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This Day in WWII 4 July 1940 - 1945

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RoyalCrownCola-July1943.jpgRoyal Crown Cola Ad - July 1943

 

1940: In the House of Commons, prime minister Churchill declares,' I leave the judgment of our actions with confidence to Parliament. I leave it to the nation and I leave it to the United States. I leave it to the world and to history.'

 

1940: German Stukas and MTBs attack a British convoy South of Portland, sinking 5 merchant ships.

 

Ava%20Gardner-July4.jpg Ava Gardner

 

1940: In direct response to the devastating British attack on the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir, the Vichy French government of Marshal Petain breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain.

 

1940: Italian bombers raid Malta.

 

Cleo%20Moore.jpg Cleo Moore

 

1940: Italian bombers raid Alexandria. Italian forces attack from Abyssinia and Eritrea and capture the British outposts of Kassala and Gallabat on the Sudanese border.

 

1941: In and Independence Day broadcast, Roosevelt warns the American public that the USA 'will never survive as a happy and prosperous oasis in the middle of a desert of dictatorship'.

 

Gloria%20Grahame.jpg Gloria Grahame

 

1941: British Communist Party officially drops peace campaign and backs the war.

 

1941: Units of Army Group Centre capture Ostrov.

 

Anne%20Rutherford.jpg Ann Rutherford

 

1942: Bad weather delays operation 'Rutter', which is now scheduled for the 7th July.

 

Cyd%20Charisse.jpg Cyd Charisse

 

1942: Convoy PQ-17, now reinforced with the 7 warships of the cruiser force which had come up during the night, comes under heavy attack from Luftwaffe dive-bombers and torpedo planes during the morning. An American merchant (7,200 tons) was badly hit by a torpedo and had to be abandoned, although U-457 found and sank it. U-457, also incorrectly reported that it had seen a battleship with the convoys escorts. Because of this report, Admiral Raeder believed that the British distant covering force, which included an aircraft-carrier had arrived to help the convoy. He therefore refused permission for the German battleship Tirpitz, pocket battleship Admiral Scheer, heavy cruiser Hipper, 7 destroyers and 2 E-boats to put to sea until the British aircraft-carrier had been sunk. In the afternoon, larger numbers of Luftwaffe planes attacked convoy PQ-17 twice, severely damaging 3 merchants, two of which later sank. Later that day, the British First Sea Lord Dudley Pound, thought that the German surface force had sailed to attack the PQ-17 and would in all probability wipe out the convoy along with the covering cruiser force. He therefore made the catastrophic decision to withdraw the cruiser force and "scatter" PQ-17 in the hope that this might save most of the convoy. Almost immediately, the U-boats benefited, with U-703 sinking 2 merchants for 12,100 tons, U-88 sank 2 merchants for 12,300 tons, U-334 sank 1 merchant for 7,200 tons and U-456 sank a merchant for 7,000 tons. On the downside the Luftwaffe, having difficulty in spotting friend from foe, damaged U-334 and U-456 forcing them to return to Norway for repairs.

 

Susan%20Hayward%20Virginia%20Dale.jpg Susan Hayward & Virginia Dale

 

1942: For the first time, 6 Douglas A-20/Boston bombers of the USAAF's 15th Bombardment Squadron were combined with 6 Douglas A-20/Boston bombers from the RAF's 226 Squadron for raids on German airfields in Holland. 2 USSAF and 1 RAF aircraft failed to return.

 

1942: The Germans claim to have pushed the Russians back across the Don along a broad front.

 

Ava%20Gardner2-4th%20of%20July.jpg Ava Gardner

 

1943: General Sikorski and several other Polish leaders of the London-based anti-Communist Polish government-in-exile, die in plane crash just after take-off from Gibraltar, which some suspect is the result of deliberate sabotage.

 

Phyllis%20Coates.jpg Phyllis Coates

 

1944: The general strike in Copenhagen ends with the Germans withdrawing the curfew to avoid further popular risings in Denmark.

 

1944: In Normandy, one U.S. division gains only 200yds and six German prisoners for nearly 1,400 casualties.

 

Nanette%20Parks.jpg Nanette Parks

 

1944: The Soviet 1st Baltic Front begins an offensive toward Riga, capturing Polotsk and threatening to isolate Army Group North during its fighting retreat from Estonia.

 

Dorothy%20Arnold.jpg Dorothy Arnold

 

1945: The British 7th Armoured Division, 'The Desert Rats' enters Berlin to establish the British sector.

 

ThePrudentialInsuranceCompany-July1944.j The Prudential Insurance Ad - July 1944

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