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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.

Today in World War II History—August 20, 1941

Accommodation block at Drancy with French gendarme on guard, Aug. 1941 (German Federal Archive, Bild 183-B10919)

Accommodation block at Drancy with French gendarme on guard, Aug. 1941 (German Federal Archive, Bild 183-B10919)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 20, 1941: In Nazi-occupied France, 4230 Jewish men without French passports are arrested; Germans open an internment and transit camp at Drancy, France, run by French police.

Movie premiere of The Little Foxes, starring Bette Davis and Teresa Wright in her movie debut.

RKO Radio Pictures movie poster for The Little Foxes, 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)

RKO Radio Pictures movie poster for The Little Foxes, 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)

Today in World War II History—August 19, 1941

Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, CO of No. 242 Squadron, seated on his Hawker Hurricane at Duxford, September 1940 (Imperial War Museum: CH 1406)

Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, CO of No. 242 Squadron, seated on his Hawker Hurricane at Duxford, September 1940 (Imperial War Museum: CH 1406)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 19, 1941: An RAF bomber, with permission of the Luftwaffe, drops a replacement prosthetic leg at St. Omer, France, for captured RAF pilot Douglas Bader.

Off Ireland, German U-boat U-201 sinks British passenger ship Aguila (153/168 killed, including 21 “Wrens”—Women’s Royal Naval Service—and one British nurse).

Today in World War II History—August 18, 1941

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., 1 Sept. 1941 (Royal Canadian Air Force photo)

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., 1 Sept. 1941 (Royal Canadian Air Force photo)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 18, 1941: President Roosevelt signs extension of Selective Service Act, extending draftees’ service from 12 to 30 months.

Radio Belgrade plays an obscure recording of “Lili Marleen” sung by Lale Andersen, which becomes an instant hit with German troops in North Africa.

John Gillespie Magee Jr., an American serving in the RCAF (age 19) writes his famous poem “High Flight.”

Robert McCloskey’s classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings is published.

Book cover for Make Way for Ducklings, 1942, showing Caldecott Award for illustrations

Book cover for Make Way for Ducklings, 1942, showing Caldecott Award for illustrations

Today in World War II History—August 17, 1941

Soviet gun crew in action during siege of Odessa in 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)

Soviet gun crew in action during siege of Odessa in 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 17, 1941: 4th Romanian Army (fighting in alliance with Germany) surrounds Odessa, Ukraine.

Today in World War II History—August 16, 1941

German troops entering the Kremlin of Novgorod, 17 Aug 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-H26513)

German troops entering the Kremlin of Novgorod, 17 Aug 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-H26513)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 16, 1941: Germans take Novgorod, Russia, and Nikolaev, Ukraine; Soviets scuttle their fleet at Nikolaev.

Stalin orders all deserters executed and their families arrested.

Today in World War II History—August 15, 1941

MGM movie poster for Life Begins for Andy Hardy, 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)

MGM movie poster for Life Begins for Andy Hardy, 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 15, 1941: Jews in Nazi-occupied USSR are banned from public places and from owning cars or radios.

German spy Josef Jakobs becomes the last man to be executed in the Tower of London; he had parachuted into Britain and was captured February 1, 1941.

Movie premiere of Life Begins for Andy Hardy, starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, and Judy Garland.