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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—February 5, 1941

USS Long Island (AVG-1), 10 November 1941; planes on her flight deck include 7 Curtiss SOC-3A scout planes and 1 Brewster F2A fighter (US Navy photo: 19-N-27986)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 5, 1941: Battle of Beda Fomm begins: British and Australian troops encircle bulk of Italian army in Libya. US Navy designates a new class of ship—the auxiliary aircraft vessel (AVG), later known as escort carriers—able to be constructed quickly on merchant ship hulls.

Today in World War II History—February 4, 1941

Poster for the USO, WWII

80 Years Ago—Feb. 4, 1941: USO (United Service Organizations) is established to provide social clubs and entertainment for troops. Three Norwegians are sentenced to death for spying, the first death sentences of the Nazi occupation of Norway. Program for Procurement of Dried Plasma for the Armed Forces is established by the American Red Cross at… Read more »

Today in World War II History—February 3, 1941

Adm. Husband Kimmel aboard USS San Francisco, 1939 (US Naval History and Heritage Command: NH 50266)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 3, 1941: US Navy establishes Pacific Fleet under Adm. Husband Kimmel, Atlantic Fleet under Adm. Ernest King, and Asiatic Fleet under Adm. Thomas Hart. German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau start raids on British shipping in the Atlantic, will sink 22 ships by March 22.

Today in World War II History—February 2, 1941

Italian M11/39 tanks captured by the British after the battle of Agordat in Eritrea, February 1941 (United Kingdom government photo)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 2, 1941: In the Battle of Agordat, Indian & British forces take Italian fortifications at Barentu, Eritrea, and take 8000 POWs.

Today in World War II History—February 1, 1941

Wartime recognition drawing of German cruiser Admiral Hipper, produced by US Office of Naval Intelligence in 1942. (US Navy)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 1, 1941: German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper leaves Brest, France to raid British shipping in the North Atlantic for the next four months. Japan begins rice rationing to save shipping space: 330 grams per day. US Marine Corps forms its first divisions, the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions for the East and… Read more »

Today in World War II History—January 31, 1941

The Andrews Sisters: Maxene (top left), LaVerne (top right), and Patty (center), October 1943 (public domain via Billboard 1943 Music Yearbook and Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 31, 1941: Vichy France signs Japanese-negotiated armistice with Thailand. Movie premiere of Abbott & Costello’s hit comedy Buck Privates, featuring the Andrews Sisters singing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Movie premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s screwball comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith, starring Carole Lombard & Robert Montgomery.

Today in World War II History—January 30, 1941

Captured Italian M13/40 and M11/39 tanks pressed into Australian service, North Africa, 23 Jan 1941 (Australian War Memorial: 005042)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 30, 1941: Germany announces any ship bringing goods to Britain will be torpedoed. Australians take Derna, Libya. Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) publishes his first cartoon in PM Magazine encouraging US intervention in the war. (See the wonderful collection at Dr. Seuss Political Cartoons. Special Collection & Archives, UC San Diego Library).

Today in World War II History—January 29, 1941

Alexandros Koryzis, 1941 (Australian War Memorial: P02018.027)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 29, 1941: US and Britain begin secret joint discussions in Washington, which will lead to the ABC-1 Plan in case of America entering war against Germany. Ioannis Metaxas, prime minister of Greece, dies of throat cancer, replaced by Alexandros Koryzis.