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Today in World War II History—August 30, 1941

Ice forming on 20-inch signal projector on cruiser HMS Sheffield while she escorts an Arctic convoy to Russia, December 1941 (Imperial War Museum: A 6872)

Ice forming on 20-inch signal projector on cruiser HMS Sheffield while she escorts an Arctic convoy to Russia, December 1941 (Imperial War Museum: A 6872)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 30, 1941: Germans sever railway link between Leningrad and the rest of the USSR.

First British Arctic convoy arrives at Arkhangelsk, Russia.

Today in World War II History—August 29, 1941

 

Finnish Lt. Gen. Lennart Oesch and his chief of staff Col. Valo Nihtilä inspecting Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg, Russia), Aug-Sep 1941 (public domain via Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive)

Finnish Lt. Gen. Lennart Oesch and his chief of staff Col. Valo Nihtilä inspecting Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg, Russia), Aug-Sep 1941 (public domain via Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 29, 1941: Finnish troops retake Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg, Russia) on the Karelian Isthmus from the Soviets, closing the northern flank of Leningrad.

Cease-fire in Iran—USSR & Britain jointly occupy the country.

Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies resigns, replaced by Arthur Fadden.

Vichy French police arrest American Varian Fry in Marseille and expel him from the country for his work in helping almost 2000 Jews, artists, and intellectuals escape to the US.

Varian Fry (Library of Congress via Yad Vashem)

Varian Fry (Library of Congress via Yad Vashem)

Today in World War II History—August 28, 1941

US Office of Price Administration poster, WWII (US National Archives)

US Office of Price Administration poster, WWII (US National Archives)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 28, 1941: USSR issues Decree of Banishment, strips citizenship from 400,000 Volga Germans, and sends them to Siberia.

US Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply is renamed Office of Price Administration (OPA).

Today in World War II History—August 27, 1941

British railway poster, WWII

British railway poster, WWII

80 Years Ago—Aug. 27, 1941: American volunteer William Dunn, flying a Hurricane with RAF No. 71 Squadron, becomes the first US ace of World War II.

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

Today in World War II History—August 26, 1941

Paul Collette, 1941 (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

Paul Collette, 1941 (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

80 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 French prime minister Pierre Laval is shot and wounded near Versailles by Paul Collette, a résistant acting alone; Collette is arrested but survives the war.

Today in World War II History—August 25, 1941

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

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

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

Royal Navy sinks or captures most Iranian naval ships.

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

Keesler Army Air Field is dedicated in Biloxi, MS.

Today in World War II History—August 24, 1941

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

Nazis officially end T4 Aktion euthanasia of “mentally incompetent” Germans due to public outcry (90,000 have been killed), but covert killings continue.

Today in World War II History—August 23, 1941

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)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 23, 1941: German 2nd Army heads south as Hitler postpones drive on Moscow to take Kiev.

German spy Kurt Ludwig is arrested in Cle Elum, WA.

Today in World War II History—August 22, 1941

German poster about the assassination of a German officer in Paris and announcing that French hostages will be shot for violence against Germans, 22 August 1941 (public domain via Gallica Digital Library)

German poster about the assassination of a German officer in Paris and announcing that French hostages will be shot for violence against Germans, 22 August 1941 (public domain via Gallica Digital Library)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 22, 1941: Gen. Otto von Stülpnagel, German military commander of occupied France, announces all French prisoners are hostages and can be executed in reprisal for attacks on Germans, including prisoners held for minor infractions such as violating curfew.

Maj. Gen. Adna Chaffee Jr., “Father of the Armored Force,” dies of cancer in Boston, MA, age 56.

First class graduates from US Naval Mine Disposal School, Washington, DC, precursor of Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

Maj. Gen. Adna Chaffee Jr. (US War Department photo)

Maj. Gen. Adna Chaffee Jr. (US War Department photo)

Today in World War II History—August 21, 1941

British poster about convoys to Russia, WWII (Source: British government)

British poster about convoys to Russia, WWII (Source: British government)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 21, 1941: First violent act of resistance in France— French communist Pierre Georges “Colonel Fabien” assassinates German naval cadet Alfons Moser in Métro Barbès station in Paris.

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

First British Arctic convoy leaves Scotland for Murmansk, USSR.

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