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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

October 1, 1941: Germans and Finns Advance in USSR

Wednesday 1 October 1941

Finnish troops enter  Petrozavodsk 1 October 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish troops enter  Petrozavodsk (Äänislinna) on 1 October 1941.
Eastern Front: The Germans score a clean breakthrough of Red Army lines on 1 October 1941 during the opening stages of Operation Typhoon, the attack toward Moscow. In his war diary, OKH Chief of Staff Franz Halder, who usually is extremely pessimistic and studied, writes in the evening what for him is a joyous assessment:
Guderian has broken clean through the enemy line with his central group and has rushed 60 km into enemy territory in a sweeping advance. His right wing, still far behind and under enemy attacks, is causing concern. His left wing has advanced about 20 km. All quiet on the rest of the front.
Even Halder believes that a 60 km breakthrough in two days is extraordinary and perhaps a sign that the Soviets are weakening across the line. His great worries that the advance on Moscow has been left too late in the season may be easing a bit.

Finnish troops enter  Petrozavodsk 1 October 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish T-26E in  Petrozavodsk (Äänislinna), October 1, 1941.
The German XLVII Corps (motorized, General Lemelsen) captures Serek, while General von Kleist's Panzer Group 1 makes dramatic progress toward Kharkov before reorienting south toward Rostov and the Caucasus - Hitler's true goal because of its oil wealth. General Manstein's 11th Army has sealed off the Crimea forms the extreme south of the German line, with 17th Army slightly to the north.

Finnish troops enter  Petrozavodsk 1 October 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish troops entering Petrozavodsk (Äänislinna) under smokey skies, 1 October 1941.
The Germans have 1,929,406 troops with 14,000 artillery pieces and 1000 tanks committed to the Operation Typhoon offensive, all supported by 1390 Luftwaffe planes which have aerial superiority. This is roughly two-thirds of their strength across the entire Eastern Front. While this sounds like a true juggernaut, it is nowhere close to the power that was mustered at the opening of Operation Barbarossa. However, the Soviets also are greatly weakened, so the relative strengths are comparable. The results show on the field of battle, where Guderian's Panzer Group 2 comes close to surrounding Soviet 13th Army in only two days. Operational Group Ermakov, composed of five divisions (three infantry, two cavalry, and two tank brigades) attempts a counterattack to link back up with 13th Army but fails.

Finnish troops enter  Petrozavodsk 1 October 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Fires burning in  Petrozavodsk (Äänislinna), 1 October 1941.
In fact, things are going well for the Axis all the way up and down the front. The Finns take Petrozavodsk (Äänislinna ) on the shores of Lake Onega, the capital of the Soviet Republic of Karelia, putting further pressure on Leningrad. While these are not decisive gains by any means, they are good omens for the future and an indication that the harsh campaign may be over before the winter snows.

Finnish troops enter  Petrozavodsk 1 October 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish troops and civilians in  Petrozavodsk (Äänislinna), 1 October 1941.
Partisans: The German High Command feels quite confident, or perhaps relieved is a better way to describe their recent successes in the field, but is troubled by growing partisan activity. General Wilhelm issues another controversial order to address this blemish on the offensive. This order mandates that instead of just selecting random hostages from the civilian population for execution in retaliation for partisan attacks, prominent local leaders and well-known businessmen should be chosen. This, Keitel feels, will enhance the effectiveness of retaliation. Of course, everyone knows that the entire idea of shooting illegals is contrary to international law, but those are worries for another day.

Holocaust: Majdanek concentration camp becomes operational. It is intended as a work camp like Mauthausen, but 79,000 people perish there.

Finnish troops enter  Petrozavodsk 1 October 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish bicycle troops at  Petrozavodsk (Äänislinna), 1 October 1941.

September 1941

September 1, 1941: Two Years In
September 2, 1941: Germans Pushed Back at Yelnya
September 3, 1941: FDR Refuses to Meet with Japanese
September 4, 1941: Hitler Furious at Guderian
September 5, 1941: Germans Evacuate Yelnya
September 6, 1941: Japan Prepares for War
September 7, 1941: Hitler Orders Drive on Moscow
September 8, 1941: Leningrad Cut Off
September 9, 1941: Germans Attack Leningrad
September 10, 1941: Guderian Busts Loose
September 11, 1941: Convoy SC-42 Destruction
September 12, 1941: Starve Leningrad!
September 13, 1941: Zhukov at Leningrad
September 14, 1941: Germany's Growing Casualties
September 15, 1941: Sorge Warns Stalin Again
September 16, 1941: Soviets Encircled at Kiev
September 17, 1941: Iran Conquest Completed
September 18, 1941: Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in Action
September 19, 1941: Germans Take Kiev
September 20, 1941: Death at Kiev
September 21, 1941: Raging Soviet Paranoia
September 22, 1941: Defense of Nickel Mines
September 23, 1941: Air Attacks on Leningrad
September 24, 1941: Japanese Spying Intensifies
September 25, 1941: Manstein at the Crimea
September 26, 1941: Kiev Pocket Eliminated
September 27, 1941: Massacre at Eišiškės
September 28, 1941: Ted Williams Hits .400
September 29, 1941: Babi Yar Massacre
September 30, 1941: Operation Typhoon Begins

October 1941

October 1, 1941: Germans and Finns Advance in USSR
October 2, 1941: Operation Typhoon Broadens
October 3, 1941: Air Battles Near Moscow
October 4, 1941: Stalin Contemplates Defeat
October 5, 1941: Hoth Goes South
October 6, 1941: First Snowfall After Dark
October 7, 1941: Stalin Gets Religion
October 8, 1941: FDR Promises Stalin Aid 
October 9, 1941: FDR Orders Atomic Bomb Research
October 10, 1941: Reichenau's Severity Order
October 11, 1941: Tank Panic in Moscow
October 12, 1941: Spanish Blue Division at the Front
October 13, 1941: Attack on Moscow
October 14, 1941: Germans Take Kalinin
October 15, 1941: Soviets Evacuate Odessa
October 16, 1941: Romanians Occupy Odessa
October 17, 1941: U-568 Torpedoes USS Kearny
October 18, 1941: Tojo Takes Tokyo
October 19, 1941: Germans Take Mozhaysk
October 20, 1941: Germans Attack Toward Tikhvin
October 21, 1941: Rasputitsa Hits Russia
October 22, 1941: Germans Into Moscow's Second Defensive Line
October 23, 1941: The Odessa Massacre
October 24, 1941: Guderian's Desperate Drive North
October 25, 1941: FDR Warns Hitler About Massacres
October 26, 1941: Guderian Drives Toward Tula
October 27, 1941: Manstein Busts Loose
October 28, 1941: Soviet Executions
October 29, 1941: Guderian Reaches Tula
October 30, 1941: Guderian Stopped at Tula
October 31, 1941: USS Reuben James Sunk

2018

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