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Today in World War II History—August 7, 1944

US troops in Mortain, France (US Army Center of Military History)
US troops in Mortain, France (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—August 7, 1944: In Normandy, Canadian forces launch drive toward Falaise, and Germans open counteroffensive in US First Army area, retaking Mortain but falling short of goal of reaching Avranches.

Cherbourg Harbor opens for Allied traffic in France.

At Harvard University, IBM reveals the Harvard Mark I, the first program-controlled computer (has 50 ft panel, adds in 1/3 second).

Today in World War II History—August 6, 1944

B-26B Marauder of the 441st Bomb Squadron (US Twelfth Air Force) over Île du Levant, France south of St. Tropez on raid to bomb gun installations, 4 Aug 1944 (US National Archives)
B-26B Marauder of the 441st Bomb Squadron (US Twelfth Air Force) over Île du Levant, France south of St. Tropez on raid to bomb gun installations, 4 Aug 1944 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—August 6, 1944: US Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces in Italy begin pre-invasion bombing of southern France, attacking bridges and railroads in the Rhȏne Valley.

Today in World War II History—August 5, 1944

Polish resistance fighter during the Warsaw Uprising, Aug 1944 (public domain via WW2 Database)
Polish resistance fighter during the Warsaw Uprising, Aug 1944 (public domain via WW2 Database)

75 Years Ago—August 5, 1944: Japanese POWs in Australia attempt mass escape from Cowra camp; 334 escape; 231 Japanese and 4 guards are killed in the escape and roundup; all are recaptured within nine days.

In Warsaw, Polish insurgents liberate a forced labor camp, and 348 Jews join the rebellion. 

Japanese prisoners of war practicing baseball at No.12 Prisoner of War compound near Cowra, NSW, Australia, 1 Jul 1944 (Australian War Memorial: 067168)
Japanese prisoners of war practicing baseball at No.12 Prisoner of War compound near Cowra, NSW, Australia, 1 Jul 1944 (Australian War Memorial: 067168)

Today in World War II History—August 4, 1944

Aerial view of Florence (US Army Center of Military History)
Aerial view of Florence (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—August 4, 1944: Anne Frank and her family are discovered in hiding in Amsterdam and are arrested.

British Eighth Army occupies southern Florence below the Arno; Germans have destroyed all bridges except the historic Ponte Vecchio.

French Resistance leaders parachute into Brittany to organize the uprising against the Germans.

Today in World War II History—August 3, 1944

US 75-mm pack howitzer firing on Japanese positions at Myitkyina, Burma, 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)
US 75-mm howitzer crew firing at Japanese positions in Myitkyina, Burma, June 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—August 3, 1944: US and Chinese forces take crucial town of Myitkyina, Burma.

King George VI approves Education Act to reform British secondary schools.

Today in World War II History—August 2, 1944

Map showing bridges and German airfields in northern France targeted by Allied Expeditionary Air Forces, May-August 1944 (US Army Air Forces map)
Map showing bridges and German airfields in northern France targeted by Allied Expeditionary Air Forces, May-August 1944 (US Army Air Forces map)

75 Years Ago—August 2, 1944: Neutral Turkey breaks diplomatic relations with Germany.

US Ninth Air Force stops bombing bridges over the Loire and Seine Rivers in France in order to speed the Allied advance.

Germans liquidate Roma (Gypsy) family camp at Auschwitz, killing 4200.

Today in World War II History—August 1, 1944

Polish insurgent fighter Lt. Stanislaw Jankowski and his men right before the start of the Warsaw Uprising, Warsaw, Poland, 1 Aug 1944 (public domain via WW2 Database)
Polish insurgent fighter Lt. Stanislaw Jankowski and his men right before the start of the Warsaw Uprising, Warsaw, Poland, 1 Aug 1944 (public domain via WW2 Database)

75 Years Ago—August 1, 1944: US Third Army under Gen. George Patton enters action in France, breaking out of Normandy and entering Brittany.

Warsaw uprising begins: Polish Home Army rises up against the Germans as the Soviets approach.

US secures Tinian in the Mariana Islands.

Manuel Quezon, the first president of the Philippines and the president of the government-in-exile, dies of tuberculosis in New York; replaced by his vice president, Sergio Osmeña.

Where Dandelions Bloom, by Tara Johnson

To escape her abusive father and an arranged marriage to a vile man, Cassie Kendrick makes a desperate decision. She chops off her hair, dresses as a man, and enlists in the Union Army during the Civil War under the name of Thomas Turner. As a crack shot and no stranger to rough living, Cassie is accepted in her unit.

Overcoming his childhood in the slums of New York, Gabriel Avery has just landed his dream job – working for the famous Mathew Brady as a battlefield photographer. He quickly befriends the soldiers, even breaking through the defenses of the strange and reclusive Thomas Turner.

As she struggles to conceal her gender from her fellow soldiers, Cassie also battles her growing attraction to the handsome and personable Gabriel. But what will happen when her regiment enters combat?

In Where Dandelions Bloom, Tara Johnson brings to life a fascinating aspect of the Civil War – how several women succeeded in fighting, disguised as men. Cassie and Gabriel are complex and interesting characters, facing difficult dilemmas, deep secrets, and painful betrayal. A thoughtful message and light touches of humor make this novel even more enjoyable. A keeper!

 

 

Today in World War II History—July 31, 1944

Aerial view of Florence, Italy, 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

Aerial view of Florence, Italy, 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Toulouse, France, 1933 (public domain via Agence France-Presse)

French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Toulouse, France, 1933 (public domain via Agence France-Presse)

75 Years Ago—July 31, 1944: Soviet Army reaches East Prussian border.

Germans destroy all bridges in Florence, Italy, except historic Ponte Vecchio, which could only handle foot traffic anyway.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, famed aviator and the author of The Little Prince, is killed when his P-38 Lightning (flying for the Free French) crashes into the Mediterranean off Marseille.

Today in World War II History—July 30, 1944

Destroyed German vehicles in Avranches, France, July 1944. (US Army Center of Military History)

Destroyed German vehicles in Avranches, France, July 1944. (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—July 30, 1944: US 6th Infantry Division lands on Vogelkop Peninsula on northwest tip of New Guinea with little opposition.

In drive out of Normandy, US First Army takes Avranches.