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This Day in WWII 6 March 1940 - 1945

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NorthAmericanAviationAd-March1943.jpgNorth American Aviation Ad - March 1943

 

1940: Hitler changes his plans for the invasion of the west. At a military conference in Berlin, he decides to adopt the plan put forward by Gerd von Rundstedt and his former chief of staff, Erich von Manstein, for the Ardennes option. Code-named 'Fall Sichelschnitt', it called for the attack against the Low Countries to go ahead, but with slightly fewer forces, in order to draw the allies forward, while the decisive thrust would be mounted through the Ardennes. Holding attacks would be made against the Maginot line.

 

1940: A Finnish delegation arrives in Moscow.

 

1941: German aircraft mine the Suez canal, blocking it for 3 weeks.

 

Ilona%20Massey1.jpg *Ilona Massey

 

1942: Having received permission from Hitler, the Battleship Tirpitz and 3 destroyers set sail from Trondheim to intercept convoy PQ-12, but is spotted by a British submarine which relays the information onto the British Admiralty. However, bad weather means that the Tirpitz is unable to locate PQ-12 and so heads back to base. Enroute to Trondheim the Tirpitz is spotted and attacked by aircraft from HMS Victorious, but is not damaged.

 

1942: Japanese cut all roads north of Rangoon, trapping the British at Pegu.

 

1942: Japanese occupy Batavia in Java.

 

Ilona%20Massey2.jpg Ilona Massey

 

1943: British RAF fliers bomb Essen and the Krupp arms works in the Ruhr, Germany.

 

1944: Bomber Command begins a large-scale offensive over northern France in preparation for D-Day.

 

NorthAmericanAviationAd-March1944.jpg North American Aviation Ad - March 1944

 

1944: The USAAF send 730 bombers and 796 fighters to Berlin, during which 69 bombers and 11 escorts are shot down. (WATCH U.S. NEWSREEL FOOTAGE)

 

1944: Another 'Chindit' stronghold is established South of the Irrawaddy.

 

Ilona%20Massey3.jpg Ilona Massey

 

1944: U.S. Marines land at Talasea in New Britain.

 

1945: The US 8th Air Force launches a heavy attack against Chemnitz in Saxony.

 

1945: The Second Panzer and Sixth SS Panzer Armies launch a major counter-attack from Lake Balaton towards Budapest.

 

Ilona%20Massey4.jpg Ilona Massey

 

1945: The U.S. Third Army reaches the Rhine Northwest of Koblenz, as Cologne falls to General Courtney Hodges' First Army.

 

1945: The new Chinese First Army takes Lashio in north-eastern Burma.

 

Ilona%20Massey5.jpg Ilona Massey

*Ilona Massey (born Ilona Hajmássy) was born in Budapest, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Budapest, Hungary) on June 16th, 1910. Sultry, opulent blonde Hungarian singer Ilona Massey survived an impoverished childhood in Budapest to become a glamorous both here and abroad. As a dressmaker's apprentice she managed to scrape up money together for singing lessons and first danced in chorus lines, later earning roles at the Staats Opera. A Broadway, radio and night-club performer, she appeared in a couple of Austrian features before coming to America to duet with Nelson Eddy in a couple of his glossy operettas. In the first, "Rosalie" (1937), she was secondary to Mr. Eddy and Eleanor Powell, but in the second vehicle, "Balalaika" (1939), she was the popular baritone's prime co-star. Billed as "the new Dietrich," Ms. Massey did not live up to the hype as her soprano voice was deemed too light for the screen and her acting talent too slight and mannered. She continued in non-singing roles in a brief movie career that included only 11 films. For the most part she was called upon to play sophisticated temptresses in thrillers and spy intrigues. "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" (1943) with Lon Chaney, Jr. as Baroness Frankenstein, and "Love Happy" (1949) with the four Marx Bros. are her best recalled.

Ilona%20Massey6.jpg Ilona Massey

She appeared on radio as a spy in the "Top Secret" program and, on TV, co-starred in the espionage series "Rendezvous" (1952). In the mid-50s she had her own musical TV show in which she sang classy ballads. Becoming an American citizen in 1946, she remained strongly anti-communist for what she saw as the destruction of her native country, at one point picketing the United Nations during the 1956 visit of Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. Married four times, once to actor Alan Curtis, Ms. Massey died of cancer on August 20, 1974 (aged 64) in Bethesda, Maryland, and was buried in Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery near her last husband, Donald Dawson, who had served in the United States Air Force Reserve as a Major General.

 

TRIVIA:

Spouse:

Maj. Gen. Donald Dawson, USAF (Ret.) (1955 - 20 August 1974) (her death)

Alan Curtis (1941 - 16 December 1942) (divorced)

Nick Szavazd (1935 - 1936) (divorced)

Charles Walker (? - ?) (divorced)

NorthAmericanAviationAd-March1945.jpg North American Aviation Ad - March 1945

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