wrongly interpret the moves as part of an advance to the Dniepr between Kiev and Cherkasy and further to the east. Romanian troops advance toward Kishinev.

Luftwaffe ace Werner Mölders, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Luftwaffe ace Werner Mölders.

Luftwaffe ace Werner Mölders makes files his 100th and 101st victory claims. He celebrates by making a victory roll over his JG 51 airfield. Mölders will receive the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten) for reaching the "C" mark.

Hartwig von Ludwiger is awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 15 July 1941 as Oberstleutnant and commander of Infanterie-Regiment 83 of the 28th Infantry Division for bravery in the vicinity of Smolensk.

US 1st Armored Division, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The US 1st Armored Division on July 15, 1941. It is celebrating the first anniversary of its founding, hence the giant cake.

European Air Operations: RAF Bomber Command sends 38 Wellington bombers to Duisburg after dark. The weather is cloudy, and little is achieved for the loss of 4 bombers to German Flak.

Battle of the Baltic: The German 3rd Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla (S-47, 54, 57, and 58) attacks a Soviet destroyer in the Bay of Riga, but the destroyer gets away.

Just south of Finland, Soviet commandos invade the small Finnish island of Morgonland. The island is important to the Soviets because properly garrisoned, it could restrict access to their port of Hanko on the Finnish mainland, which is still holding out. The Finns only have five lightly armed men on Morgonland, and they are captured and sent to Kazakstan. One survives to see Finland again.

Soviet Zhitomir-class river monitor Vinnitsa is operating in the Berezina River when it is hit by German field artillery. The master runs the ship aground to avoid sinking, then the crew later scuttles on the 16th to avoid capture.

Convoy Operations Room at Derby House, Liverpool, July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Two lieutenants, one a Royal Navy Reserve the other a Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve use coded tags to plot the positions of convoys on a large wall map of the British Isles and North Atlantic. This map is in the Operations Room of Derby House, Liverpool, the home of Western Approaches Command, July 1941" (© IWM (A 4545)).

Battle of the Atlantic: Italian submarine Morosini torpedoes and sinks 3500-ton Royal Navy ocean boarding ship HMS Lady Somers southeast of Ponta Delgada, Azores. All 138 men aboard survive, being picked up by 6382-ton Spanish freighter Campeche. The Admiralty is worried that Axis-leaning Spain will intern the sailors, so they send a small flotilla to intercept the Campeche. However, Campeche makes it to Lisbon and releases them there, from where 1033-ton British freighter Procris takes them to Gibraltar.

The Luftwaffe bombs and sinks 468-ton British freighter Farfield about five nautical miles off South Stack in the Irish Sea. There are eight deaths, but one passenger, a naval rating, survives.

Royal Navy 2938-ton landing ship HMS Prince Philippe collides with 7463-ton freighter Empire Wave west of Scotland and sinks. There is one death.

Swedish freighter Iris collides with RFA Blue Ranger in the Firth of Forth about 4 nautical miles off Pladda, Buteshire, UK, and sinks.

Royal Navy minelayer Teviotbank lays minefield SN.21A in the North Sea.

Convoy SL.81 departs from Freetown bound for Liverpool.

Canadian destroyer HMCS Huron is laid down at Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. in Newcastle-on-Tyne.

US aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-16, currently named the USS Cabot) and anti-aircraft cruiser Oakland are laid down. The Cabot will be renamed the Lexington after its namesake, CV-2, is lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea.

U-507 is launched, U-223, U-224, U-623, and U-624 are laid down.

Japanese Navy destroyer Maikaze, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The Imperial Japanese Navy destroyer Maikaze on 15 July 1941.

Battle of the Mediterranean: Royal Navy submarine HMS Unbeaten sinks Italian patrol boat Nettuno off Mara Zuag Roads, Libya. The submarine crew also claims to sink a second patrol boat, but that is unverified.

Royal Navy submarine HMS P.33 torpedoes and sinks Italian freighter Barbarigo about 8 nautical miles (15 km) south of Pantelleria.

