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This Day in WWII 5 June 1940 - 1945


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assocofamericanrradjune.jpg Association of American RailRoads Ad - June 1942

1940: Home Defense commander Ironside announces the creation of the ‘lronsides’, small groups of highly mobile, armed men for defense against parachutists.

1940: The Germans begin 'Operation Red', the ‘Battle of France’ with 119 divisions, including 10 Panzer division's. Army Group B, with 50 divisions, opens the offensive against the French left wing which is anchored along the Somme for 120 miles, in fortified positions known as the Weygand Line, just 100 miles from Paris. Charles de Gaulle is appointed as French Under Secretary of State for War.

1940: Hauptmann. Mölders, leader of III/JG 53 and Germany's top air ace (25 kills) is shot down near Compiegne and taken prisoner.

junevincent6.jpg *June Vincent

1941: US House Appropriations committee introduces largest Army expenditure bill since the First World War at S10,000 million.

1941: Secret transfer of 4000 Marines to Iceland.

1941: Over 100 German divisions have now been deployed along Germany's frontier with the Soviet Union.

1941: Germans say 15,000 prisoners taken in Crete. British later say 12,970 unaccounted for.

junevincent3.jpg June Vincent

1942: USA declares war on Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania and warns Japan that she will retaliate in kind if gas is used.

1942: Operation 'Birdsong' kicks off between Roslavl and Bryansk, as 5,000 German troops pursue 2,500 partisans. In four weeks, 1,198 partisans are killed, for the loss of 58 German dead. Even so, the Germans are not happy as "The partisans," a German officer reports, "continued their old tactic of evading, withdrawing into the forests, or moving in larger groups into the areas South and Southwest of the Roslavl-Bryansk highway and into the Kletnya area." Although no further partisan attacks are reported in the area, "mines continued to be planted" and several German vehicles damaged.

1942: SS report 97,000 persons have been "processed" in mobile gas vans.

junevincent2.jpg June Vincent

1942: Germans besiege Sevastopol.

1942: The Eighth Army launches a counter-attack against the Afrika Korps forces that are inside the 'Cauldron. This is codenamed 'Aberdeen', but went disastrously wrong from the start, with an infantry tank brigade being destroyed in minefields and an Indian infantry brigade attacking the wrong positions. This left the remainder of the force, the 22nd Armoured Brigade to be repulsed easily by the untouched German defenses. British losses for this operation were 150 tanks, 133 guns and 6,000 troops. At this point in the battle, the British forces in the northern part of the Gazala line (1st South African and the remainder of the British 50th Division), were still in a strong position and so General Auchinleck and Lieutenant General Ritchie decide to hold the line facing south from the Knightsbridge defensive box to El Adem with the remainder of their infantry and tank forces and wait for Rommel's next move.

1942: During the early hours, Admiral Yamamoto orders the withdrawal of the Japanese invasion fleet and abandons his efforts to capture Midway. The US fleet loses contact with the Japanese later in the day. The US destroyer Hammam is torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine.

junevincentpeterlorrebl.jpg June Vincent & Peter Lorre in "Black Angel"

1943: Battle of Pantelleria-Island with airfield; 11,000 Italian troops; guns controlling access to Sicily. A six-day air bombardment forces the garrison to surrender without an invasion. This is also the first time the Tuskegee "Black Eagles" flew under Colonel Ben Davis.

1943: U-513 (Kptlt. Sohler) sinks 4 ships off the coast of Brazil.

junevincent.jpg June Vincent

1944: Eisenhower gives the go ahead order for the D-Day landings in 24 hours when Stagg predicts a clearing of weather. 10:15 p.m.: "Wound my heart with a monotonous languor"- BBC radio cue for the French Resistance. 10:30 p.m.: 101st Screaming Eagles finish their takeoff (822 C-47's). Ike visits airfield: "Good luck to you tonight soldier."

1944: The first mission by B-29 Superfortress bombers occurs as 77 planes bomb Japanese railway facilities at Bangkok, Thailand.

1945: Moscow Radio announces the award of the highest Russian honour, the 'Order of Victory', to Montgomery and Eisenhower.

1945: The four allied powers sign a declaration on the defeat of Germany, which divides the country into four zones.

junevincent5.jpg

*Born Dorothy June Smith on July 17, 1920 in Harrod, Ohio, Vincent began her career in film in the early 1940s. The blond actress entered the movie business in 1940. Occasionally a leading lady, as in Abbott & Costello's "Here Come the Co-eds" (1945), Vincent was more effectively cast as an ice-princess "other woman." After a string of progressively uninteresting film parts, she received a shot in the arm career wise when she began accepting television roles, rapidly establishing herself as an versatile character actress; TV Guide, taking into consideration the number of times that the on-screen Vincent tried to steal away somebody's husband or boyfriend, referred to her as "Television's Favorite Homewrecker." June Vincent made her final TV appearances in the mid-1970s. June died on November 20, 2008 (aged 88) in Aurora, Colorado. She is survived by her three children.

sealrightcompanyjune194.jpg Sealright Company Ad - June 1944

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1944: Eisenhower gives the go ahead order for the D-Day landings in 24 hours when Stagg predicts a clearing of weather. 10:15 p.m.: "Wound my heart with a monotonous languor"- BBC radio cue for the French Resistance. 10:30 p.m.: 101st Screaming Eagles finish their takeoff (822 C-47's). Ike visits airfield: "Good luck to you tonight soldier."

And so began the successful invasion of Hitler's Europe.

1945: The four allied powers sign a declaration on the defeat of Germany, which divides the country into four zones.

It's interesting that exactly one year from the beginning of the invasion, Germany, and eventually much of Europe, is formally divided into East and West.

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