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Today in World War II History—March 24, 1941

Panzer Mk IIIs and Mk IIs cross under the Marble Arch at Sirte, Libya, 21 March 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-782-0009-01A)

Panzer Mk IIIs and Mk IIs cross under the Marble Arch at Sirte, Libya, 21 March 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-782-0009-01A)

80 Years Ago—Mar. 24, 1941: In North Africa, German Gen. Erwin Rommel launches the first major attack of the Afrikakorps against the British, taking El Agheila, Libya.

Today in World War II History—March 23, 1941

Carrier HMS Illustrious under Luftwaffe Ju 87 attack in Grand Harbor, Malta, 24 Jan 1941 (UK government photo)

Carrier HMS Illustrious under Luftwaffe Ju 87 attack in Grand Harbor, Malta, 24 Jan 1941 (UK government photo)

80 Years Ago—Mar. 23, 1941: Heavy Luftwaffe attack on Malta leads the RAF to withdraw bombers and flying boats.

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Winners!

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt, Spring 2021

Thank you to all of you who joined the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! Over 1000 people collected all the clues and entered the drawing!

Here are the grand prize winners – who are all being notified by email. You can still follow the trail and read all the fascinating articles by the 30 authors who participated, starting at Lisa Tawn Bergren’s site. My article on The American Experience in 1930s Germany talks about the background behind my new novel, When Twilight Breaks.

  1. Pam Kellogg
  2. Celia Walkowicz
  3. Wanda McKenzie
  4. Mary Saltzmann
  5. Melaine Sprigler Tatgenhorst

Also, I gave away one copy of winner’s choice of either When Twilight Breaks or my 2022 release, set in Paris in 1941. And the winner is…

  • Brianna Peterson!

Brianna, I sent you an email, so check your inbox!

Thank you again, and congratulations to all the winners!

 

Today in World War II History—March 22, 1941

Maj James A. Ellison reviews first class of Tuskegee Airmen, returning the salute of Mac Ross, one of the first graduates, Tuskegee Army Air Field, AL, 1941 (US Air Force photo)

Maj James A. Ellison reviews first class of Tuskegee Airmen, returning the salute of Mac Ross, one of the first graduates, Tuskegee Army Air Field, AL, 1941 (US Air Force photo)

80 Years Ago—Mar. 22, 1941: US 99th Pursuit Squadron is activated at Chanute Field, IL; will become the all-Black Tuskegee Airmen.

Grand Coulee Dam opens in Washington state, the world’s largest source of electric power.

Grand Coulee Dam, 1942 (Library of Congress: LC-USW33- 035035-C)

Grand Coulee Dam, 1942 (Library of Congress: LC-USW33- 035035-C)

Today in World War II History—March 21, 1941

Aerial view of the village of Giarabub, Libya, 1941 (public domain via Ministry of War Office Propaganda, Rome 1941)

Aerial view of the village of Giarabub, Libya, 1941 (public domain via Ministry of War Office Propaganda, Rome 1941)

80 Years Ago—Mar. 21, 1941: Italians in Giarabub, Libya, surrender to British and Australians after a 15-week siege.

Today in World War II History—March 20, 1941

Norwegian sailors help clean up after Plymouth Blitz, 21 March 1941 (Imperial War Museum: A 3546)

Norwegian sailors help clean up after Plymouth Blitz, 21 March 1941 (Imperial War Museum: A 3546)

80 Years Ago—Mar. 20, 1941: German Luftwaffe bombs Plymouth, England right after a visit by King George and Queen Elizabeth.

British and Indian troops take Hargeisa in Italian-occupied British Somaliland.

Today in World War II History—March 19, 1941

Map showing Allied merchant ship losses in the Battle of the Atlantic from March to August 1941 (public domain from Craven, Wesley & Cate, James, The Army Air Forces in World War II: Volume I, Plans and Early Operations)

Map showing Allied merchant ship losses in the Battle of the Atlantic from March to August 1941 (public domain from Craven, Wesley & Cate, James, The Army Air Forces in World War II: Volume I, Plans and Early Operations)

80 Years Ago—Mar. 19, 1941: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill forms the Battle of the Atlantic Committee to counteract the increasing German U-boat threat.

Today in World War II History—March 18, 1941

US poster, WWII

US poster, WWII

80 Years Ago—Mar. 18, 1941: US and Canada sign joint defense pact.

German spy Capt. Ulrich von der Oster is struck and killed by a car in New York City, and his briefcase is swiped by fellow spy Kurt Ludwig; FBI launches investigation.

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #3

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt, Spring 2021

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all the stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS on March 18, 2021 at noon MST (11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern) with Stop #1 at Lisa Tawn Bergren’s website.
  • Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).
  • There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, March 21, 2021, at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way. Our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.
  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at the final stop, back on Lisa’s site.
  • Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way (like me)!

