b-blog

Today in World War II History—July 20, 1941

 

Soviet poster stating “Motherland Calling,” July 1941

Soviet poster stating “Motherland Calling,” July 1941

80 Years Ago—July 20, 1941: Stalin declares himself Soviet Defense Commissar.

Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, formerly considered an enemy of the state by the USSR, makes a radio broadcast urging resistance to the Nazi invasion.

Today in World War II History—July 19, 1941

Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Downing Street, London, 5 Jun 1943 (Imperial War Museum: HU 55521)

Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Downing Street, London, 5 Jun 1943 (Imperial War Museum: HU 55521)

80 Years Ago—July 19, 1941: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives a speech about BBC’s “V for Victory” campaign promoting resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe (Beethoven’s Fifth (V) Symphony as theme music—opening chords sound like dot-dot-dot-dash, the Morse code for the letter V); after this, Churchill begins flashing the V for Victory.

Capt. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. and twelve Black aviation cadets begin flight training at Tuskegee Institute, AL, under white officers; Davis serves as commandant of cadets—he has an officer’s commission from previous Army service.

Today in World War II History—July 18, 1941

The first destroyer escort built by the US for the British, HMS Bayntun, Boston Harbor, 8 Feb 1943 (US Navy photo: 10381)

The first destroyer escort built by the US for the British, HMS Bayntun, Boston Harbor, 8 Feb 1943 (US Navy photo: 10381)

80 Years Ago—July 18, 1941: US Army Air Force opens bases in Iceland to patrol convoy routes in North Atlantic.

US Secretary of Navy Frank Knox approves plan to build 100 destroyer escorts for Britain.

Today in World War II History—July 17, 1941

Joe DiMaggio kissing his bat, 15 Dec 1941 (Library of Congress)

Joe DiMaggio kissing his bat, 15 Dec 1941 (Library of Congress)

80 Years Ago—July 17, 1941: Germans encircle 20 Soviet divisions near Uman, Ukraine.

Alfred Rosenberg is appointed Reich Minister of the Occupied Eastern Territories, in charge of “Germanization” and removal of the Jews.

Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees fails to get a hit against the Cleveland Indians, ending his record 56-game hitting streak—a record which is still unbroken.

Today in World War II History—July 16, 1941

Yakov Dzhugashvili shortly after his capture by the Germans, 1941 (Photographer: Wolfram von Richthofen; public domain via Wikipedia)

Yakov Dzhugashvili shortly after his capture by the Germans, 1941 (Photographer: Wolfram von Richthofen; public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—July 16, 1941: Vichy France bans Jews from practicing as lawyers (this applies to occupied France as well).

Lt. Yakov Dzhugashvili, Stalin’s son, is taken prisoner by the Germans—he will die as a POW in April 1943.

Today in World War II History—July 15, 1941

 

Draft map of the Pan-American Security Zone for the Declaration of Panama, October 1939 (US Department of State)

Draft map of the Pan-American Security Zone for the Declaration of Panama, October 1939 (US Department of State)

80 Years Ago—July 15, 1941: Double agent Juan Garcia (“Garbo”), working for Britain, sends his first fake communiqué to Berlin.

Germans encircle 300,000 Soviets in Smolensk pocket, which delays the drive on Moscow.

US extends Security Zone from 26˚ W to 22˚ W, including Iceland within Western Hemisphere defense zone.

Today in World War II History—July 14, 1941

A 15-cwt truck passes a sentry as it leaves Fort Weygand at Palmyra, Syria, 12 July 1941 (Imperial War Museum: E 4079)

A 15-cwt truck passes a sentry as it leaves Fort Weygand at Palmyra, Syria, 12 July 1941 (Imperial War Museum: E 4079)

80 Years Ago—July 14, 1941: Vichy French in Syria and Lebanon surrender to Free French and British, and sign armistice.

Germans reach Luga River in Soviet Union, threatening Leningrad.

Bastille Day celebrations are banned in both Vichy and occupied France.

Bing Crosby records hit song “The Anniversary Waltz.”

Today in World War II History—July 13, 1941

Spanish volunteers leaving San Sebastián, Spain, on their way to Germany to fight with the Blue Division, 1942 (Creative Commons via Fondo Car-Kutxa Fototeka GureGipuzkoa)

Spanish volunteers leaving San Sebastián, Spain, on their way to Germany to fight with the Blue Division, 1942 (Creative Commons via Fondo Car-Kutxa Fototeka GureGipuzkoa)

80 Years Ago—July 13, 1941: First group of Spanish volunteers leaves to serve with the German army, even though Spain is neutral.

Uprising begins in Italian-occupied Montenegro; Italians will put it down in six weeks.

Today in World War II History—July 12, 1941

Finnish soldiers crossing the Finnish-Soviet border set at the end of the Winter War in 1940, crossing from Tohmajärvi, Finland, to Pälksaari, Russia, 12 July 1941 (Military Museum of Finland: 79952).

Finnish soldiers crossing the Finnish-Soviet border set at the end of the Winter War in 1940, crossing from Tohmajärvi, Finland, to Pälksaari, Russia, 12 July 1941 (Military Museum of Finland: 79952).

80 Years Ago—July 12, 1941: Britain and USSR sign mutual assistance pact, pledging not to seek separate peace.

German Luftwaffe bombs Moscow for the first time.

In Continuation War against the USSR, the Finnish Army of Karelia takes Kokkari and Tolvayärvi.

Jimmy Dorsey’s song “Green Eyes” hits the charts.

Today in World War II History—July 11, 1941

William “Wild Bill” Donovan as head of the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), 1945 (US National Archives: 6851006)

William “Wild Bill” Donovan as head of the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), 1945 (US National Archives: 6851006)

80 Years Ago—July 11, 1941: US establishes Office of Coordinator of Information under William Donovan to coordinate intelligence and propaganda.

American Federation of Musicians orders members to play “Star-Spangled Banner” at concerts.