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Today in World War II History—November 14, 1939 & 1944

Infantry-Tank Team of French 5th Armored Division, France, late 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

Infantry-Tank Team of French 5th Armored Division, France, late 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

80 Years Ago—November 14, 1939: In Lagunillas, Venezuela, an oil refinery fire kills 500 and destroys the town.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, 1944 (Imperial War Museum: TR 2625)

Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, 1944 (Imperial War Museum: TR 2625)

75 Years Ago—Nov. 14, 1944: British Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory dies in a plane crash in the French Alps, on his way to assume command in Southeast Asia.

French First Army opens assault toward Belfort Gap in France.

Movie premiere of documentary Combat America, produced by Clark Gable from footage he took on his five missions with the US 351st Bomb Group based in England.

Capt. Clark Gable with a B-17 Flying Fortress in England, 1943 (US Army photo)

Capt. Clark Gable with a B-17 Flying Fortress in England, 1943 (US Army photo)

Today in World War II History—November 13, 1944

Soldiers of the “Lost Battalion,” US Seventh Army, France, late 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

Soldiers of the “Lost Battalion,” US Seventh Army, France, late 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—November 13, 1944: In the Vosges Mountains in France, US Seventh Army launches offensive on German Siegfried Line.

Harvey premieres on Broadway.

Today in World War II History—November 12, 1939 & 1944

Fleet Air Arm attack on the German battleship Tirpitz at Alta Fjord, Norway, 3 April 1944 (Imperial War Museum: A 22633)

Fleet Air Arm attack on the German battleship Tirpitz at Alta Fjord, Norway, 3 April 1944 (Imperial War Museum: A 22633)

80 Years Ago—November 12, 1939: Germany begins strict point-based clothing rationing, with no clothing ration cards issued to Jews.

75 Years Ago—Nov. 12, 1944: British Lancaster bombers sink German battleship Tirpitz in Tromsø Fjord, Norway; 902 killed.

Veterans Day 2019

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the First World War came to an end.

The Armistice was signed for the War to End All Wars, but peace was built on a shoddy foundation, and war returned, nastier than ever.

The end of the Second World War brought the United Nations and the promise of rational negotiation and eternal peace. Instead the nuclear era introduced the tense decades of the Cold War, flaring up in brutal regional wars in Korea, Vietnam, and throughout Africa and Central and South America.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall brought optimism for a peaceful, democratic world. This was shattered by the terrorist tactics of a new enemy without borders to attack or a government to negotiate with. A cowardly enemy that cheers when children blow up children or when tourists are mowed down on their holidays.

The human heart yearns for peace but is drawn to war. We can argue about it and say it shouldn’t be this way, but it is.

That’s why our armed services are vital. Our veterans have repelled the forces of Fascism, Totalitarianism, and Communism, and for this we owe them our eternal gratitude. Our active servicemen and servicewomen are currently fighting the forces of Terrorism and standing guard against dictators, and for this we owe them our active support and appreciation.

On this 11th day of the 11th month, we thank the members of our armed services, past and present, for protecting our lives, our homes, and our freedom. May God bless you.

Today in World War II History—November 11, 1939 & 1944

Badge of First Brazilian Fighter Group, WWII

Badge of First Brazilian Fighter Group, WWII

80 Years Ago—November 11, 1939: Queen Elizabeth calls on British women to participate in the war effort.

Movie premiere of historical drama The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, starring Bette Davis & Errol Flynn.

75 Years Ago—Nov. 11, 1944: In Italy, First Brazilian Fighter Group begins operations with US Twelfth Air Force in P-47 Thunderbolts.

In Japanese convoy to Luzon, US Naval Task Force 38 aircraft sink all 4 Japanese transports and 4 of 6 destroyers (Hamanami, Naganami, Shimakaze, and Wakatsuki).

RCA Victor and Columbia Records settle with the musicians’ union, allowing recording after two years of striking.

