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Today in World War II History—September 8, 1941

Soviet soldiers in the trenches on the Leningrad Front before an offensive, 1 Sept 1941 (RIA Novosti archive, image #58228 / Vsevolod Tarasevich / CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Soviet soldiers in the trenches on the Leningrad Front before an offensive, 1 Sept 1941 (RIA Novosti archive, image #58228 / Vsevolod Tarasevich / CC-BY-SA 3.0)

80 Years Ago—Sept. 8, 1941: Siege of Leningrad begins as Germans completely surround the city; the siege will last 872 days.

Today in World War II History—September 7, 1941

Sara Delano Roosevelt with son Franklin, 1887 (Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs)

Sara Delano Roosevelt with son Franklin, 1887 (Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs)

80 Years Ago—Sept. 7, 1941: Sara Delano Roosevelt, mother of the president, dies at age 86 in Hyde Park, NY.

Today in World War II History—September 6, 1941

Light cruiser USS Atlanta christened by author Margaret Mitchell during her launching ceremony, Kearny, NJ, 6 Sep 1941 (US National Archives: 19-N-27282)

Light cruiser USS Atlanta christened by author Margaret Mitchell during her launching ceremony, Kearny, NJ, 6 Sep 1941 (US National Archives: 19-N-27282)

80 Years Ago—Sept. 6, 1941: Japanese open offensive toward Changsha, China.

Light cruiser USS Atlanta is launched at Kearny NJ, christened by Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind.

Today in World War II History—September 5, 1941

Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress in flight, 1942 (US Air Force photo)

Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress in flight, 1942 (US Air Force photo)

80 Years Ago—Sept. 5, 1941: Children under 12 are evacuated from Moscow as the Nazis advance.

Maiden flight of B-17E model of the Boeing Flying Fortress heavy bomber (added tail gun, radio gun, top turret gun & ball turret gun); 512 will be made through May 1943.

Nationwide movie premiere of Citizen Kane (New York premiere May 1, 1941).

Movie poster for the US release of Citizen Kane, 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)

Movie poster for the US release of Citizen Kane, 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)

Today in World War II History—September 4, 1941

USS Greer (US Navy photo: 0514502)

USS Greer (US Navy photo: 0514502)

80 Years Ago—Sept. 4, 1941: Off Iceland, British bomber signals destroyer USS Greer and bombs U-652; Greer and U-652 exchange torpedo and depth charge attacks, no damage; first US attack on a U-boat, first attack by a U-boat on a US warship.

Today in World War II History—September 3, 1941

Labels taken from canisters of Zyklon B from Dachau, used as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials, 7 April 1946 (US National Archives: 03563)

Labels taken from canisters of Zyklon B from Dachau, used as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials, 7 April 1946 (US National Archives: 03563)

80 Years Ago—Sept. 3, 1941: Nazis first experiment with the use of Zyklon-B in the gas chambers at Auschwitz on Soviet POWs.

Soviets begin rounding up ethnic Germans in USSR; by January 1942, 800,000 will be sent to Siberia.

Trial begins for 33 German spies in the Duquesne ring, in Brooklyn, NY.

Thirty-three mug shot portraits of the Duquesne spy ring; Duquesne is in the first row, far right (Library of Congress: cph.3c28525)

Thirty-three mug shot portraits of the Duquesne spy ring; Duquesne is in the first row, far right (Library of Congress: cph.3c28525)

Today in World War II History—September 2, 1941

World War II poster with quote from Donald M. Nelson (US National Archives:44-PA-413)

World War II poster with quote from Donald M. Nelson (US National Archives:44-PA-413)

80 Years Ago—Sept. 2, 1941: Finnish II & IV Corps clear the Karelian Isthmus, retaking territory lost to the USSR in the Winter War.

Germans and Lithuanians kill 3700 Jews from Vilna in the Ponary Forest.

Donald Nelson becomes Director of Priorities Division of US Office of Price Administration.

Rose Among Thornes by Terrie Todd

Rose Among Thornes by Terrie Todd

In 1941 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Rose Onishi is well on her way to fulfilling her life’s goal of becoming a concert pianist. But after Pearl Harbor, Canada rounds up all people of Japanese descent and places them in bleak internment camps. Rose’s family is then sent inland to Manitoba to work on a sugar beet farm. The Thorne family treats them well, but their housing is rustic and the city dwellers are unused to farm work. Rose mourns the inability to finish high school – and worst of all, not having a piano to play. Mrs. Thorne persuades her to write letters to her son, Rusty, which helps Rose keep her situation in perspective.

Canadian soldier Rusty Thorne and his best friend Bert are captured in the battle for Hong Kong. As they’re transferred from one POW camp to another, Rusty and Bert try to keep up each other’s spirits as conditions become more and more brutal and their strength wastes away. Enduring harsh and inhumane treatment from their Japanese guards, Rusty struggles as his resentment grows to hatred and his faith wavers. Bert’s friendship and Rose’s letters help sustain him, and he dreams of coming home and meeting the young woman he’s become infatuated with.

But when he returns to Manitoba, which will be stronger – his hated or his love? And can Rusty and Rose come to forgive those who have taken away all they hold dear?

Thoughtful and timely. In Rose Among Thornes, Terrie Todd shows the difficult conditions faced by Japanese-Canadians in World War II—a topic rarely explored in novels—as well as the horrific treatment of prisoners of war. Both Rose and Rusty have reasons to hate, reasons never to forgive. Through their struggles, we see the cost of not forgiving and the blessings of forgiveness. A beautiful story that makes you feel—and think. Highly recommended!

 

Today in World War II History—September 1, 1941

North Atlantic convoy photographed by a USS Ablemarle (AV-5) plane, October 1941. Note the large proportion of tankers in this convoy. At the time, USS Ablemarle was based at Argentia, Newfoundland (US National Archives: 80-G-405261)

North Atlantic convoy photographed by a USS Ablemarle (AV-5) plane, October 1941. Note the large proportion of tankers in this convoy. At the time, USS Ablemarle was based at Argentia, Newfoundland (US National Archives: 80-G-405261)

80 Years Ago—Sept. 1, 1941: Jews over 6 years of age in Germany and annexed territories (Austria, Alsace, and Bohemia-Moravia) are required to wear a yellow star, effective September 19.

US Navy assumes responsibility for trans-Atlantic convoys between Newfoundland and Iceland; Royal Navy remains responsible for escort to the east.

Enlistment begins in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps.

Today in World War II History—August 31, 1941

A member of the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) serving as a spotter with a 3.7-inch anti-aircraft gun battery, December 1942 (Imperial War Museum: TR 452)

A member of the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) serving as a spotter with a 3.7-inch anti-aircraft gun battery, December 1942 (Imperial War Museum: TR 452)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 31, 1941: Soviet Baltic Fleet completes evacuation of Talinn, Estonia (28,000 military personnel and civilians are evacuated, but 13,000 were killed in sinkings).

An antiaircraft battery opens in Richmond Park, London, staffed by a mixed-gender unit including the first British women in combat.