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Today in World War II History—Aug. 27, 1941

British railway poster, WWII

British railway poster, WWII

75 Years Ago—Aug. 27, 1941: American volunteer William Dunn with RAF No. 71 Squadron becomes first US ace.

British government takes control of railways for the duration, compensates owners financially.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 26, 1941

Pierre Laval, 1931 (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

Pierre Laval, 1931 (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 26, 1941: Nazis round up 23,600 Hungarian and Ukrainian Jews in Kamenets-Podolsk, Ukraine; over the next few days they will become victims of the first large-scale Nazi massacre.

Former (and future) Vichy premier Pierre Laval is shot and wounded near Versailles by Paul Collette, who is arrested.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 25, 1941

Iranian warship Babr after being shelled by the British Navy during invasion of Iran, 25 August 1941 (Iranian govt photo, public domain)

Iranian warship Babr after being shelled by the British Navy during invasion of Iran, 25 August 1941 (Iranian govt photo, public domain)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 25, 1941: British and Soviets invade Axis-leaning Iran to secure supply route to USSR.

Royal Navy sinks or captures most Iranian naval ships.

British commandos raid Spitzbergen, Norway to evacuate Norwegian miners and destroy coal mines.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 24, 1941

Today WWII75 Years Ago—Aug. 24, 1941: Vichy France passes stiff laws to punish resistance efforts.

Nazis actually end euthanasia of “mentally incompetent” Germans due to public outcry (90,000 killed), but they do continue to starve them.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 23, 1941

75 Years Ago—Aug. 23, 1941: German Second Army heads south as Hitler postpones drive on Moscow to take Kiev.

German spy Kurt Ludwig is arrested in Washington State.

Map of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, 22 Jun-25 Aug 1941 (US Military Academy)

Map of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, 22 Jun-25 Aug 1941 (US Military Academy)

Today in World War II History—Aug. 21, 1941

Arctic convoy poster (British govt)75 Years Ago—Aug. 21, 1941: First violent act of resistance in France—a German naval cadet is assassinated in a Metro station; in reprisal 150 Parisians are shot.

British & Soviets ask Iran to expel German nationals—Iran refuses.

Germans take Kherson on Black Sea, opening way to Crimea.

First British Arctic convoy leaves Scotland for Murmansk, USSR.

Movie premiere of Sun Valley Serenade, starring Sonja Henie, John Payne, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 20, 1941

Accommodation block at Drancy with French gendarme on guard, Aug. 1941 (German Federal Archive, Bild 183-B10919)

Accommodation block at Drancy with French gendarme on guard, Aug. 1941 (German Federal Archive, Bild 183-B10919)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 20, 1941: In Nazi-occupied France, Jews without French passports are arrested.

Germans open internment and transit camp at Drancy, France.

Movie premiere of The Little Foxes, starring Bette Davis.

Today in World War II History—Aug. 19, 1941

Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, CO of No. 242 Squadron, seated on his Hawker Hurricane at Duxford, September 1940. (Imperial War Museum)

Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, CO of No. 242 Squadron, seated on his Hawker Hurricane at Duxford, September 1940. (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 19, 1941: RAF bomber, with permission of Luftwaffe, drops replacement prosthetic leg at St. Omer for captured pilot Douglas Bader.

In convoy OG-71 off Ireland, U-201 sinks British passenger ship Aguila (153/168 killed, including 23 “Wrens”—Women’s Royal Naval Service).

Today in World War II History—Aug. 18, 1941

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., 1 September 1941 (Royal Canadian Air Force photo)

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., 1 September 1941 (Royal Canadian Air Force photo)

75 Years Ago—Aug. 18, 1941: President Roosevelt signs extension of Selective Service Act, extending draftees’ service from 12 to 30 months.

Radio Belgrade plays obscure recording of “Lili Marleen” by Lale Andersen, which becomes an instant hit with German troops in North Africa.

John Gillespie Magee Jr., an American serving in the RCAF (age 19) writes his famous poem “High Flight.”