Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—February 15, 1941

Duke Ellington publicity photo, 1940s (public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 15, 1941: Norwegian Lutheran bishops denounce Nazi brutality. First Wrens (Women’s Royal Naval Service) report for duty at Bletchley Park in England. Duke Ellington records hit song “Take the ‘A’ Train.” Listen to the original recording or watch a video of the song from the 1942 movie “Reveille with Beverly” on the… Read more »

Today in World War II History—February 14, 1941

Georgy Zhukov, 1944 (Photo: Life Magazine, 31 July 1944, photograph by Grigory Vayl; public domain)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 14, 1941: Bulgaria signs nonaggression pact with Axis powers. Gen. Georgy Zhukov is named Soviet chief of general staff and deputy commissar of defense.

Today in World War II History—February 12, 1941

Italian Gen. Italo Gariboldi welcoming German generals Erwin Rommel and Johannes Streich to Tripoli, Libya, 12 Feb 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-424-0258-32)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 12, 1941: German Lt. Gen. Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli, Libya; his Afrikakorps will join the Italian fight against the British in North Africa. Howard Florey gives penicillin to a human for the first time—mortally ill Albert Alexander in Oxford, who improves but then dies due to an insufficient supply. In convoy… Read more »

Today in World War II History—February 11, 1941

80 Years Ago—Feb. 11, 1941: Former GOP presidential candidate Wendell Willkie testifies in favor of Roosevelt’s Lend-Lease Bill in Congressional hearings.

Today in World War II History—February 10, 1941

RAF Short Stirling bomber N6101 of No 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, Apr 1942 (Imperial War Museum: TR 35)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 10, 1941: RAF Short Stirling heavy bombers are first used in combat, in a raid on Nazi-occupied Rotterdam in the Netherlands. First British airborne mission: paratroops drop into Calabria, Italy, where they will destroy the Tragino Aqueduct.

Today in World War II History—February 9, 1941

Focke-Wulf Fw 200 C Condor (German Federal Archive, Bild: Bild 146-1978-043-02)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 9, 1941: German U-boats and Fw 200 Condor bombers sink 5 of 16 ships in Allied Convoy HG-53 off the Azores (3 more will be lost in the coming days). British take El Agheila, Libya, but their advance halts.

Today in World War II History—February 8, 1941

German Afrikakorps anti-tank unit pulling a 37 mm gun, North Africa, March 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-782-0016-34A)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 8, 1941: German Afrika Korps begins departing Naples for North Africa to assist the Italians in their failing campaign against the British. US military personnel secretly visit Bletchley Park in England, beginning signals-intelligence liaison relationship with Britain; they also bring “Magic” machine used for deciphering Japanese ciphers.

Today in World War II History—February 7, 1941

Italian prisoners captured during the assault on Bardia, Libya, march to a British army base on 6 January 1941 (Imperial War Museum: E 1579)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 7, 1941: In Libya, the British are victorious at Beda Fomm; 20,000 troops of the Italian Tenth Army surrender. US Naval Academy class of 1941 graduates four months early due to the national emergency; 41 members will be killed in action during WWII.