Royal Navy submarine HMS Taku sinks 270-ton Italian patrol boat Vincenzo Padre east of Ras Auegla, Libya.

The Luftwaffe attacks two Royal Navy lighters A.10 and A.11) while they are sailing to Tobruk. The planes badly damage A.10 east of Tobruk and later sinks while under tow. There is one death and three wounded in A.10 and one wounded in A.11.

The Regia Aeronautica raids Malta several times after dark, but the bombs are dropped virtually at random. There are a few wounded soldiers. A Maryland reconnaissance plane fails to return from a mission and the crew of three deaths. Also, a crewman on a Blenheim that is attacking a Tripoli convoy perishes when hit by anti-aircraft fire.

Battle of the Black Sea: The Red Air Force bombs and sinks Romanian Navy minelayer NMS Aurora at the mouth of the Sulina branch of the Danube, the easternmost part of Romania.

Battle of the Pacific: Two Soviet submarines, M-49 and M-63, hit mines and sink off Vladivostok.

Japanese light cruiser Kashii, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Japanese light cruiser Kashii, July 15, 1941.

Partisans: The revolt in Montenegro against Italian occupation authorities continues to grow. Two units of 80 insurgents (from Ljubotinj and Upper Ceklin) ambush a convoy of trucks transporting Italian II Border guard battalion from Podgorica.

Italian forces are sent to relieve Cetinje, which is besieged by the insurgents. After eight hours battle, the insurgents are victorious and kill 70–80 Italian soldiers and officers, wound 260, and capture the remaining 440 Italians.

At Virpazar, rebels capture several small boats. They intend to use them to trade with Italian authorities in Scutari.

Spy Stuff: The Japanese are keeping a close eye on US military activity all across the Pacific. Today, the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines reports to Tokyo about the status of construction at the Cavite military base due to an electricity outage caused by bad weather.

Howard Florey, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Howard Florey.

Applied Science: The MAUD Committee in London approves its final report on nuclear research and disbands ("Maud" does not stand for anything and is not an acronym; it actually is just taken from a cryptic comment made by Niels Bohr in a telegram from occupied Europe about his children's nanny, named Maud Ray Kent). The MAUD Committee is a secret unit of the Air Ministry tasked with discussing the feasibility of atomic weapons.

While they are still only a theoretical concept, atomic bombs are described in great detail and with precise accuracy in the MAUD report. The report includes a concrete proposal for building atomic weapons, including cost estimates and how long the project could take. It states in part:
We have now reached the conclusion that it will be possible to make an effective uranium bomb which, containing some 25 lb of active material, would be equivalent as regards destructive effect to 1,800 tons of T.N.T. and would also release large quantities of radioactive substance, which would make places near to where the bomb exploded dangerous to human life for a long period.
Vannevar Bush has reviewed drafts of the report but awaits the receipt of an official final copy before taking any action.

British researcher Howard Florey and his graduate student assistant, Norman Heatley, arrive at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory in Peoria, Illinois. They bring with them freeze-dried mold cultures and information that will lead to the mass production of Penicillin.

bloodless bullfight, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A bloodless bullfight at an unknown location on July 15, 1941 (AP Photo).

Japanese/Mexican/US Relations: There is a very quiet economic war in progress between the United States and Japan even though the guns remain silent. This explodes today in an unexpected direction: Mexico.

Mexico and the US sign an agreement today instituting an embargo of Mexican exports outside the Americas. This obviously is directed at Japan, given that Japan relies heavily on Mexican mercury and other items.

Yoshiaki Miura, Japanese Minister in Mexico City and who also happens to be the head of the Japanese Intelligence Network in Mexico and Central America, calls a meeting of local Japanese businessmen to discuss the situation. They decide to test the Mexican position by requesting approval to export goods already under contract to Japan. Miura decides that, if Mexico refuses to approve the exports, Japan, in turn, will take steps against Mexico. These include stopping the export from Japan to Mexico of rayon, which Mexico greatly needs (it has no other source of supply). Japan also would refuse the use of Japanese shipping to Mexico.