Today in World War II History—November 10, 1939 & 1944

Americans destroy Hengyang Airfield in China as Japanese advance, June 1944 (US Army Air Force photo)

Americans destroy Hengyang Airfield in China as Japanese advance, June 1944 (US Army Air Force photo)

80 Years Ago—November 10, 1939: “The Venlo Incident”—Germans kidnap two British agents in Dutch town of Venlo to accuse them of the previous day’s assassination attempt on Hitler.

75 Years Ago—Nov. 10, 1944: Japanese take US Fourteenth Air Force air bases at Kweilin and Liuchow in their drive through southern China.

Today in World War II History—November 9, 1939 & 1944

SS Red Oak Victory at Rosie the Riveter National Park, Richmond, CA, May 2014 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

SS Red Oak Victory at Rosie the Riveter National Park, Richmond, CA, May 2014 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

80 Years Ago—November 9, 1939: Adolf Hitler survives assassination attempt at the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich; bomb planted by communist Georg Elser.

Nobel Prize for physics is awarded to Ernest Lawrence for the cyclotron.

Movie premiere of Ninotchka, Greta Garbo’s first comedy.

Damage in the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich, Germany after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler, 9 Nov 1939 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-E12329)

Damage in the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich, Germany after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler, 9 Nov 1939 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-E12329)

75 Years Ago—Nov. 9, 1944: Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the International Red Cross.

Victory Ship SS Red Oak Victory is launched in Richmond, CA, christened by the wife of the mayor of Red Oak, IA, Permanente Shipyard’s 558th ship (currently a museum ship in Richmond, CA).

Today in World War II History—November 8, 1939 & 1944

Map of the Battle of the Scheldt (US Army Center of Military History)

Map of the Battle of the Scheldt (US Army Center of Military History)

80 Years Ago—November 8, 1939: Finland refuses Soviet demand for territory.

75 Years Ago—Nov. 8, 1944: Canadians secure Walcheren and the Scheldt Estuary to protect port of Antwerp, Belgium.

US Third Army begins offensive against Siegfried line toward Metz, France.

761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit, enters combat with US Third Army.

After his 258th victory, Luftwaffe ace Walter Nowotny is killed as his Me 262 jet is shot down by two US P-51 Mustangs.

British launch offensive in western Burma toward Akyab.

Today in World War II History—November 7, 1944

Thomas Dewey & Franklin D. Roosevelt (both images Library of Congress)

Thomas Dewey & Franklin D. Roosevelt (both images Library of Congress)

75 Years Ago—November 7, 1944: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected for a fourth term, defeating Thomas Dewey.

British Eighth Army opens drive for Forli, Italy.

Japanese execute Soviet spy Richard Sorge.

Carry Me Away, by Dorothy Adamek

After a tragic shipwreck off the coast of Australia in 1877, midshipman Tom Darley rescues passenger Ada Carmichael. They are the only survivors.

As Ada deals with the crushing loss of her entire family, she’s drawn to Tom’s kindness and strength. The newspapers whip up a frenzy of interest in the young couple and promise riches in exchange for stories and photographs and statues for the wax museum. For Tom, this would be the fulfillment of his dreams. Raised on the rough streets of Melbourne, he longs to start a hotel for weary travelers – and to marry the lovely Ada.

However, for Ada, the publicity promises to fulfill her worst nightmares, the very reason her family fled England in the first place. Now she flees to Phillip Island, to the home of newlyweds Shadrach and Finella Jones, a place to heal. But Tom follows. Can the press – and Ada’s greatest fears – be far behind?

Gorgeous and gripping, Carry Me Away is a novel you won’t forget. Ada and Tom’s deep attraction and clashing needs create a poignant love story, and Dorothy Adamek writes about grief and love in a way that is palpable and heartfelt. But the ending – oh, the ending! So sweet and triumphant and affirming that I want to tell everyone – except I want you to discover it for yourself. Let the lovely writing carry you away to picturesque Phillip Island, and be swept away by Tom and Ada’s tale.

This is the second novel in the Blue Wren Shallows series, but it stands alone. However, please don’t miss the first book, Carry Me Home, for Shadrach and Finella’s romantic and muddy tale (trust me, it works). See my review here.