Thursday, December 13, 2018

September 17, 1941: Iran Conquest Completed

Wednesday 17 September 1941

Soviets enter Tehran in Iran 17 September 1941
Soviet troops enter Tehran on 17 September 1941.
Eastern Front: The tragic death of General Eugen Ritter von Schobert in a bizarre airplane accident (his pilot landed in a Soviet minefield, why he was landing there is unclear) creates an opportunity for someone that will have a huge impact on the course of the campaign in Russia. On 17 September 1941, Erich von Manstein is appointed to replace von Schobert in command of the 11th Army.

Manstein already is very well known by the top levels of the German Army despite being only a Corps commander. He is known for having a good relationship with Adolf Hitler, with whom Manstein developed the famous Ardennes breakthrough in 1940. During Operation Barbarossa, Manstein's LVI Panzer Corps has played a leading role in the advance through the Baltic States toward Leningrad. Manstein is sent from his headquarters near Demyansk to the extreme southern flank of the front. Manstein's task at the 11th Army will be to take the Crimea, which is not considered to be an exceptionally difficult task.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is inaugurated as Shah of Iran 17 September 1941
 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is inaugurated as Shah of Iran On September 17.
Elsewhere in the Army Group South sector, the Soviets finally get some good news. After much delay, Stalin finally approves a withdrawal from Kyiv. However, the Germans already have the 600,000 Soviet troops encircled, and only about 15,000 managed to escape.

The Romanian Army continues trying to capture Odessa, but they have managed only local successes. The Soviet Black Sea Fleet plays a big role in the defense. Today, Soviet destroyer Dzerzhinski provides naval gunfire in support of the defenders. The Soviets have been bringing troops in from Novorossiysk, and the Soviet high command has high hopes that a determined relief operation in a few days may break the siege and deal the Romanians a mortal blow.
A Soviet T-26 tank in Tabriz, Iran 17 September 1941
T-26 mod. 1938 in the streets of Tabriz (Tabriz), Iran on September 17, 1941.
Iran: After weeks of trying to hold on to power, Reza Shah abdicates in Iran as Soviet troops lose patience with his delaying tactics and occupy Tehran. Reza Shah is arrested before he can escape and placed in British custody. Crown Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi takes the oath to become the Shah of Iran.

This ends the brief campaign in Iran that began on 25 August 1941 and only involved a few days of fighting. The rest of the time has been taken up with negotiations with Reza Shah that ultimately collapsed. This leaves the Soviets in control in the north of the country and the British south of Hamadan and Qazvin.

While Iran does not get a lot of attention during World War II, it plays a big role. About 26–34 percent of the supplies sent to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease Act are sent through Iran. The country serves as a key supply corridor from the Western Allies to the Soviet Union that the Germans can never interdict except with occasional U-boat successes. It is close to the British power center in India and serves as another strand in the British web of strategic outposts in the Indian Ocean.

Reza Pahlavi goes on to serve as Shah Iran for over thirty years until he is finally ousted in a religious uprising on 16 January 1979.
Signal magazine for 17 September 1941
Signal magazine, 17 September 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


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