I’m Sarah Sundin, and I write historical novels set during World War II. My novel The Sky Above Us received the 2020 Carol Award, and The Land Beneath Us was a finalist for the 2020 Christy Award! My husband and I have three all-grown-up children, and we enjoy hiking the California hills with our adorable new rescue dog. You can learn more about me and my books here on my website and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. My latest novel, When Twilight Breaks, released in February and received starred reviews from both Booklist and Library Journal! Here’s the story blurb…

Munich, 1938. American foreign correspondent Evelyn Brand is determined to prove herself in her male-dominated profession—and to spotlight the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. Working on his PhD in German, fellow American Peter Lang is impressed by Germany’s prosperity and order. But when the Reich’s brutality hits close, he decides to use his connections in the Nazi Party to feed information to Evelyn, pulling them deeper into danger as the world marches toward war.

The American Experience in 1930s Germany

If you or I visited Nazi Germany in the 1930s, we know exactly how we’d react. We’d be appalled by the persecution of the Jews. We’d feel the oppression of living under a police state. We’d see the rising danger of Hitler and his militarism.

Or would we?

My grandfather, John F. Ebelke, the textbook he co-wrote, and the record of his voyage from Hamburg to New York in 1936.

A few years ago, we visited Ellis Island, and I put family names into their computer. I found the records of my grandfather’s trip home from Hamburg, Germany, after his junior year abroad in Munich. In 1936.

I knew he’d studied in Germany – he was a professor of German – but I’d never realized he’s studied in Hitler’s Germany! That sparked a question that inspired When Twilight Breaks – what was it like for Americans living in Nazi Germany?

German tourism poster, 1935

German tourism poster, 1935

And yes, thousands of Americans and British lived in Germany before WWII, and in 1937 alone, almost 500,000 Americans visited Germany. As tensions rose, Americans began heading home, especially after Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939. By December 11, 1941, when Germany declared war on the United States, 132 American diplomats and foreign correspondents remained and were interned in a hotel until they were repatriated in May 1942.

As for those Americans in Germany in the 1930s? They were diplomats and foreign correspondents and businessmen. They were students and writers and tourists. And they were divided. This was during the Great Depression, a time of massive unemployment, upheaval, riots, strikes, and instability worldwide. It was a time of great extremism and division in the United States.

German tourism poster promoting the Autobahn, 1930s

German tourism poster promoting the Autobahn, 1930s

Some Americans in Germany saw the uniforms and parades as sinister militarism, marching toward war. But others saw renewed national pride and appreciated Germany keeping the threat of Soviet Bolshevism at bay.

Some saw censorship and loss of freedom of speech. Others saw an orderly society where dangerous elements weren’t allowed to disrupt life for law-abiding citizens.

Some were appalled at the antisemitic laws slowly pushing Jews out of all forms of employment and public life. Others saw it as an internal matter – or harbored antisemitic attitudes themselves.

Some felt the oppression of the Gestapo always watching. Others saw full employment, clean streets, and construction of new buildings, museums, and the famous Autobahn. 

Some felt the pressure to tell the folks back home of the dangers of Nazism. Others believed the negative reports in US newspapers were sensationalism designed to pull America into yet another unwanted war.

So how would we have reacted? Something to ponder. And in When Twilight Breaks, I was able to explore these attitudes through daring foreign correspondent Evelyn Brand and dashing graduate student Peter Lang.

If you’re interested, you can order When Twilight Breaks at your local bookstore or on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or ChristianBook.com

Here are the Stop #3 Basics:

Clue to Write Down: spring
Link to Stop #4, the Next Stop on the Loop: Jocelyn Green’s site!

Additional Giveaway

Before you leave, I’m offering an additional copy of When Twilight Breaks or if you prefer, my next WWII novel, set in Paris in 1941, to be mailed when the book releases in early 2022! All you have to do is sign up to get my email newsletter (box in top right corner of this page) or note that you’re already a subscriber. US mailing addresses only, please. Please enter the Rafflecopter below. The winner will be announced here on my blog on March 22, 2021, and will be notified by email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today in World War II History—March 17, 1941

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, soon after its construction in 1941 (US government photo)

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, soon after its construction in 1941 (US government photo)

80 Years Ago—Mar. 17, 1941: In convoy HX-112, British destroyer Walker causes German U-boat U-99 to scuttle (40/43 captured, including famous captain Otto Kretschmer).

British begin to ration jam, marmalade, syrup, and treacle (8 oz per month).

National Gallery of Art opens in Washington, DC.

Destroyer HMS Walker underway, WWII (Imperial War Museum: A 4593)

Destroyer HMS Walker underway, WWII (Imperial War Museum: A 4593)