Yevdokiya Bershanskaya, 1943, leader of the Soviet 588th Night Bomber Regiment the only woman awarded the Order of Suvorov; under her command twenty-three aviators in the regiment became Heroes of the Soviet Union (public domain via Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation)
80 Years Ago—Oct. 8, 1941: Germans take Orel, key city south of Moscow.
USSR establishes three regiments of female fighter pilots, including the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, later called the “Night Witches” by the Germans.
Chinese drive Japanese out of the Changsha area.
John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia, 1942 (National Library of Australia: 137128148)
80 Years Ago—Oct. 7, 1941: To boost morale in the USSR as the Germans advance, Stalin lifts the ban on religion and permits many churches to reopen.
Germans break through Vyazma defense line in Russia.
Due to parliamentary elections in Australia, John Curtin replaces Arthur Fadden as prime minister.
US poster featuring Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want,” 1943
80 Years Ago—Oct. 6, 1941: US House of Representatives declares Thanksgiving to be the last Thursday in November, as it was from 1863-1939, later amended to the fourth Thursday (Read more: Thanksgiving in World War II).
In the World Series, New York Yankees defeat Brooklyn Dodgers four games to one.
US Supreme Court Louis Brandeis on the cover of Time Magazine, 19 Oct 1925 (public domain via Wikipedia)
80 Years Ago—Oct. 5, 1941: Field Marshal Paul von Kleist is named commander of German 1st Panzer Army and Gen. Heinz Guderian over 2nd Panzer Army.
Former US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis dies, age 84; he was the first Jewish Supreme Court justice.
Gen. Heinz Guderian on the Eastern Front, July 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-139-1112-17)
80 Years Ago—Oct. 4, 1941: German U-boats first attack British supply line between Alexandria, Egypt and besieged Tobruk, Libya.
Norman Rockwell’s “Willie Gillis” character premieres on cover of Saturday Evening Post, an “everyman” private.
Warner Brothers poster for The Maltese Falcon, 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)
80 Years Ago—Oct. 3, 1941: Dwight D. Eisenhower is promoted to brigadier general.
Movie premiere of The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart & Mary Astor.
Brig. Gen. Crawford, Brig. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, and Chief of War Plans Division General Leonard Gerow, Washington, DC, 26 Jan 1942 (US National Archives)
German armored column advances on the Moscow front, October 1941 (Public domain via Wydawnictwo Prasowe Kraków-Warszawa: 2-882)
80 Years Ago—Oct. 2, 1941: German Army Group Center launches an offensive toward Moscow.
First deaths due to starvation are reported in Nazi-besieged Leningrad.
US War Bond poster, WWII (Oakland Public Library)
80 Years Ago—Oct. 1, 1941: US signs contract to send military aircraft to the USSR (15,000 sent during the war).
Sale of US War Savings Bonds to naval personnel begins; will sell $61,000,000 worth throughout the war.
Soldiers of Japanese 4th Division man Type 92 heavy machine gun near Miluo River in China, Second Battle of Changsha, 22 or 23 Sep 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)
80 Years Ago—Sept. 30, 1941: Chinese defeat Japanese in the Second Battle of Changsha.
RAF withdraws US-made B-17C Flying Fortress bombers from combat due to problems with systems freezing and insufficient armor.
Map of US Navy Western Atlantic and Canal Zone Defense Area in WWII (Source: US Navy)
80 Years Ago—Sept. 29, 1941: Babi Yar Massacre begins: German SS begins 2-day massacre of 33,771 Jews from Kiev in the Ukraine.
Due to resistance, Germany names SS Gen. Reinhard Heydrich as Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia).
Germans enter Donets Basin, the Soviet industrial base.
Brazil allows US Navy to use ports of Bahia and Recife for provisioning, refueling, and upkeep.