The upshot is that Minister Miura has his agents successfully work a deal with Mexico's Economic Minister: Japan will trade 20,000 cases of rayon for 8,000 bottles of Mexican mercury despite the embargo. Miura sends the proposed deal to Tokyo for approval.

Anglo/US Relations: The US Marine Corps activates its Marine Detachment at the American Embassy in London, England.

Commissioning Ceremony, NAS Argentia, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Commissioning Ceremony, NAS Argentia, 15 July 1941.

US Military: Having finally been supplied with Prestone antifreeze for their P-35As in the Philippines, the pilots of the 3rd and 20th Pursuit Squadrons finally complete their qualifications on the fighter.

The US sets up a base at Argentia Bay, Newfoundland. Opening today are the Argentia US Naval Air Station and the US Naval Operating Base.

German Military: Throughout the war, working on the front lines is extremely hazardous for German war correspondents and photographers. Today, two men in this capacity perish: Max Kretzer, 87, German writer; and Walter Ruttmann, 53, German film director.

Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel is named the official commander of Panzer Group Afrika.

Italian Military: Inigo Campioni is appointed the governor of the Italian Aegean Islands, also known as the Italian Dodecanese.

Joseph P. Kennedy, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Joseph P. Kennedy in his pilot's uniform while training at the Squantum, Massachusetts Naval Air Station, 15 July 1941.

British Government: The British government begins requiring import permits for all cargo passing through English ports. Any cargo without a permit is subject to seizure. This is of concern to the Japanese (as revealed by Magic intercepts), who don't like their activities scrutinized.

Libya/Syria: Having conquered Syria and Lebanon from the Vichy French, the British offer local people self-rule. This fulfills a promise made by Free French leader Charles de Gaulle.

Executions of leaders of the Jewish community of the town of Balti, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Leaders of the Jewish community of the town of Balti (right) are seen before their execution on July 15, 1941. Soldiers/executioners stand at left. (Photo: Matatias Carp, Cartea Neagra - Bucharest, 1947 - Volume III).

Holocaust: There is a mass execution of Jews at Balti, Moldova. This is part of a targeted campaign against Jews instituted by the government of Prime Minister Ion Antonescu.

American Homefront: In the final game of a series against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park, Chicago, New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio goes 2-4 against White Sox hurler Eddie Smith. This extends DiMaggio's hitting streak to 55 consecutive games, extending his major league record.

Look magazine, 15 July 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Look magazine, 15 July 1941, features an article by Mrs. Roosevelt.

July 1941

July 1, 1941: US TV Broadcasting Starts
July 2, 1941: MAUD Report
July 3, 1941: Stalin Speaks
July 4, 1941: Pogroms in Eastern Europe
July 5, 1941: Germans on Schedule
July 6, 1941: Australians Attack Damour
July 7, 1941: US Marines in Iceland
July 8, 1941: Flying Fortresses In Action
July 9, 1941: British Take Damour
July 10, 1941: Sword and Scabbard Order
July 11, 1941: Cease-fire in Syria and Lebanon
July 12, 1941: Anglo/Russian Assistance Pact
July 13, 1941: Uprising in Montenegro
July 14, 1941: Katyusha Rocket Launchers in Action
July 15, 1941: Smolensk Falls
July 16, 1941: Stalin's Son Captured
July 17, 1941: Heydrich Orders Mass Executions
July 18, 1941: Twin Pimples Raid
July 19, 1941: V for Victory
July 20, 1941: The Man Who Wouldn't Shoot
July 21, 1941: Moscow in Flames
July 22, 1941: Soviet Generals Executed
July 23, 1941: Secret Plan JB 355
July 24, 1941: Operation Sunrise
July 25, 1941: US Naval Alert
July 26, 1941: Italian E-Boat Attack on Malta
July 27, 1941: MacArthur Returns
July 28, 1941: Auschwitz Exterminations
July 29, 1941: Rescue From Crete
July 30, 1941: Raid on Petsamo and Kirkenes
July 31, 1941: Final Solution Order


2018